This summer, instead of teaching an academic class, I’m facilitating a professional development workshop on APA’s various formatting requirements. The participants are mostly colleagues with a smattering of graduate students.
After finishing out week one (and a few years of working with undergraduate and graduate students on this), I think one of the most challenging things about teaching a formatting method is that, well, it doesn’t lend itself to being taught. It’s one of those “learning by doing”- type skills that you just need to pick up after going back to the book and different websites over and over again. At least, that’s how I learned it – I freelanced as a format checker when I was in graduate school and had to master the format since I was charging money. But regardless, we have to teach it — so the dilemma is, how to make it engaging. I haven’t figured that out yet.
Another challenge is that it’s hard getting people to notice the level of detail, down to spacing and punctuation that the APA format requires. I’m going to try something new out though… trying to better visualize the format vis-a-vis APA visualizations. Voila. Kicking off the series: Referencing books.