Jenn schedules about 213 student worker hours just for desk work.Why is this important? Our libraries and institutions are very different. No matter what type of library you’re in, you can probably find ways to integrate technology into your student employee program.
AmandaAs my Director, Pat Duck, will tell you, if you can manage student employees you can probably manage anyone. They only work 10 hours a week, work is not their main priority, which means that they are often distracted.
Layout is good; organizational structure is good; design ease can be complicated. But, to be honest, I was not a huge fan of this platform. However, it was what was available at the time, so I just found a way to make it work.
Bullet 1: for discussions, task allocation, resources, surveys, assessment, interactive training, calendars, time clock/payroll tracking, and scheduling.
The main page for the Library Student Worker team site. The environmental aesthetics can be adjusted according to preference.
After the LSWs clock in, they click on the task calendar link to get to their individualized task sheet. This has become an intuitive action for them. In fact, they get a little uneasy if I happen to forget to update their sheet! This platform allows for me to create each scheduling component as a “recurring event.” So, I only have to input / update once a semester.
Once they click on their name, a hyperlink to the task sheet pops up. I can also integrate external tasks (such as special projects or media tasks) into this spot, as needed.
This is an example of a LSW task sheet. Note the interlinking checklists…
Left menu screen shots: these are examples of the types of linking that can be done within the team site.
One cool feature is the ability to create and insert crosslinking into a Wiki page. If I’m being honest, this page does not get used much by the students. However, they are expected to know where it is within the site and when questions come up, I can many times just point them into the direction of the FAQ page.
In my experience, keeping the FAQs list within the topic short and sweet yields higher readership.
The surveys allow you to export the data directly into a spreadsheet, or to do a basic internal analysis. This feature is awesome. By hosting it within this environment, you can essentially have a back up of the collected data. Additionally, this feature has allowed me to create an online time clock for the students.
The set up is super easy. The time clock is linked on all of the LSW work computers. When they arrive, they click, they select his or her name and the action, and then hit finish.On the back end it shows me exactly what time the student created the action. Meaning, if he or she chooses the liberty of “doctoring” the time sheet (i.e. they are running late), I can see it. The students are advised of this transparency during orientation. I’ve only had one or two incidents in the past year. The content can be exported into an Excel spreadsheet with one easy click.
I was supposed to get a feel for how the student employees had traditionally been trained and managed.
Amanda: There were additional pros and cons that were unique to my situation. One pro was that my library system already owned Adobe Captivate, so I did not have to ask for funding. However, one con was that I would have to use the Captivate software that installed on my Director's computer. This means that I had to organize my own workflow around her schedule. Although this was not ideal, it did not pose any major problems.
Amanda:Aside the from the software, I didn't need a lot of equipment to create these tutorials. I used a microphone (an old one) to record the voice-over for the tutorials. In order to keep the microphone still while I was recording, I secured the microphone to an empty paper box placed on the desk. It is helpful to have some scratch paper when creating these tutorials, especially when trying to sync the sound with the objects on the screen. Depending on the content of your tutorial, you might also need a digital camera or scanner. If you have old pictures or documents that you would like to include, then you would want to scan them in. If you are doing a virtual tour and need to add up-to-date pictures of your library, you would need a digital camera.
Show the tutorial through the end of the "discharge" sectionhttp://www.pitt.edu/~upglib/circulation.htm
Amanda:For novice users, the custom recordings can be time consumingFor the tutorial that I just showed you, I had well over 50 "slides" most of which didn't advance the simulation...I had to very carefully go through the slides to remove the ones I didn't need. Also, setting up a custom recording so that it looks good can be time-consuming. The good news is that once you've done this part, they rest seems much less frustrating, and it goes a little bit more quickly. The voice recordings were done one slide at a time. Because I was in a office, not a recording room, the sound, tone, and volume of my voice varied from day to day. Also, I recorded these during allergy season, which probably wasn't wise! One day I sound fine, and the next I sound a little nasal. This means the voice can sound much different from slide to slide.
Amanda:I usually tried to do one tutorial or 30-40 minutes a day, but this wasn't always possible. Although I started creating these tutorials in March, I didn't really pick up momentum until after the semester ended in April. Also, I only had a limited amount of time to work on these since I needed to use my Director's computer. I got a lot done the week that she was on vacation.It's really important to have a good grasp on what content you want to include and what you want the program to do before you start to create the tutorials. This will help you to save time.
