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.

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