Online Library Classes
Online Library Class Design and Delivery Proposal
The primary reasons for offering select library classes in an online format are that many non-traditional students, researchers and faculty cannot or find it difficult to attend traditional classes as offered; in addition, the Education Department cannot offer enough face 2 face sessions to meet demands. An online course addresses both issues.
These classes will provide an alternative that delivers the same high quality of content and high degree of interaction afforded through traditional classe delivery. An online version of library classes will allow students the same interaction with the instructor and information while increasing collaboration and communication between the university community and the library.
Video Conferencing Software
In evaluating the need for online versions of library classes the Education Department evaluated several video conferencing software packages that enable professors and students to participate in live discussion with real-time audio and video functions, some free (DimDim, Elluminate Vroom, Zoho), others were pay-based services (Adobe Connect Pro, Wimba and Elluminate). A chart of the pros and cons can be seen here.
While the free tools have options that will work with online classes, their limitations make them less attractive and less productive. Each product contains tools for presenting PowerPoints, drawing on whiteboard, conducting class surveys, chatting, and other useful tools to enhance the learning experience. Each product work very well, and are similar in their capabilities. However, Adobe Connect has features that make it standout over the others. Our research and evaluation has demonstrated Adobe Connect helps make educational opportunities not only engaging, but also accessible to thousands of deaf or hard-of-hearing students. Adobe Connect can be customized using the free Adobe Connect Captioning Extension. The extension adds a real-time captioning pod to the Connect environment, helping ensure that all participants can fully engage in the online learning experience, as well as use recorded Connect sessions as study aids.
Adobe Connect consists of three components for faculty to use, Adobe Connect, Adobe Presenter, and Adobe Connect Pro Central (server). “Connect Pro” is a synchronous IPvideo conference tool used by professors to communicate and teach students. “Presenter” is a plug-in application for MS PowerPoint. With it you can take your .PPT presentations and embed audio/video, Flash objects, etc., and convert them into an universal SWF file format that can play on any Flash enabled device. “CP Central” is the online system to help manage and stream video conferencing classrooms and your Presenter presentations. The Video Conference link in eLearning takes you to a public Connect Pro meeting room.
At the end of each class students are asked to complete an online course evaluation. The survey has 21 questions, including 14 Likert scale items and four questions that ask for comments. The Likert scale items have four different formats with five possible answers.The mean score for each question is between 1 and 5. For example, the mean score in 2008–2009 for the question “Course learning outcomes were clear” was 3.87 (between neutral and agree). Questions requesting comments were:
- What worked well in this course?
- What did not work well in this course?
- How can this course be improved?
LI815 Information Technology
Instructor for the Emporia State University SLIM Program, Denver Cohort X, utilizing Blackboard and Adobe Connect as the primary instructional format with 2 limited f2f weekend meetings. This course covers basic information technology concepts and skills necessary for library and information professionals are introduced. The course covers the fundamental of personal computer (hardware and software), file management, networking, and databases, as well as introduces Internet and Web concepts, tools, applications and other emerging information technologies. Social aspects of information technology are also examined.
In this course, students will be empowered to be confident, relaxed, and self-motivated learners. This course is learner-centered. What I mean by this is that technology is vast and varying and there is no way possible to cover every aspect in a semester-long class. Information technology is not rigid; therefore, this course is not rigid; I have designed the structure to ebb and flow as we as a group determines which path to take.
Learning 2.0/15 Things
The UC Denver HS Library has adapted a Learning 2.0 program from the discovery learning program created by Helene Blowers. “15 Things” has been developed for for the College of Nursing (CON) faculty and staff, and is set to run from July 1 – October 2 with 3 f2f meetings. We are considering this a pilot program which we will then develop and adapt for each school/program to be offered on a schedule to best fit their needs.
The three f2f meetings included an “intro” meeting to review the sign-up and registration process. We decided to use WordPress as the class blog so each registrant had to register and create a personal blog. These were to be set as “private” with only the program leader (me) the participants and 2 CON faculty who are contributing and “monitoring” the program. However we also have a wiki that is strictly for the adminstrators to post ideas, make changes, corrections, etc…
- What we have learned so far:
- there needs to be more buy-in from the administration as well as the participants
- longer f2f instructional meeting
- possible restructuring of the class to include regular f2f meetings, maybe every 2 weeks
- these would be unstructured and one a “come and go” basis
The School of Medicine PA (Physician Asst.) Program has approached the Education Dept. to provide a similar program for their interested faculty and staff. A meeting is schedule with the Program Chair in early January 2010, with a possible start date for February 1, 2010.
LI813 Print & Electronic Information Sources and Services
Instructor for the Emporia State University SLIM Program, Denver Cohort X, utilizing Blackboard and Adobe Connect as the primary instructional format with 2 limited f2f weekend meetings. This course provides an introduction to a wide variety of print and electronic reference sources and current issues in the provision of reference services. Students learn effective ways to select information retrieval tools and resources, develop search strategies, and evaluate search results. Evaluation of print and electronic sources is also addressed.
I have been approached to continue as an adjunct for this class, both in a f2f format as well as altering the class for an online environment starting summer 2010. It has also been suggested that I could be utilized for training ESU faculty on the use of Adobe Connect pro.