Steven T Vest
"Sabbatical Research." Michigan, California Nevada. January-July 2006.
The purpose of my sabbatical was to study innovations in applying active and collaborative learning techniques to library use instruction. Active learning techniques involve presenting students with problem based tasks designed to lead students to work together to create and discover their own information rather than to learn through passive listening. In the course of my sabbatical I traveled to colleges in California and Nevada in order to observe and study innovative active instruction techniques created and implemented by librarians. In the course of my research I discovered that teaching spaces are of significant importance in facilitating active learning. It is important to have furniture and technology that allows students to move and gather freely in the classroom in order to work together effectively. In addition I discovered that, while there is little debate that active instruction is a highly effective technique, the extra time involved in creating each session necessitates a considerable dedication by librarians and teaching faculty to create and maintain an ongoing program. I fully expect to take the lessons I’ve learned from my travel and research to reinvigorate and expand the Alma College Library instruction program to make the best use of our newly renovated facilities.