My thoughts on the feedback:
First of all, IT PERSON?! I had a good laugh after reading that one. A student thought that I was an IT person… I shouldn’t be so aghast, since the Information Commons are swarming with them, but I introduced myself as a grad student studying library and information science so it’s odd that that didn’t register.
It seems like most students got something out of my presentation, though I realize that the standard, “I learned that IU resources are better than Google or Wikipedia,” could merely be reflexive–students typing what they knew they were supposed to get out of the presentation rather than what they actually did. This is why I liked that some students specifically referenced Gale Opposing Viewpoints, IU OneSearch, and EBSCOHost.
The individual who wrote “books are old”–well, I certainly enjoyed that comment. I mean, come on–there’s always always always that student, right? Learning is a two way street; I can do everything in my ability to make the class engaging, but receptiveness is required to actually get something from it. I am curious about whether the person was just trying to be dramatic, imagining the librarians reading it having a cow, or whether they actually believe what they wrote.
For the least valuable question, I wasn’t surprised to see that a lot of students commented that they already knew that Wikipedia wasn’t credible. During my presentation, I tried to make it clear that I knew they’d heard the spiel from plenty of teachers already and that we weren’t going to focus on me stepping onto my soapbox to bash it; rather, we would let the results speak for themselves. So I hope that their understanding was at least enriched somewhat by the comparisons.
I was a little bit shocked that some students did not know how to find books in the library–especially because the student who wrote, “how to check out a book/where they are” was a sophomore. It is obvious to me that one-shot sessions library instruction sessions are not enough for the average student–the academic library is a vastly different beast than anything they are used to, and when I have 50 minutes and the instructor wants me to talk about citations and resource evaluation, I can’t delve into the bread and butter basics. We touched briefly on where the stacks are during our chat about IUCAT (probably why someone wrote that learning how to find physical books was least valuable to them), but that’s the extent of it. Now I realize that I was ignorant of the very different knowledge levels that the students were at. I think I will bring some of the IU Survival Guides with me next time, as they include some information on how to find books in Wells Library.
Ah, the student who wrote that they had no expectations and learned something nevertheless! And referred to my session as the opposite of a pointless seminar! Any teacher’s dream! I do feel pleased that the 50 minutes was valuable to them–I have been in their spot many times over, prepping myself for boredom and surprised by the actual usefulness of a talk.
As for comments on improving the session, it was a mixed bag. Any comments I didn’t include above were either, “It was great,” or, “It was pretty good,” (the boyfriend translated this one for me–apparently it means, “Libraries really bore me and I don’t want to write this paper, but this hour wasn’t as bad as I thought it might be”). Somebody said it should be more interactive (not sure how this would be possible), someone said less interactive/no group work, some people seemed to like the interactivity just as it was. As for better instruction about the activity–I think I will type up the instructions and open the document onscreen, so they can reference it themselves instead of everyone having basic questions at once.
Hopefully I will get the chance to teach again soon. All of the slots are currently filled, though I check the Instruction Portal diligently.