Tuesday, 31 March 2009

10 minutes of interactions: bize sized IL

Presented by University of Leeds.

Problems identified with existing online provision:

Text heavy content
Navigation inconsistent
External links can lead you astray
Length and depth of resources can be intimidating

Problem with layout not content, felt there was a missing link

To address the issue, a learning technologist was brought into the project, and these steps were taken:

Created 3 learning objects which focussed upon tasks
Removed unecessary content
Team created to look oversee project
Project took 1 year and was broken down into different sections each with their own deadline

The learning objects included a quiz to begin, to test the knowledge of the student using it, so they can see what they will be learning immediately. A test is included at the end also to assess learning from the object.

The learning objects also included tasks for students, for example building a reference, where they can see where they have immediately gone wrong. Different types of task helped different learning styles to engage with the learning objects.


A webpage for students
An event for academic staff
Marketing to students using leaflets, displays and workshops

The project team is now working on evaluation of the project and future plans. Further promotion will be one of these plans and more integration into Blackboard.

Monday, 30 March 2009

R U There?

R U There? Virtual Reference in academic libraries by Carolyn Groom, Eithne Barry and Laurence Patterson. Napier University and Carnegie FE College.

Virtual enquiry research project - looks at how libraries can use IM to support reference - Begin with short video clip - shows how users can use it and across different hardware (including iPhones!)

90 percent of pre HE students use IM - so this seems like a good way for libraries to reach out and be where the students are and "interact with students in real time." One of the points they reminded us of is that it supports users at point of need and can be aimed at Distance Learners and PT students.

It's a one year project that is about to finish - FE/HE collaboration.
It supports

Showed example of other IM projects - http://www.qmu.ac.uk/lb
university of wolverhampton - http://www2.wlv.ac.uk/lib/qp/chatinput.html

They undertook a survey to id what the state of VR services - they did this via survey monkey and distributed it via email lists and direct email - 190 responses. The break down indicates that about half of HE institutions took part, but only about a tenth of FE institutions.

Even though there are issues, non of the respondents wanted to cut or reduce the service.

Quarter of institutions currently have a service - and half of those surveyed want to implement one.

Not a chat room - this is a place that a librarian sits and waits for the student to come along.

The software breaks down into 3 categories -
Free Popular - MSN Messenger, Yahoo Messenger, Meebo, Skype (problems here include the fact that MSN and Yahoo need all of the students listed as contacts - Meebo is different, the widget can go anywhere - as we've shown in team blogs in the past.)

Free Dedicated - Meebo, VLE Chat (e.g. Blackboard, LibraryH3lp. LibraryH3lp is an open source piece of software, but is free.

Commercial- LivePerson, QuestionPoint, Elluminate Live!, VRLPlus
Prob here is that the software is expensive, but it does heave the bells and whistles that are missing from the free dedicated and the free popular.

Project website - http://virtualenquiry.net. Will have to check this out later.

Questions asked;

Good question about whether or not meebo widgets have been put into the spaces that students are in - such as Facebook.

Where to position it? Have to do some analysis for how people find and use your library pages.


The introduction was handled by Debbie Boden, who pointed out that it is the 5th anniversary of LILAC this year, and that there are over 250 delegates this year.

The welcome to Cardiff University was handled by Dr David Grant, who talked stats for the University - (26,000 FTE students, 6,000 of which on PG courses, 3,000 international students, and 6,000 staff members) He managed to get two references to Doctor Who in his welcome. There are 18 libraries in and around Cardiff and some have recently benefited from an injection of cash, with some regeneration for some of the libraries. Cardiff uni recently introduced RFID for issues and returns, which is proving very popular with the students. More sessions later, but coffee break now.

Keynote name check!

After a very early start we have all made it to Cardiff.

The keynote speaker referenced Erica and Matts presentation and mentioned looking forward to hearing about the Panda. Already 31 have signed up for the session. Debs and my session only has 17 attendees signed up! We did include an elephant in the PowerPoint and maybe will bring this into the session title next year.

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

LILAC 2009

The 2009 Librarians Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) is almost here and as you may know, four Information Advisers from Sheffield Hallam are presenting at this year's event.

Emma Finney and Deborah Harrop are presenting a short paper entitled "A higher rate of interest and a better return on their investment" full details in the LILAC programme here.

Matt Borg and Erica Stretton are presenting a workshop called "My students and other animals" details here.

This blog is designed to record the impressions of the information advisers attending and quickly feedback interesting and relevant information literacy developments for staff in Learning and Academic Services. Please feel free to comment on entries.