Practice Exchange

Posted on behalf of Aneta Kwak:

Overview of the event

The Library Teaching and Learning Committee (LTLC) held a Practice Exchange on Tuesday, November 29th, 2018. Aneta Kwak (Accessibility and Public Services Librarian, D.G. Ivey Library) introduced the Peer-to-Peer Learning Program, developed by the LTLC Community of Practice Working Group (LTLC CoP WG) in 2017-2018. Kelly Schutlz (Data Visualization Librarian, Map and Data Library) and Ben Walsh (User Services Librarian, Robarts Library) joined Aneta in a panel discussion to share their insights and experiences participating in the pilot of the program in the winter of 2018.

Presentation

The Peer-to-Peer Learning Program was developed in response the 2017-2018 LTLC goal to “use our Community of Practice (CoP) to share best practices for librarians with an interest/role in teaching” (LTLC 2017 Goal Setting & Discussion). A suggested first step for the LTLC CoP WG to meet this goal was to survey peer observation on the campuses and develop a sustainable method for peer observation. As one of the members of the LTLC CoP WG working on this task, Aneta described the development of the program, which included a survey of existing practices, developing a process with supporting documents, and documenting suggested steps to complete the process.

During the development of the program, it became apparent that there are two models that could be used to support peer-to-peer learning for teaching, Peer Observation and Teaching Squares.

In the Peer Observation model, participants observe an instruction session taught by library staff and provide formative feedback to the instructor.

In the Teaching Square model, participants observe an instruction session taught library staff and reflect on their own teaching practice based on what they have observed. This model does not require providing feedback to library staff that is teaching, instead, observers are encouraged to reflect on their own practices.

Aneta described the recommended process and accompanying documents for both models, which are also available on the Peer-to-Peer Learning for Teaching confluence page.

Panel Session

Kelly and Ben joined Aneta in a panel session to share their experiences and insights participating in the pilot of the program in the winter of 2018, at which time the process and supporting documents were tested. The group shared their concerns leading up to participating in either model, the greatest challenges, greatest learning experience, which model was preferred, and how the observation impacted their relationship with colleagues.

Discussion

Following the panel session, there was discussion around the logistics of how library staff would be partnered and whether the participants could create a hybrid model. It was explained that the LTLC CoP WG would be working on partnering participants in a manner that included staff from various departments and different years of experience. Aneta also explained that the documents and processes available on the Peer-to-Peer Learning for Teaching confluence page are suggestions and can be adapted to the needs of the participants.

If you would like to participate in the Peer-to-Peer Learning for Teaching Program, please contact Aneta Kwak (aneta.kwak@utoronto.ca ) or any member of the LTLC CoP WG.

Practice Exchanges happen 2-3 times a year, and the Community of Practice Working Group is always looking for new topics to discuss. Have an idea? Feel free to contact a member of the group.

LTLC Community of Practice Working Group 2018-2019

Aneta Kwak, Eveline Houtman, Alexia Loumankis

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