maura @ 7:01 pm
The semester started last Thursday, and our library’s course started too! I’ve had a busy month prepping for the course and worrying whether it would run, so it was great to finally get to the first class. All the nervousness that I thought I’d have suddenly vanished the morning of, too, which was a bit of a surprise to me. Ultimately I’m really looking forward to having an entire semester to work on big meaty information literacy* topics with the students, so I think that excitement drove the butterflies right out of my stomach.
* Shhh, we’re not calling it IL to the students, though — too jargony. The official course name is Research & Documentation for the Information Age.
I know what you’re thinking: what about the work? Isn’t it an enormous amount of work to teach a 3-credit course? Well, yes and no. It’s true that course prep expands to fill the time available, and when I was finalizing the syllabus this month I probably let it take more time than it should. But now that the semester’s begun I’m going to have to find ways to be more efficient with course prep, and I think that the syllabus and course outline is detailed enough that I should be able to prepare without deep-ending.** I’ll be responsible for fewer other instruction sessions and reference shifts than last semester, too.
** Overpreparation is an issue for me in lots of workstuff, so I should really use the course to help me practice figuring out when to stop.
It’s also true that I had a few moments this month when I desperately wished for one big giant textbook for the course. I’m using one text (Research Strategies, by William Badke) — it’s got a good overview of the research skills I want to cover, is written in an approachable style, and is under $20. But I also want to talk about things like privacy and access and evaluation and preservation and ethics and copyright and fair use and open access and documentation and non-text media and practical applications of all of this, which is bigger than this book, nice as it is. I’m still as anti-textbook and pro-open access as ever, but I do appreciate how much more time it takes to plan a class without one.
All in all, I’m totally stoked*** to teach this class.
*** A couple of weeks ago a CUNY colleague asked if I was from the West Coast, and referred to me as “mellow but organized.” Which cracked me right up.