SAA 2016 Proposed Discussion Topics

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Below are some of the discussion topic ideas people submitted when they registered, but newly proposed topics can be put forth that morning as well.

Discussion Topic Ideas — Proposed by attendees at registration

How do we develop models of classroom instruction with special collections materials that fosters critical thinking. What is critical thinking, when defined in this domain? How do we assess if critical thinking is taking place? How do we leverage the “Oh, cool!” moment that many students have working with archival material to approach our learning objectives? How do we define our learning objectives in this domain?

I’d like to know how others address the challenge of connecting with undergraduate students in the classic one-shot 50 minute BI session. What works best? What doesn’t work?

I’d be happy to talk about semester-long instruction using archival materials


I’m just beginning to offer instruction sessions in our archives and want to know anything and everything I can to help me.

Transcription exercises; student publication; collaborative web design.

I’m interested in how to successfully integrate teaching by special collections librarians and archivists with teaching by liaison or subject librarians into an instruction program (e.g. how to avoid instructors going after the same faculty). I’m also interested in how best to give inexperienced teachers practice in the classroom.

Building effective lesson plans and learning objectives into instruction, building relationships with faculty, and strategies for assessment.

Digital access and how it can influence pedagogy.

I would be interested to understand how folks works with outside communities or organizations when teaching?

I’m really interested in ways to engage the faculty when many of them are practitioners and not scholars.

Collaborating with university faculty in planning and execution of instruction sessions; creating sessions that go beyond archives orientations and “show and tell”

Engaging undergrads (if they come for introduction sessions that result in an assignment or have an assignment w/out an intro session but really don’t want to be there–in other words, overcoming the “I have to do this so let’s just get it done” mentality); Engaging with faculty: how do you convince faculty to work with you/bring in their classes?

I’m just stuck in getting faculty to really incorporate an assignment that uses Special Collections that requires the faculty member to actually make preparations ahead of time with thought and deliberation. It’s always just throw them in and then our whole staff struggles to help with topics.

Genealogy for kids.

Using digital collections to increase primary research for undergraduate students.

Ways to get faculty interested in using primary sources in their assignments or class sessions; how to develop online tutorials (or reuse good ones–how to locate these?) to teach students the basics of archives and rare books–what they need to know before they come to a session in the library.

Access to digitized images and documents. Streamlining permissions and use of public domain documents.

Building relationships with faculty that result in co-teaching beyond the show-and-tell.

We’d like to share what we’re doing as well seek collaboration.

I’m open to most topics. Although I’ve read a little about document analysis, I am interested in more on this subject.

I am especially interested in designing and assessing learning outcomes related to teaching with primary sources and special collections.

We have started using a teaching collection, but I feel it isn’t as engaging as our former methods. Do others have this experience? Ideas on how to make it work?

Users express a lot of interest in digital humanities projects, and we’re just dipping our toes in the water there.

Don’t have specific subjects, overall just trying to learn more about teaching with primary sources & engaging students with collection materials.

Easy ways to share primary documents with undergraduate students–not too complicated!

American History.

Primary source literacy or critical pedagogy.

I am interested in developing a set of share lesson plan/activities that are student-centered, active, flexible, conversational, and creative.

Using moving images and audio.

I’m curious about metrics and assessment involved in teaching with primary sources for Common Core and other state standards in K-12 education along with instructional design platforms.

I’m mostly interested in developing online software for integrating our teaching modules into Canvas, at the moment. I’m interested in increasing both hands-on, in-house sessions and pairing them with online access to digital surrogates, in seamless ways, somehow utilizing apps through Canvas. Still thinking all this through, our campus is just switching from Blackboard to Canvas this summer.

We’ve proposed a workshop about developing education resource projects with archive materials.

I’ve worked with art students and artists who use primary sources as a part of their creative practice. I would be happy to share my experience in this area.

Group work incorporating primary sources.

How do people overcome technology challenges such as playing audio from the web.

An important topic for me would be strategies for initiating collaborations.

Just seeing what other archivists are doing and figuring out ways to support each other. Am also interested in what archivists are doing to support the K-5 community and to support subjects other than history and physics.

How to engage multiple topics/subjects/disciplines and age groups.

Involving non-archivists/special collections staff in instructional outreach using primary sources.

Oral history.

Interested in learning more about integrating primary sources and middle/high school students.

How to connect with teachers & make them aware of available resources.

I would like to speak with someone who has done work with Cursive Camps.

I would like to hear from others who have experience planning and implementing long-term projects with students and faculty using primary sources in Special Collections.

What are the best ways to use primary sources? How to reach different age groups with these sources? What would make them interested?

I am specifically interested in the role that archives and archivists can serve in supporting social justice movement and proactively connecting students to the value of archives. Topics I would love to see would be anything having to do with zines or use of nontraditional archival collections, as well as curriculum development.

Making the most of a one-shot session. What should the expectations be for first-year students.

Just happy to learn about everything.

I’m researching African American music and religion. Therefore, I’d like to discuss these topics with other well-informed researchers.

Challenges around adoption & use.

Tips for assisting undergrads in reading semi-modern and modern cursive handwriting.

How to make them come alive.I would like to hear about examples of successful advocacy for shared teaching opportunities. How to work with elementary and high school classes.

Digital music collections (audio and print material).

I would like to talk about embedded instruction and how other universities have worked that into courses.

Successful outreach strategies / promoting primary sources.

I am interested in hearing about the lessons learned by developers of content with digital archived materials. I want to begin thinking very broadly about the meaningful integration of digital images with primary source texts, allowing teachers both flexibility and providing direction. I feel that this is a fine-line.

How do you incorporate audiovisual primary sources into your instruction?

Using performance to work with archival material.

Engaging teachers, presenting at teaching conferences, and using Google Classroom to engage with distance students.

Just the best practice to instruction with primary resources.

Scaling-up from basic to advanced archives-centered learning; managing exploding growth in archives instruction

I am interested to see how “packaged” educational materials are developed for using primary and special materials in the classroom. I love the DPLA’s educational sets, but I am also thinking about locally developed learning objects or classroom projects using primary materials. I am also interested to learn more about how instructors combine digitized and non-digitized materials in the classroom.

Various age groups, working with instructors as well as groups. Trends in digital presentation of teaching archives.

Engaging children and teens using local materials, finding resources similar to DPLA’s teaching sets, and finding creative ways to use primary materials.

Evaluation of student learning; What would a comprehensive program of archival and primary sources literacy look like?

I’ve had some successes teaching artists to use primary sources to inform their creative work. I would also like to learn from my peers about working with users who fall outside our typical users.

Building lessons plans, age/grade appropriate, curriculum.

How to market the archives to teachers/faculty? How can the archives support distance education projects?