Thursday, 17 February 2011

Induction by crossword

We overran on the presentations during the day, so I was mean to Sarah and cut hers from the list of talks! She's been kind enough to give us some content though - see below for "Induction by Crossword":

I started using crosswords (and also Library Bingo and the Cephalonia method) in inductions a couple of years ago after an Information Skills meeting at work. All the Senior Assistant Librarians involved in teaching got together to share ideas on how to overcome the torture of ‘death by PowerPoint’ at induction time. Crosswords was one suggestion and I thought it was a quick and easy way to inject a bit of life into my induction sessions and also a cunning way to get students to take on board some of the information we try to impart in inductions. There are lots of free crossword creators available out there and a quick search on Google will find plenty. I tend to favour ‘Eclipse’ as I find this very easy to use.
For induction by crossword I use our student handbook which is printed each year and handed out at every induction (and, I suspect, languishes un-read under beds or in bags). The idea is to have a set of crossword clues, the answers to which can be found on a specific page in the handbook – hopefully encouraging students to read the handbook.
Using the crossword method in induction is also a good way to get students who are perhaps meeting for the first time talking as you have the option of putting them in pairs or small groups to solve the clues. It’s also flexible and can be adapted for other purposes. You could devise a library tour where each clue takes the user to a specific area of the library to find the answer or it could be used at the beginning or end of a teaching session to check knowledge.
When writing the clues for your crossword I suggest you keep them simple. So for example a fill in the gap – “I can pay my ..... online” (answer is ‘FINES’). If you’re using a handbook for students to find the answer then it’s a good idea to put the page number where they’ll find the answer in brackets at the end of the clue e.g. ‘To find books on my reading list I can use the .......... ...........’ (page 4).
I’ve added a link to the crossword maker I used and a print screen of an example of a crossword.

Wednesday, 16 February 2011

Bag of Goodies notes

Here are the notes from the "bag of goodies" exercise, all tablecloths summarised into one list!

QR codes
Printed handouts (embed in extra material)

Background when people coming in / doing exercise.
In Cephalonia inductions
Create atmosphere (calming or invigorating)
Getting students off their chairs


Clothes Pegs
Referencing - putting terms in right order (x2 - almost identical comments!)

Egg timer
Timed discussions
Time related activities "how many keywords in 2 minutes"

Use as incentive / reward

Building blocks
Foundations for argument
spidergram - colours mean different things
Build a lego figure - then have to say how it represents your attitude / feeling to the library (or similar for modelling clay)

Modelling clay
Using to print letter in
Make a model to represent different steps on a journey?
Ice - breakers

Giant Sticky Notes
Get students to write down concerns

Marketing tool

Choose your own adventure
snakes and ladders - different routes to reach your goal, e.g., essay writing process from being given title to final mark

Laminated sheet - resuable / green.

Misc / not sure what to put under!
Visual learners element of play
Focus away from librarians as teachers - students as active
tactile objects to engage

Some feedback from the day

A little delayed but here is feedback from the day, mainly from the sticky notes stuck to the glass on the way out! In no particular order...

  • Too fast
  • lots of ideas shared
  • maybe not enough time to network inbetween
  • V. enjoyable afternoon - lots of activity in bite sized chunks
  • Excellent, thoroughly enjoyable and informative - great to share and learnt a lot
  • Shame no time for questions for presentations
  • Great to meet up with some familiar faces and meet new people!
  • Nice that we all got involbed and learnt from each other
  • friendly, informal atmosphere
  • cake was a bonus!
  • new contacts made
  • Fun meeting people
  • liked the speed dating (would liked that to be longer)
  • Lots of ideas
  • Good
  • stimulating
  • informative
  • new ideas
  • enoyed the mini-presentations - just the right length
  • All tips were interesting and very welcome!
  • gained lots of new ideas - thanks!
  • Great networking and information sharing experience
  • Good for meeting people from other institutions and getting ideas
  • Really enjoyed it - as a person new to teaching info skills its great to pick up new tips
  • Would be good to have more sessions
  • Time rushed by - really good & stimulating session - enjoyed very much
  • 5 min sharing hour was very informative
  • Great to share ideas and see what otehr peoplea re doing
  • lots of common concerns
  • "employability" and "context" are the two buzzwords I'll take away with me
  • Loads of good ideas
  • I feel really enthused and motivated (+hot!)
  • Lots of practical ideas to take away
  • A few useful ideas that I'd not thought of - or not used previously that I intend to try - so that was just what I was looking for!
  • Overall very enjoyable!
  • Very useful for ideas
  • Speed networking was fabulous (the most valuable part of the teach meet)
  • Room could maybe be a bit bigger (noisy during networking therefore hard to hear – It would have helped to spread out more)
  • Next time maybe a bit longer to allow for a few Q’s after each presentation, also to prevent anyone feeling rushed. A future half day or even whole day?? (ambitious!)
  • Some presentations were not quite what I expected. Some gave a more general overview rather than a snippet of an interactive teaching method (which was more the sort of idea / useful tip I was looking for).
  • Bag of goodies – perhaps a feedback to whole group and suggestions on use of contents (more time would have allowed this)
  • Liked the idea for drinks afterwards
  • Good mix of topics
  • Sharing emails was also a good idea

Thursday, 10 February 2011

Twitter Archive

We've got an archive of Tweets using the teachmeet #tag at if anyone wants to go back and see the Twitter stream for the day!

Kaye's talk

Kaye shared with us her thoughts and experiences on "Effective assessment: a tough nut to crack"

Jo & Jacqui's talk

Jo & Jacqui did a joint session on their experiences around "Literature Searching sessions for International Students".

Maria's talk

Maria gave us an insight into "Plagiarism awareness at Bradford"