Our class’s collaborative map, smurfs and all

What is your name? Where are you in the field currently? What has been your teaching experience thus far?

My name is Eva Sclippa and I’m the First Year Engagement Librarian at UNC Wilmington. In my previous role as Art Librarian and Coordinator of Instruction at Alfred University (AU), I constructed the art history information literacy program, teaching a series of three foundational classes to new BFA students, as well as custom one shots for individual instructors. Here at UNCW, I primarily teach the standard one shot for first year students.

What is the name of the institution and position that you were in when you wrote and gave this lesson plan? What is the context of the lesson plan you wrote – who was the audience, were there any specific learning objectives that you had to work with, or were you able to write your own, etc?

This was a little unusual for me in my current position, as I’m not the art liaison here, but since I missed teaching art history sessions and had a specific lesson plan idea, our art liaison librarian kindly let me do this special session with a Roman Art class this spring semester. Going in, I was basing it off of a class I’d taught with a professor back at AU, in which the final student product was a proposal for an artistic work from the point of view of an artist from the time period and culture.

As these students weren’t BFA students, however, the professor for this Roman Art class and I worked out a way my session could support a modified version of an assignment he was already working on. For this assignment, students were required to read the Res Gestae of Augustus. They then had to identify three themes in the Res Gestae that Augustus was focusing on to establish his image (or use as propaganda). Finally, students needed to choose one object (or building, or other work of art or architecture) that they felt best represented each theme.

My session was slotted in early on in their project, when they had read the Res Gestae but hadn’t begun the rest of their research. As an intermediate step before submitting their first paper drafts, they had to create a fleshed out concept map using the ones they began working on in class, including their three themes, pieces of evidence from the Res Gestae for each theme, and potential objects for each theme.

Due to the pandemic, this class was fully online and asynchronous, so the professor wasn’t able to require anyone to attend. He did, however, schedule a synchronous meeting, and encouraged all his students to attend–the majority of students (approximately 15) did wind up coming.

Were there any resources you used in the creation of the lesson plan? What were they?

My primary resources were a similar lesson plan I used for a the previously-mentioned assignment back at Alfred University, as well as the Res Gestae itself. I made sure to go through and identify some sample themes to myself, so that I could test out the brainstorming and image searching process with them. I also used Lucidchart as my collaborative concept mapping tool. I’ve used Mindmeister before, but I needed the students to be able to download copies of their charts to submit to their professor, and that function is no longer included in Mindmeister’s free version. Lucidchart does require all participants to create an account, but I had been able to drop in briefly to their previous class session and demonstrate account creation live.

How was the plan received? Would you make any changes if you had to repeat it in the future?

It was very positively received! The professor sent me a thank you note sharing that several students had indicated to him that it was helpful. The class session was engaged despite the challenges of the virtual format, and I was able to see that students were grasping the content during their mini presentations on the image groups they had started in Artstor. Though I did not have access to all the concept maps the students submitted afterwards, those that I was asked to give feedback on were strong.

If I had to change one thing for a future session, it would likely be session length. The professor gave me the option to set the time for the session, so I went with 75 minutes, not wanting to fatigue students too much. We were able to cover all the core items I wanted to, but I would’ve loved to have more time for students to work on building their own concept maps and image collections during the session. I might consider lengthening it to an hour and a half.

My full lesson plan and PowerPoint are linked below. Please feel free to contact me at esclippa@gmail.com.

Eva Sclippa
First Year Engagement Librarian
UNC Wilmington