The majority of my teaching takes place in library instruction, both in the classroom and in individual consultation with students, faculty, staff and public patrons.
Sample Course Guides & Tutorials
- FYW 100 – Introduction to Academic Writing, with Sara Reilly.
This guide is used to supplement one to two library instruction sessions.
- ANTH 262 – Indigenous Rights and the Global Environment, with Gale Goodwin-Gomez.
This guide was used to support one class gathering and optional individual consultations.
- GEND 201 – Feminist Inquiry, with Janice Okoomian.
This guide was created to support the introductory course to the Gender & Women’s Studies major, in which students used academic and popular sources, as well as celebrities’ own social media and online content as primary source materials.
- SOC 302 – Social Research Methods I, with Mikaila M.L. Arthur.
This tutorial was created for flipped, distance instruction, with an optional synchronous class session.
- CEP 683/684 – Practicum III/IV: Advanced Counseling Skills, with Michelle Crossley.
This guide was created to support graduate students without in-person library instruction.
Sample Guides & Tutorials
Multiple Courses/General Library Skills & Faculty Tutorials
- Evaluating Sources
- Getting Started with Research – Part 1 & Part 2
- Embedding Library Streaming Videos in Blackboard
- Using Permalinks in Blackboard
Library Instruction Surveys
At the end of each semester the Head of Reference & Research Support emails a copy of the Library Instruction Survey, inviting faculty who have worked with librarians to query their students on the experience. Participation is optional for faculty and students. They are often completed at the same time students respond to course evaluations.
Students were overwhelmingly positive in response to my classes, noting that the session introduced them to library resources and services they were previously unfamiliar with and, most importantly, provided clear instruction on brainstorming, developing their own research strategies and, source selection and evaluation. In an exception to this positive feedback, one course in Fall of 2016, which I taught working with a faculty member who frequently worked with another librarian, was mostly critical. With the change in instruction, we had little time to prepare together and students responded that they felt the course did not adequately address the assignment requirements directly. In response to this valuable feedback, I have ensured I collaborate fully with faculty members prior to the in-class session to select the most impactful session date and to align our instruction goals for the meeting.
Sample: GEND 250 – Current Issues in Feminism – 2017, with Janice Okoomian
|1) Were the presentation and discussion of information sources & information-gathering strategies helpful? If so, how? If not, what would have made more helpful?||Yes, I was informed on how to check if a source is credible||Yes, it made searching up articles easy||Yes, it expanded my knowledge when it comes to researching||Yes, it reaffirmed a lot of research methods I already knew||Yes, very helpful that the librarian went through each step||Yes||They were amazing!|
|2) What were the most important concepts/tools/strategies learned during this class at the library?||Projo Newsbank||JSTOR, Academic Search Complete||How to use online journals like the Projo or The New York Times||The list of feminist archives||How to navigate the online articles||How to search for articles||The Academic Search|
|3) Please elaborate on your experience.
A: Did you understand the terms & examples used by the librarian?
|3) B: What aspects of information-gathering seem clearest to you?||How to use Projo||Using JSTOR and||All of them||Using the library website||Everything||All||Everything|
|3) C: What aspects are least clear?||N/A||Using the JSTOR off campus||N/A||N.A||Nothing||N/A||Nothing|
|3) D: Have you encountered any problems finding the information needed for this course?||Yes, but not with finding. It was more of searching and what article is interesting||Nope||No||No||No||Nope|
|3) E: What sources were most valuable in fulfilling the requirements of this course?||JSTOR
|Feminist + Psych databases||Feminist databases||JSTOR + academic search premier||Academic search||Not sure|
|4) Has this experience changed the way you gather information:
A: for this course? (Please elaborate)
|No||Yes, this course related heavily on searching||Yes, I pay more attention to the author and how trustworthy the source is||No||Helped me find articles||Yes, I know which sources to trust||Nope|
|4) B: for other courses? (Please elaborate)||Yes, I needed to use Projo for a research project.||No, my other courses didn’t require me||The Projo for Hist 333||No||No||Sort of ^||Nope|
|5) Has this experience influenced your ideas about the research process or changed your perceptions about how to satisfy your academic information needs?||Yes, it made searching things up easier||I feel like I’m more critical when it comes to finding + researching sources||This experience mostly just reaffirmed what I already knew about the research process||No, it stayed the same||No||No|
“I thought your presentation was very clear. Taking the class through a search exercise made it easy for them to follow. Equally important, your warmth and responsiveness made the library, the library staff feel more accessible, a friendly place to go for help.”
