Mar 22, 2010

Teaching reference

Useful thoughts and tips from Kern, M. (2009). Teaching reference: Ten questions from a first attempt. Reference & User Services Quarterly, 48(4), 330-333.
  • Teaching is not training. A reference class cannot focus entirely on practicing answering questions - studying theory and doing some research are important too.
  • Learn about students' background and future goals and tailor exercises and discussions to incorporate all that.
  • Online discussions have its own challenges - it's a learning experience for a teacher to know what generates an engaging discussion online.
  • Do not cling to particular sources, such as the National Union Catalog - be flexible and adapt. Look out for new resources.
  • Reflection papers - what can be learned by writing them? [Yes, writing without feedback does not help. How can a teacher help students to improve their reflection skills without spending hours marking up their papers?]