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Justina Mollach LI837XA Teaching Instructor Rocci Instructional Critique For my first Instructional Critique I chose to analyze an instructional

lesson which was presented through the medium of video. The video that I chose was produced by a collegiate library. The school is a state college that serves just under 25,000 students. The subject of the video is an overall review on how to access the database section of the library website and in particular how to use a database which we will refer to as C. Presentation The purpose of the instructional video is very clearly stated not only in the title of the video, but also through the means of the description and introduction. The previously mentioned introduction clearly sets up the topic for the video without intimidation thus creating a comfortable learning atmosphere. The instructor also perfectly balances his level of language throughout the presentation. He is neither condescending using the simplest terms nor overreaching by filling his presentation with unfamiliar jargon. The only prerequisite information that the students must possess is their student log-in and knowing the library url. The video is very well sequenced, literally guiding the potential students through each step they need to take to locate and use the database/s. They start at the homepage and highlight each link that the student must click to get to the next step. The

video also presents opportunities to practice during and after the video. The instructor suggests a practice term to use for a trial run of the database "C" and even suggests the students pause to try out some of the terms to check their results. The subject matter presented in the video is especially appropriate as all students in higher education institution will have to use a database at one point in their college careers. I also believe that this video was more of an instruction scenario, rather than a "data dump." I believe this because the instructor offers opportunities to practice throughout the video rather than leaving the student to fend for themselves. With respect to Gagné’s nine events of instruction I could clearly find seven of the nine steps, but two of them were not quite as obvious. For instance, since the subject of my Instructional critique is a video there wasn't an obvious way for immediate feedback to be easily presented. Students could provide feedback via contacting a librarian, but it would be a delayed response. The second would be assessment performance tests, since this video focused on the topic of using their database system the only test would be a practical application of the system. Instructor The instructor certainly talks at a reasonable speed throughout the video. However, I thought that a bit more attention could have been paid to each individual feature of database "C" and particularly the entire database system as a whole. On the other hand, I understand that it is important to keep the content to a manageable length to keep students attention.

While it is difficult to asses levels of respect from instructor to audience as there is no face to face interactions, you still get a respectful impression from the instructor as he neither overwhelms potential students with information nor talks down to them by using language that is below their level. I also believe that this format is especially beneficial for learner of different paces as they can pause the video and try out their own queries on the system before moving onto the next steps or features. The instructor is enthusiastic without being over the top. He is obviously prepared, knowledgeable, and interested in the topic but does not come off as being disingenuous. The instructor also checks for understanding by urging the viewer/student to try out the database and techniques he is using throughout the video. I also found that the instructor is flexible in that he provides multiple alternative ways to use database "C" as well as the database system as a whole. Overall I found that this instructor was very successful in presenting the lesson in a professional but not uninteresting manner. Reflection While it is unclear in what setting this instructional video was being used I believe it could be used with great success in a blended learning environment. It could be a great supplementary to a traditional face to face class beginning their first major research essay or it could be used in addition to a one-shot instruction model for students who weren't quite present during their tour of the library. This format certainly echoes the idea of Connectivism as being a digital age learning theory because the video presents the multitude of formats that are presented within the database for

different learning types. One of my favorite examples of this was the instructor explaining and showcasing a feature that presented an "information web" rather than a traditional page full of text. The aspect that found most helpful in the instructional video was that the links and important aspects that were being discussed on the screen would be highlighted by a moving arrow that would either circle the area or point to a particularly important aspect of the discussion. One area that I think could use more attention was increasing the amount of time spent on presenting the database system as a whole. While information professionals would certainly describe the area of the website as neat and ordered, it might be a little overwhelming for a first time freshman who has never used a single database, much less an entire A-Z list of them. Ultimately I found this instructional video very helpful and I believe students would as well.

Justina Mollach LI837XA Teaching Instructor Rocci Instructional Critique For my second Instructional Critique I chose to analyze an instructional handout presented, in my case, as a PDF file. The handout that I chose was designed and distributed by a public library system. The library system serves six counties in North Carolina. The subject of the handout is how to access and utilize the library system's online catalog. Presentation The front page of the pamphlet/handout includes the library system's logo as well as the topic of the instruction contained inside. At the bottom of the handout various means of contact (including email addresses and multiple phone numbers) for other information regarding the library and further assistance on this topic are listed. Also included are URLs to the library system's social media platforms. The purpose of the instructional handout is stated clearly throughout the text on each side and section of the pamphlet. Each section simply states the topic which will be addressed with the following textual and visual explanations. The subjects are divided into three main headings: My Account, Accessing the Online Catalog, and Searching the Online Catalog.

The first section, My Account, presents a visual approximation of what users would see once they have logged into their accounts. Arrows are used to highlight important areas for users who want to find out more information about their online activity and further uses of the catalog system. This section also lists the most commonly accessed areas of the My Account section and listed the purpose of each of these links. Highlighted sections included: Items Checked Out, Items on Hold, Fines, Account Preferences. and My Bookbag. A short description follows each highlighted section. The second section, Accessing the Online Catalog, features the URL of the online catalog as well as an image showing which button to click on the homepage to access the catalog. Below that image is another screen cap of the actual search interface that users will utilize. The sections are again listed below and their purpose briefly described. The last section of the handout , Searching, provides a mock example of a patron utilizing the search function on the online catalog. Again, the arrow and description model of instruction is implemented in this section. This section also explains how a user can sort their results in order to view only those items that are currently available. The language and purpose are clear and appropriate for the setting, however, I believe the pamphlet/handout could have been formatted in a different manner to achieve a greater ease of understanding. I think the pamphlet style of this handout is actually detrimental to their main target audience which, according to the photograph on the front, appears to be its elderly patrons. This style forces the creator of the handout

