Instruction on the Go: Reaching Out to Students from the Academic Library


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Presentation for the 16th Distance Library Services Conference in Denver, CO.

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Instruction on the Go: Reaching Out to Students from the Academic Library

  1. 1. Instruction on the go: Reaching Out to Students from the Academic Library
  2. 2. Who Are We?
  3. 3. Heather Moorefield-Lang and Tracy Hall Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA Image Courtesy of
  4. 4. Image Courtesy of Place it By Breezi
  5. 5. Problem/Background
  6. 6. Background • 5 off-campus locations • Students across the state of VA • How to deliver library instruction anytime, anyplace • Student interests • How long should “classes” take place • What technology should be used
  7. 7. Wimba Now Blackboard
  8. 8. Image Courtesy of Dim Dim Dim Dim
  9. 9. Image Courtesy of Join Me Join Me
  10. 10. Google Hangouts Image Courtesy of Google
  11. 11. Research Questions • How can “one shot” or single class library sessions best be delivered online to students and faculty in higher education? • How do students and faculty perceive online education or webinars delivered from the library? • When online or distance library sessions are not attached to a credit bearing class how can they best meet the needs of students and faculty in higher education?
  12. 12. Past Literature
  13. 13. When coming to campus is not an option: Using web conferencing to deliver library instruction Barnhart and Stanfield (2011) • Wimba Web Conferencing Software • Pilot Program • Challenges and successes of using web conferencing with students at a distance • Discussion is still going on at the time of the article as they reflect upon their pilot project, how the initial web conferencing instruction went, and where they should go for the future
  14. 14. Virtual delivery of electronic resources and services to off-campus users: A multifaceted approach Bower and Mee (2010) • Created “Meet the Librarian” web pages to connect students and faculty to their subject librarians at the Rochester Institute of Technology. • Used Adobe Connect to offer research tours and demonstrations from librarians’ desktop computers • Worked with virtual Web 2.0 tools to create a library presence in their university’s Second Life
  15. 15. Methods
  16. 16. Sample • Purposeful Sampling • Students and faculty who had taken part in the webinar • Emails were sent to webinar participants • Interviewed those who responded to emails • It was hoped to have ten interviewees, had five. • Reached data saturation with five
  17. 17. Final Sample • 4 of the participants had taken part in the webinars live/synchronously while 1 participant had observed an archived webinar after its recording. • Before taking part in the library webinars, interviewees had participated in anywhere between 2-60 webinars depending on the respondent
  18. 18. Previous webinar topics were across the spectrum • Personal finance • How to teach webinars • Academic affairs in higher education • NVivo Qualitative and data collection software • Online options that were integrated with credit bearing graduate courses were included in the discussion.
  19. 19. Interviews • Two interviewers • Five participants • Signed Consent forms • Interviews were face to face, via phone, and Skype (distance ed. students) • Interview had ten questions • Took anywhere from 15-30 minutes
  20. 20. Sample of Questions • Can you provide a description of the experience, teaching techniques, overall educational value? • What were your expectations of the webinars? And were they met? • What did you like about the webinars? What didn't you like? • Why did you take the library Webinar? • Are there topics that you would like to see covered in the future?
  21. 21. Data Analysis • Nvivo 10 Qualitative Data Analysis Tool was used to pull out themes, commonalities, and discussion points.
  22. 22. Image Courtesy of
  23. 23. Results
  24. 24. Webinar Sessions Offered • Endnote, Mendeley and Zotero • The Dissertation submission process • Great Technology tools and apps for teaching and learning • Library database training (Basics and Advanced) • Summon (Search Discovery Tool)
  25. 25. Participant Comments
  26. 26. Techniques from Past Webinars • …the one that I kind of connect with the most .. is when there is something that is demonstrated on a slide but the entire webinar is not just on slides and then the individual is executing or showing by example of what it is that they are talking about. That method works a lot better for me. I have been to many webinars … where it’s just the slides and it’s like there is no reason for me to be on the webinar. I could just listen to a recording of this, print out the slides and boom boom … that is usually a lot easier to access and a little less firm of a location that I have to be in.
  27. 27. Library Webinar Preferences • What I like about the webinars in general is that they give me the opportunity to participate where I might not have the opportunity, particularly the ones that you did. I am a part time student … and I don’t really feel part of the community or have opportunities to use some of those resources and participating in the webinar gave me the opportunity to do that.
  28. 28. Other Side of the Coin or Screen • I still think as good people think they (webinars) are, they have limitations. You are still kind of sitting there, and you don’t always get, some of the time that you spend you don’t always get that much back. So I still think they feel a little bit alienated, they’re better than not having anything at all, but I am still not sure they’re as good as live interaction
  29. 29. Expectations • My expectations were…I really wanted to make sure that I had a firm grasp on APA formats and citations and things like that. And so my expectations of the webinar were that it would help with that, help me achieve that goal. Not necessarily learning how to cite but manage and make it less cumbersome. You know versus having this really messy word document full of citations. I was not really familiar with the library webinar format or the program itself but going to the webinar helped me to become more familiar with that. And I still use it, I just did a point of law paper for one of my second year classes and … its very nice to know that I have this firm system that I can put all of my citations into. And know that they are there….
  30. 30. Conclusion
  31. 31. Recommendations for Webinar Instruction • User Friendly • Intuitive Environment • Modeling/Demos • Quizzes • Polling • Tutorials • Live Chatting • Archiving • Materials sent out ahead of time • Clear and detailed connection instructions • Time to meet online or answer questions later
  32. 32. Recommendations for Future Webinars • Dissertations • Citation Tools • Databases • Tech Tools • Digital Humanities • Grant Writing • Institutional Repository • How to Get Published • APA and other citing tips • Writing for Scholarly Journals
  33. 33. Future Research and Areas of Concern • Enrollment: Webinars are not tied to a class • Changing technologies • Connectivity across the state • Capacity • Needs of distance education students
  34. 34. Questions for Me
  35. 35. Contact • Heather Moorefield-Lang • • @actinginthelib