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On Wednesday and Thursday, May 12th and 13th, I participated in an online workshop, sponsored by Lyrasis, on “Interactive Information Literacy Teaching Methods”. The presenter was Russell Palmer, who while at Mercer University in Macon, Georgia, developed and managed the library’s information literacy program. This four-hour workshop (two hours a day, over two days)

The workshop focused on developing teaching methods and strategies that would engage students and facilitate learning. I was pleased to discover that many issues and methods he touched on in the workshop were topics we had covered in our “Teaching Teaching” workshops led by Lauren and Roz!

Palmer began with the “coke can” example where the instructor shows an image of a coke can and ask the students to lists all the terms that describe it. This is an excellent exercise Roz taught me many years ago the helps students learn about “controlled vocabulary”. Palmer mentioned that many of his examples and methods came from presentations at LOEX. For anyone not familiar with LOEX, it is a self-supporting, non-profit educational clearinghouse for library instruction and information literacy information. (I’ll be adding LOEX to my list of potential conferences for presentation proposals based on Roz’s and Russell Palmer’s recommendations of the event.)

We discussed the value of students doing exercises that engaged them, got them moving and kept them thinking. There were some great examples of teaching tools in the workshop that can be found at the delicious links below.

Some of the cool strategies discussed included, SQ3R, a reading strategy formed from its letters: Survey! Question! Read! Recite! Review! SQ3R will help students build a framework for understanding reading assignments. We also discussed the use of games, assignment calculators, and exercises that involve peer teaching.

Day Two focused on engaging the students by letting them “drive” by using techniques like Problem Based Learning and a Constructivist approach to teaching and learning. This was an excellent workshop at just the right time for me. Having just finished teaching Lib100 this semester it is fresh on my mind and I’ll be revamping my course in the coming weeks for next Fall, using some of the techniques I learned in this workshop!

-Giz Womack