Staff Workshop at Brooklyn Historical Society

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Brooklyn Historical Society. Brooklyn, NY. October 28, 2013. Workshop.

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Staff Workshop at Brooklyn Historical Society

  1. 1. All Staff Workshop Students and Faculty in the Archives Brooklyn Historical Society Monday, October 28, 2013
  2. 2. Welcome! 1:00 – 2:00 Lunch 2:00 – 3:00 “SAFA's Findings and Institution-Wide Implications” 3:00 – 5:00 "SAFA Teaching Philosophy in Practice" (optional) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  3. 3. Introductions Julie Golia, PhD Public Historian / SAFA Co-Director Robin M. Katz, MLIS Outreach + Public Services Archivist / SAFA Co-Director Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  4. 4. What is SAFA? Innovative postsecondary education program which uses primary sources to teach document analysis, information literacy, and critical thinking skills in first-year undergraduates. Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  5. 5. What is SAFA? • Three year, $750,000 US Dept of Education FIPSE grant – Jan 2011 until Dec 2013 • Three schools within walking distance – City Tech (CUNY), LIU Brooklyn, St. Francis • Nineteen local partner faculty – All ranks and stages of career – Wide range of disciplines (not just history) – Variety of classes (seminars, surveys, etc.) – Intellectual and professional community • National partners Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  6. 6. What is SAFA? • Centered around class visits to the archives • Item level document analysis – not independent student research • Over four semesters (Fall 2012 - Spring 2013) – 1,100 individual students – 63 courses – 100+ class visits to BHS • Breadth of project allowed for experimentation, lessons, crafting pedagogy Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  7. 7. What is SAFA? • SAFA student population – Mostly first-year / early academic career – Very diverse: many minority, non-traditional students, and other under-represented groups – Mostly products of NYC public schools – Many international students, new Americans, or non-native speakers of English • SAFA’s secondary goal: familiarize students with BHS as a cultural institution/resource Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  8. 8. What is SAFA? • Class visits in a nutshell – Had as many as 7 and as few as 1 during a semester; we find 1 – 3 visits to be best. – Anywhere from <10 – 40+ students attend a visit – Faculty pre-select docs with staff help; request them 3 weeks ahead of time – Staff pull, prep, cite, assess copyright, set up docs – Staff greet class; review care/handling; occasionally lecture; co-facilitate exercise & wrap-up Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  9. 9. What is SAFA? • Sampling of SAFA classes – – – – – – Robin Michals, Introduction to Digital Photography Jen Wingate, Visual Culture of the Civil War Sara Haviland, U.S., 1896-present Geoff Zylstra, Early American History Leah Dilworth, American Literature Matthew Gold, English Composition: Fire, Disease, Disaster and the Shaping of Urban Public Space Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  10. 10. What is SAFA? • What makes SAFA different? – Museum Education • Often K-12 • Tour based, guided inquiry – Special Collections instruction • Often advanced undergrad • Show-and-tell model – Library instruction • Typically focuses on finding/evaluating resources – Common teaching strategy • Professors often lecture on primary sources, don’t push students to engage with them Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  11. 11. SAFA findings Our Teaching Philosophy – Goals and objectives – No show-and-tell – Actively use materials – Less is more – Modeling document analysis to beginners (will address this in greater detail in the optional workshop from 3:00 - 5:00) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  12. 12. SAFA findings Less is More – Document selection (item-level) – Professor research – Reference support (will address this in greater detail in the optional workshop from 3:00 - 5:00) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  13. 13. SAFA findings How SAFA differs from the typical approach to primary sources • Specific vs. generic prompts to model analysis – Ex: “Why did Henry Ward Beecher write this letter?” – Not “Who is the creator? What type of document is this?” • Handouts (will address this in greater detail in the optional workshop from 3:00 - 5:00) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  14. 14. SAFA findings Logistics – These details make for good pedagogy and efficient BHS workflow – Agendas – Arrival, room set up, traffic flow, space/overlap, pulling, document arrangement – Tweaking and refining – Clarifying roles (will address this in greater detail in the optional workshop from 3:00 - 5:00) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  15. 15. SAFA findings Making Students Feel Welcome – Care and handling about stewardship, NOT punitive – Extra support needed – Tailoring services to early college students • Academic preparedness • Limited research experience • Personal perspectives (ex: international students, FT working students, outer borough, etc.) (will address this in greater detail in the optional workshop from 3:00 - 5:00) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  16. 16. SAFA findings Independent evaluators have found that SAFA students are more engaged and perform better than their peers. Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  17. 17. SAFA findings • This year, we will receive and analyze retention data – Final Report due December 2013 • Data from 2012 Evaluation Report – Online at http://safa.brooklynhistory.org/docs/EvalReport201 2.pdf Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  18. 18. Findings: Observation Skills Q: Why might this document be worth preserving in an archive? PRE POST Students noting a single feature of giving a vague response 72% 49% Students noting multiple physical features 28% 51% Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  19. 