International Council on Archives

        Section for Archival Education and Training

First European Conference for Archival Educators and Trainers

Margaret Crockett and Janet Foster, The Archive-Skills Consultancy
Teaching Tools Workshop


It is generally agreed by educationalists that straight lecturing is not the best way to transfer knowledge and skills to students. There are many teaching tools which archival educators and trainers can make use of - sometimes quite unexpected materials can make good teaching tools.

Some Helpful Definitions

To educate: to give intellectual and moral training to
To teach: to enable or cause by instruction or training
To train: to teach and accustom a person to do something

Teaching tools is the collective term for:

  • Teaching aids - things used in the classroom to aid teaching
  • Teaching resources - things used by the teacher to develop own teaching materials
  • Teaching materials - lecture notes, exercises, lesson plans etc used by the teacher interacting with the learner

Examples of Teaching Tools

  1. Disaster Planning Wheel: A card wheel with windows of information on the various aspects of disaster planning and prevention. It can be used to convey information or as a basis for students to develop more detailed notes on the subject.
  2. Videos (eg “If Disaster Strikes”, Mongolian video): These can be used to stimulate discussion, or in conjunction with a question sheet as a comprehension exercise.
  3. Preservation Cleaning Toolkit: This can be used as a practical teaching aid to demonstrate how to clean dirty records.
  4. Electronic Objects: These can be handed around during an overview of electronic media to help students to recognise different sorts of media.
  5. CD ROMS (eg handbooks, Kotor digitisation project): These can be used for demonstrations in class or for students to take away and reinforce learning later.
  6. Course Handbooks: Students can use these to follow along in lectures and to take away and read in detail later, as well as follow up on the bibliography and webliography. See attached example of table of contents.
  7. Info-bytes: Info-bytes can be used as overheads to give short injections of the key information on the subject. They can be used as the basis for a more detailed presentation. Students can use them as a basis to start their own detailed studies on the subject. See attached example.
  8. OHPs with Questions and Answers: These can be used as a basis for questions to the students to learn what they know about the subject. See attached example.
  9. Diagrams for OHPs and Handouts: Sometimes a simple diagram can convey a message much more clearly than a lecture or a written handout. See attached example.
  10. Role Play: In role play students are given roles to read in a life-like scenario. Once the play has been read through it is used as a basis for discussion
  11. Quick Quizes: Quick quizes can be used for students on their own or in groups. The questions are not intended to be difficult but based on common understandings which the teacher wants to ensure are received and shared by all. Answers can be shouted out and agreed by the teacher or given out on a separate sheet of paper. See attached example.
  12. Action Plans: Action plans are written assignments which are set at the beginning of a course and which the students are expected to present to the whole class at the end of the course. They are intended to direct the learning to a useful practical outcome for students to implement in their own working environment. See attached example.
  13. Overnight Assignments: Overnight or interim assignments are tasks which are set for students to work on before the next class. They are intended to precede or reinforce learning but also to give the students a chance to organise their own learning. See attached example.
  14. Facilitated Discussion: Any topic is suitable for a facilitated discussion which can be based on students’ reading, experience or views.

You will notice that there are different sorts of teaching tools: those used by the trainer and those which involve the student working alone or in groups.

Workshop Details

The aim of this workshop is to look at a variety of teaching tools and to work in pairs to either:

  1. Select one and elaborate a plan for using it in your home environment - NB this should not be anything you have done before
  2. Use the examples as inspiration to develop your own new teaching tool

You will be given 30 minutes to develop your ideas and no more than 5 minutes to feed back to the group.


Attachments for the teaching tools workshop


e-mail to Dr. Karsten Uhde, Date: 14.01.2005