Testing new teaching models

Bilde av puslespillbiter på tavle Last year, I wrote about “flipping the classroom”, inspired by this video. Although I do not think that video lectures represent anything new (really..) and I do not think that they can replace the teachers or the traditional lecture in any way, I did find the priciple of spending more “teaching time” tutoring students instead of giving a prepared “speech” inspiring.

So – I decided to test something new (at least here at this library). I have now made a video lectuer consisting of three 15 minute videos and published them on YouTube. They are made specifically for part-time nursing students in their first year here at GUC. The students have been given an assignment about searching and finding a scholarly article and my lecture take the students through the assignment step-by-step (remember: first year students..:-)

The students will now be given the links and will watch the videos. Their teacher have scheduled a meeting with the students in approx. a month from now and the students must e-mail me/place comments on the videos/tweet me or in other ways contact me with questions beforehand – otherwise the meeting will be cancelled. This is my way of trying to focus my teaching on the students` needs. I don`t know yet if this will work, but I hope that it will..

Other things I have tested this semester: Using Google Forms as part of my lecture. I know that lecturing may not be very effective when it comes to student learning outcomes, but sometimes there seems to be few managable alternatives for larger groups (maybe up to 150) of students. So – what to do? About a week ago I held a double lecture (“Academic writing”) for engineering students that are about to embark on their bachelor theses. A couple of times, I stopped and asked the students to enter a webpage (the Google Form) where I asked some questions, like: “You want to find an article about sustainable manufacturing. What do you do?” (and provided the students with some alternatives). I put the form up on the projector so that the students could see the answers coming in. When the time was up (I gave them approx 5 minutes) I looked at the answers and tried to clarify when there were misunderstandings and to explain things in a different way. I think it worked pretty well! Next time, I will try to maybe use four forms instead of two in a two-hour lecture, and maybe that will help keep the attention better, too. You live, you learn..

Happy New Year!

I have to admit it was a little hard to get into gear this morning. After 1,5 weeks of glorious Christmas holiday it was difficult to get started on my first workday in 2012. Still, it felt strangely fresh – like a blank piece of paper, and I couldn`t wait to get started on my new projects.

2011 was a very busy year. We have got more students than ever, something that we greatly enjoy and appreciate, but it also gives us some challenges regarding service and levels of integration. I finished my master thesis on teaching information skills in higher education, I attended Internet Librarian International (it was so fun being a speaker!) and worked on many projects, big and small.

In 2012 I intend to test some new teaching models, hopefully trying to follow the principles of “flipping the classroom” and I look forward to testing some new assessment methods. I`ll try to document my tests on this blog and my Norwegian blog so that others can try similar things and improve them. One of the goals for this coming year is to really integrate the information skills courses into the nursing and engineering studies. It would be great for both the students and me if we could make this work!

I wish I had a little more room to play around with our website. I would have loved some gamification of the site, and to implement some of the ideas behind this article.

In 2012 I will be involved in a project that will be run on Gjøvik, Lillehammer and Hedmark University Colleges (a joint project), that will look into how we teach pedagogic methods to teachers and how the library, IT services and faculty can work better together. The project will have its first meeting tomorrow and I hope that it will be interesting and useful. I take it as a good sign that they want to involve the library into the faculty.

So – I think 2012 will be as busy as ever, with many challenges and opportunities. Happy New Year, everybody! May 2012 prove to be our best year so far!