Diverse Learners, Diverse Services: Reaching out to Continuing Education Students & Instructors
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DESCRIPTIONDiverse Learners, Diverse Services: Reaching out to Continuing Education Students & Instructors. Megan Fitzgibbons, Jessica Lange & Robin Canuel McGill University, Montreal Canada. Do you have a continuing education center of some kind in your institution?. Context. Why do we care?. In 2007 - PowerPoint PPT Presentation
Diverse Learners, Diverse Services:Reaching out to Continuing Education Students & Instructors
Megan Fitzgibbons, Jessica Lange & Robin CanuelMcGill University, Montreal Canada1
Do you have a continuing education center of some kind in your institution?
Why do we care?
42% of Canadians49% of Britons49% of Americansaged 25-64 were participating in some type of education (OECD)
Reasons for GrowthNewly arrived immigrantsUnemployment ratesDeveloping new skillsEconomic downturnActively growing their programsLifelong learning
Who are Continuing Education Students?
9Diverse! Vary widely in :
AgeTechnology skillsAcademic and professional experienceMother tongue, country of originPurpose for studyLife circumstances
Busy! Balance work and family with studies
Frequently unaware of university services"Adult learners differ from traditional learners in responsibility level, and not necessarily age, gender, or other such distinguishers."
McGill University's Centre for Continuing EducationMcGill Continuing Education 2010-2011 profile:
Total enrollment: 12,132 students45 diploma and certificate programs58% womenAverage age: 33
2010-2011 profile contd:
1,327 international students from 130+ countries40% recent immigrants53% have a mother tongue other than English or French
Mother Tongue of McGill University Centre for Continuing Education Students
How do we reach out to this underserved group?
Does your library target this group through particular services or liaison librarian positions?
17Case StudyLearners and strategiesYou have been given a sample profile of a typical continuing education course.
In a small group, identify teaching techniques and specific learning activities that might be used to address challenges in the context of the workshops learning outcomes.
Learner Needs & Challenges #1Characteristics/needsAll students are studying English as a foreign language.Strategies/TechniquesProvide handout with key terms and definitionsUse a bingo game to help students focus on new vocabularyThink-pair-share : students pair up to brainstorm keywordsMinimize cultural references and idiomsDefinition matchingUtilize visual literacy (e.g. video, handout etc.)Make sure to face the audience
20Learner Needs & Challenges #2Characteristics/needsSome students have had little exposure to academic work in a North American context. Strategies/TechniquesLayout the cultural norms of academic work in North AmericaExercise on how to use LC Call numbers (perhaps use a treasure hunt for books in the libraryRecognize cultural differencesShare what skill that works for them (can sense their cultural sense of school and adapt)
21Learner Needs & Challenges #3Characteristics/needsSome students have not used academic library recently or ever. Strategies/TechniquesHave library tours (perhaps lead or co-lead by current students)Have flexible classroom space (e.g. groups of chairs or tables in different directions rather than all facing front)
22Learner Needs & Challenges #4Characteristics/needsSome students have recently participated in library instruction, while others havent. Strategies/TechniquesDirected questioning (e.g. ask where should I click? What do I do next? Where can I find this book?)Hands-on-practice (let each student go at their own pace so the more advanced can go further and the less advanced can take their time)Group work (pair up experiences students with less experienced students) peer to peer learning
23Learner Needs & Challenges #5Characteristics/needsSome students have very little previous experience using computers. Strategies/TechniquesAssess room immediately (e.g. who has a cell phone, who has a laptop, who is comfortable with the computersGroup work (tech savvy paired with students who have less experiencesee above for getting sense of students in classroom)Let them know that they cant break it!Develop useful analogies to help students understand technological conceptsFree time to practice (let them go at their pace)
24Learner Needs & Challenges #6Characteristics/needsStudents levels of education vary. Strategies/TechniquesBackground knowledge probes (e.g. Ask students how can you find out if a library has a particular book?)25Learner Needs & Challenges #7Characteristics/needsStudents are expected to learn a large amount of information in a short amount of time. Strategies/TechniquesOne-minute writing ( students are asked to write one thing they learned and one thing they dont understand)Try to convince the instructor to have multiple sessionsRecognize limitations (i.e. hit the most important learning objectives and let the rest go be flexible)Have online tutorials students can refer to if theyre feeling overwhelmed/need a second going over26Learner Needs & Challenges #8Characteristics/needsStudents are goal-oriented and want to develop very specific skills. Strategies/TechniquesIncorporate students own suggested topics into database search examples27Key TakeawaysInformation overloadBreak it into chunks and have students break into groups and be responsible for a sectionLearning through teachingStop and re-evaluate flexibility!Break session into 3-5 KEY pointsMessage of friendly librarians Online tutorials Asking the class about what tutorials they would like (custom tutorials)
Challenges faced at McGillAbsence of shared experienceNo common denominator in skillsDifficult to reach through traditional methodsLack of continuity
Solutions at McGillCommunication and outreachCollection developmentTeaching techniques, especially active learningLiaison model
ConclusionsMulti-layered, tailored approaches have been successful Liaison model is key Feedback ReceivedWritten feedback from instructorsInformal evaluation of student performanceIncreased requests from workshopsRequests for new workshops to be developed
Future plans: Formal Assessment
Jessica Langejessica.email@example.comRobin Canuelrobin.firstname.lastname@example.orgMegan Fitzgibbonsmegan.email@example.com
Contact Photo Credits
Slide 8 : Money by Andrew Magill (http://www.flickr.com/photos/amagill/3367543296/in/photostream/)
Slide 12 : McGill Building by Zestbienbeautouza(http://www.flickr.com/photos/wpointw/439292077/)Slide 1,3-5 : Klaus Fiedler, McGill Library