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Spring Training reports – part III

Today we present the third installment of reports from the 2019 LILAC Spring Training.

MoneyBoss Workshops – Financial Literacy for Community College Students Through Interdisciplinary Collaboration
Presented by M. Anne O’Reilly (LaGuardia Community College)

Blog post by Susan Wengler (Queensborough Community College)

Building credit. Managing student debt. Preventing identity theft. These are just a few of the many financial challenges facing college students today. During this detailed and engaging training session, Prof. O’Reilly described how LaGuardia’s Library Media Resources Center helps its students meet and master these challenges through MoneyBoss, a popular workshop series designed to strengthen financial competencies and knowledge.

LaGuardia typically offers six MoneyBoss workshops per calendar year; their 2018-2019 topics included:

• Starting a Home-Based Business
• Getting Control of Your Credit
• Tax Reform – New Tax Law Changes
• What You Need to Know to Start Your Own Business: First Steps
• What I Wish I Knew About Student Loans
• Identity Theft

Prof. O’Reilly shared specific tips and tricks for librarians and libraries interested in launching financial literacy programming:

Partner: At LaGuardia, MoneyBoss is co-presented by the Library Workshop Committee, the Business and Technology Department, and the Social Science Department. Cross-campus collaborations have resulted in increased institutional support and visibility.

Partner Some More: These one-hour workshops are taught by library faculty as well as classroom faculty and community partners. Prof. O’Reilly sends a call for proposals out to all LaGuardia faculty, thereby expanding both topic ideas and perspective; she has also brought in presenters from the Small Business Development Center and the Municipal Credit Union.

Brand: She recommends branding your workshop series with a catchy name, e.g., MoneyBoss; she also suggests creating a program logo and flier template to be used in all promotional activities.

Find Built-in Audiences: At LaGuardia, all Accelerated Study in Associate Programs (ASAP) students are required to attend two campus events each semester; therefore she works closely with her ASAP office to ensure those students are aware of the library’s offerings. When feasible, MoneyBoss workshops are scheduled during the participating faculty’s class time; participating faculty can require their students to attend workshops as a classroom activity.

Streamline Registration: LaGuardia students pre-register for MoneyBoss workshops through the workshops’ research guide: https://guides.laguardia.edu/moneyboss

Incentivize: LaGuardia provides snacks to MoneyBoss attendees; a financial literacy-related book is also raffled off at the end of each workshop session.

Assess: After the workshop presentation and before the book raffle, O’Reilly asks attendees to complete a satisfaction survey, which is distributed in paper format. Since 2017, 565 students have attended MoneyBoss sessions; of those students completing a survey, 85% rated the sessions as very good or excellent.

For more information on financial literacy programming, please contact Prof. O’Reilly or visit LaGuardia’s MoneyBoss research guide.

Mindful Movement and Breath Work for Everybody & Every Body
Presented by Anne Leonard (City Tech)
Blog post by Meagan Lacey (Guttman Community College)

For a variety of reasons—repetition of lessons, disinterested students—teaching librarians often report burn-out. Burn-out, resulting from chronic workplace stress, creates feelings of exhaustion that can negatively affect job satisfaction and performance. For this reason, Anne Leonard, Associate Professor at City Tech and certified yoga-instructor, led a class full of teaching librarians (many of whom were burned-out) through a 40-minute sequence of gentle stretching and breathing in order to help them calm and refocus their attention and energy on the present.

All exercises were performed while seated in a chair or by using a chair for stability so that librarians could practice these movements in their office and make time for mindfulness in the midst of a workday. During the discussion that followed, one participant suggested using some of these techniques with students as well, perhaps as a way of opening a one-shot session. For more about burn-out, mindfulness, and embodied practice, see Prof. Leonard’s Padlet of resources.

Active Learning in the Archives: Teaching Undergraduates about Digital Archives using Innovative Techniques

Presented by Jessica Wagner Webster (Baruch College)
Blog post by Alexandra Hamlett (Guttman Community College)

Jessica Wagner-Webster described her undergraduate course “Digital Traces: Memory in an Online World” and how she used active learning techniques to help students grasp archival concepts. She spoke about her syllabus and course content and the initial challenges of introducing students to the notion of an archive, as students are especially unfamiliar with the concept of a digital archive and often had not considered the lasting impact that a digital archive has on the historical record.

In her course, she used active learning techniques so that students could more directly interact with the course materials. For example, one activity had students probe questions about archiving a CD-ROM. Students analyzed the content, decided what content they would archive, and considered how to archive the materials in an ever-changing technological environment, mirroring real-world problems that digital archivists face. In another activity, students participated in a multi-week debate on the topic of police body-cams. Students were productively engaged in the debate, while simultaneously exploring the complications that technology and privacy present in the process of archiving digital materials.

Finally, Prof. Wagner-Webster employed a jigsaw reading strategy so that students would be engaged in peer-to-peer learning and teaching. Unfortunately, she found it was still a challenge to get students to complete their assigned readings, and so this active learning strategy did not go as planned. Part of the reflective process of teaching! By the end of the semester, it was clear that active learning had helped students better understand key concepts of digital archiving.

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