ACC’s Library Services has applied their talent for organization and their commitment to supporting classroom instruction to create the “Faculty Teaching Toolbox,” a collection of teaching and learning resources assembled into one easy-to-navigate online repository.
Terry Barksdale, associate professor and head librarian for the Cypress Creek Campus and team leader of the Library Services information literacy team, explains how instructors can use Toolbox resources to support instruction, assess learning outcomes, and promote student success.
Q. How does the Faculty Teaching Toolbox differ from the instructional and research resources already offered by Library Services?
A. It’s not that the resources are new – it’s that they are in one place, easily accessible, and easily adopted for classroom instruction in support of student success, rather than being located on various ACC webpages and in educational resources across the Internet.
The Toolbox not only provides access to these resources, but answers questions like “How do I use it?” and ‘What do I tell my students about it?’ The Toolbox takes the guessing out of whether we have a particular resource for a student’s needs.
In addition — and this is very powerful — faculty can look at their syllabus and assignments and predict, based on past experience, where students tend to ask the most questions or flounder. Then they can explore the Faculty Teaching Toolbox to identify a resource — librarians and instructional design specialists can help — that addresses that point at which the student’s momentum may stall.
There also are some new resources we’re excited about. Library Services has created a series of short, engaging, discipline-neutral, online tutorials. The topics of these tutorials were chosen based on extensive faculty surveys, a competency analysis profile, and by culling frequently occurring learning outcomes from syllabi and accreditation reports across the college.
For example, several tutorials address critical information literacy skills — outcomes that are a part of every discipline. A few are Choosing a Topic, Academic Honesty/Plagiarism and Evaluating Information, but there are several more, and we will be adding to them.
The tutorials are assessment embedded. Faculty can assign these tutorials and require their students to submit their quiz results for proof of completion.
The Toolbox also has resources for classroom management. Remember when you were new to ACC and had a few questions of your own, like, “I heard someone mention Lighthouse — where do I find it?” The Toolbox also includes information on the various technology tools instructors can use to communicate with students more easily.
The Toolbox also includes information on the various technology tools instructors can use to communicate with students.
Q. How did you determine what to include in the Toolbox?
A. We’ve worked closely with faculty across many disciplines, and their passion for teaching is apparent.
Our project team often hears colleagues share concerns about students who may be underprepared for the rigors of their curriculum. We’ve also heard from faculty colleagues who sometimes have difficulty locating resources to support struggling students in a timely manner.
To solve the issue, we looked first in our own backyard – at the many successful interventions and support materials already available to our students. We already had identified resources that our research showed to be essential and we recognized that faculty must be able to find these disparately located resources quickly and share them easily. That is where the concept of the Faculty Teaching Toolbox came from.
We put the resources in one place, and added answers to basic questions faculty often have. We cross-referenced these supports with books and streaming media in our library collection to see if additional resources were available in a “just-in-time” approach for an underprepared student.
Q. How do instructors access the Toolbox?
A. The Faculty Teaching Toolbox is online. We also plan to offer workshops to demonstrate how instructors can take advantage of the various Toolbox resources.
Q. Can faculty offer suggestions for other resources that could be added to the Toolbox?
A. We are very interested in hearing from faculty and staff about what we might have overlooked and/or what they would like added to the Toolbox. Faculty can give us their comments and suggestions by submitting the form on the Faculty Toolbox homepage. The Toolbox is meant to be dynamic. Let us hear from you!
Q. What about the students? Shouldn’t we make it easier for them to find these resources, too?
A. Yes! The Faculty Teaching Toolbox has a companion site for students. The “Student Learning Toolbox” makes it convenient for faculty to refer a student to a particular resource for their specific need.
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