Final Reflection

Throughout the semester I have enjoyed recording my thoughts and ideas in my blog. The articles and Faculty Focus blog entries have given me different perspectives on teaching. Although I don’t have any experience yet as a teacher, I feel that these ideas will help me to grow and evolve my own teaching style.

Taking the Jung Personality test, the TPI test and the learning styles test were all interesting and gave me an idea of how I can use these to build my teaching philosophy as well as what I could improve to make myself a better teacher. Creating my teaching philosophy allowed me to think about what it means to be a successful teacher and how I want to incorporate information literacy into students learning. It also allowed me to incorporate what I have learned this semester into strategies I can use for teaching.

The activities from this class have also made me consider wanting to be an online instructor. I enjoyed creating the online instruction sessions and found the articles concerning online instruction to be interesting. There is still a lot of research that can be done on online instruction, this is something I will both pursue and keep track of throughout my academic career. Universal Design of Instruction was a new topic for me. It is a theme that is very important in both face to face instruction and online instruction and will be a topic that shapes how I create and present my lessons to students.

Completing this course also gave me the confidence to develop my teaching skills. I have no prior teaching experience and creating this blog and the online instruction session by both myself and with my group have added to my confidence. The articles I have read throughout this class have also given me direction in how to shape my classes and have taught me that it is important to stay informed in the developments of teaching and to continue growing as an instructor.

Faculty Focus. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/

“In the News”

Faculty Focus recently posted an article that caught my attention that discusses the importance of teaching and demonstrating critical thinking to students. Students may be exposed to articles that talk about critical thinking but often they are different from each other or very abstract (Author). As a teacher, we need to be able to understand critical thinking ourselves as well as know how to teach it to our students (author).

Nilson (2014) believes that it takes time and practice to develop critical thinking skills and that students need to be exposed to challenging questions that require open-ended questions. These questions may ask why a student came to the reasons that they did or what are the pros and cons of an issues (Nilson, 2014). The article also states that students must get feedback during the learning process in order to refine their thinking, whether from a teacher or peers (Nilson, 2014). Teachers also need to practice critical thinking for their students by keeping an open mind to different viewpoints and questioning their own perspectives (Nilson, 2014).

Developing critical thinking skills is a critical component to information literacy. With all the information that is available to students they must be able to find information that relates to their need and identify credible sources (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009). Critical thinking skills will allow them to question information that they find and not just assume that everything that is published or printed is accurate. Critical thinking is not only important skills to have throughout school but also through life. Developing critical thinking in students will create more informed students and productive members of society (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009).

Grassian, E., & Kaplowitz, J. (2009). Information literacy instruction: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman.

Nilson, L. (2014). Unlocking the mystery of critical thinking. Retrieved from http://www.facultyfocus.com/articles/instructional-design/unlocking-mystery-critical-thinking/

Future Of Information Literacy

With continuous advances in technology, academic libraries will evolve to keep up with the changes as will library instructors. With more information becoming available every day, library systems will also have to change. This will impact the role of library instructors as well as how the library is viewed as a place of learning, they will need to be able to communicate the changes in library systems to students and faculty and will have to incorporate information literacy courses into the curriculum (NMC Horizon Report, 2014). Instructors may turn to librarians for assistance in teaching students information literacy skills (NMC Horizon Report, 2014). Information literacy skills will become more important with the abundance that will be accessible for students; they will have to be able to know how to locate information efficiently as well as learn to question what they find.

Academic libraries will want to incorporate new technologies to keep themselves up to date and to give students access to more information. This will mean deciding what technologies are essential to invest in and which ones are not critical for academic libraries (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009). Providing up to date technology may also be a challenge with budget restrictions. Librarians will need to take leadership roles to assist with making the decisions since they will be the ones assisting students with the change (NMC Horizon Report, 2014).

As consumer technology also advances, students will come to the library for assistance with things like apps on their personal devices (NMC Horizon Report, 2014). Librarians will have to be knowledgeable about these technologies as well. Librarians will also have to incorporate how to un-plug from technology into their courses, this will be an important topic for students who may become overwhelmed with the amount of information that is available to them or that they have to process on a daily basis (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009). Technology may also become overwhelming to librarians as more becomes incorporated into their jobs. Librarians must keep in mind that they are in control of the technology and to keep their goals on instructions as the top priority (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009).

