Monday, September 11, 2017


On Friday, I was tasked with presenting to one of my largest audiences ever - 178 students - for one of the longest orientation sessions I have ever given - 90 minutes.  I was nervous to say the very least.
I find orientations challenging.  I want to make a good impression on the students (kind, friendly, helpful and perhaps funny).  I want to provide crucial information, but I do not want to overwhelm them with too much information that will be quickly forgotten, or worse, not relevant.

The majority of our orientations at Saskatchewan Polytechnic happen in a computer lab with a small group of students.  I really appreciate the opportunity to get to know students in a more intimate setting.  I also really like that they have a chance to participate in some hands-on learning activities.

So the challenges that I faced with Friday's orientation:

  • It was Friday, after lunch and the last thing that the students had to do that day
  • It was in a lecture theatre
  • Everything that could go wrong did go wrong with technology (PPT did not have default setting of presenter view checked, projector turned off, couldn't get screen to show Internet browser).  Good reminder to go into the classroom in advance and test everything out!
  • Students laughed hysterically when I told them a story about shushing a patron
  • Some students were overheard saying I was adorable.  To me this was a huge compliment, because I want them to feel comfortable coming to me in the future with reference questions.
  • Students gave the impression of being very engaged
  • I had a student come to my office immediately following the session to ask a question

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