Adam Brisk, University of Minnesota – Duluth

I would like to offer the sincerest of thanks to the Arrowhead Library System for their generosity. I received a scholarship of 600 dollars to cover registration, lodging and transportation cost for ACRL Immersion: Teaching with Technology and the ACRL Conference. Over the course of the week of March 20-25, I was able to engage with leaders in the field of instruction and online learning, and was able to attend 10 different sessions on Open Education Resources, First Year Instruction, Digital Learning Commons, Maker Spaces, diversity within the profession, students as researchers and more.

In more detail, I had the opportunity to attend the 2 day Teaching with Technology Immersion course. This cohort was taught by four faculty consisting of librarians who are masters of planning, deployment, assessment and reflection. I learned a lot in the course about the pedagogy and came to learn specific system for reflective practice: USER. The concept is built upon a cycle of analysis, planning, implementation and planning. U is for Understand, where the librarian and faculty identify the issue, users, delivery method and time frame. S stands for Structure, a process of defining goals, outcomes and ways to engage the users. Our third frame is the Engage phases, where usability and accessibility are encountered and implementation/delivery occurs. Finally, R is the reflection phase that engages the student, faculty and librarian in assessing and ultimately improving the instruction they provided.

And this learning process is not done yet! After completing this paper, I’ll immediately start working on my homework for the course. Working as a UMD faculty member, I’m building my first (of many) digital lessons on source identification.

To be honest, I’m overwhelmed by the amount of information I took in at this ACRL Conference. I haven’t attended a national conference in 10 years, and I’ve forgotten how amazing it can be. Everywhere you run into leaders, thinkers, activists, and library heroes + a lot of vendors. I was happy to have the opportunity to build new mentorships and friendships with colleagues in online learning and outreach. These experiences and contacts will be instrumental in developing our services at UMD.