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Lauren Pressley's picture

What does "Instructional Design" mean at your library?

From the few Instructional Design Librarians I've met, it seems we all do very different jobs.... I thought it might be fun/interesting/useful to share what it means at our institutions. To get the ball rolling, here's what I do:

  • Teaching (library): I work with librarians on teaching related issues. I either teach or facilitate a weekly workshop on learning theories/pedagogy/active learning/etc for all interested library staff, I develop activities for librarians to use when teaching, and I'll consult with librarians one-on-one about the design of their library instruction session or credit class. I also try to infuse any reference/educational service we have with ID principles. I rarely make a tutorial, but rather create a framework of guidelines for those who do.
  • Teaching (faculty): I work with faculty who are interested in using teachnology (library provided or otherwise) into their classes. This varies from teaching their class how to use the tool they've selected in the way they've chosen to working iwth a faculty member to adapt assignments to make use of a relevant tool and integrate it into their class. Sometimes I teach workshops to faculty to market this service. I work with any faculty member who has any interest in pedagogy, instructional design, educational technology, etc, who comes to me.
  • Teaching (students): I teach a one credit information literacy class at least once a semester. Lately it's been twice. Right now I have a new librarian shadowing me to learn his way around in the classroom, too. I also teach library instruction sessions for my subject areas or those that are technology related.
  • Technology: I report through our technology team, and try to integrate ID into new services here. I also pay attention to emerging technologies to know what the world of options for instruction are. I try to teach monthly emerging technology sessions to faculty and library staff on whatever I'm finding.
  • Committee work: I serve on a lot of committees, much of which is related to the above work. Library assessment, library website, I chair library staff development, college strategic planning committee on innovation in technology and information, college portfolio taskforce, university's gmail tranistion team (for training purposes), etc.
  • Other duties: I liaise with philosophy, women's and gender studies, and the teaching and learning center. I do a few hours at the reference desk a week. Lots of little things pop up around these issues.

Sound like what you do?

Stefanie Buck's picture

My, you're a busy person! My job description actually does sound a lot like yours although I just started in July so I am still getting myself established. I am the liaison for English, Anthroplogy, Ethnic Studies, Foreign Languages and Literatures adn New Media Communications. This involves the colelction development and instructions and one-on-one stuff. I am not at this point really working with faculty outside the library, although I imagine that may happen at some point. I'd be interested in hearing more abut your workshops and what kinds of topic you have been addressing. How have the librarians responded to these?

Lauren Pressley's picture

Sure! Mostly they fall into two categories:

  • Weekly "Teaching teaching" workshop for Librarians-- This is the second semester we've done them. The first semester I worked with our information literacy librarian to create a "one hour" course for the librarian teachers. This course didn't have homework or tests, but it was once a week for an hour. We did lectures and active learning exercises each session. You can read more about it here: http://blog.zsr.wfu.edu/teaching/category/course-1/ This semester we've transitioned to a series of facilitated discussions. On the first day of the course I talked with the group about what they wanted to cover and immediate questions. Then I created a schedule for the semester and we're working through that now. Each day I try to line up two or three people to demo/talk for 5 minutes and move into conversation from there. The first semester was mostly theory, and this semester is mostly practical tips. My thinking in the change in pedagogy is to help folks realize that everyone has expertise in teaching from the experience they have in the classroom. I'm just there to help refine or give a vocabulary to that. They've been very popular. We typically have over half the teaching librarians in attendance, as well as a librarian or two from other libraries on campus. Some days are busier than others, though, and we'll have smaller turnout then.
  • One-Shot workshops for faculty--I offer these through the Teaching and Learning Center on whatever they want me to cover. For some reason they're interested in me covering syllabus construction, so I do something on that each semester. This semester I did a workshop for TAs on managing the classroom environment. I often do the educational technology sessions through the library instead.

Does that make sense? Is it helpful? I'm happy to chat if you want to look into doing something similar!

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