MLIS Start

Well, Aug. 22 was the official start of my MLIS program at San Jose State University with my first core class LIB200 – Info & Society with Dr. Critchfield.  So far a lot of reading as I expected.  What I did not expect was that I would have to keep a reading notes.  I understand the reasons, enforcing the absorption of the material, but it does take longer now to finish a section when I have to right down the summary too.

I also finished LIB203, the credit/no credit class on learning the aspects of the digital classroom.  I am happy to put that one behind me so that I can concentrate on reading notes.

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Online Skills and Teamwork

Coming back to classes after taking the summer off, the same old feelings of anxiety are starting to well up.  After listening to Enid Irwin’s lecture on teamwork and hearing about the team project(s) planned for LIB202, I am feeling a little less confident.  But I have to remember that I have done this before and succeeded.

I am comfortable with technology; it’s my job.   I am able to organize my time.  I use Google Calendar to keep track of my personal appointments.  I like it that Google calendar syncs with my phone so I am always in the know.  I keep a class folder on the desktop of my laptop and I do find that it is a reminder.  I also make sure that I backup that folder all the time to an encrypted flash drive.  On the San Diego assessment quiz I scored a 45 = ready for online learning.

The first skill that I find necessary for a good online class is to organize my time.  I begin by reading the entire course objectives paying particular attention to the projects and due dates.  Then, I concentrate on one week at a time.  On the first day of the week, I set my goals as to what I need to accomplish per day.  Usually the first day or two I set aside for reading.  The second to fourth for the weekly discussion questions; fourth to seventh for the weekly assignments and responses to discussion questions.   I plan on working at night after my son goes to bed and stay with it until my nightly goals are met.  I also do not plan on try to accomplish much of any additional activities at this time so, no planned vacations. However, being an online class does not preclude the ability to attend a library conference or two.  I take advantage of whatever time or technology can help.  If need be, I study during lunch and I especially like using the Endnote program to organize my references and create APA style citations.

When listening to Dr. Haycock’s lecture, I instantly connected with the discussion of the differences between a committee and a team.  Dr. Haycock’s assessment is that a committee is usually picked by an outsider with a leader in mind, the committee continues to function despite the members’ participation or attendance, the committee does not have authority behind its recommendations and is mainly advisory.  I have been on many committees and this is exactly what happens. We meet, some members show up, topics are discussed but in the end, the members go back to doing whatever they were doing previously.  I like the definition that a team is goal oriented and participation is a must so that the objectives are met.  I usually experience this when working on a known project.

Lastly, I took note of the keys to a successful team.   Dr. Haycock spoke that setting up the ground rules in the beginning is a critical step.  Both Dr. Haycock and Erid Irwin discussed that team dynamics, identifying each other’s strengths and weakness and establishing the common performance expectations are important factors for a good team.  Throughout the lectures I was thinking how best to apply these ideas to future SLIS teams and work teams.  I think that dedicating the first meeting to working out the ground rules and establishing the common expectations for the team all without discussing the actual project details would be a benefit to establishing a team that can function well together and accomplish its goal.