Week 10 Reading Reflection

How People Learn – Chapter 7: Effective Teaching

I personally have never taken a physics class in my life, but these chapters always make me want to because of all the fun things they get to learn about! This was a very fun chapter because they mention all sort of mind-blowing things that people do in their fields.  Also the gist seemed to be that all sorts of valid and interesting things are being taught in all sorts of ways. The examples prized experimentation and risk. I didn’t like this because they were all success stories. The thing about risk is that it often doesn’t go well. Where’s the really valid thing that just failed the first time because you didn’t have the variables right?

Online Webinars! Interactive Learning Where Our Users Are: The Future of Embedded Librarianship by Susan E. Montgomery

I felt like this article really showed me why good user experience research is important. Sure, college students are spend a lot more time online. But what does that mean to librarians? What sort of habits are librarians interested in? What sort of behaviors are they doing? Are they satisfied with those behaviors? What types of things can we test and get feedback on?

That being said, I am a big believer in services for long distance patrons. I recently got into a long argument with another Business Librarian over whether Webinars were a fad. He seemed to be of the opinion (as many librarians in business do) that the only valid interactions are face-to-face. After much arguing, it became obvious that some of issues with him feeling that way was the inadequacy of current Webinar technology to really adequately encapsulate what a librarian does one-on-one with a patron. The technology can often create a barrier which people (especially business people who are very into handshakes and look-you-in-the-eye interactions) have trouble overcoming. I think it will interesting to see how this plays out in the long run. Once again in business librarianship, evening programs as well are very common, we after small business librarians have closed. How do we create a library experience that valid and true?

The Embedded Librarian Online or Face-to-Face: American University’s Experiences

This article kind of made extra excited because one of the examples was a Business Librarian and I never get to talk about business librarianship in this class or pretty much any other at SI. Well I do but it’s never so on topic! That being said, the idea about befriending patrons on Facebook definitely struck me as a little odd. It felt a little bit like saying that we would be better imbedded librarians if we held office hours under people’s beds. Sure usage would be up, but it would be creepy! I did love the Snow Day example for an instruction session (I can imagine the groaning students when they hear school isn’t canceled after all). What a great captive audience.

I also liked the imbedded librarianship physical model.  This idea personally has always terrified me, being very into the library as a temple of learning. I like library spaces and leaving them makes me feel a little like a sell-out. But I do see the use in this design, especially for more specialized fields like health librarianship.

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About Ilana the Librarian

I am an aspiring librarian at the University of Michigan.
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2 Responses to Week 10 Reading Reflection

  1. adamsliz says:

    I really like your point about the potential for failure in experimentation. It’s so hard (and so important) to find a balance between experimentation and traditional methods; knowing your audience definitely helps with this, I think. The teachers talked about in the reading had taught for years and had certain expectations about the needs of their students. Maybe it’s best to start out on a traditional path and slowly incorporate more experimental elements. That way, any failure won’t hugely impact the learning process, and the teacher can figure out what works and what doesn’t.

  2. Yes, I think that’s a good point you made about showing failures when people experiment in teaching. Sometimes we can learn better lessons from people’s mistakes than we can from trying to recreate a success story.

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