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Don’t Throw Out the Baby! Combining Classic Methods of Instruction with New Technologies . Rich Gause and Karren P. Baird-Olson University of Central Florida. Syllabus Orlando March 19, 1999 In this age of technology overload,

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Don’t Throw Out the Baby!Combining Classic Methods of Instruction with New Technologies

Rich Gause and Karren P. Baird-OlsonUniversity of Central Florida

Syllabus OrlandoMarch 19, 1999


In this age of technology overload,

some of the classic classroom techniques can provide stable footing.



  • Overheads
  • Question & Answer
  • Discussion
  • Handouts
  • Written Assignments
  • Feedback




Reasons for Including Low-Tech Methods

  • Plan B -- Backup for Technology Glitches
  • Methods Proven Effective Over Time
  • Accommodate Learning Styles
  • Add Variety to Learning Experience
  • Comfort with the Familiar

What Made These Library Instruction Sessions Successful?

  • Hands-On Experience
  • Meaningful Examples
  • Handouts
  • Reaction Paper

Why Did Professor Request Library Instruction Sessions?

  • Supports her ongoing interest in doing interdisciplinary collaboration
  • Supports her interactive teaching style
  • Wants better research papers
  • Encourages analytical thinking

Why Did Professor Request Library Instruction Sessions?

  • Prevents following excuses: “Library doesn’t have anything.” “I can’t find anything at library.” “People aren’t helpful in library.” “I don’t know how to use technology.” “I don’t know how to do searches.” “I have time conflicts.”

Why Does Professor Require Reaction Papers?

  • Requires students to pay careful attention
  • Gives professor feedback for follow-up
  • Provides feedback to speaker
  • Thanks speaker for his/her time

Student Reaction Paper

  • What I knew before
  • What I know after
  • Recommendations Comments Questions

Why Does Librarian Provide Library Instruction Sessions?

  • Reduces need for one-on-one
  • Markets information resources
  • Contributes to learning process
  • Sparks student interest in research

Library Instruction Web Pages

  • Reduce number of choices by focusing on specific subject matter
  • Describe why resources might be useful
  • Include URLs of links
  • Remain accessible throughout semester
  • Given to students as handout

Student Feedback without Written Assignment

  • No incentive is provided for students to complete forms.
  • Many don’t fill out the evaluation forms.
  • Most who do fill out the forms just check off a few boxes. Occasionally they include short comments like “good job”, “interesting”, “complete waste of my time”, or “confusing”.
  • Without respondent identification, follow-up is limited or impossible.

Excerpts from some of the students' reaction papers:

"... I did not use the library very often, but when I did, it was always an adventure. Since the session, I used the library 3 times and it goes without saying that my experiences have been much more enjoyable...."

"... I finally got an explanation about how the advanced search works. Also the neat stuff about how journals have an electronic copy on the computer for you to look at instantly also I could e-mail me that copy of the article to my home and make a copy for free at my home printer..."


Excerpts from some of the students' reaction papers:

"Prior to the Library inservice I could be aptly described as a technological zero! Whenever I entered the library to date I was truly lost, and in desperate need of direction from the library staff.... I feel that after experiencing the inservice, that many of my computer fears have been alleviated. Equipped with the handouts, and having witnessed the visual demonstration I feel confident that I will be able to access and extract the information I need...."


Excerpts from some of the students' reaction papers:

“The instructor lost me after the first five minutes. So I did not get much out of his presentation. I am also pretty much computer illiterate, so I did not understand hardly any of his terminology.

I suggest that the instructor determine the level at which most of the class is at (concerning computer capability etc.) before just giving a period of instruction on how to use these programs. I obviously need more help and will seek it out when I go to the library.”


Excerpts from some of the students' reaction papers:

"... It made me eager to go to the library to find out all about it. So after class I went to the library and used the sheets given to me in class to look up a lot of information for a research paper that I have to do. The sheets were very helpful...."

"Prior to Tuesday's library presentation, I felt that I was as experienced as the next person when it came to utilizing the equipment that our library provided.... I learned more in those 45 minutes than I have learned in almost a year's time...."


Excerpts from some of the students' reaction papers:

"... I would highly recommend this training session to any person in college. I regret finding this information out so late in school. It really could have helped in my other classes. I will however, use this information for my last year of school and also take it with me when I go off to graduate school."

"... I especially found it useful that handouts were given out because we all know verbalization only goes so far. I know I'll soon be found sitting in front of one [of] the computers in the library with these handouts in one hand and my other hand on the keyboard...."


Excerpts from some of the students' reaction papers:

"... I thought the presentation was really impressive. Not only was it high tech, but the librarians did a fine job on their presentation. They were extremely organized and knowledgeable. As far as what I would suggest for future presentations etc, I am going to need about a month in the library to absorb all of this before even starting to comment. Overall they covered everything I need to know."


Excerpts from some of the students' reaction papers:

"... I must admit that I was green to the teeth in knowing how to reach the databases necessary. It was near sheer hell and I became very frustrated before I finally broke the ice and began to understand the system enough to get some of the material I had searched for. This, and a couple of other tries, had me almost afraid to visit the library except for quiet solitude and some study. Heavy on my mind was a realization of the need to know how to facilitate the system if I was to be successful in getting my lessons completed. I was sweating at the brow.


Excerpts from some of the students' reaction papers:

All of that was before the Library Research Training session given in class on October 1st.

The presentation was exactly what I needed and I can truly attest to the fact that it helped me greatly. Not only did I find it very interesting but extremely informative. All aspects of it: the overhead, the on-line demonstration of the actual WebLUIS information system - where we could actually see the process as it happened and the handouts, generated a renewed enthusiasm in me to do library research again...."


Feedback and Follow-up

  • Professor responded to student comments
  • Librarian’s responses to specific student comments included:
    • Additional handouts
    • Information about library audio tour and Internet Workshops
    • Computer Competency Class availability

Benefits to Students

  • Reduced apprehension
  • Increased knowledge of research methods
  • Became aware of possibilities
  • Improved quality of research papers

Benefits to Professor

  • Updated her awareness of available resources
  • Improved quality of students’ research papers
  • Established another campus connection

Benefits to Librarian

  • Provided with real research examples
  • Learned more about resources
  • Received specific feedback for improving future sessions
  • Established another campus connection

Don’t Throw Out the Baby!

Hold onto some of your classic methods of instruction as you adopt the new technologies.