ZSR Library Presents: Wikis and Blogs


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Presentation at MERLOT International Conference, Minneapolis, MN, August 2008. Co-presenters: Susan Sharpless Smith, Lauren Pressley, Kevin Gilbertson

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  • Overview of demographics University Strategic plan started in 2006, draft in fall 2007
  • 1                     Wake Forest has an informal, decentralized approach to academic computing. Unlike comparable institutions, there is no “academic computing” umbrella unit at Wake.  Instructional technology support, such as it is, is provided by a group of staff who are assigned to specific academic departments and report to the Dean. Over the years, this has resulted in a wide variety of support models, depending on the desires of the individual departments. One main drawback is that there is no comprehensive instructional technology program. The instructional technology activities that occur are ad hoc and discipline-specific. 2                     WFU’s Information Systems Department focuses on providing secure enterprise computing services (ie Banner). There is no charge to support academic computing. Reorganization has just taken place, with an interim CIO put in place to implement specific high priority needs. Although they administer the Blackboard server, at this time, they are not interested in initiating the management of a campus wide wiki and blog service. They have agreed to support our wiki/blog installation on our web server. 3                     The University Web site is managed by Creative Services. They have been in a holding pattern for over two years, waiting to migrate the 12 year old web site to a new server and a content management system. This has been stalled for a variety of reasons and is now on hold until the strategic plan is in place. They are using external blog services and have used the library wiki. They are not in a position to consider installing a system for campus wide use.  4.The University is a Blackboard campus. Although it is used by many faculty, there is growing dissatisfaction with its limitations in regard to collaborative use. The University is not interested in investing additional funding to extend Blackboard’s functionality. 5.               For 11 years, the library has been the source for learning about new technologies by faculty and students. We already are giving instructional sessions on a variety of social software applications and have added an Instructional Technology Librarian to our staff. Because we run our own Web services, we have been able to set up wiki and blog software and have it in place and ready for use at no cost to the community.  6. As early as 2003, Lauren used external open source wikis to set up student wikis,    
  • Supports "Build Academic Programs of Nationally Recognized Excellence" ZSR has a national reputation among academic libraries for the innovative use of emerging technologies such as wikis, blogs, gaming, image sharing sites such as Flickr, and other kinds of social software. Pilot programs are currently being conducted in Lib 100 on the use of wikis, and in the Sociology course, Social Stratification in the American Deep South, with a variety of multimedia tools. Staffing has already been internally reallocated to create an Instructional Design Librarian position to enhance the Library’s own instructional efforts with these new technologies. ZSR will go further by expanding its wiki and blog hosting to the entire campus.
  • ZSR Library Presents: Wikis and Blogs

    1. 1. Blogs & Wikis @ Wake Forest University ZSR Library Presents: <ul><ul><li>Susan Smith – Head, Research, Instruction & Technology Services; [email_address] </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Lauren Pressley – Instructional Design Librarian; [email_address]   </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Kevin Gilbertson – Web & Digital Projects Librarian; [email_address] </li></ul></ul>Saturday, August 9, 2008
    2. 2. About Wake Forest University   <ul><ul><li>Located in Winston-Salem, NC (since 1956) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Private, co-ed liberal arts institution </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Total enrollment: 6700 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>FT faculty: 487/Adjunct faculty: 267 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>New University Strategic Plan </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. <ul><ul><li>Informal, Decentralized Approach to Academic Computing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>IS Dept. Focus on Secure Enterprise Computing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>University Website Managed by Creative Services </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Migration to New Site In-Progress for Over 2 Years </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blackboard Campus (Version 6.3) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library Has Official Role for Technology Instruction </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Library Active in Introducing Innovative Emerging Technologies (Web 2.0) </li></ul></ul>Current Environment Shaped Idea
    4. 4. <ul><ul><li>Utilized Library Web Server to Install WordPress and MediaWiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Internal Pilot with Library Staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki: Strategic Planning (2006-07) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Blog: Professional Development (Jan. 2007)  </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Piloted in LIB100 Information Literacy Class (Spring 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Piloted with Academic Class (Summer 2007) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Quiet Roll Out Fall 2007 </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Officially in Library Strategic Plan : </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>&quot;To Lead the Campus in Emerging Technology Applications&quot; </li></ul></ul></ul>Bringing an Idea to Life
    5. 5. <ul><li>Librarians have traditionally been curators of institutional knowledge:  </li></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Archiving </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Indexing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Preserving  </li></ul></ul><ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><li>This is an opportunity to use these skills in a changing information environment. </li></ul>The Library as Host
    6. 6. <ul><li>  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Librarians as instructors  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instructional design experience </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach why and how to use the tools </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Experience teaching technical database skills translates to blog and wiki instruction </li></ul></ul>Instructional Design in Librarianship
    7. 7. <ul><ul><li>Experiment with new technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Understanding appropriate technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate technology into education </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>In our case: lib100, reference </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>People get technology help from the library at WFU </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>We provide the technology, training, and pedagogical recommendations </li></ul></ul></ul>Blended/Hybrid Learning
    8. 8. <ul><li>Adapting traditional courses: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet one-on-one with instructors </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Syllabus </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assignments </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Look at possible modifications </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Incorporate on a pilot basis, help adjust small things to incorporate blogs or wikis </li></ul></ul>Working With Faculty (Before Course)
    9. 9. <ul><li>Very hands-on through the process: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Teach a session on the technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Included on syllabus to answer questions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Meet with students throughout the semester </li></ul></ul>Working With Faculty (During Course)
    10. 10. <ul><li>South Course </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Citizenship Symposium </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Blog </li></ul></ul><ul><li>French Class </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Wiki </li></ul></ul>Examples
    11. 11. Technology & Requisite Skills <ul><ul><li>WordPress MU </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>MediaWiki as wiki family </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>PHP, MySQL, Apache </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>OOP, HTML, CSS, JavaScript </li></ul></ul>
    12. 12. Local Instances  <ul><ul><li>Standard skins/themes (unified interface)  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>LDAP (one login/password) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Request processing (individual attention) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Expertise (plugins/extensions, troubleshooting) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Stewardship (tomorrow's primary source material) </li></ul></ul>
    13. 13. Things to Consider <ul><ul><li>Spam (disable automatic creation/registration, moderate comments?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Privacy (search engine indexes, sensitive material?)  </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Uploads (server space, permissions issues?) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Upgrades (local customization complications?) </li></ul></ul>