gratitude #9/10

for synchronicity… seemingly random events that collide in a way that allow us to make something great of them…

A few weeks ago three things happened within three days of each other.

  • Many students in my area of the university received their first marks and thus become aware of the value of academic honesty and referencing. Some of these students were not feeling too positive about study, or their abilities. I decided to provide an online referencing class though I was worried that I didn’t know how to do this effectively
  • I attended a seminar on reflective practices in nursing (1) with a library friend. The seminar drew on a nursing-specific tradition of transpersonal human care and suggested that it was possible to create a rich online learning environment that could provide opportunities for students to learn and the experience of being cared for.
  • In a meeting I heard of an academic who was successfully using a digital conferencing program to have students work in groups during her online classes. I contacted her, and she kindly explained how to do this.

The class was of course a beautiful failure. It was a failure in that I made a mistake in the discussion guide and we totally underestimated that time the groups would take to get working (due to familiarising themselves with the novel online environment). It was beautiful in that all the students happily stayed online for the full 90 minutes (yes, it’s true). They said that they enjoyed interacting with other students in a similar situation and felt more confident with referencing and using the resources. We have also received positive feedback from academic staff.

But, the great thing that was created was not really the class, it is the inspiration to offer a program of classes throughout Semester that uses the same principles to connect with our students online in a meaningful way. And to share this with other librarians at a conference next year. Need for contribution – met 🙂

The seminar

Horton-Deutsch, Sara. (14 September, 2017).  Reflective practice in an academic setting. Seminar presented at USQ Ipswich Campus.


3 thoughts on “gratitude #9/10

  1. Thank you, Rowena,
    for your question and your own concept of what a transpersonal academic librarian could and might be.
    Once upon a time, our father asked me to put up a catalogue of his book collection. So I wrote slips of paper and marked every book with a K for Katalog.
    Later, as a student assistent, I got the job to put up and register the left library of a German-American professor. Although the digital age already had begun, I worked with slips again on the type writer. I can hardly express what I gained in the history of philosophy, politics and the order of things. While arranging the books and naming the shelves, I dived into Platonic dialogues or the Encyclopedia of Diderot. And I was free and did not have to care about international classification or standard book numbers.
    So, all in all, I admire the task and work of librarians in academic, communal and other libraries.
    Your concept with all the aspects sounds experienced and thought well. Concerning the learning and teaching, I always pledge for “We are learning together”. In a way, everyone teaches the other.
    Best wishes,
    yours, Bernd

    1. Bernd, thank you for your beautiful comment. I wonder if Dewey didn’t have a similar growth/learning experience when he composed his classifications? I wonder how the experience impacted his thinking? It also reminds me of some Vygotskian work on concept development – that you were creating your concept of knowledge/s from ‘complexes’ (English translated terms). And perhaps the texts themselves were your community of learned others inducting you into this world.
      I love your ‘learning together’ philosophy too, I imagine it gives respect to students and to the process of learning – and some (exciting) space for everyone to learn something new rather than merely covering set content… Thanks Bernd.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.