Grassian, E., & Kaplowitz, J. (2009). Information literacy instruction: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman.

NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition. Retrieved from http://www.nmc.org/publications/2014-horizon-report-library

Teaching Philosophy

Through my research at Wayne State University and my experiences as a student, I have started to develop a teaching philosophy. The philosophy revolves around three principles; developing students who are able to recognize an information need, access information efficiently, and apply the information to their life. These principles are based on the objectives for information literacy instruction of the Association of College & Research Libraries and would be employed at an academic library where undergraduate students would be learning the importance of information literacy, a concept that will be useful throughout their academic career and life (“Objectives for Information Literacy Instruction”, 2001).

The first principle would help students be able to recognize when they have an information need as well as form the need into a searchable topic and key words. The second principle, accessing information efficiently, will allow the student to modify and grow their search as they identify appropriate sources. The final principle would involve the student incorporating the new information into their knowledge, allowing them to apply the information. These principles will lead to a well-rounded information literate individual who can identify gaps within their knowledge, find and identify fulfilling answers, and be a contributing member to society.

These principles would be achieved through clear goals and objectives, active learning, assessments, and evolving roles for both teacher and student. Ensuring that the goals and objectives of the class are clear allows the student to know what they can anticipate to learn from the course as well as what the can expect from me. Active learning will permit the students to participate in their own learning and the class. This will be achieved through exercises and group discussions. At the beginning of the course general concepts will be taught to give the student information that can be applicable to multiple situations. As the students grow they will be given more responsibility, letting them evolve in to independent learners. Assessments before and after the course will let me measure what the students have learned as well as what areas can be improved.

As an instructor, I will be a practitioner of what I teach and present concepts in accessible and understandable language. I will employ strategies and styles that accommodate all types of learners and design sessions that will build the students self-confidence. I will also grow as an instructor and allow my philosophy to evolve as I gain experience.

Objectives for information literacy instruction: a model statement for academic librarians. (2001). Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/objectivesinformation

Universal Design of Online Learning

After going back and reviewing the Primary and Secondary Sources tutorial video, I found that there are only three principles of Universal Design that the tutorial incorporates. The first is size and space for approach of use, the tutorial did make all information unobstructed and the flow of information was easy to follow (Maatta, 2013). The second is tolerance of error. The viewer could easily move back and forth between slides throughout the tutorial, making it easy to locate information and return to a slide if it was missed (Maatta, 2013). Lastly, the tutorial was simple and the information was presented in a clear manner that was easy to understand and follow.

The tutorial only partially used the perceptible information principle. The video does a good job a differentiating the elements and concepts and communicates information effectively (Maatta, 2013). However, the tutorial only partially uses high contrast of words and the background and while it does have text and pictures as well as audio in the video, there is no captioning for what is being said (Maatta, 2013).

The tutorial however did not incorporate the other three principles. The tutorial required a lot of physical effort. The viewer has to click to progress within the tutorial and there are multiple screens that require clicking of the mouse to reveal information. The tutorial does not have captioning for the audio of the video as well and does not come available in any other formats.

Using Universal Design allows for anyone to benefit and learn from the information you are providing. When creating a tutorial, you don’t know who will be viewing the video, especially with online tutorials that are on the internet and available for anyone to see. Not incorporating Universal Design may it difficult or not possible for people to view your tutorial, following these principles will make the information you want to share accessible to everyone.

Klaudinyi, J. (2010). Primary and secondary sources. Retrieved from http://www.wou.edu/provost/library/clip/tutorials/prim_sec.htm

Maatta, S. (2013). Creating accessible online learning environments. Retrieved from https://blackboard.wayne.edu/bbcswebdav/pid-4716651-dt-content-rid-4409770_2/courses/LIS_7880_1409_001/Maatta%20Presentation%20final.pdf

Teaching Perspectives Inventory

My TPI profile showed that my two dominant perspectives are apprenticeship and nurturing, with nurturing being my category with the highest score. My two back-up perspectives are developmental and transmission with social reform being the lowest.

