Note to self:- Gagne’s 9 Events of instruction

Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction made a lot of sense when I encountered them last year on my Teaching Artist short course, so I am quoting them here to remind myself of them:-

Gagne’s 9 Events of Instruction (click for original link on University of Florida website)

  1. Gain attention
  2. Inform learners of objectives
  3. Stimulate recall of prior learning
  4. Present the content
  5. Provide “learning guidance”
  6. Elicit performance (practice)
  7. Provide feedback
  8. Assess performance
  9. Enhance retention and transfer to the job

As I mentioned earlier this weekend, the other theoretical background I particularly liked was that of constructive alignment, so – I shall be re-reading this to refresh my memory:- John Biggs’ ‘Aligning Teaching for Constructing Learning’.  For my proposed lesson plans,  ILOs (Intended Learning Outcomes), the place of Assessment, and choosing TLAs (Teaching and Learning Activities), will all be central to the process.

The link already in my Resources is this:- Biggs, John,  ‘Aligning teaching for constructing learning‘ (the summary from a document dated 21.03.2003, reproduced by The Higher Education Academy in their Resources pages, via EvidenceNet.). I also looked at Warren Houghton’s ‘Constructive Alignment – and why it is important to the learning process’ (Chapter 6, p.27, in a Higher Education Academy subject guide to teaching and learning theory for engineering lecturers).  Both links have changed since we were given them last year, so I’ve updated them here and in my resource list.  You can take a scholar out of the library, but you can’t take the librarian out of the scholar …

There are four essential requirements for my forthcoming week, as far as the PGCert is concerned: see the Scottish music course handbook; mug up some theory; decide what is to be shared with the students and what they need to learn from it; and write two lesson plans.  Do-able?  I’ll soon find out!

Time Management

So, here we have a conundrum.  Do I blog about my daytime activities, or my evening ones?

By day?  I’ve just spent two days with my research head in the eighteenth century, but with one eye looking at digital possibilities for future developments.  I’d like to crunch a lot of data (“big data”) from nine or so different libraries, so that I can essentially stir it up and see what comes out of it.  At the moment I’m just looking at catalogues and websites to see how much of the data is available online in the first place.

By night, I’m a PGCert student, and I have two Scottish music classes to prepare for.  I’ve just been looking at last year’s e-portfolio (you can see it under the tab E-Portfolio 2014), to see which pedagogical strands particularly excited me, so that I can focus on those as I put together a theoretical account and a lesson plan for each class.  That led me to create a new page, E-Portfolio 2015-2016, ready for when I upload the assessment components later on in the course.  (Sorry if you looked and were disappointed to find it empty just now – that’s the reason why!)

So … I see that I warmed to constructive alignment as a pedagogy.  I had the chance to acquire some new textbooks published by Sage, a few months ago, so I got a shiny new book for just this purpose:- Constructivist Learning Design: Key Questions for Teaching to Standards, by George W. Gagnon, Jr., and Michelle Collay (2006).

I also got a new book for the Library, not so long ago:- How we Learn: the Surprising Truth about When, Where, and Why it Happens, by Benedict Carey (2014).  More reading for me!  I’ll spend a bit of time reading, then get back to my teaching remit, to give the reading a chance to influence my practice.

My Teaching Remit

  • Year 1. A session exploring historic examples of tradition in performance.
  • Year 2. A session exploring nationalism in traditional music (historical examples/ perspectives).

Concepts underpinning Module

  1. identity
  2. authenticity
  3. intention
  4. tradition/folk

First things first – if I am going to flip the classroom, then I don’t get to stand up in front and lecture for an hour!!  So, how to get a group of students that I have barely met, to engage with the topic and its concepts?  That’s my challenge.

Did I mention Flipping the Classroom?  In the Guardian’s Higher Education Network today, I’ve just spotted this:-

Will Video Kill the Lecturing Star?  It’s about setting assignments to watch short video clips and answer questions – AS WELL AS doing the required reading.  Interesting.



Outreach and Impact

I must admit I need to clear up in my own mind where “outreach” becomes “impact”.  If outreach is done by me, then impact is measured by how much interest my work arouses?

