Library Instruction: Using Technology to Teach


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Presentation to LIS 523, User Education course at University at Buffalo.

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  • Have been in my current position since fall of 2008; tenure-track which means I must conduct research and publish; Information Literacy and Web 2.0 Librarian is my official title; Duties include: reference, instruction, collection development, outreach, technology projects (maintain Libraries’ social media presence on Facebook and Twitter; teach workshops on various tools); serve as liaison to numerous undergraduate related constituents on campus: Honors College, Undergraduate Academies, CURCA, CADS/EOP, Cora P. Maloney College. In my free time, I enjoy working out, learning digital photography, baking, and spending time with my friends and family.

    How did I become involved in teaching and technology? Degree in Secondary Education, taught for a short period of time, became involved with Web 2.0 tools during Graduate Assistantship – all self-taught thanks to a start by reading Information Today.
  • Teaching methods can be delivered in many ways.

    Things to consider when selecting a method: background knowledge of student, the learning environment, and learning goals.


    Explaining – lecture style.
    Demonstrating – showing examples of how a particular thing is done. Demonstrate the use of a database in class.
    Collaborating – have students discuss topics at hand. Teacher walks the room and at the end, have students reconvene to share knowledge.
    Learning by Teaching – have students teach sections of the class as groups or individuals. 10 minute topics at the beginning of class – students share a new concept or tool that they learned.
  • Reference: in person, text message, instant message/chat service, telephone, email, social networks
    Course-related instruction: in-class group instruction, embedded in content management system
    Topical workshops:
    Tutorials: handouts, web pages, video tutorials, audio tutorials
    Tours: one on one or group

    How has technology progressed over the years? How has this changed the way that we teach?
    1970s: designing workshops in the use of online catalogs; first real-time multi-player adventure game (1978)
    1980s: Internet (1983); Listserv (1986); Internet Relay Chat (1988); CD-ROM sources and experimentation with computer-assisted instruction
    1990s: World Wide Web (1992); blog (1993); Yahoo! Web Directory (1994); GeoCities was founded (1994); Google launches search engine (1998); online periodical indexes via the Internet emerged; distance education becomes a popular topic (due to reorganization and downsizing in universities)
    2000s: Wikipedia (2001); iTunes, SecondLife, MySpace (2003); Podcasting, Facebook, WoW, Flickr (2004); Google Earth, YouTube (2005);

    How has instruction evolved over time? Online learning environments, online-only degree programs, distance learning. We have to find ways to meet the needs of these users as well. Technology has helped us to do just that. E-books, online tutorials, online catalogs, chat services, etc.

  • What is Web 2.0?
    Web-based tools
    Builds community
  • What is a blog? Regularly updated web site, Posts appear in reverse chronological order, Contain links, videos, images, text, etc. (Can be) a tool for conversation.

    In libraries, blogs can be used to share information and build relationships. For example, Student Support and subject librarian blogs (see HSL and Business blog – Bizbrary).

    Teach a one-shot class and a specific topic comes up, write a blog post after the fact and share the link to the course instructor and students. Drives traffic to the blog and builds a continued relationship.
  • Health Sciences Library has the HSL Wiki Farm which is a variety of subject-discipline resource guides. Information about databases, monographs, journals, and other important resources related to the specific subjects are included.

    When using wikis as subject guides, keep it simple, be selective of resources. Include only resources available to your library users.
  • Find photos with Creative Commons licensing.
    Flickr Storm – easy to use tool to find photos with CC licensing.
  • Teach students how to search for items that are already bookmarked. Students can share their bookmarks with others working on a similar topic (for example, group work). Access to bookmarks from anywhere with a computer and Internet access.
  • Tell the story about losing access to Google for 5 weeks.
  • What are they? How are they used in library instruction?
  • The Library Minute series is also viewable on their YouTube channel. Podcast can be subscribed to via RSS.

    For a podcast that talks about information literacy and emerging technologies, SUNY librarians have started The WGIL Room.
  • These became popular a few years back and we created audio tours for our international students. Student volunteers translated the scripts for us. Very time consuming. Needed to learn new technology: audacity to record the audio, used Garageband to create the chapters for display on iPod, etc. Circulation Desk, Interlibrary loan, etc. displayed as chapters so that students could skip to the part they were most interested in.
  • What are they? How are they used in library instruction? Examples of tools to use. Examples of implementation.

