Because of my dislike of one-shotters, and with the caveat that my slides don’t make a lot of sense without narration, I wanted to share a couple of presentations I have given in the past few weeks at Berkeley. The first, directed to library staff in a panel on emerging library technologies on the library site, introduced the local UCB Library FAQ knowledgebase that I developed with a few colleagues recently. Originally Chad’s bright idea back at Ohio University, the dynamic/interactive/much improved Library FAQ runs on free/open source software platform KnowledgebasePublisher, super easy to install and customize:
(Big aside here, but if you use KBP and are wondering how to automatically track extant and new entries via Google Analytics – add your GA snippet to the /client/template.txt file above the </body> tag of whatever template code you are using. Works like a charm, and when you enable site search tracking in GA can provide a powerful usability meter for both the FAQ and a library site overall.)
The second was a 5-minute “lightning talk” given at a library Instructor Development Program event. It’s called “Deconstructing the Learning Pyramid,” wherein I attempted to debunk a popular instructional graphic on active learning that is basically mythical (see Lalley and Miller, 2007, for context):
The learning pyramid is worth challenging because, while based in the absolutely sound idea that learners should be engaged at the point of instruction, it is totally not supported by research and manages to accomplish two unfortunate things: 1) defines “active” and “passive” without giving consideration to instructional context and learner needs/experience levels, and 2) discourages instructors from playing to their own strengths, if those strengths happen to be at lecturing or something on the more “passive” end of the spectrum.
I believe in stretching onesself and trying new approaches as much as the next teaching librarian, but it’s a lot better to excel at sage-on-the-stagedom than to fail abjectly at guide-on-the-sideitude (if it isn’t a comfortable form of instructional delivery, that is).