CE601 Beyond PowerPoint: Leveraging Technology to Enhance Instruction and Learning

I have an idea, how about using an instructional tool to teach a class on library informational instruction to clients? Well that’s just what Antonio DeRosa, Assistant Reference Librarian, and Marisol Hernandez, Senior Reference Librarian, Nathan Cummings Library, Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, New York, NY did in this exceptional CE course.

This teaching duo presented an overview of instructional tools that can be used instead of the tried and true PowerPoint slides. Laptops were available in the class to complete hands-on exercises in small groups. Antionio and Marisol elicited lively discussions from class participants by providing a sharing and debriefing session after each set of exercises.

Five web-based models of instruction were presented.

  • Prezi – A cloud based presentation software that most of the class agreed could be used for short presentations due to its constant zooming in and out of the information on the screen. Some people have reported a bit of motion sickness while watching these presentations.
  • Jing + Screencast – These tools are used in conjunction to create and share videos to use as online instruction. A free account setup is required for each resource; however some class participants said that Screencast is blocked by their institution so check with the IT department to see if this tool can be enabled at your institution.
  • Keynote for iPad – This iOS presentation app can be downloaded for a onetime fee of $9.99. The presentation creation was simple and the iPad version comes with presentation templates. The app saves the work automatically and be saved in the cloud. Class participants liked the special effects, adding images and the ability to import data for graphs and tables. Files can be saved and shared as a PowerPoint or PDF file.
  • LibGuides  – The entire CE course is published as a LibGuide and its uses are just as varied as the types of agencies and institutions we serve. Guides can be created as a portal for fellows and post doc orientation, for resources related to a lecture series or specialty guides for stakeholder groups and departments.  Collaboration with clients can result in a useful and targeted guide that will achieve a customized experience for user groups.
  • Game based learning – Judging by the class discussion this model seemed to be the least familiar among the group. Undergraduate libraries use Gamification to instruct and test information literacy. Games should be tailored to the audience and can be used to the present physical library space orientation information. Game development recourses were also discussed. “I’ll Get It” was a favorite of the reference librarians in my group.

The question was asked of the instructors if they had to choose, which model would they recommend. Of course it is dependent upon the content, but the instructors believed that LibGuides made the most sense for educational learning.