I, too, share some of Suzanne's concern about teaching RDA.  Part of the "problem" is that cataloging is a linear process and I find RDA breaks from this traditional way of thinking and working.  Consequently, the best approach is to attempt to break RDA down into reasonable modules -- both for the instructor and the students.  
The Library of Congress (notably Judy Kuhagen) has created some 9 training modules for RDA that are extremely helpful in this regard.  But to build on those modules, starting out with sessions on FRBR would be a good place to begin (and an essential one).  An examination of RDA's  core elements is also provide a good, linear approach when discussing the attributes of manifestations.
Another wonderful little document is one done by Thomas Brenndorfer from the Guelph Public Library that gave a broad step-by-step RDA "how to" in 10 easy steps.  It was previously distributed on either AutoCat or RDA-L (I forget which) so I don't feel too uncomfortable passing it along here.
This semester, for the first time, I will be exposing students taking the core course to RDA itself.  True, they will have had a bit of experience with AACR2 first so there will be some cataloging foundation before delving into RDA.  I will be extremely interested to see their reactions.  Part of what I want to observe (and I intend to ask them) is whether they find RDA easier to use than AACR2 and whether they feel they could understand RDA without a basic knowledge of AACR2.  (True, some of this will depend on how effectively I've explained RDA.)
As has been said many times over, the real value of RDA will be seen only when the ILS vendors redesign their databases to support the relational concepts on which RDA is built.  Understandably, they have held back until RDA was a reality.  VTLS has, for many years, been working with FRBR and now RDA.  My understanding is that both Ex Libris and III are now coming along.  But it is up to us to drive the market -- both with the vendors and with public services staff.  Especially with the latter, we need to spin our message in terms of how RDA will enhance the public services staff to help their users find what they are looking for.
It's a learning experience for all of us on many different levels.  Let's keep sharing.
Marjorie E. Bloss, Lecturer
Graduate School of Library & Information Science
Dominican University
7900 West Division Street
River Forest, IL  60305
708-524-6468 (voice)
708-524-6657 (fax)
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"A great teacher is a tough guy who cares deeply about something that is hard to understand."  Norman Maclean


From: Discussion List for issues related to cataloging & metadata education & training on behalf of Suzanne Stauffer
Sent: Mon 2/14/2011 5:26 AM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: [eduCAT] [RDA-L] general interest in RDA

My concern is that RDA has become so complex and complicated that it will be impossible to teach as an introductor/overview course for the general librarian. Only those who are committed to cataloging will be willing to devote the incredible amount of time and effort required to understand "RDA as data."

And that is going to widen an already wide gap between public services and technical services, and seriously effect the ability of the public service librarian to understand, use and teach bibliographic catalog.

Suzanne M. Stauffer, Ph.D.
Assistant Professor
School of Library and Information Science
Louisiana State University
275 Coates Hall
Baton Rouge, LA 70803
Fax: (225)578-4581
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Where is the wisdom we have lost in knowledge?
Where is the knowledge we have lost in information?
--T.S. Eliot, "Choruses from The Rock"