After teaching more than 400 sophomore business students this past fall, Chad Boeninger, business librarian and head of User Services at Alden Library, blogged to the business clusters that he taught: “Well looky there, you learned something! You’re 49 percent smarter than you were five minutes ago.”
For Boeninger, who has more than 15 years of experience as the subject librarian for the College of Business and is well known for his business, teaching research sessions to undergraduates is a given. But interpreting data—well that is the fun part to his job.
“My favorite part about being a business librarian is that there is not [any] one place to go to for information to teach researchers [how] to piece together data and information reports from a multitude of resources. It is not: ‘I need three articles on this one topic and then [direct] them to this one database,’ ” said Boeninger.
Business research with its array of industries, reports and statistics is so much more complicated than that.
“There is a lot of interpretation of data, and that is one of the things I like about it, because it allows me to facilitate that through either my teaching, consultations…my business blogs or the videos I create. [All of which] allows me to be a guide to helping them [students] understand information,” remarked Boeninger.
Recently, an “aha” moment surfaced for him after he started tinkering with a new online research platform called Tophat for teaching large classes, like the 100-150 students in each of the business clusters sessions that he teaches.
“…It got me thinking about totally new ways of teaching, other than things that I did in the past. I am a pretty dynamic teacher, but even then, no matter how hard I tried I wasn’t holding their [students] attention—it was just a disconnect,” Boeninger explained.
This online platform, which uses students’ devices to get real-time feedback, resulted in his students learning more beneficial information for their cluster projects. Not only that, said Boeninger, but the type of questions that followed each session “were more advanced and demonstrated a higher level of understanding.”
“[By] using Tophat, I was able to assess that my students did in fact learn something through my teaching,” wrote Boeininger in his blog post titled, “I made my students 49% smarter and I can prove it.”
On March 27, Boeninger will be teaching a workshop titled, “Wake Up and Get to Work,” focusing on Tophat, with its online polling and quizzing technology, to better engage students in large classroom settings. The event is free and open to the public. The workshop is part of the OHIO Libraries: Impact through Action series.