Teaching efforts spring semester 2014

teaching computer lab

Illustration: Colourbox.com

I have previously been writing much about how teaching becomes a more important part of my workday, and I thought I just wanted to have a look at the numbers for the spring of 2014 now. So far this semester, I have spent 76,5 hours teaching and tutoring. My boss has spent 52,5 hours (mostly on EndNote) and Giulia has spent two hours. Combined we have spent 131 hours teaching.. so far (this includes preparation time).  The numbers for the same period last year was 136 hours, so basically the same as last year. The previous years we have had a very rapid expansion of our teaching efforts, and from 2005 to 2013 the number of teaching hours increased from 43 hours annually to 261 hours (including preparation time). The numbers seem to be leveling out now, and I think that this is a question of resources available at the library. We have reached a threshold.

The demand for teaching within our subjects have increased, and particularly within tutoring we see that there is an almost endless need. As Alison Head noted in her excellent LILAC14 keynote, librarians will probably be important “context-makers” (in lack of a better word) in the future. I thought about this a lot yesterday when I had three hours teaching for 70 nursing students – in a lecture hall. I was team-teaching with a teacher and we were trying to prepare them for a home exam they will have in a few weeks. When I was talking about how to find information and so on, very few of the students wanted me to demonstrate the databases; they were much more interested in the screening process and how to write their methods chapter, and they said that they wanted to talk about how to form good research questions. I know that this has been issues all the time that I have been working here, but still– I have never heard the students be so explicit about this before. They know how to handle the databases, but they don`t know how to use the results and how to describe what they have done. We have to help them find the words to describe what they are looking for and what they want us to help them with.

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