Each semester, I teach a lot of library instruction sessions. Sometimes I teach one-shot sessions, sometimes I do multiple sessions (2-5) in the same class.
In both cases, I create a lot of notes and “paperwork”. For a typical one-shot session I normally end up with:
- Notes from my initial meeting with the professor about the goals for the library session (normally in MS Word)
- An outline for the lecture part of the class (normally in MS Word)
- A pre-class assignment for the students (sometimes on paper, often via our LMS)
- In-class worksheets for the session (normally on paper)
- An in-class slide presentation (only about 10% of the time, usually in GoogleDocs for easy sharing)
- A list of suggested resources for students to follow up on later (almost always via our LMS)
- Online survey results from any assessment we do of the session (Google Docs, SurveyGizmo,
I have normally used Microsoft Word to produce the paper documents, and the HTML editor in or LMS for the electronic material. I use the outlining tools in Microsoft Word since that is how I typically think about my notes and lectures.
But I’m not entirely happy with this arrangement. For each class, the documents are separate. I can file the Word documents together in a folder, and I try to keep to a standard naming convention, but this doesn’t include my online elements, and I would love to have the individual files linked together somehow.
So when I can’t focus on other work (like right now) I go in search of alternative tools that may help me out.
I’ve read some good things about Microsoft OneNote, but I’m on a Mac, and Parallels is running really slowly for me right now. I’m looking at OmniOutliner, and I may download the 14 day trial. I’ve tried using Google Docs (which I love for lots of other things), but the nested outlining is pretty poor, so it won’t meet one of my primary needs: the lecture outline. I wonder about personal project management software, but I’m not sure that’s really what I need.
I have a feeling I will never have the perfect solution, but when I need to procrastinate, I will keep looking!
How do other librarians organize their teaching information? How do instructors organize a semesters worth of teaching material?