Category Archives: Students

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 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 […]

Beyond “good sources”

It’s been a long time since I’ve given a simple yes or no answer to the question, “would this be a good source for my paper?” but lately I’ve been getting even more nuanced in my answers (and probably the students are getting even more frustrated with my unwillingness to give them a straight answer!) […]

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, […]

Reference Book Petting Zoo

It’s been pretty quiet in Blogville these days: not much happening over the summer, and then BAM the semester starts and suddenly I’m teaching eight different library sessions (two of them built completely from scratch) in nine work days.  But the fall-semester rush is dying down, and even though apparently blogs are dead (who knew?) […]

Real life information literacy

I recently saw a very interesting case study of information literacy in a blog I follow, but before I tell that story, I need to provide a little background first. About a month ago I attended two information literacy events at Purdue University: the first was a day-long workshop by Ross Todd, from the library […]

Uphill, both ways, in the snow

I am old enough to have used the Reader’s Guide to Periodical Literature, in print. There. I said it.  As a matter of fact, I used print indices of various sorts right through my undergraduate degree and my first graduate program.  (Ah, those print volumes of RILM, eventually supplanted by the CD-ROM version that ran […]

Changing my game plan, slightly

Something like half of the one-shot instruction sessions I do follow the same pattern: the faculty member wants me to teach the students “how to find (scholarly) journal articles.” During the first couple of the semesters I was in this position, I gradually worked out a lesson plan that works pretty well for this: I […]