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From Passion to Practice: Creating a Common Reading Program at Marshall University to Unite Campus and Community and the Lessons We Learned Presenter:

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Presentation on theme: "From Passion to Practice: Creating a Common Reading Program at Marshall University to Unite Campus and Community and the Lessons We Learned Presenter:"— Presentation transcript:

1 From Passion to Practice: Creating a Common Reading Program at Marshall University to Unite Campus and Community and the Lessons We Learned Presenter: Jennifer Sias, Associate Professor & Information Literacy Librarian M.S.L.S., M.A. Humanities

2 How did it all begin? The inspiration for the program – WVLA Annual Conference One Book One Conference The Glass Castle Joe Lucia - Villanova

3 Planning Fledgling group comprised of key administrators and faculty developed a proposal for the president. Then, a more formal committee developed. President Kopp made a commitment to purchase copies of the book for all freshmen.

4 Where to put the program? Placement of the program in University 101 (UNI)

5 Development of instruction plans for UNI instructors

6 Development of library instruction curriculum tied to The Glass Castle Each UNI, HON and COL 101 class visits the library once for library instruction. This year, we focused introductory research strategies on topics (poverty, homelessness) related to The Glass Castle.


8 Library Instruction

9 Author Interaction Maintained contact with the author and secured her commitment to visit campus for Freshman Convocation Publicity

10 Program Planning Panel discussion on the role of education – attendance? On the Rivers Edge, a special viewing of this documentary film about homeless individuals and their plight by Francesca Karle – attendance?

11 Website

12 Blogs

13 Implementation Selling the program: –Special training sessions for UNI instructors –Shirley Lumpkins students assistance –Orientation – introduced program to students and their parents. Distributed copies of the book. –Media coverage

14 Freshman Convocation First-year Marshall University students march to Freshman Convocation with President Stephen Kopp and author Jeannette Walls

15 Freshman Convocation Author Jeannette Walls shares a laugh with Marshall University Head Football Coach Mark Snyder

16 Book signing and reception

17 Using the book in UNI classes Instructors use of The Glass Castle in the course varied, but there was a commitment to use the book and its themes. Instructors were provided with sample instruction plans and training sessions. Sharepoint site for instructors – complete with lesson/instruction plans and a place for discussion

18 Habitat for Humanity House

19 What we learned from 971 students responses… Did you read The Glass Castle? 889 Yes 71 No At first I wasnt excited to read this book. I thought it sounded boring. After I read the first chapter, I couldnt stop reading. It turned out to be one of the best books Ive ever read. It made me think about a lot I hadnt thought of before. From what I read and heard it was a really good book, but eventually Ill read the whole thing.

20 If you read the book, when did you start reading? 703 Before classes started 190 After classes started Dont give me summer reading! Reading over the summer bored the hell out of me

21 Student Reading Habits Students who responded classified what they read for pleasure: Fiction – 476; Non-Fiction – 332; Newspaper – 239; Magazine – 494; Other – 27; I dont typically read – 191

22 Student Views of Class Activities Related to the Book How often did you discuss The Glass Castle? Excessive – 45; Often – 327; Fair – 465; Not Enough – 76; Not at All – 47 How was the book used in your class? In-class discussions – 840; In/out of class writing assignments – 381; Outside activities – 92; Other – 16 I liked The Glass Castle a lot! It was very good and it kept my attention. I didnt like the blogging.

23 Student participation in related programs 327 attended Freshman Convocation 90 participated in Marshall Day of Service 64 attended Meet the Filmmaker featuring On The Rivers Edge 56 helped to collect funds for Herd for Habitat 25 attended From Bear Hollow to Artisan Avenue panel discussion 19 engaged in other activities

24 What students told us Student use of the One Book website was low 161 used the site 802 did not use the site …Didnt know there was a website. Student awareness about social issues 768 said the book encouraged them to think about social issues 206 reported no Very Good Book. It encouraged discussion, and touched on many social issues.

25 Students offered 4 times more positive comments than negative comments The Glass Castle was a fantastic book and I have suggested it to my friends many times. Basically Phenomenal. great book, inspirational I really liked the book, but at times it made me so mad that I wanted to throw it.

26 More student feedback The book was wonderful. The program is great. Keep it up! Not nearly enough students read materials. Waste of time. I didnt see the purpose of this book. College students have enough to do than read another book.

27 Incorporating The Glass Castle in UNI 101 … feedback from 56 instructors Use of the book in class 23 instructors used the book in 1 to 2 sessions 19 instructors used the book in 3 to 4 sessions 14 instructors used the book in 5 or more sessions

28 Activities used by instructors 54 used in-class discussions 31 used in/out of class writing assignments 8 used outside activities relating to topics of class, extra credit, blogs, and journals Students wrote on blog and had an intense discussion of social issues raised in book and how issues affected them.

29 How instructors rated in-class discussions 13 described discussion as excellent 31 described discussion as good 11 described discussion as poor 2 described discussion as useless I attempted to tie The Glass Castle in with the topic of the day (ie activities on campus to socialization in The Glass Castle; student budget to Glass Castle finance; Habitat…). I had Student Health Services come over and do their alcohol talk and then talked about and wrote about the effect of Rex Walls alcoholism on the family.

30 Resources for One Book Instructors used the following resources for this program 34 used the One Book website 25 used SharePoint 23 used discussion with other instructors 2 used other resources Continue website with contributions of ideas/documents

31 Support for the Program Most instructors agreed there was support & training for the program 50 said yes 2 said no I appreciate the sharing of materials and insights to the book.

32 Future One Book Programs Instructors were asked: Q.Do you support housing One Book Marshall in UNI/HON 101? 37 said Yes 14 said No Yes – Most logical place Maybe – Its probably the only consistent way to use the book for new students. No – Best to use One Book in English 101. I felt inadequate in discussing book and was sometimes an after thought.

33 One Book Marshall 2008 President Kopp formed a formal committee comprised of one faculty from each college/division (preferably a faculty member who teaches UNI 101) as well as student representatives, an Academic Affairs representative, the Dean of Libraries and the Dean of Students. Dr. Kopp charged the committee with the tasks of: Developing a book selection process for fall 2008 Selecting a book Planning and implementing programs and events in conjunction with the selected text For fall 2008, the program will be administered once again through our UNI and HON classes.

34 Thank you for your interest! Questions and Comments Acknowledgements: *Special thanks to Michelle Duncan and Christine Lewis who provided helpful data and analysis!

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