– Sue Lawler, Fall 2018.
“The students enjoyed the visit with you and learnt a lot. Some expressed that they finally understood the purpose and the worth of the library!!”
– Sadhana Bery, Spring 2018.
“It was a great place for my students to continue thinking about their needs assessment and asset mapping projects. Thank you for offering to help them in the future.”
– Mimi Mumm, Fall 2017.
“I appreciate your informal, yet very informative, style, which I think made the students feel at ease and resulted in a successful workshop.”
– Gale Goodwin-Gomez, Fall 2015.
First Year Writing Information Literacy Pilot
In 2015 the library and First Year Writing program began a pilot to align shared learning outcomes. To begin the process, I mapped the Council of Writing Program Administrators Outcomes Statement for First Year Composition to the Association of College and Research Libraries’ Framework for Information Literacy and the existing Rhode Island College General Education Research Fluency outcomes to find common goals.
LIBS 150: Understanding the Post-Election World
Patrons may rate chat reference sessions at the end of a consultation. Of those who chose (29%) to rate chat sessions with me, all were rated 4/Excellent on a scale of:
1 (Bad), 2 (So-so), 3 (Good), 4 (Excellent).
Follow-Up Emails & Acknowledgements
“I hope all is well. I just wanted to give you an (embarrassingly late) update on the MSW class: I earned an A on that research paper and an A in the class overall. I would NOT have been able to do so without your help, so I wanted to thank you once again!” – 2020
“I acknowledge Dragan Gill for her excellent reference support. Prior versions of this paper were presented at the Eastern Sociological Society Annual Meetings and the Rhode Island College McNair Scholars Research Showcase.” – McNair Scholar final research paper, Spring 2019
Coordinating and training our student employees is an opportunity to teach them workplace skills such as troubleshooting, experimentation, documentation, and effective communication as well as information literacy and digital literacy skills.
Gamifying Student Learning
In Spring 2015 I created a Jeopardy game to refresh student skills. This was used in a series of training sessions to refresh all reference student employees on their responsibilities and duties.
To reach all public service library student employees, in Borrowing Services (formerly Reserves and Circulation) and Reference, Kieran Ayton and I created a self-paced tutorial on common technology questions in the library. I hope to build on this initial trial, developing more tutorials to ensure consistent training across the library when possible and for all reference student employees.
Student Job Descriptions & Manuals
To support student growth and make progression through the student employment levels transparent, I created a short job description defining the differences in roles and responsibilities of student employees at the Assistant and Associate level, confirming that these expectations aligned with student employment expectations in all areas of the library with the Library Director and Sharon Giacobbi, who coordinates student employment for the library as a whole. I then worked with the Reference & Research Support department to update instructions and documentation for tasks at each level.
My credit-bearing instruction experience demonstrates my responsive teaching and quick rapport-building abilities.
Honors 250: Seminar for Success in Undergraduate Research
A collaboration between the Center for Research and Creative Activity, College Honors, and McNair Program, I was invited to co-teach the inaugural section of this course.
Library Professional Field Experience
Each Professional Field Experience (PFE) student and their supervising librarian create a shared agreement for the goals and expectations of their time in the library. Following, they are evaluated and graded by the supervising librarian, using a template and guidelines provided by the University of Rhode Island.