Learning Project- Draft 1 Reflection

As I was constructing draft 1 of my lesson plan, the thought that kept occurring was “there’s more to this lesson planning thing than I realized.” I was not an education major in my undergrad, so this is my first official “lesson plan” sort of assignment. I’ve taught things before, informally, but those were much less structured in their planning. I may have thought about similar components, but putting them all into words, and connecting the pieces, was kind of new. I have a much better appreciation of how instructors have to prepare for lessons having attempted a plan myself.

The hardest part for me was describing the assessment. I suppose, to a certain extent, when I teach someone a new skill, I rely a lot on non-verbal cues to see if they “get” it, which is why I included more slippery standards like “Are students asking questions?”– if, for instance, several students ask about a particular step, I should probably go over it again in another way.  I’m not really a fan of tests and quizzes, so I chose a worksheet as a more neutral sort of “solid” assessment. Since it’s not a “test,” it should be less stressful for students with test anxiety, while still giving me a measurable standard– either students can successfully complete it (and are ready to move on), or they can’t (and aren’t).

The independent worksheet in particular should also make clear the connections between WorldCat and real-world (well, real-academia) applications, since students will use as their beginning topic their research for their composition class (which is the basis of this lesson). Besides demonstrating WorldCat’s usefulness, it should also allow them to begin researching for the class in an environment where they can receive research help. Since this lesson is part of a series about library resources, it should reinforce the idea that the library is a place to come for help.

The final assessment survey is more an assessment of how well the lesson worked. If students are all confident in navigating WorldCat and intend to use it again, the lesson has probably done well. If more than one or two students are not confident in WorldCat and do not intend to use it again, the lesson was very likely to blame. If only one or two students will not use WorldCat again, the lesson may not have been constructed broadly enough (or they may just not like WorldCat–there could certainly be other factors).

Do these assessments (non-written, in-lesson; worksheets; survey) seem like they would give the instructors the needed information to know if students “got” it? Any suggestions as to improvements?

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Categories: Answers to 635 Prompts, Uncategorized | Tags: , , , , | 5 Comments

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5 thoughts on “Learning Project- Draft 1 Reflection

  1. Yes, I think your assessments will give you valuable data. Let me tell you don’t underestimate the value of cues and check-ins as a means of gathering data. Sometimes all it takes is a simple conversation to see if the point has been made. A more standard checklist or survey could give you additional information at the end of the process or at key points in the middle, but you seem to have that covered already. I think you’re doing a fine job! Will you be posting the surveys?

    • Possibly. I would like some peer review on them (and they’re included at the end of the hyper-linked draft), but I haven’t decided yet if I’m going to post them separately.

  2. nonichol

    I like the fact that you are not using tests to limit anxiety that some may have because of something as high stakes as that. I would think that World Cat’s biggest competitor is Google Scholar, so maybe you can explain how World Cat can be just as simple as Google Scholar and some features that are unique to World Cat that they cannot get through Google Scholar. Maybe relating it to something familiar like that could help them understand better. Great job!

  3. I assume you are instructing in a computer lab. How about for the assessment, have the students chose 1 of 3 preselected topics and you can monitor if they are going in the right direction or if the system has the capability, you can monitor from your computer the students screens. Hope this makes sense.

    • It does make sense. After peer reviews, I’m thinking of switching the whole-class segment to a small-group activity, and I think giving them pre-selected topics would work really well for that.

      Since I’m making up this library, I can give my computer lab the capability of monitoring from my computer 🙂

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