Anyway, in September this year, I talked about the Wighton and Jimmy Shand collections in Dundee Central Library. In October, I talked about both my recently-finished involvement in the Bass Culture project, and my own new project, ‘Claimed from Stationers’ Hall’, at one of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland Exchange Talks.  I also talked about the First Edinburgh Musical Festival on the occasion of its Bicentenary, and that took place in Edinburgh Public Library.

This month – today, in fact – I talked about the website arising from the Bass Culture project – – which has now been launched in beta version pending the proper launch in February next year.  ‘Fiddle Books by the Dozen’ was the name of today’s talk at the Scots Fiddle Festival.  The audience was of modest size, but certainly showed interest.  If there are enough visits to, then we’ll know there has been impact.  Please take a look! There are over 220 fiddle books listed, and 22 of them have been indexed and fully digitised – well worth a look.  I won’t post my talk here – I’ve agreed to write a piece for Box and Fiddle – but I can share the slides.  Please Click Here.

Heading East

This is turning out to be quite a week! Because I can’t go to St Andrews next week, I’m going twice this week.  Tomorrow and Wednesday will see me leave the house at 6.30 am – an ungodly hour for me! – and then on Saturday,  I head across to Edinburgh again (as a destination rather than a train-change), to be a guest speaker at the Scots Fiddle Festival.

I’ve got my Saturday talk pretty much sorted out, though I do like to spend a bit of time polishing a talk in the week before I actually give it.  I find it a little bit unnerving to be spending two solid research days on the new project, but devoting my evenings to reflection upon the old one.

And I also had an interesting meeting today, looking ahead at potential grant applications.  So, that’s past, present AND future research plans all whirling about in my head.  Small wonder I need to write things down!


Student AGAIN? Becoming a Pedagogue …

Technically, tomorrow I become a student again as I join the rest of my cohort on the PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in the Performing Arts.  It’s a bit disconcerting to reflect that, had I had the courage to aim for a career in academia at the age of 24, I wouldn’t have become a librarian, might not have ended up in South Tyneside, and wouldn’t be here in Glasgow now.  Some of us take longer than others to realise where we ought to be, career-wise.

Still, tomorrow being Tuesday, it’s also the first of my two research days each week. I shall haul my notes and my learned tomes to work, and think scholarly thoughts until home-time.  I must confess I have a most unhealthy enthusiasm for Kassler’s Music Entries at Stationers’ Hall book, probably because bibliographies satisfy the inner librarian and inner musicologist in equal measure!  And then there’s the pleasure of recognising names and publishers from other research I’ve already done.  My invisible friends are the ghosts of musicians, publishers and booksellers from the Georgian and Regency eras – I love them all!

East-West, Public-Academic: Scottish Music Librarians Collaborate

Last FridayDSC_0025 (800x532) saw me giving a bicentennial talk about the First Edinburgh Musical Festival, at Edinburgh Central Library.  This was a collaboration between myself, Bronwen and Anne, the librarians responsible for music services there.  They handled the ticketing and the venue, and also mounted a display of relevant publications.  I did my research in Glasgow and travelled through to Edinburgh for the day, to give my talk.  Edinburgh historian Eleanor Harris kindly shared her transcriptions of Caledonian Mercury columns with me, and I drew upon these as well as the festival report written by a youthful George Farquhar Graham.

Account of the First Edinburgh Musical Festival (via NLS Digital Gallery)

Almut, our counterpart in the National Library of Scotland, put on a complementary exhibition on her side of George IV Bridge! Remarkably, the exhibitions had picked out different material for display, so the audience was encouraged to take a look at both.

My talk included a couple of Handel soundtracks, and two excerpts of long-forgotten pieces that I had unearthed to play on the Clavinova.  (That was the most nerve-wracking bit.  I don’t claim to be a recitalist!)

As I mentioned before, by sheer good luck, I was able to go on a guided tour of Parliament House (the old one), the morning of my talk.  It made all the difference to have stood in the hall and imagined it ready for the very first concert, complete with organ imported from Covent Garden for the week.

31 people attended my talk, and the feedback was very positive; astonishingly, they even liked my playing!  In my 27 years in Scotland, I had never collaborated with Edinburgh Central Library before, but it was a triumphant success.  I do hope we get to repeat the experiment again some time!Edinburgh City Library Exhibition