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Library & Information Services www.aston.ac.uk/lis/ Peer Teaching: An Aston Experiment Amanda Poulton Information Specialist – Engineering and Life Sciences.

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Presentation on theme: "Library & Information Services www.aston.ac.uk/lis/ Peer Teaching: An Aston Experiment Amanda Poulton Information Specialist – Engineering and Life Sciences."— Presentation transcript:

1 Library & Information Services Peer Teaching: An Aston Experiment Amanda Poulton Information Specialist – Engineering and Life Sciences

2 Library & Information Services Outline My teaching background Context CILIP ‘teaching skills’ course Learning theory Redesign of sessions Reflections and recommendations The future at Aston

3 Library & Information Services My teaching background No formal teaching qualification Dissertation and optional module on user education during MA Teaching for six years ‘Trial and error’ Interest in teaching and learning Member of ILTHE CILIP ‘Teaching Skills’ course

4 Library & Information Services Context 180 Year 2 Pharmacy Undergraduates Hands-on Ten 2 hour sessions over 5 weeks Part of Module (indirectly linked to assignment) Worksheet-based

5 Library & Information Services Concerns Information overload Boredom Principles of searching Too many handouts/worksheets

6 Library & Information Services CILIP course – ‘Teaching Skills’ Focus on learner not teacher Consider learning theory Kolb’s Experiential Learning Cycle Honey and Mumfords’ Learning Styles Practical application

7 Library & Information Services Kolb’s ‘Experiential Learning Cycle’ Reflective Observation Abstract Conceptualisation Active Experimentation Concrete Experience Actual learning experience ‘doing’ Comparing what learnt with what already known Thinking about what happened Putting it into practice ‘relevance’

8 Library & Information Services Honey and Mumfords’ ‘Learning Styles’ Activist Reflector Theorist Pragmatist

9 Library & Information Services Honey and Mumfords’ ‘Learning Styles’ Pragmatist –Relevant and practical –Try things out with support from an expert –Given immediate opportunities to implement what learnt –Problem solving Activists –New experiences –‘Have a go’ –Problem solving –Team work

10 Library & Information Services Honey and Mumfords’ ‘Learning Styles’ Reflector –Thinking things through –Observation –Paired discussions –Opportunity to review and reflect Theorist –Models and concepts –Lectures –Following step-by-step instructions –Opportunity to ask questions and probe ideas

11 Library & Information Services The Learning Pyramid Taken from:

12 Library & Information Services Redesign of sessions What am I trying to achieve? –Principles of information retrieval –Differences between full-text and bibliographic databases –Skills can be applied to any database –Reduce handouts –More varied session

13 Library & Information Services Redesign of sessions One handout Brief introduction Demonstration of a database Practise (reflection) – applying to assignment Teach a colleague from other group - discussion Practise (reflection) – applying to assignment Apply to alternative database Summary

14 Library & Information Services Redesign of sessions Demonstration Practise (reflect) Teach colleague Practise (reflect) Lecture

15 Library & Information Services Practicalities Two staff Two separate demonstrations require two separate locations Only possible with small groups Monitoring students – NetOp School Odd numbers Latecomers

16 Library & Information Services Student comments What did you find valuable about the session? –Opportunity to interact and share knowledge within group –Chance to practice by ourselves –Interaction with other students –Having time to apply information –Teaching each other what we learnt

17 Library & Information Services Reflections - positive More problem-based which reflects teaching at Aston Gets students thinking - more active learning Encourages discussion More engaged with the session Opportunity to find out student concerns and gaps in their knowledge Less repetitive for me as each session unique

18 Library & Information Services Reflections - negative Can never suit everyone's learning styles Classroom management Some students struggle whilst some advance quickly Not suitable for all resources, e.g. Beilstein Risk that students won’t teach everything that was covered

19 Library & Information Services Recommendations Use variety of techniques Be aware that behaviour might be an issue and consider tactics to get class back on track Monitor students Have more advanced exercise prepared Provide contact details for follow-up Provide a checklist of what should be shown when teaching colleague

20 Library & Information Services The Future? Extended to Psychology Further subject areas Postgraduates Regular review Stay up-to-date with teaching and learning techniques Teaching and learning course for all Information Specialists


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