Amanda:I thought that I would be using the student worker LibGuide more often than I actually have. The benefit for me was having a single location that included the links to the tutorials that I created as well as the information literacy tutorials generated by the ULS.The LibGuide is private, so it can be difficult for the students and my colleagues to get to.I did send the link to LibGuide to the students a couple of weeks before they arrived on campus, so that they could read through a little of the information and know what to expect.SHOW LIBGUIDE http://pitt.libguides.com/upgstudenttraining
Jenn:First bullet “Just because it worked for one group, doesn't mean that the whole program will work flawlessly for the next group.Be able and prepared to adjust to the current need.”Second bullet“work smarter, not harder”Third bulletYOU are the trainer; the technology is simply the vehicle to get the students where you need them to be.Amanda
Last bullet point: some of the trainer/supervisor’s energies can be devoted to other tasks…not as much of a “time suck”
Lime Survey, formerly known as PHPurveyor, is free, open source software. It must be downloaded to your computer to use. Zoomerang would have been an alternative, but it has been acquired by SurveyMonkey.Almost every institution has some form of course management software. The obstacles you might encounter trying to implement this technology are probably going to be political in nature.Both SharePoint and LibGuides are commercial product. You might be able to replicate the feeling of an centralized online environment using Google Sites and Facebook. Facebook has been successfully used to organize student employees in libraries.Camtasia, Snagit and Jing are all made by the same company, TechSmith. Jing is the only one of these products that is free. Screencast-o-matic is from a different company and is free to use.
Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks: Using Technology to Train and Manage Student Employees
Teaching New Dogs Old Tricks:Using Technology to Train and ManageStudent EmployeesAmanda FolkUniversity of Pittsburgh,Greensburg #alanewdogsJenn Grimmett ALA Annual ConferenceEmmanuel College, Boston Monday, June 25, 2012 Anaheim, CA
Institutional Context Jenn Amanda • Private, liberal arts college • Small, regional campus providing serving mostly undergraduate an undergraduate, liberal arts with a few master’s programs education. Part of the University • Number of student employees: of Pittsburgh’s Library System, a 25 ARL member library. • Funding: Both work study and • Number of student employees: 7-8 salary • Funding: work study only • The library is open 106.5 hours a week, with 2 student workers • The library is open 82.5 hours a on. Another 40 hours a week for week, with 1 student worker on for special projects, most of which most of the day. is dedicated to the digitization project of the College archives. Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Why us? Jenn Amanda • Relied on the student • Several years observing workers for complex Jenns supervision of operational tasks student employees • Asked to manage the team • New job = new because I exhibited an responsibilities interest • Opportunity to gain • Was motivated to make the supervisory experience training program yield better results Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Our philosophy Student workers are the gears that makemany libraries run. If the gears are ignored andget sticky, not only does the library suffer at anoperational level, but the patrons suffer at afunctional level. However, when the gears areoiled and mindfully maintained, they facilitate asmooth and reassuring transactional experiencefor everyone. Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Our philosophy applied Jenn Amanda • Integrate learning into a • Multiple training productive and familiar techniques for multiple environment types of learners • Technology is present in their daily lives; use this to • Ensures consistency in your advantage training • Use familiar platforms such as chat, discussion • Easy to review skills boards, and pictures throughout the semester • A centralized environment can bolster confidence and productivity Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
What Jenn did…• When I took over the position, I knew little to nothing about managing this particular demographic.• By the end of the second semester, I identified that the nature of the program was not elastic enough for the nature of the student workers; flexibility was a priority.• I thinned out the "policy pile," and turned my focus onto the student workers, with the goal of training them for both the "now" and to help prepare them for their professional futures. Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
What Jenn did…• SurveyMonkey to gauge student worker comprehension and needs• Blackboard Vista for training new employees ▫ tossed out manual testing (transitioned to online only) ▫ transitioned the training manual from Word format to PowerPoint this helped to sync the process and cut down on time• Discussion boards on FirstClass• Merged the whole program into the SharePoint platform in 2009 ▫ Centralized the workflow, scheduling, discussions, training, and professional development into one platform Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Blackboard VistaTo host site for training tutorials and follow up quizzes.Pros• Tutorials can be updated internally or externally• Allows external media (such as PP, PDF, or video clips) to be uploaded (i.e. not limited to internal format)• Assessments can be auto-graded, giving the student immediate feedback.Cons• The environment is super clunky and not very user friendly.• It takes a bit of work for the designer to get things organized. Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Microsoft SharePointCollaborative environment used to facilitate and bolstercommunication for both training and day-to-day operations.Pros• Consolidated environment• User friendly• Students are already familiar with the environment (College platform)• Able to link to internal [server] or external [web] content• Easy data export for record keeping (payroll) and analysis (surveys)Cons• If the system / environment goes down, things can come to a halt.• The designer has to be very comfortable with this technology to create a logical workflow for the student workers Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
