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WLA 2007: Those Who Can, Teach: Becoming a More Effective "One Shot" Trainer (and Explainer)

Posted by on Thursday, October 18, 2007 in WLA Blog Archive
Those Who Can, Teach: Becoming a More Effective "One Shot" Trainer (and Explainer)
a presentation by Michele Besant, Director, School of Library and Information Studies Library, UW-Madison; Carrie Nelson, Associate Academic Librarian, UW-Madison; Pamela O’Donnell, Academic Librarian, UW-Madison

Outline of today's presentation:
  • Strategies / tips
  • Collective wisdom (sharing)
  • Debriefing / critique
  • Exit with a renewed passion for teaching

Michele's main message:
  • less is more (honestly) -- try not to overwhelm learners with too much information
  • value your teaching -- believe that what you have to convey has value to learners
  • it's all about the story -- narratives help you make a connection with learners
  • have fun! -- if you're having fun, your learners might have fun too
Carrie's concerns: feelings and how they affect our teaching
  • reading from a script -- try to break from your script to keep things fresh
  • giving up control -- try to get comfortable about feeling uncomfortable
  • embrace the weirdness -- enjoy the unexpected and unscripted
Pamela's premise:
  • what's in a name (a lot!) -- take time to learn each learner's name
  • analogies work -- Google is like a very happy dog (retriever); find a way for learners to assimilate new information; something memorable
  • fake it -- fake it 'til you make it; if you don't feel "up" about training
  • be funny -- it helps make librarians more approachable and engaging
Wisdom of crowds -- tips from the audience:
  • this isn't brain surgery; no one will die if you make a mistake
  • an active learning experience
  • commitment to your audience will transcend any technical challenge
  • teaching to different levels of knowledge in a group session
  • clear demos followed by hands-on practice
  • a person has to hear a thing 3 times before remembering it; say it different ways
  • be prepared; know your stuff, but be ready for seats-of-the pants stuff
  • be willing to not have all the answers; turn it back to the group for answers
  • help relax your students so they're open to learning new things
  • help learners make a connection to what you're trying to teach
Michelle: "If you want to learn something, teach it to other people"

find out about your learners, so you can tailor your presentation to their needs

how to learn patience with people who really don't get it -- understand he/she is a person who has a need and/or problem

let go of the expectation that an entire class of learners will reach the same level at the end of the learning session

PowerPoint slides on a handout, with room for learners to take notes
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