Preparing Yourself To Teach: Touching all the Bases
Whether you’re trying to identify, learn or improve your teaching skills, this session will help you get to the top of your game. Get coaching on how to adapt to your teaching space and your audience. Train on how to repare lesson plans and where to find examples. Even if you just want to learn how to look and sound like a pro, this session will help you hit a homerun.
Speakers: Monika Antonelli, Reference Librarian, Minnisota State University;Lisa Hinchliffe, Coordinator for Info Literacy, University of Illinios-Urbana; Beth Woodard, Reference Library Head, University of Illinois-Urbana
The handouts and ppt are available online at ALA LIRT’s page. I’ll mention ones by number that I thought were particularly informative but didn’t have time to transcribe.
Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe started with assessment as learning. She warned us that if we don’t tell people when they do something wrong they assume they’re doing it right. Misinformed is worse than naive. And that goes for us as teachers too.
Slide #5 – assumptions underlying classroom assessment
- One of the most promising ways to improve learning is to improve teaching.
- Teachers need first to make their goals and objectives explicit and then to get specific, comprehensible feedback on the extent to which they are achieving those goals and objectives.
- Students need to receive appropriate and focused feedback early and often.
- Assessment most likely to improve teaching and learning is that conducted by faculty to answer questions they themselves have formulated in response to issues or problems in their own teaching.
- Systematic inquiry and intellectual challenge are powerful sources of motivation, growth, and renewal for college teachers.
- Classroom Assessment does not require specialized training.
- By collaborating with colleagues and actively involving students in Classroom Assessment efforts, faculty (and students) enhance learning and personal satisfaction.
She also plugged the book “Understanding by Design” by Grant Wiggins and Jay McTighe.
Librarians teach too much content – we cover too much and uncover too little for students.
She said we need to determine acceptable evidence ahead of time. For example, we want to assess students finding articles, not a set of questions around that.
Beth Woodard started her section with a “think-pair-share” exercise – “What does it mean to be a good learner?” My section came up with:
- some innate
- some motivation
- know why they’re there
The presenter offered that good learners are internally motivated. You don’t have to entice them. They are self directed and have confidence in their task.
She talked about learner centered classrooms vs. teacher centered classrooms and the balance of power. You are more likely to have learners who are self regulated if they have some control. Other principles involved in creating a learner centered classroom include the function of content, role of the teacher, responsibility for learning, and purpose and process of evaluation.
Slide 19 had good notes on what learner-centered teachers do.
- Do learning tasks less.
- Do less telling and get students doing more discovering
- Do more design work to meet goals:
- Take students to new skill levels
- Engages students’ interest and involvement
- Involves students in authentic work of the field
- Develops content and skills awareness
- Do more modeling
- Do more getting students to learn from each other
- Work to create climates for learning.
- Do more with feedback.
Students benefit from knowing their learning styles. They know when they need to put in the extra effort.
Slide #25 has a graphic on Kolb’s experiential learning cycle. You need all 4 to have a good learning environment.
She also covered the learning styles and how to teach to the different ones.
The last speaker focused on performance. She said this is the icing on the cake. Theatrical techniques help maintain attention.
Think about your body position:
- posture – body language
- level – you don”t have to stay on one level
- you can get on a chair – cements a memory
- can get down on a knee – “please, please don’t use Google”
Use voice exercises, articulate, and pause to eliminate ums and ahs, to highlight points and to let listeners catch up.
Break the 4th wall by going out into the classroom.
Use music – if you have it at the start, when it goes off they know it’s time to start.
During the Q&A someone argued we need to move towards having a conversation with the faculty where we don’t ask them what they want us to cover. We ask – what do your students need to be able to do? Then in our judgment, we decide – they’re going to need to know X- here’s what I can do – libguide, in session, etc.
Focus on the students.