Looking at the descriptions of the five different perspectives, I agree with what the test thought my more dominant perspectives would be. I see myself as a nurturer because I do think that students should be given reasonable goals and not lose self-esteem while learning (Pratt & Collins, 2014). I would have guessed that transmission would have been my next dominant but after reading the description for apprenticeship I agree with the test. As a teacher, I feel I should be an expert at what I’m teaching and my role should change as students become more competent and need less direction and more responsibility (Pratt & Collins, 2014).

I also agree with developmental and transmission being my back-up perspectives and social reform being the least present (Pratt & Collins, 2014). I see myself as being commitment to the subject matter that I am teaching and providing clear goals and objectives helps students better understand what they are going to learn and get out of a course (Pratt & Collins, 2014). I think the developmental perspective is an important side to teaching as well, bridging gaps through examples helps students grasp a concept better and building cognitive thinking will help them throughout their academic career (Pratt & Collins, 2014). I don’t see myself as teaching with a social reform perspective. Although this style can be effect, it doesn’t fit with my personality and find the other four to be much more my style.

Having an idea of what kind of teaching perspective I have will help me to enhance my teaching and build upon my strengths and positives. It can also help me to learn to try other perspectives if one is not helping a particular student and knowing what perspective I will probably naturally go to can help me grow as a teacher. I do see a correlation between my TPI profile and personality type. People with an ISTJ personality like to create and keep order as well as being calm and practical (16Personalities). I think this fits in with the apprenticeship perspective because these type of teachers allow the student to work on their and now when they role changes or when to allow the student more responsibility. ISTJ also relates to the transmission perspectives, as an ISTJ I like everything to be clearly defined and laid out and I think this relates to making the goals of a class clear. It is very interesting to compare both the TPI profile and the personality type. Looking at both of these can help me to better understand my teaching style and how I can improve myself as a teacher.

16Personalities. (2014). Retrieved from http://www.16personalities.com/istj-personality

Pratt, D., & Collins, J. (2014). Teaching Perspectives Inventory. Retrieved from http://www.teachingperspectives.com/tpi/

Evaluation of Live Instruction

The instruction session I attended was Securing Your Retirement in October at my public library. When first deciding what instruction session I wanted to attend for this journal, I was disappointed at the amount of classes that were offered at my public library. They offer many classes for seniors for help with social media and computers but classes for teenagers through adults were practically non-existent.

This class was designed for people in their 40’s-50’s who are nearing retirement age. I was the only person of my age but still found the session informational. The content and presentation style was appropriate for the target audience and the objective was also appropriate and clearly stated at the beginning of the session.

The instructor introduced himself and provided information explaining he was an expert at the topic that was being discussed. His introduction also seemed to make people in the session feel comfortable with him as an instructor and with asking questions. He also accommodated different learning styles, reading/writing and aural learning styles, by talking, encouraging note taking and passing out a guide book.

I think the instructor did use the ADDIE design or something similar to it because it seemed he had researched or had a lot of experience with this audience (Booth, 2011). The topics that he discussed did cover a wide variety of questions that can come up while thinking about retirement. He also asked if anyone had questions at the end. Although there wasn’t a measurable assessment of the session, he did ask if anyone had questions at the and. This could possibly allow him to see what topics he could perhaps cover more or provide more information on.

The session did provide a Retirement Investment Strategy Guide that covered the topics that were discussed during the session and also offered additional resources for help. The guide was appealing to the eye and did relate back to the session. It also provided the needed information without being overwhelming and used graphics in an appropriate manner. However the guide was handed out at the beginning of the session and it did appear to be a distraction for some people.

Overall the instruction session was informational and the instructor did a good job at providing and explaining information while not trying to cover every point of the topic. The instructor did provide an effective conclusion by reviewing the information from the session and covering any questions. He also provided information for people who had further questions.

Booth, C. (2011). “Chapter 7: Instructional Design.” Reflective Teaching, Effective Learning: Instructional Literacy for Library Educators. Chicago, IL: American Library Association, pp. 83-92.