Workshop for Instruction in Library Use - Day Two

Posted on 22 May 2014 Conference, Teaching, E-Learning

Day two of WILU 2014 was a full itinerary of concurrent presentations, lightening talks, and poster sessions. In particular, today, I had to make some very hard decisions in terms of what sessions to attend. Discussion with fellow attendees and tweeters (#WILU2014) has helped fill in the gaps a little, but I'm eagerly awaiting presenter slides being made available.

Developing Online Learning Tools: Strategies for Creating a Set of Best Practices for Your Library

From Liz Johns at Virginia Commonwealth University, this presentation offered advice for developing your own set of best practices for creating and maintaining online learning objects. She identified some of the major challenges related to learning tools:

  • They go out of date quickly.
  • There are often too many, leading to duplication, repetition, and confusion.
  • Many are of low quality, being produced quickly or using old standards.
  • Videos lack meaningful interactivity, being passive, absorb-type objects.

The talk was structured around 11 strategies:

  1. Create a schedule for reviewing, updating, and replacing tools. It's best to remove old content, even if there's nothing immediately to replace it with.
  2. Research and select a single video hosting platform that fits your local needs.
  3. Keep your tools organized with consistent naming and linking in logical places.
  4. Prioritize your key learning outcomes, giving preference to the content with the greatest potential for impact.
  5. Consider whether the medium fits the learning goals, rather than defaulting to what is easy, comfortable, or expected.
  6. Create tools that complement one another. Liz's example was a single topic with a video, interactive game, hover map (made with Snagit), and infographic (made with Piktochart).
  7. Standardize design elements such as fonts and colour schemes to support organizational brand identity.
  8. Establish standard software, processes, and terminology. Avoid library jargon, but replace it consistently.
  9. Keep accessibility standards in mind.
  10. Made guidelines easy to access and understand by colleagues.
  11. Keep the conversation going with ongoing training, maintenance, and development.
Strategies for Online Learning Tools

E-magine a New Way of Thinking: Design Thinking for Student Centered Instructional Design

This session by Rebeca Peacock and Jill Wurm from Wayne State University delivered a "crash-course in design thinking", as developed by the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford. The original worksheets are available online, though we were given the task of designing the ideal wallet for our partner. The activity was high-energy and sparked a lot of conversation. Ultimately, the workshop reinforced the importance of iterative, collaborative design that addresses the needs of the user, rather than the assumptions of the designer.

An Introduction to Design Thinking

E-volving Information Literacy Tutorials with E-maginative and E-ngaging Design

The team from Wayne State University discussed their approach over time to delivering instruction for an introductory communication class, Oral Communication: Basic Speech (COM1010). The old models of one-shot library instruction and drop-in sessions were unsustainable with numerous class sections, a diverse student demographic, and instructors who wanted graded assessment. With the aid of an instructional designer, Rebeca Peacock, they sought to develop an online IL course that replicates an "authentic learning environment" and is directly related to the class assignment of a researched speech on a current issue.

Without question, this project couldn't have come together without the work of Wayne's UX designer, Axa Liauw. The final product is an interactive, modular, guided walkthrough to the assignment. Students navigate a virtual library, clicking on pins which bring up text, screenshots, quizzes, videos, and printable forms. Results can be emailed to the instructor. Created in-house using HTML5, CSS3, jQuery, and Bootstrap means that it's lightweight and works on iOS devices. Test it out here:

Web App Development Slide

Ignite Talks

The ignite talks were absolutely the highlight of the day. These were rapid, 5 minute presentations where the speakers' slides were set to advance automatically every 15 seconds. My favourites included:

  • Rachel Sandieson from Western University related her experience in an online connectivist classroom. Students created and taught their own curriculum, underscoring the importance of collaboration and connections over content. Wherever new teaching methodologies are being employed, librarians should aim to be involved. In the connectivist classroom, this might mean acting as a participant, becoming part of the conversation and providing instruction where opportunities arise organically. The full article is available online at Scholarship @ Western.
  • Ron Rooth from Cape Breton University described his approach to teaching academic integrity, beginning with the term "to adduce" as an alternative to "acknowledge" that evokes the authority of experts for the purpose of strengthening a case. He frames the assignment with a Law & Order episode, where McCoy undermines the credibility of an expert witness. Students approached their assignments as courtroom cases, summoning experts in the field and "creeping" them online to determine their credibility.
  • In teaching a course on evaluating sources, Tim Ireland asked students how they might determine where to publish their own works. This led to the creation of The Canadian Graduate Journal of Sociology and Criminology, an open-access, bilingual, peer-reviewed journal with a strong acceptance rate.