    Clickers are handheld wireless devices similar to remote controls. Clicker technology allows instructor to display multiple choice questions on a screen and students can instantly select an answer. E.g.: Which of the following would I go to to find scholarly journal articles? Google search engine, library catalog, Yahoo Answers. What would you do if you couldn’t find a full-text article online?

    Also known as student response systems or personal response systems.
    These tools stimulate student involvement and promote interactive teaching.
    Examples: Clickers (UBClicks), Live Question Tool, Hotseat.

    Assess student knowledge prior to and after lecture. Introduce new concepts and instantly assess whether or not students understand what was just taught. Tools such as Live Question and Hotseat allow students to ask questions anonymously.

    Fostering classroom participation in a one-shot session can be challenging. If students are used to a typical lecture style with no participation, they they will be hesitant to participate in the library session. They might have low motivation due to how class is regularly administered.
  • Examples: many of these are “how-to” tutorials. How to search the catalog, search databases, use interlibrary loan, etc.
    Topic oriented tutorials: Scholarly vs popular materials (supplemental to class instruction, at the desk, etc.)

    Things to consider: tutorials are time consuming. You have to learn the software, write the script, build an audience to share the content with. Change the videos everytime an interface changes or something in your library changes (for example: phone numbers changed at UB, HSL had to change their tutorials)

    For more examples, visit the Animated Tutorial Sharing Project – also

    Software used to create video tutorials: Camtasia, Captivate, Jing (free)

    Things to keep in mind: accessibility issues. Speaker needs to have a clear voice. Brand your videos. Keep videos consistent with design. Have a script written out. Add closed captioning. Users may be using different browsers and operating systems, so you want to test on all.

    UB Libraries have two channels. UB HSL was created prior to UB Libraries channel. We’re currently talking about what to do about this. We’d love to have just one channel, however, we cannot get rid of the UB HSL channel due to people who have bookmarked/favorited videos. Probably add all HSL content to UB Libraries, but keep the old HSL channel up for those who bookmarked items.
  • Interesting feature of Google that is useful for demonstrating different types of searches related to a topic. Helps to narrow broad topics. Then go to databases and they’ll have more search strategies prepared.
  • There are freely accessible presentation software available such as Open Office and Google Docs, but in addition, there are new, interesting, creative tools available for presentations. Prezi and Zoho are two examples. Prezi is a zooming presentation software which I’ll show you an example of in just a minute.

    Access presentations from anywhere with computer and Internet access.
    Collaborate with others to create presentation. (Great for group work! No more emailing files.)
    Embed presentations. Make presentations available for the public to see, which brings me to other ways to share documents and presentations – Scribd and Slideshare. Both of these are places that you can upload documents, including presentations and share with others. You can keep them open to everyone to view or lock them down to private. It’s up to you! Make files available for download or choose to only allow them to be viewed.
  • This presentation was created to display alongside a recent exhibit for ‘Three Cups of Tea’ in the Lockwood Library. The presentation was created by UB librarian Cindi Tysick using Prezi software.
  • Course Management Systems are integrated sets of web-based tools for course management and delivery. At UB we use a product called Blackboard, which we branded as UBlearns.

    CMS can be used in teaching in a variety of ways:
    Embedded librarian/library: links to services such as chat, links to tutorials on the library’s web site, contact information for the librarian is directly in the course, librarians can view what is going on in course discussions and assignments and create tutorials or offer knowledge on particular topics (for example, assistance with finding resources for a particular assignment).

    Create tutorials or guides/handouts in the courses: blog and wiki tools are available in Blackboard. Librarians could create class assignment subject resource guides right in the course. These would link outside to library resources, but would be available in the place where students are already going for their classes.

    Also, take advantage of plagiarism software that may be available. In Blackboard, UB purchased plagiarism detection tool SafeAssign. Demonstrate to students how to use it, view their own work before turning it in and also lead into a discussion about plagiarism.

