Sunday, February 6, 2011

Teaching Reflection 4

I ended up doing my presentation on the Characteristics of Heroes. I based it on a thesis I did three years ago. I knew that I only had seven minutes to do the presentation, so I was not able to put everything in there. However, when I thought about it, this one was easier to do in the time I had. The other idea, cutting the Iliad based on Plato, would have taken too much time and I think it will be better for an instruction session rather than a presentation.

I did a lot of preparation for this presentation. I really had to be realistic about the time and in the end I think that the simpler version I ended up with because of the time was better than if I would have done something a little more complex. I also took the time and opportunity to use new presentation software. At first, I was not going to use visuals at all, but I found that I really wanted to use visuals (pictures) to help the class understand what and whom I was talking about. I used Prezi for the first time. I really took the time to structure the presentation in a way that would have very little words and just enough visuals.

I also tried to make the presentation have humor. I used simple anecdotes about the Greek heroes as examples to connect the characteristic to something they might remember. I used pictures that were funny or were familiar, like Brad Pitt as Achilles. I also put a punch line at the end. I used Harry Potter as a quick ending example of the characteristics for a recap and to make the presentation funny. I also stated a point that Harry Potter is not a Hero in order to make the audience think, as well as make the presentation memorable. It definitely was my opinion, but I knew most did not agree with it, so I added it to spice things up.

I repeatedly practiced the presentation, timing myself and using the Prezi. I think the presentation flowed well because of the Prezi, as well as my preparation and the cutting out of the information that the audience did not need. I spent a lot of time talking and thinking about the presentation. I believe I did well and met the goals I set out for myself:
1) Practice
2) Good flow of Presentation- both with the software and the information presented
3) Engage Audience
4) Add Humor (Try Humor)
5) Do not rely on the Slides
6) Use Prezi for the first time
7) Make visual and interesting
8) Hit Timing
9) Provide recaps and repeat self

However, there are things, upon reflection, that I would like to improve. I also know I will be getting feedback later, so I can also look at those things I can improve.
1) I thought I could improve the transitions. I think they might not have moved as well as I would have hoped.
2) I think I could have slowed down and calmed down a little more
3) Be confident in my practice. I knew I had it and I did not have to look at the slides at all. But I did a little.

My reflection on the second part of the class is that active learning and lecture-based learning have their uses and their places. I especially like a combination of the two. I know that I have had many classes that have combined them. I have found them to be some of the best classes I have had. However, I know that I am more of an active learner, but I know that others are not. I learned that there are many ways that you can use active learning, from the simple to the not so simple.

I will have to do more thinking about what I want to include as an activity, but I think I am going to take parts of the Iliad and have the groups talk about them and the Plato cuts together, then to report on what would be cut and what that would do to the poem. I want them to think about what people say about education and if that is really the way to go.

Finally, I had a Reference Assistant meeting today. I found that Carrie is really great at presenting and lecturing. She took the active approach. It was fun and really made me think about how I can give instruction at the reference desk. I want to model myself after her. I really want to add humor and find ways to engage the audience in the learning. I have found that students will meet you if you try and get them engaged even a little. I also found:
1) Make lists are useful for remembering and recall
2) Be enthusiastic
3) Have a plan and be ready
All of these we have already talked about in the class. Now I am really taking a notice and I hope I can actively include them in my upcoming session.

Burgan, M. (2006). In defense of lecturing. Change Magazine, 38(6), 5.

Grassian, E. S., & Kaplowitz, J. R. (2009). Information literacy instruction: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). New York: Newal-Schuman. Chapter 6 [read p.94-108].

Keyser, M.W. (2000). Active learning and cooperative learning: understanding the difference and using both styles effectively. Research Strategies 17(1), 35-44.

Ridgeway, T. (1989). Integrating active learning techniques into the one-hour bibliographic instruction lecture. Coping with information illiteracy: bibliographic instruction for the information age: papers presented at the Seventeenth National LOEX Library Instruction Conference, Ann Arbor, MI.

Rosenbaum, H. (2000). Teaching electronic commerce: Problem-based learning in a virtual economy. Journal of Informatics Education and Research 2(2), 45-58.

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