Robyn's Words

IDEALA Final Project

Leave a comment


A one-shot, face-to-face, in-library, 2 hour “brief” for five-twenty upper level/graduate students, covering Library and research tools and sites, specifically for their in-class brief and future research. These military members have either completed or are about to start, their masters coursework at a military university.  The brief will be conducted in a small computer lab, with computers for each student and the instructor’s computer projected onto a smart board.  Students will utilize their computers, pen, and paper, while the instructor briefs using PowerPoint slides and modeling computer searches through the smart board projection.

Learning Outcomes:

Students will be able to:

  • Identify potential sources for information and productivity
  • Assess quality and relevance of search results and information
  • Understand copyright, documentation styles, and source citing


At the beginning of the brief, have students write a one minute paper on 3 sources of information they think they will use for their brief.  After presenting sources, have them re-write their one minute paper to reflect what they have learned.

Ongoing “Fidelity” feedback throughout brief.

  • Frequent- direct interaction with students in the classroom after each section
  • Immediate- direct discussion of students’ questions/conclusions in the classroom.
  • Discriminating- focusing on how the information will be useful in their class NOW and future jobs
  • Lovingly delivered- Much less strict/rigid than most military interactions

After presenting the Source Evaluation Rubric, assign a site to each student, and have them assess it using the rubric.  Then, have them discuss the sites as a group and rank them from 1-5 in order of appropriateness for the topic.

After presenting helpful sources for copyright & citations, have students use one of the citation sources to create a citation for their Source Evaluation site. Discuss.

Instruction Evaluation: Have students complete a paper survey on the effectiveness of the brief.

Learning Theory:

Constructivism: A philosophy of learning founded on the premise that, by reflecting on our experiences, we construct our own understanding of the world we live in. Each of us generates our own “rules” and “mental models,” which we use to make sense of our experiences. Learning, therefore, is the process of adjusting our mental models to accommodate new experience. Learners construct their own meaning. Students do not process or transfer what they receive passively. Provide tasks that allow them to reflect/analyze on information. e.g. Search this index on X and list techniques that improve your search. New learning builds on prior knowledge. Students must compare and contrast old and new information to build new connections. Learning is enhanced by social interaction. Students learn best in social settings where they can debate conflicting ideas and exchange perspectives. e.g. Use small groups and class discussion to explore and articulate search processes and methods. When students work together on projects or problems under the guidance of the instructor, a higher level of learning is achieved due to the scaffolding effect of peers and teacher than could be accomplished independently. This is also known as Vygotsky’s “zone of proximal development”. Meaningful learning develops through “authentic” tasks. Choose examples and activities from the real world that are worthy of investigation. Consider current news topics or themes of interest to specific age groups.Draw on communication between participants through bulletin boards, chat, listservs, to share understanding from different points of view.


The most useful part was a format to follow when designing instruction.  Its nice to have an order to think about things, which helps make sure you don’t leave an important aspect out.  Overall, it was a nice refresher for me for learning theories and instructional techniques, and to think on how to teach adult learners.  It has made me miss teaching!  In the future I will be looking for more opportunities to present library instruction.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s