to condense multiple images and topics into a small area making the hierarchy of information ambiguous. Reflection The images included in the handout are also helpful but I believe they could be even more effective if spaced properly. I also believe a step by photo montage of sorts would be a way to comprehensively cover the topic. While the text that is presented is helpful, the handout sorely needs some instructional design expertise. The presentation of the information is not intuitive and the design leaves the patrons searching the entire page for the information they seek. Although the specific patron target is not explicitly stated, the photograph on the front of the handout leads one to believe this is primarily used by elderly patrons. With this consideration in mind, I think it is even more important to consciously design the handout with order and information hierarchy. The topic and style of this instructional method is in stark contrast to my last critique which focused on engaging the minds of digital natives with multiple learning styles. The learning theory that I recognize the most in this handout is the theory of Behaviorism. The handout relies upon the principles of understanding and remembering instead of social engagement or logical reasoning that other theories utilize. With concern to Gagne's 9 Steps of Instruction this format was difficult to assess. There were certainly many gaps when I reflected upon the handout's achievement of these steps. The steps that I believe the handout achieved were: Describing the Goal, Presenting the Material, and Assessing performance (through practical use). I wavered

on the step of Providing Informative Feedback as the handout provides an example of correct usage, but does not offer an image that provides examples of errors or problemshooting. The steps that the handout does not achieve were: Gaining Attention, Stimulating Recall, Providing Guidance, Elicit Practice, and Enhance Retention. This format simply prevents the necessary back and forth of other formats that improve understanding and retention. I believe this is why so many supplementary points of contact are provided on the front of the pamphlet, they have found that follow-ups are necessary for many of the patrons.

Justina Mollach LI837XA Teaching Instructor Rocci Instructional Critique My third and final Instructional Critique focuses on a live teaching session. The session covered how to access and utilize previously arranged and selected material covering the topic of World War II. This instructional session occurred in a high school library setting. The library is located in Kansas and serves a student population of approximately 1500 students. Presentation The instructional session was constructed to address two main topics. Giving background on the subject of research, World War II, and how to access and utilize the prearranged material. The session relied heavily on a collection of multimedia links from newspapers, photo galleries, specialized wikis, and videos. These links were hosted on the school library website in a section regularly reserved for special interests or needs of the school's educators. The students who were going to begin their research efforts with these links were brought into the library and set up at a computer bank with access to the library website. The instructor was also able to use a projector connected to a laptop. The instructor utilized this to guide the students through the library webpage and to the section that housed the links.

The session very quickly ran into two technical issues. The first issue was the difficulty the presenter had in establishing a connection between the laptop and the projector. Reestablishing the connection to the projector with the assistance of a library staff member took another 5-6 minutes while the students were left to sit at their computers. The second issue was that a few of the links were not correctly coded and thus did not actually link to the websites. This technical issue signified a double-fold problem in that the list had been put up with plenty of time to test the links and change them ahead of time. The second problem that arose from incorrect linkage was that the students quickly lost interest in the content that those links may have hosted. The students were more willing to find a new link or source of information than finding the websites the "long" way. While the instructor was able to continue after the difficulties at first, it appeared that he had "lost" the audience at this point as many students were not paying attention or skipped ahead to already work on the project at hand. The language, design, and approach to the lesson were appropriate for the setting and age group. With regards to this I don't think it was much of an issue with instructional design but more so a sense of rigidity in presentation. Instructor It is hard to criticize from a point of neutrality, but I believe there were a few ways the instructor could have successfully "rescued" this portion of the session. With a bit of advanced planning and checking the link issue could have been easily resolved before

the session even began. There were also other options with respect to the projector connectivity issue. There was another port and connection available to connect to the projector in the same area that would have taken less than a minute to set up. It would also have been advantageous to set up and test the technology in advance of the class arriving. The advice that I often found most valuable from my own professors with respect to presentations is to not let the audience know when you have encountered an error or possibly missed something. They did not receive a strict outline of what you are going to be doing for each second of the presentation so it would be unlikely for them to notice an error if you do not highlight it by fumbling or even stating that you have messed up. This instruction scenario very clearly illustrated the fragility of the connection an instructor holds with their audience, at any second you could lose them. Conversely, instructors also possesses the ability to win the audience back swiftly. Reflection This session highlighted the positive and negative aspects that are associated with the blended learning environment. The session was intended as a supplement to the topics that the class had already tackled in their usual classroom meetings. While the students did end up using technology and an online supplement to complete their projects the session also highlighted that technology is not always predictable and that complete reliance on it is unwise. Instructors must also rely on their own strong skills as a presenter.

Regardless of the technical difficulties that the presenter faced, he did achieve many of Gagne's 9 steps of instruction. The 8th step of "assessing performance test" would have been a joint effort with the full time teacher as they would be the individuals grading the final projects. The only event that I really felt was missing was the 9th step of "enhanced retention" as the instruction session at that point was very tightly scheduled. Ultimately, this instruction session suffered a few setbacks but still managed to achieve many of the important goals of that were set from the beginning, both with respect to the instructor's wishes and Gagne's steps. I think with more practice and a bit more advanced oversight for projects of that size I think the session could be quite successful in the future. Additionally, I believe the instructor would benefit greatly from an outside perspective and gentle constructive criticism.