Several times a year, the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee selects and interviews a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning. Nominate yourself or someone great!
Caprice Roberson of College of Southern Nevada
Name: Caprice Roberson
Institution: College of Southern Nevada
Job Title: Instructional Services Librarian
Number of Years Teaching: 5
Why did you become a librarian?
I’ve worked in libraries since becoming a shelver at 16 years old. I loved being able to actually see how the work we do and the services we provide impact a person’s life.
What’s your favorite vacation place you have traveled to or where would you like to visit?
I loved visiting Barcelona, and I can’t wait to be able to go back!
Describe a favorite activity that you use with students:
I get to do one of my favorite in-person activities, an evaluation exercise, in a couple ENG 101 classes I am embedded in every semester. I adapted the activity from an article I read (apologies to the authors, I do not have the citation information).
I split the class into groups and show them a “bad” source—something I, as a librarian, would not use in academic-level research. I then ask them to tell me why they think I would not use it, which leads to a discussion on what we should look for when evaluating sources. I then take a research topic one of the students are working on, and we discuss as a class what we would find in the “perfect” source for that topic (who, what, where, when, why). The groups then each compete to try to find a source that fits our criteria as best as possible. Everyone presents their source, and we vote on a winner. We finish up with a discussion on how there is rarely a “perfect” source, and how they will have to decide for themselves whether or not a source is appropriate to use.
I do this exercise on my first class visit, before I get into the how and where of actually searching. I think this approach sets a good foundation for not just finding possibly relevant information, but critically thinking about it and its uses in their research.
Tell us how you assess your classes:
Working with the instruction team here at the library, I have spent the past couple years trying to figure out how to assess our one-shot instruction sessions in order to demonstrate our direct impact on student success. Currently, we are on our second iteration of a tool that is designed to measure whether students achieved the outcome for the session by asking them a couple of short questions. Librarians then grade responses against a shared rubric. It’s not perfect, and we are still working to improve the tool, but I am proud of the work we have done, and continue to do, towards assessing our impact on student success.
Describe your experience with instructional technologies:
A large part of my job is creating online learning objects, and I am a huge fan of Articulate Storyline. Here at CSN, our second largest campus is our online campus, meaning there are thousands of students we will never have the chance to see in person. A few of the librarians here, including myself, worked to put together our comprehensive, interactive online research tutorial, Research 101 (http://libguides.csn.edu/research-101/), made using Storyline, with LibGuides as our content management system. I am not a fan of creating or watching screencasts, so I love that Storyline allows me an interactive way to teach those students that I cannot see in person. I have customized many tutorials based on specific class and assignment requirements, with a personal avatar I frequently use. I appreciate that this technology makes it easier for us to connect with and teach students online.