Using Libguides in Teaching: Responses

From Professor Davidson

Tuesday, February 07, 2017 

After I began to think about what I would say, I realized that my view of Learning Force is being constructed through practice, that is, it is emerging from interaction.  Here are some metaphors I would use:
 Supplementary Materials:
When I started to work with Veronica on creating the LibGuide for the Understanding Education class, I was thinking of it simply as a supplement to the textbook.  Something that would look good/attractive to students and that would be easy for them to access.  However as I used it and saw how they reacted to the materials I realized that there was more to it than that.  There was a useful tension between the textbook and the materials in the LibGuide.  It also seemed to be helpful that the LibGuide materials were in different media.  Students liked mixing media as they learned. 
Loosely Structured Textbook:
Now I am working on a more ambitious project for Learning Force with Meg Shields—a LibGuide that will serve as a kind of qualitative research textbook that can be used with a variety of classes who need access to basic information about techniques.  Because of my earlier experience I am already approaching it differently. I am much less worried about finding the perfect material, realizing that this doesn’t exist,, but that there are a lot of good materials.  Moreover, not all good materials are created by the scholars with the most letters behind their names.  Sometimes excellent materials are to be found in student assignments that have been posted online.  I am being more eclectic as I select materials and that creates a richer mix. 
New Loops of Reflexivity:
I find myself using a “LibGuide” mentality as a way to think with traditional assignments I am developing for my classes.  I add a list of different online sources to the assignment list.  I also let students choose which they would like to explore.  Total coverage is no longer the goal. 
I am also urging students to find materials online on the topics we are studying, hoping they will come up with something new and different to include in a collection of items on a topic. 
Better than Blackboard—More and Less than an LMS:
I like the public availability to Learning Force that is missing in Blackboard.  I also like the fact that it doesn’t have too many tools.
I would call this a curation tool.  It allows me to curate content.  I can make it available to whoever needs or wants it, and I can change it as I see fit. 
I hope these responses are helpful.  Judy