*This post is shared on behalf of Amy Slutzky, one of the 2021 Professional Development Award Winners*
Thanks to UNYOC’s Professional Development Award, I was able to participate in MLA’s online course “Journey to the Outer Limits of Evidence-Based Practice (EBP) Instruction”. The course included two virtual instruction sessions, with “pre-work” for each meeting. Pre-work and breakout sessions involved developing/improving a lesson plan for one of the classes we teach.
The fact that the course met online instead of in-person meant that: (1) it was a little harder to interact with other participants, and (2) I don’t have any fun photos to show you from our work sessions. (I thought of taking a screen shot of our little Zoom boxes, but I decided that we’re all probably tired of those by now.) On the positive side, however, the all-virtual format allowed participation from librarians across the country. And, as a “people person”, I very much enjoyed meeting, sharing experiences, and brainstorming with colleagues tackling similar challenges at a variety of far-away institutions.
The use of our own projects as examples during these sessions was very helpful. Like many of us, I’ve been teaching a few courses the same way for several years. And, though I know that improvements can (and should!) be made, time is limited and other things usually take priority. It was great having the opportunity to (and being “pushed” to) focus on instruction development.
The assigned readings were also helpful. One article – “Alphabet Soup of Active Learning: Comparison of PBL, CBL, and TBL” by Mari K. Hopper – was particularly interesting to me. We all hear and read a lot of active learning jargon being thrown around – sometimes with no definitions provided and sometimes used interchangeably. Dr. Hopper’s article very clearly describes, compares, and contrasts three common types of active learning.
While I was already familiar with basic principles of instructional design, I enjoyed this course and it empowered me with some new techniques that I can use to improve the design of the classes I teach.
Thank you again, UNYOC, for your support!
2021 UNYOC Professional Development Award Winner