December 18, 2013

What They Learned in Class

I taught a "one-shot" session of The World of Mass Communication this semester. It's a 100-level class designed to introduce students to the School of Journalism and Mass Communication.

I went in to talk about doing better Google searches AND to show them some of our spiffy news databases. I created a LibGuide for the class which got a lot of use that day in class an a wee bit of use following the class.

As usual, I asked the class to write a bit about what they learned in class. Because the class had over 300 students, we were not able to talk about what they learned. Instead, the professors asked students to write in Sakai (our course management system) a sentence or two about what they learned.

Professor Boynton sent me a copy of what they said. The comments themselves were helpful, but I also enjoyed looking at what they learned in a word cloud.

I was happy to see that several of the things they said they learned were topics I had taught in class: "I learned how to use quotes in google to get more exact search results" and "I really like the chat option that the library offers so that many of our questions can get answered!"

One of their assignments was to find a blog and analyze it over the course of the semester, so I taught them that they could do a fancy Google search with inurl:blog -- which is why that phrase shows up in the tag cloud.

The class was great fun to teach, and the word cloud helps me analyze what they learned in my session.

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