Thursday, April 19, 2007

Lesson Study: An Experience in Collaborative Inquiry

What is Lesson Study?
a small group of teachers collaboratively plan, teach, observe, revise, and report on a single class lesson.

Fall of 2004, librarians attended a lesson study workshop and formed a group of interested librarians.
Murphy librarians teach over 2000 CST110 students each year through a one-shot information literacy class

Teaching Goals
incorporate more collaboartive learning experiences
create a lesson that all librarians could use
build a lesson around what we thought were best practices and observe students inrteracting with the lesson.

Learning Goals
Choose appropriate database
efficiently search the database
understand how to use information
discern credibility of sources
format APA-style citations

Lesson Design
Two instructional methods:
lecture segments and small group work
Include questions in lecture segment - ask questions instead of telling - increase student involvement
Small group work encouraged collaboartive learning

Each student has a specific role - get everyone to participate
group navigator, communications controller, backseat drivers, log keepers

Small group explorations tasked students with answering specific questions - librarians didn't guide them through databases or database searches.

Lesson included three media types - powerpoint, word, and introductory movie (played on a loop) -

Movie was similar to the previews for the movie theatre, poses questions and then answers. It played as they entered room.

Research log - Record keywords, etc. Guides their activities and serves as a job aid (like instructions on your washing machine). Job aids reduce demand on students' short term memories.

How did this all fit together? video + short lecture segments + interspersed tasks

The Study
Approach - Data/Evidence collected
Findings- Analysis of Observations

1. Filmed observations of students
consent forms signed
videographer filmed the class experiencing the lessons - focus camera on students
video burned to DVD for review and analysis

2. Written observations of students
LS team members observed the class
Focus on students
Observe the students nearest you
Used standardized observation sheets

3. Classroom responses
feedback questions built into lesson as TurningPoint questions/responses
TurningPoint would record responses for analysis - tech. difficulties - used show of hands (observed, but not recorded)

4. Student evaluations
asked to complete online lesson evaluation form at end of session
"did the session improve your ability to find library resources"

5. Instructor evaluations
Bibliographies were required components of later assignments in the class
APA format was expected


1. Analysis of observations
most students appeared to learn the material - group explorations/exercises
inconsistent engagement across all members of groups of students
visual impediments
difficulty organizing in groups
lack of interest in search survival
GeTeXt info (SFX) screen not well received
lack of time for exercises
once organized in groups, they expected group tasks (they first had more lecture)
esp. engaged by automatic citation formatting tools

2. Classroom responses
Most students had difficulties with library catalog searches

3. Student Evaluation
Students indicated that session was useful -3.9 score was a slight improvemt over earlier versions of same lesson
sig. number mentioned citing resources automatically

4. Instructor Evaluation
reported students were generally successful in their library work, including citing sources

Discussion: Lessons Learned

Alternative methodology effects institutional change
Practitioner as researcher apporach

The process effected change
communication between two departments
communication and collaboration between librarians teaching the same lessons

The lesson facilitated observation and interaction
group work
students complete three exercises before reconvening for discussion and lecture
librarian has time to observe and reinforce

The lesson was more appropriate for student learning needs
less lecture
more info conveyed in group discussion
more info conveyed in response to lib. observations
pace is appropriate

Changes to the lesson
reduce content - learn by doing and respond to what they are doing
organize groups at a more appropriate time
compensate for visibility problems
SFX example on worksheet
Add APA exercise

Change assessment
include questions that assess learning
collaborate with course instructions (pre and post tests)
collaborate with course instructors to evaluate student bibs
evaluate research logs

Lesson is a work in progress
address varying class lengths
identify core elements of the lesson for librarians - people do things differently
continued communication - library and curriculum will change

UWL Lesson Study Project Site:
presentation powerpoint:

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