Sarah Morehouse – one of 3 librarians at ESC.Started doing Elluminate workshops to students at the Centers last winter/spring. This past fall, we started offering them to students in their homes instead.
With only 3 librarians, we need to get the maximum benefits for the most people with the minimum time investment, and online workshops allow us to do that. One librarian can give a workshop to theoretically hundreds of students (although with more than 50 we’d probably want somebody to help moderate questions!) Also, once the workshop is developed (outline, slides, activities, quizzes, handouts, plus rehearsed a bunch of times) it can be given again and again with only a quick refresher rehearsal as preparation.
The great thing about online distance learning – that you don’t have to be in the same time and location as the teacher and the rest of the students is also the hardest thing about online distance learning! Some people have trouble connecting with a text lecture on a screen, even if it has pictures. Even if it’s multimedia, even if it’s got interactive components, it’s just not the same as being there with other human beings, sharing an experience. Elluminate can’t put us in the same room together, but it’s the next best thing. It’s completely live – the teacher speaking, showing slides, doing things on the web for the students to see. The only thing missing is a live video feed, which is theoretically an option, but it’s too bandwidth intensive to implement at present. The students can all communicate with each other and with the teacher directly, via voice and chat. They can draw on the screen using whiteboard tools and the teacher can give them control of a browser window so they can show what they’re talking about.
We offer a regular schedule of workshops in the two big terms, and a more abbreviated schedule in the summer. The workshops we offer most frequently are the two basic ones, which we hope will eventually reach all ESC students. Those are Intro to Searching, which covers how to navigate the library, the kinds of services we offer, how to get help with research, how to find library resources, and the basics of using our databases and other search tools. And Citing Your Sources, which as it sounds like, covers the how and why of doing your footnotes and bibliography. Then we also offer the Spotlight Sessions. Last spring we did Intro to RefWorks, which is our online citation management service, Developing and Narrowing Your Research Topic, Using Full-text Journal Finder, and Advanced Search Skills, which picks up where Intro To Search Skills leaves off and takes students to a new level of searching their keywords using Boolean Operators and other tricks of the trade.
Information Literacy, which is what these workshops promote, is an academic core competency that’s vital to students learning to be independent and critical thinkers. It can reduce the kinds of anxiety and frustration that lead students to violate our academic integrity standards. By giving them the skills to find better, more scholarly, more relevant information resources, and to find them earlier in the research process, evaluate them, and cite them properly, it can improve the projects they create and their academic outcomes.
These skills are also crucial to everyday life. Citizens need to be able to evaluate information from the news and political campaigns. Consumers need to be able to find out what the best product is to purchase despite being inundated with advertisements. People need to make educated decisions about their health, finances, legal paperwork, and so forth. In our jobs we need to take responsibility for our continuing education at the same time that we promote the interests of our employers by doing environmental scanning and other kinds of research. Every one of us is in a variety of situations every day in which we need to find out a piece of information, and when we find our answer, we need to know whether we can trust it. That’s the kind of skills the library teaches.
See the two zipped folders that contain audio-video demonstrations of the Elluminate tool.
Attendance at each workshop so far has ranged between 1 and 30. We would like to raise those numbers significantly. We would like there to be so much demand that we have to have a back-up moderator and offer more workshops! Even though it’s more work for us, each student who attends a workshop is another self-sufficient student who will feel confident about doing research, know how to get the most out of the library, and get much more out of their education. So please let other faculty know about these workshops and share these slides and demos with them – they’re available online at the CDL Exhibition Space. And let your students know about them too, and give them incentives to attend the workshops.
We can’t guarantee that we’ll develop a workshop just because you ask for it. But if you and a bunch of your colleagues all start clamoring for a workshop on a certain topic, then it becomes more likely that we’ll grant your wish. It takes a long time to develop a workshop, but if we see that it will end up benefiting a huge swath of the college population, we’re more than happy to make time for it. For it to be a good candidate for an @Home Library Workshop, it should be more about general concepts than specific technical skills, and it should be a topic that is relevant to all areas of study.
Cdl conference elluminate presentation
@Home Workshops<br />Library and research webinars via Elluminate<br />
Efficient<br />3 librarians, ~18,000 students<br />One librarian can reach hundreds of students at a time<br />Once a workshop is developed, it can be given over and over again with minimal prep time<br />
Convenient for students<br />Weekday evenings<br />Sign up online<br />Handouts e-mailed to you<br />Computer requirements<br />Speakers and mic OR phone<br />Broadband internet<br />Internet Explorer or Firefox<br />Nothing to download, just click the link <br />
Interactive and personal<br />Students can ask questions, make comments, and talk to each other at any time <br />Activities and quizzes<br />Students can see what the librarian-teacher is doing on the screen<br />If needed, librarian stays to give one-on-one help after class<br />
Workshop topics<br />Multiple sessions every spring, summer, and fall term<br />Intro To Searching<br />Citing Your Sources<br />Spotlight sessions in spring and fall<br />Intro to RefWorks<br />Using Full-text Journal Finder<br />Advanced Search Skills<br />Developing and Narrowing Your Topic<br />more next fall!<br />
Improves learning outcomes<br />Encourages good habits<br />Start early<br />Be methodical<br />Get help when needed<br />Lowers anxiety<br />Better sources<br />Better citing<br />Critical thinking<br />
Life-long learning skills<br />“Information literacy” = knowledge and knowhow of finding, thinking critically about, and effectively using information.<br />Core academic competency<br />Increasingly urgent need in daily life<br />Citizens<br />Consumers<br />Knowledge economy employees<br />Decision-makers<br />
Here’s how it works<br />Elluminate registration and setupElluminate registration and setup.htm<br />Elluminate demoElluminate demo.htm<br />
Spread the word!<br />Encourage your students to attend <br />Put workshop dates into the course or link to our registration page from the course schedule<br />Let other faculty know<br />
Have an idea for a workshop?<br />Is it library-related?<br />One of our search tools or services<br />A research skill<br />Will it be useful for a very broad cross-section of Empire State College students?<br />Will it be useful in the long-term?<br />Skill-centric rather than focused on fast-changing technology<br />Suggest your topic at firstname.lastname@example.org<br />
Bonus material<br />Course requests: YES WE STILL DO THEM! <br />Yes<br />Resources to fill in textbook gaps<br />Resources to support discussions, assignments<br />Anything you can name specifically<br />Support your students’ self-directed reading and research with instructions, tutorials<br />Links to replace broken/out of date links<br />No <br />“Supplemental” readings<br />“Big projects” that are useful only to a narrow audience<br />
Ask me questions!<br />email@example.com<br />(518) 587-2100 ext. 2453<br />