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Creating A Distant Roar: Virtual, Hands-On, Information Literacy Workshops for Remote Campus Students

Creating A Distant Roar: Virtual, Hands-On, Information Literacy Workshops for Remote Campus Students

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Published by Dana Longley
This is a handout from a June 2008 presentation I did on phase 1 of our online library instruction workshops project. We were still using Wimba as the online classroom platform at the time, but have since switched to Eluminate Live and have expanded to offer workshops directly to students using their home computers.
This is a handout from a June 2008 presentation I did on phase 1 of our online library instruction workshops project. We were still using Wimba as the online classroom platform at the time, but have since switched to Eluminate Live and have expanded to offer workshops directly to students using their home computers.

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Published by: Dana Longley on May 15, 2009
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Creating A Distant Roar: Virtual, Hands-On, Information Literacy Workshops for Remote Campus Students

Dana Longley and Linda Hamell, SUNY Empire State College Empire State College Background1
    

17,000+ students served per year (65% part-time) 35 locations in NYS (17% out-of-state residence, including overseas) 157 FT faculty and 800+ part-time faculty Ave. age: 36 for undergrads (41 for grads) 43% of credits attempted were in fully online courses

The Library  5 librarians  No physical collection – fully online: 100+ research databases to choose from

The Need
    

87% of today’s students are information illiterate2 Older student population = more students who haven’t used a library in years, if ever. Biggest questions: what resource do I use? Where do I go to find information on X? How do I search? 2006-2007 Historical Studies student work sample assessment (see chart)1: “The library brand is books.” And students often have negative associations due to perceptions of books being outdated, not available, hard to find, and time consuming to use.3 89% of college students' info searches begin with a search engine! 2% begin with library web site.3

Historical Studies Research Skills Competencies, 2006-2007
90.00% 80.00% 70.00% 60.00% 50.00% 40.00% 30.00% 20.00% 10.00% 0.00% Proper use of sources Conducting research Diversity of materials Does Not Meet or is Approaching Meets or Exceeds

Collaborative Plan
    

Find instructional partners out on the front lines working with students face to face (Directors' of Academic Support positions filled in Jan. 2007) Get better understanding of student (& faculty) needs via comprehensive assessment (in planning) Delivery Platform: Wimba Virtual Classroom4 (switching to Elluminate5 in late 2008) Set-up: librarian-presenter and librarian-support person in Saratoga + DAS facilitators and students in computer labs at regional centers across state Delivery Preparations: o Periodic collaborative content reviews via phone, email and Google docs o Computer lab connection speed, software plug-ins and equipment testing required o Test run of each workshop to fine-tune content and timing o Promote workshops and register students

Learning Objectives
Starting Point - Info Lit Competencies: o SUNY Gen Ed: Use basic research techniques and locate & evaluate info from variety of sources o ACRL: Identify need, access info effectively & efficiently, evaluate info, use info ethically/legally  Research @ the Library Workshops now offered: o Introduction to Research o Search Skills Center for Learning and Technology SUNY Empire State College -1

6/6/08

o Documenting Sources Learning Structure (see diagram): o Based on research process o Stand-alone/modular o Multiple modes of interaction throughout (audio, text chat, slides, whiteboard, polls, whiteboard, app sharing, handouts) o Hands-on exercises that build on each other & engage multiple learning styles (auditory, kinesthetic, visual) o Infuse content with information evaluation skills o Concentrate on transferable skills, not specific resources Overall Learning Objectives: o Hands-on exploration = confidence o Where to get help o Identify the info need o How to get background info and identify keywords o Need to critically evaluate all sources o How to navigate to relevant resources o Create effective basic search strategy Original Outlines for Workshops 1 & 2 (we added two exercises to each later on): 1. Introduction to Research 2. Search Skills  Wimba Orientation  Wimba Orientation  Get Help  Find Keywords  Information Evaluation  Define Info Need + Exercise 1  Reference Tools + Exercise 1  Find Relevant Resources  Find Articles + Exercise 2  Create Search Strategy + Exercise 2  Find Books + Exercise 3  Evaluate Results & Refine + Exercise 3  Q&A  Q&A

Wimba Platform:

Marketing/Promotion
     

DAS @ each center promotes workshops via “e-blasts” & hard copy flyers posted around each center. Students must rsvp in advance so DAS' can manage space issues. Most rsvps are handled via email. Faculty help promote workshops, especially those who are assigning research papers in their courses. Promote upcoming workshops during workshop. Message: save time & effort; produce better research assignments So far: no lack of student interest, even with low-key promotion efforts

Center for Learning and Technology SUNY Empire State College

-2-

6/6/08

Outcomes
Workshop met my needs
I will be able to use what I learned today
Disagree 0%

Disagree 4%

Strongly Disagree 0%

Agree 26%

Strongly Disagree 0%

Agree 38% Strongly agree 58%
Strongly agree 74%

Student comments (sampling): What did you find valuable?  Overcame my intimidation & information overload.  You don’t have to just use google to research.  The quick, easy way to use the ESC library.  Thank you, I love this college!

Ways to Improve?  More hands on.  Publicize it more.  Should be given when you start at Empire.  How to use the material once you find it.  Could be longer.  Maybe a little shorter...

Future Plans
Immediate:  Create regular schedule of workshop offerings (will offer 8-10 workshops in Fall term at various times of day/days of the week)  Expand to all regional centers and programs  3rd workshop: Documenting Sources (underway)  Incorporate even more hands-on exercises  Develop more comprehensive assessment/outcomes rubric/survey tool  Translate to new platform: Elluminate  Offer directly to students at home (waiting until we switch to Elluminate in late 2008).  Make archive of sessions accessible on web Longer-term possibilities:  Work with willing faculty to integrate into curriculum  Discipline-specific workshops?  Incentives for student participation? Possible incentives: certificate, college credits, class credit, prizes...

References: 1. Empire State College Fact Book, 6th Ed. 2006-07
(http://www.esc.edu/esconline/across_esc/instresearch.nsf/wholeshortlinks2/Fact+Books) 2. Foster, Andrea L. "Students Fall Short on 'Information Literacy,' Educational Testing Service's Study Finds." Chronicle of Higher Education 53.10 (27 Oct. 2006): A36-A36. Academic Search Premier. EBSCO 3. OCLC. Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources, 2005 (http://www.oclc.org/reports/2005perceptions.htm) 4. Wimba Virtual Classroom: http://www.wimba.com/products/wimbaclassroom/ 5. Elluminate Academic Edition: http://www.elluminate.com/academic_edition.jsp Center for Learning and Technology SUNY Empire State College -36/6/08

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