Category Archives: In the classroom

What do you want to learn next?

At my very last instruction session for this semester (which was on December 2 — possibly a new record for latest instruction session in the semester) I had a brilliant idea for an alternative to the Minute Paper1 for an end-of-session formative assessment, which was to ask students to write down the answer to one […]

Some new things I’m trying this semester

My last three posts have been about new things I tried last semester, and how they worked out. Now I’m going to talk a little bit about new things I’m trying this semester, and what I’m hoping for them. Digression: I realized about a year ago that I needed a bit more structure to thinking […]

Some new things I tried this semester: the failed experiment

The third new thing I tried in the fall semester was to incorporate different formative classroom assessment techniques, in addition to my old standby, the minute paper.1  Minute papers are great, don’t get me wrong, and I’ve learned a ton of stuff from them, but there are other tools out there that you can learn […]

Some new things I tried this semester, part 1: The workshop class

One of the biggest challenges I have as a teacher is when I get a class where the students have wildly different backgrounds and experience with doing research.  Some of them might be second-semester first-year students who have never done college-level research before; others might be juniors or seniors with a number of research projects […]

Three shorts for Spring Break

Three things I’ve been mulling over lately, that probably aren’t enough to justify a blog post on their own but, put together, make a substantial post. Think of this as the tapas of blog posts. Thing The First I wrote up a lesson plan recently that contained the directive, aimed at myself, “and go from […]

Google Books as index

This is going to be blindingly obvious to probably about 90% of my readers, but to the 10%1 for whom it isn’t, it might be a bit of useful knowledge. I was teaching a class last week that focused primarily on print sources, and I was showing the students a selection of the books that […]

How do you know that?

I just finished up writing my pre-tenure review portfolio, and one of the things I wrote about in my “philosophy of librarianship” statement was asking students, repeatedly if necessary, “how do you know that?” It’s a fantastic question to ask, when you’re trying to get students to think critically about the sources of information they […]

New guest post at ACRLog

This is just a quick post to note that I have a guest post up this week at ACRLog, entitled “Context Matters.”  Mostly I’m musing on issues of local campus and classroom contexts, and how they affect what works (and doesn’t work) in a library instruction classroom, building on my not-very-successful experiment with no-demonstration classes. […]

The No-Demonstration Class, Or, Not

Wow, it’s been pretty quiet around here.  I’m sorry about that; the semester got kind of busy. So what have I been working on this semester?  Well, to begin with, I made a real effort to move toward fewer database demonstrations in my instruction sessions. A lot of the one-shot instruction sessions that I do, […]

Conference Presentation Feedback, Part 1: Introduction

So, about a month ago, I gave two conference presentations at two different conferences in the space of two weeks. It was a little nuts, and I probably won’t be trying that crazy trick again any time soon, but I did get to go to two completely different, and extraordinarily valuable, conferences and give presentations […]