19. Findings: Articulating ‘a usable past’ Q: Why might this document be worth preserving in an archive? Sample PRE responses This is a photo from the past Because it showed what was going on at that moment. It gives insight... to what life was like during the 1960s. Sample POST responses To show how society valued entertainment [It] shows how technology was progressing in the US. It shows how people were sending postal cards through the telegrams and how it was different... than... today. Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  20. 20. Findings: Academic Performance • Just one class at LIU Brooklyn SAFA NON-SAFA Completion Rate 96.9% 76.7% Passing Rate 91.9% 48% Grade B or better 60.7% 30.3% Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  21. 21. Findings: Professional Development • Peter Catapano, City Tech: “my teaching always improves when I have time to stop and reflect on my current practices. What I learned is that sometimes less is more. Better to have fewer learning objectives... This experience has helped me trust my students, who have taken to the site visit and the web assignments much more than expected.” • Geoff Zylstra, City Tech: “Through SAFA, I have been able to create a research project that mirrors that of the academic research process.” • Deborah Mutnick, LIU Brooklyn: “I have rethought how I teach research, inverting the movement from breadth to depth, the general to the specific, in order to engage students in ‘deep learning’ based on close readings and observation.” Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  22. 22. Why does SAFA work? • High Impact Educational Practices – – – – – – – Work with first-year seminars, learning communities Common intellectual experiences (among a cohort) Collaborative assignments and projects Undergraduate research Diversity/global learning Community-based learning See www.aacu.org/leap/hip.cfm Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  23. 23. Products of the SAFA grant • Project level website to launch later Fall 2013 – Audiences - national and local, faculty and staff – Site will include • Sample exercises (with some digitized documents) • Articles on pedagogy by us and faculty • Project documentation and findings – http://teacharchives.org • More dissemination – Presentations – Publications Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  24. 24. What is SAFA? • General questions about the project? • What would you like to see from us? Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  25. 25. SAFA Teaching Philosophy in Practice Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  26. 26. SAFA Teaching Philosophy in Practice • In this workshop, we will cover: – Goals and Objectives – Assignments and Visits – Context – Document Selection – Logistics – Student Prompts – Facilitation • Start in classroom, move to library Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  27. 27. Goals and objectives Learning Goals • A statement that describes in broad terms what a student will learn from your course. – adapted from http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/fd/writingobjectives.pdf • General statements about knowledge, skills, attitudes, and values. – adapted from http://www.lmu.edu/about/services/academicplanning/assessment/Assessment_Resources/Understanding_Mission__ Goals_and_Learning_Outcomes.htm Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  28. 28. Goals and objectives Professors’ course goals were often the same as SAFA’s goals •Student engagement •Building a sense of community •Interaction with neighborhoods •Interdisciplinarity •Student identity as creators, not just consumers, of knowledge Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  29. 29. Goals and objectives Learning Objectives • Statement in specific and measurable terms that describes what the student will know or be able to do as a result of completing course activities. – adapted from http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/fd/writingobjectives.pdf Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  30. 30. Goals and objectives Learning objectives should • • • • Use measurable verb Articulate how students will demonstrate learning Provide criterion of acceptable performance Address knowledge, skills, and/or attitude – adapted from http://www.oucom.ohiou.edu/fd/writingobjectives.pdf Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  31. 31. Goals and objectives Sara Haviland’s goals vs. objectives • GOAL (broader) – Students will learn the unique history of the Civil Rights movement in the North. • OBJECTIVE (specific) – In their final research paper, students will identify and analyze the different issues, strategies, and constituencies of the Civil Rights movement in the North, as compared to the South. Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  32. 32. Assignments and visits Different models – – – – – – – One-off in-archive activity Semester-long, multi-visit structure Building a collaborative resource as a class Scaffolded document-to-folder model Scholarly research paper Other scholarly work (oral history, walking tour) Research for a creative project Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  33. 33. Context Talk to the professor about context • When to provide? • What do students need to know? – Historical – Technical / Format – Collection Info • Provenance or donor • How organized – What is a historical society/archives? Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  34. 34. Context • How to provide context? – – – – – Secondary sources Other primary sources Popular or experiential readings Finding aids or other library descriptions Lectures (in-class or in-archives) • Who will provide? – You (staff) or professor? Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  35. 35. Document selection • Document selection: how much? – For first-year students, item level is best • Some experiences with providing folder from manuscript collection – Small number of items for students • Especially textual material Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  36. 