Friday, April 24, 2009

Favorite Session: Can Library Instruction Be Fun, Yet Effective?

Presenters were Crystal Goldman, Dale Larsen, and Adriana Parker of Marriott Library at the University of Utah. (I had met Dale and Adriana during my sabbatical) They teach an extraordinary number of sessions, up to 45 in a two week period...

Basically they were talking about two active learning methods, Cephalonian and Jigsaw. In summation the Jigsaw method is about small group work and having the groups present on the discovery of the database they were asked to analyze. This works best with large classes 20+ with enough time.

What really hooked me on this workshop was the Cephalonian method. They used the method to teach us the method. It involves a set of colored index cards which are passed out to the audience. (An audience member suggested that shapes could be used instead. Also it was noted that the color of the card should be placed on the card for those who may be color blind.) Each card has a question on it that will be asked when a color card is asked for. The questions are put together by the teacher who then creates a corresponding powerpoint that answers the questions.

BIG TIP: To go to a specific slide in powerpoint, type in the number and press enter. This will pop open the slide you want seamlessly. This is really nifty and makes the teacher look like a mind reader.

For more information on the Cephalonian method check out the article in Wikipeda. Or rather, check out the references at the bottom! Nigel Morgan is one of the originators of this very interactive active learning method.

The other really excellent part of the powerpoint was the pictures of a hired actor who portrayed various patron stereotypes including sleeping student, typhoid patron, and inappropriate viewing guy...

The presenters were entertaining, interactive and managed to keep this last session of the day well worth attending.


Spencer said...

This sounds like an interesting idea and session. Was this a way to solicit questions from the class? Were they to generate questions in their small groups? If you are willing to share any materials, that would be interesting.

J Semenza said...

The questions are preprogrammed, but the acting and interacting bring more life to the class.