On April 9, I got to observe a teaching session run by another librarian directed at students in UW's GEOG 315 class. Per the catalog description, GEOG 315: "Covers the beginning steps in the research process... Students develop basic library and writing skills as preparation for future research methods classes and independent research." The instruction session asked the students to share their topics and then covered potential geography research challenges and useful resources for their upcoming lit review and annotated bibliography assignments.
One of the mainstays of library instruction is the worksheet, and I was particularly interested in the way this librarian structured that part of the session. Instead of printing out a sheet of paper for students to fill in, they used a google form. I liked this for a number of reasons. One was that it saves on paper that students may or may not keep. Another was that it sent their answers to the section TAs and to the librarian so that they could return to that document later and push useful, specific resources to the students. Of course, it's a little harder for the students to keep their answers, and since the form walked them through how to annotate a source for an annotated bibliography having that example to look back on would be crucial. I talked to the librarian later and they said this was the first time they had done this kind of a thing that this was something that they would want to fix next time. All in all, I really liked this approach and plan to use it in the future. It's a really effective way to update a really useful teaching strategy.
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