36. Document selection Think about a student’s first encounter with the document. Consider: – – – – – – physical size condition or handling needs length of text legibility (especially handwriting) vocabulary visual literacy skills of students Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  37. 37. Document selection Channel students when selecting docs! – How much more contextual knowledge we have – The feeling of overwhelm in an archives • Manageable vs. unmanageable Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  38. 38. Document selection Supporting (or collaborating with?) faculty • Different levels of experience with archives – Discovery tools – Using primary sources – Reading room procedures • Identifying teaching docs very different than identifying docs for scholarly research – Professors usually do have a reading in mind Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  39. 39. Document selection Supporting (or collaborating with?) faculty • Identifying teaching docs very different than identifying docs for scholarly research – Not looking for everything – looking for one effective teaching document – Do you want a representative document or an outlier document? Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  40. 40. Creating Student Prompts Generic questions can be confusing • • • • Date created vs. date covered Author/creator Format “What is the source,” “why was this doc made,” “who is the audience” are actually difficult to answer Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  41. 41. Creating Student Prompts Why tailor prompts? • Primary source docs are infinitely interpretable – but educators often do have a reading in mind • Handouts should reflect specific visit objectives • Tailored handouts help anticipate regularized experience for students • Rather than an educator providing context to students on a piecemeal basis (when floating or zoning) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  42. 42. Creating Student Prompts Making the handout • Don’t give students too long a handout • Articulate to students that they should closely observe and read the entire document • Consider including context or other sources in the handout Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  43. 43. Creating Student Prompts Examples of effective SAFA handouts • In your folders Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  44. 44. Logistics Room setup: the “SAFA” model – Stations and groupings (affects prompts, too) • Rotate or not? Timing? • Even groupings • Sitting at table or standing with clipboards? – Documents • Remember size, condition, other layout issues – Independent or group work? • Small groups of 3 - 4 students are ideal Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  45. 45. Logistics Institutional considerations – Scheduling • Challenge of college classes – Times not standard; don’t meet every day; semester is short; popular days and weeks; profs not used to planning far ahead • • • • Outlook and Google calendars Space conflicts; 2nd floor parlor, new classroom We had mtgs before each semester; Liz’s new form Set up sheets (not usually needed) – Visitor Services • Early and late classes - opening the building, front desk Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  46. 46. Planning ahead What professors should provide before the visit • Visit objectives • Document selection list – Online call slip • Agenda – Time break down – Roles clarified • Any relevant assignments, syllabi (?), etc. • Handout (day of) • Don’t be scared to make demands of profs Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  47. 47. Facilitation Facilitating an effective visit: plan ahead – Over budget time • When to arrive and leave • Don’t forget intros and wrap-ups • It takes students a while to physically move – Grouping students allows for discussion, collaboration, community building • Consider the room, the size of the docs, how long – What tools or other sources do you need? – Spell out roles of faculty and staff Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  48. 48. Facilitation •Arrival – Group or not? •How to welcome students to BHS – Museum, library, public events •Care and handling – Not punitive, stress universality – Policies vary, but see our example guidelines • Have students read aloud • Ask, “why?” or, “security or preservation?” Students and •Pre-visit option Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  49. 49. Facilitation In the archives – Make introductions both clear and enthusiastic – Think about logistics • where to sit or stand, tables vs. clipboards, acoustics – Facilitate community interaction – students speaking to each other, not you – How available will you and the prof be to students? • Floating vs. zoning • Hang back or hands-on? • If you/prof give one group a hint, tell the whole class Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  50. 50. Facilitation Encourage profs to plan an effective wrap up – – – – Planning often overlooked by Brooklyn faculty Suggest the entire class reconvenes and shares Push profs to have a main takeaway Ask hard questions! Demand a lot from students Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  51. 51. Facilitation Students coming back independently – Give handout on how to use the library in future • What to do when the self-starter shows up in the library? – If professor wants students to return to use specific collections, or complete an assignment • • • • DON’T MAKE IT OPTIONAL Discuss ahead of time with professor - no surprises! Clear instructions to prof, students, other staff (handout) Manage expectations of service provided in library vs. class (an issue with SAFA) Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society
  52. 52. In Library: Model Class • • • • Arrival and intros Sample exercise: slave indentures Workshop pedagogical and logistical choices Time for discussion and questions Students and Faculty in the Archives ● Brooklyn Historical Society

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