The Teaching Bridge: Building an Online Space for Collaborative Teaching

Poster Description: This interactive presentation will walk you through The Teaching Bridge, an internal teaching resource created to encourage collaboration and discussion among librarians who teach at a large research university. The presentation walks through the site, explains its purpose and structure, and shares ideas for usage and assessment.

Poster: View transcript of presentation.

Presenter Name(s): Grace Therrell, The University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Presenter Bio: Grace Therrell is an Online Learning Librarian and Assistant Professor at The University of Tennessee, Knoxville. She focuses on pedagogy and how teaching and learning occur in both in-person and virtual spaces. You can reach her at gtherrell@utk.edu or on Twitter @gracetherrell.

12 replies on “The Teaching Bridge: Building an Online Space for Collaborative Teaching”

I really appreciate the video walkthrough in the presentation. Great idea! That helped me visualize the project more clearly. Is this project envisioned as as space for purely virtual resource or will it incorporate physical resource recommendation? If so, how (mention, catalog, photos, etc.)? Thanks for sharing!

Hi, Eden,

Thanks for your kind words and your question! I hadn’t envisioned any physical resources, but if people have physical resources that they use for teaching that they want others to be able to use, I would think a photo or something similar would work well. Some of the content already in the site can be printed out and used in the physical classroom, but no explicitly physical resources so far.

Grace

Hey Grace, this is a great project and thank you for sharing! I am trying something similar at UNCG to share information literacy instruction lesson plans, and I have a problem getting liaison librarians to contribute – everyone is so busy! Do you have any ideas about incentives to get librarians to contribute to an internal resoruce like this?

Hi, Sam,

Thank you for your question and comments! This is something we’re working through as well, and I’m hopeful that once the site is live and people can peruse, they’ll share some of their resources. So far, though, I’ve just been identifying gaps in content and reaching out to some specific librarians to see if they have anything they’d like to share. I’ve gotten some good responses from going that route. Hoping to think of some more ideas as the project grows!

Grace

Thank you, Lindsey! I love this idea. And our campus has tried something similiar in the past with a LibGuide as the platform, but as mentioned above, Librarians were too busy to (or not interested in) sharing.

Have you ever considered opening up the site to beyond UT Libraries only?

Hi, Sila,

Yes, I’ve seen other projects in LibGuides before! It’s exciting to know that others are thinking about similar ways to share teaching ideas. To answer your question, yes, we’ve thought about opening it up to others down the road. We decided it would be best to keep it internal for now to see how librarians use it and get some good resources. After a bit of time, the plan is to reassess and potentially expand reach. I think it has a lot of potential outside of UTK!

Grace

Hi y’all, this looks like a great project! I especially like it as a way of encouraging conversation and collaboration — I feel like there’s a lot of siloing in my library around instruction with people doing their own thing and not discussing it much, and I like this idea as both a repository and a point of conversation.

Earlier this week I attended a webinar on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy Sandbox, which looks like it might be a good resource for your team to explore for resources, because it’s organized by frame (https://sandbox.acrl.org/about). But I really like what you’re doing because it seems like a good way to build community among your teaching librarians.

Hi, Jill,

Thanks for your kind words! I actually began thinking about this project because of sites like the Sandbox and Project CORA. I wanted to take the idea of a much larger, broad, and widely-accessible repository and reimagine what that could look like on a smaller, more local level. I hadn’t thought about looking there for resources, but that’s a great suggestion—thanks!

Grace

Yes, I really liked the smaller/local focus, because then it becomes a way to bring instruction librarians together. Years ago we had an informal instruction discussion group (we called it the Instruction Yak) but it didn’t cohere very well after awhile for various cultural-fit reasons. I could so easily imagine something like your project being a way to help facilitate/structure discussion like that.