What Amanda did…• I was thrown to the wolves. ▫ Confusing checklist of tasks not competencies ▫ Lack of communication between students, Amanda, and entire staff ▫ A centralized student employee area did not exist• I implemented a number of changes unrelated to technology. ▫ Centralized student worker area with mailboxes ▫ Communication binder ▫ Question of the week Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Adobe CaptivateTo create polished training tutorials introducing basicinformation about the library and its staff, the ILS, and checkingin and checking out laptopsPros• Like a more robust version of PowerPoint• Good training materials are available• Does not require a lot of equipment• Offers a lot of flexibility and ability to customizeCons• Software costs over $100• Needed to create a workaround for a glitch in Captivate 4• Needs to be hosted on a website• Learning curve• Can be time consuming Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Adobe CaptivateHow did I learn how to use Captivate?• Siegel, K.A. (2009). Essentials of Adobe Captivate 4: "Skills and drills" learning. Riva, MD: Iconlogic. ▫ Book and CD-ROM ▫ Also available on Safari Tech Books Online• Organized by modules ▫ Provides detailed instructions for you to follow along ▫ Confidence checks serve as quizzes to test things on your own Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Adobe CaptivateWhat equipment did I need?• Microphone• Empty box• Pen or pencil• Scratch paperAdditional equipment• Scanner• Digital camera Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Adobe CaptivateWhat can Captivate do?• Creates a video-like presentation• Allows custom recordings to be made in order to facilitate a guided simulation• Allows interactive elements to be embedded into the tutorial• Allows creator to time certain elements to appear in sync with the voice recording• Table of contents frame allows users to jump back and forth between sections Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Adobe CaptivateDrawbacks• For novice users, the custom recordings can be time consuming.• Sometimes "funky" things happen in the recordings and you dont know why.• Voice recordings dont always match.• Captivate 4 would not allow me to create a quiz that would email the results to me.
Adobe CaptivateHow long did it take to create thesetutorials?• I started teaching myself how to use Captivate at the beginning of February 2011 and finished exactly one month later.• I started creating tutorials in March 2011 and finished in mid-July 2011. Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
LibGuidesTo create a centralized, online student workerenvironmentPros• Easy to use• Some flexibility and ability to customize• Can be edited from any computer with an internet connection• Offers basic usage statistics• Promotes LibGuides use among student workersCons• Can be difficult to remember the URL Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
What has worked…• Repetition in organizational workflow• Centralized learning/working environments• Consistent monitoring of work/progress• Intermittent pop quizzes, focusing on operations• Peer-to-peer mentoring Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
What has NOT worked…• Too many clicks!• ANYTHING that doesnt make sense to the student workflow• Busywork• Replicating these tools in other departments Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Potential pitfalls• Pinning yourself into "one" way of doing things• Using a system / process that requires a lot of maintenance• Viewing the technology as "the trainer"• Making the tools to difficult to find and access• Not having another tech savvy person on hand• Institutional licenses change occasionally Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Short-term outcomes• Better understanding of professional expectations• Better customer service• Maximizes productivity by minimizing mistakes• Training and supervision are streamlined Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Long-term outcomes• Bolstered confidence• Decreased levels of workplace apathy• Students come to view themselves as part of the bigger picture, and take pride in it• Employment retention Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Peer-to-Peer Training• Advantages ▫ Empowers veteran student workers to be effective mentors ▫ Acts as a training moderator between you and the students engaged in the training process• Disadvantages ▫ It can create a sense of false security in the training success if you dont directly participate. ▫ Technology cannot replace the engagement of conversation. Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Scalability• SurveyMonkey and Google Docs ▫ Zoomerang, Lime Survey• Blackboard ▫ Moodle, Sakai• SharePoint and LibGuides ▫ Google Sites, Facebook• Captivate ▫ Camtasia, Snagit, Jing, Screencast-o-matic
Conclusions• There is no ONE "right" way to do it, and the "right" way for your group will ebb and flow as technology and staffing change.• Maintaining an awareness of what the student workers find helpful and what they find frustrating is important.• What it comes down to is "does this technology increase productivity and ease workflow?" Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Recommended Resources• Farrell, S.L., & Driver, C. (2010). “Tag, you’re it: Hiring, training, and managing student assistants.” Community & Junior College Libraries 16, 185-191.• Power, June L. (2011). “Training 2.0—Library assistants in the age of information.” Journal of Access Services 8, 69-79.• Sweetman, K.B. (2007). Managing student assistants: A how-to-do-it manual for librarians. New York: Neal- Schuman Publishers.• Baldwin, D.A., & Barkley, D. (2007). Complete guide for supervisors of student employees in today’s academic libraries. Westport, CT: Libraries Unlimited. Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012
Thank you!Questions? Folk & Grimmett, ALA, 2012