Ch - Ch - Ch - Changes

We seek feedback because we want to change and improve what we do, not because we are looking to pat ourselves on the back. The challenge with any type of feedback or assessment is to be willing to act on the results and change. While we are still getting good comments about the use of game strategies in our review, there are more people commenting that they feel it is too late in the semester for the review. We need to take this feedback and use it to change... even in the face of traditional librarian judgment.

I thought the activity was useful, however, it seemed to be a big review. I felt like I had been through the process that each group discussed many times before in my other papers. But reviews are always helpful–it made me feel like I knew what I was doing and I feel really confident in my research skills. :)
And another positive comment:
I thought the reviews were helpful and a good way to start with the paper. it aided me in narrowing a topic for my paper.
But here are the growing number of comments that suggest that while the activity is worthwhile, it would be more useful earlier in the semester.
It was a fun activity but we did already know how to find research since we had already done two papers.
I thought it was good information, but for the beginning of Res104, not the end. We should know by now how to research.I think the information was presented well by Paul, but I do think it would of been something that was more useful at the beginning of the class.
Last semester we started to get a few comments like this, but not nearly the same amount. Whether this is because we are doing a better job of preparing the students or they are retaining more information I'm not sure - I hope it's a little of both.

We didn't change this semester because we were stuck in a traditional librarian mindset. "How can we review if we didn't teach them everything?" The reality is, they are learning it and exploring enough on their own that they feel comfortable with their skills. Of course, being "comfortable" and being "proficient" are two different things. But changing the review to earlier in the semester would help allow the students to discover that for themselves. Our Info Lit team will break out of the traditional mold and realize that the librarians are not our digital native students.

Lessons learned in self-discovery stick around a lot longer.
Check out the full list of comments on the course blog

Photo from: Bowie, David. [Photograph]. Retrieved April 14, 2007, from Encyclopædia Britannica Online:


Andrew said...

Student feedback is always valuable and necessary in the age of assessment. What are the desired outcomes of the review? Are you hoping to see students demonstrate concepts they learned earlier in the semester? Are you introducing new information during the review? Or, only if they stumble upon it during the active learning activity?

DBQhams said...


The goal of the activity was to find and apply one quality resource for their given topic. They should, in the process show some of the concepts from the semester. The semester we did not introduce new material, but this year we shifted where we covered website evaluation, so that is new... although most students are doing it (to some degree) already.

The biggest piece for me, is that the activity is as much of a review, as it is research on how students search. The problem is that it's raised questions about how we teach whether or not we are ready to deal with them.

Andrew said...

What do you think you'll do in the Fall? Are you going to move the review to happen sooner in the semester? Or, are you going to do away with the review in lieu of another form of assessment?

DBQhams said...


I want to move the review up to the 2nd paper rather than the 3rd. It should be new enough information that they have some experience with, but not fully confident in it.

The challenge of moving it up, is that it leaves a gap for the instruction session on the 3rd paper. The challenge there will be in helping others understand that it's not a bad thing if we are doing less sessions...

Andrew said...

Hey Paul,

Sounds like you have a plan and the flexibility to get it to work.

I'm asking all the questions, because I'm curious how you had this structured. We are not integrated into a semester long class. That would be nice, but hasn't happened yet for multiple (mostly political) reasons.

We're stuck with traditional 50 minute opportunities to get our message delivered. The other challenge we have is assessing our impact on learning. We assess the 50 minute sessions themselves, but all I have is anecdotal evidence to date for what happens once they leave the library. This is the other reason I was curious about your review session.