Instruction Observation

The first few weeks I’ve been observing some of the classes taught by other librarians, to get a feel for students needs, and how they’re addressed by the library instruction. Generally, the information is not very different from what I’ve taught in the past at NCSU, but there are definitely some things I’m picking up on that hopefully will prove valuable. As part of a new assessment initiative, we give out worksheets for UNIV 200, and HONR 200. Although their main purpose is for assessment, I think they are incredibly valuable for students understanding and retaining this information in the long run. It’s definitely made me rethink how I’ll approach these classes on my own. But I’ve also picked up a few things that I should definitely NOT do as an instructor, and some of the things I picked up on are here:

  • Don’t speak too fast
  • Don’t breeze through the information too quickly. It’s better to cover less material if it means they will take away more from it.
  • When I pause and ask if everyone is on the same page, I need to make sure I mean it. Wait, scan the room for confused faces and people shaking their heads. If there are some confused students, address the issues before moving on.
  • Don’t make judgments, intentionally or unintentionally. Saying something as simple as “It would be silly for you to do it this way,” or “Forgetting to do this is really inexcusable,” makes students feel uncomfortable and instills fear of asking what might be perceived as a “dumb” question.

But I still have more classes to observe, with many more instructors. Hopefully this variety will help make me more confident, and have more success in the classroom.


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