    Create stand alone assessment tools: One example is what we have done within the University at Buffalo Libraries: the Library Skills Workbook.
  • Gen Ed requirement to complete the Workbook before graduation. There is also a 2-credit course: ULC-257 that students can take instead of the workbook. The course is offered each fall and spring semester. Teaches students library research methods and introduces them to the UB libraries.
  • Categories that the questions fall under include: Research process, finding books, finding articles, searching the Internet, The UB Libraries Web site, and feedback about the workbook. Questions are different from each user as they are drawn from a pool. The workbook is evolving into discipline specific workbooks, so that for example, engineering majors can take a version that has then explore databases relevant to engineering, using search terms relevant to their discipline, etc. Architecture and business are currently being created.
  • Examples of questions. The links go out to our catalog, databases, and research guides.
  • “Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.” - Google
  • Pre- and post- tests: a group of our instruction librarians piloted a project a few years ago to assess (Using Clickers or an audience response system would be great for this.)

    Usability testing: of web site, of specific tools being used. Are they working? Are students confused? What changes need to be made? (time consuming, but very beneficial)

    Surveys: as an assessment to find out what they are using and not using (similar to focus groups). These can be quick and dirty and get you on the right track to what needs to be investigated. User needs, what tools they are using, what they don’t know about, where they are going to find information (youtube!).

    Focus Groups: use a select group of students to ask about the technology, get an idea of what they already use and do not use. Focus groups offer more feedback than surveys. With a survey you might ask students to select social media tools that they use for research, with a focus group, you can ask more specific questions about how they use the tool and also gain an understanding of whether or not they really do use it for research or if they just use it to converse with friends. (ex: Undergraduate Assessment Survey)

    Feedback/Suggestion Forms: you can include a link to these, even possibly including the library’s email address at the end of a tool or session

    Google Analytics: demographics, which web tools/pages are getting the most hits, where users are coming from, what keywords they are using to search for these tools, what topics are most searched (potential research guides in future, video tutorials that might be needed).

    Examples: HSL YouTube Channel, Morae software for usability testing

  • Information about audience, satisfaction with video tutorial, satisfaction with content of UBHSL tutorials, quality of, why are they using them?, How do they prefer to ask librarian about reference questions? What improvements could be made to tutorials? What suggestions for future content?

    Google Forms is used to create this tutorial. Data is compiled in the software and easy to manipulate. We currently have a video group that is talking about branding of all videos, adding these surveys to all videos, etc.
  • Although we move forward with technology, we continue to offer in-person services (reference, instruction, etc.) The human interaction part is not going away. Not everyone has a mobile phone, computer at home, etc. We strive to and continue to meet the needs of all of our users. We are moving forward with e-books, but we also continue to purchase print. We offer workshops to educate our users in new technologies and how to use them.

    Book: “Bridging the Digital Divide”
  • Technology can enhance traditional methods of learning, but cannot replace the human touch. We continue to offer services in traditional methods such as in-person, at the reference desk, one on one, and via telephone.

    Interfaces change, information changes. As you create things such as library tutorials, you need to remember that you need to constantly monitor your tutorials for changes such as interface in databases, information such as phone numbers, contact info that you included in your audio or video, etc. Things may need to be updated every few months. So far, we’ve noticed annual updates at the very least are needed.

    You don’t have to reinvent the wheel. Sites such as ANTS offer open access tutorials. Many vendors have tutorials on how to use their databases available. If it’s out there, use it.
  • Educause Learning Initiative “7 things you should know about series”. These are technology briefs written to introduce you to new tools for classroom instruction. Case studies are available.

    W3C – international community that develops web standards. Excellent place to go for information on accessibility issues for your technology projects.
  • Library Instruction: Using Technology to Teach

    1. 1. Bridget Schumacher Arts & Sciences Libraries, University at Buffalo November 15, 2010
    2. 2.  Introduction  Methods of Library Instruction  Teaching with Technology  Assessment and Evaluation  Things to Keep in Mind  Comments and Questions
    3. 3.  Some examples:  Lecture  Demonstration  Collaboration  Teaching by Learning
    4. 4.  Some examples:  Reference  Course-related instruction  Topical workshops  Tutorials  Tours
    5. 5. A few examples, including an introduction toWeb 2.0.
    6. 6.  Web-based tools  Collaborative  Easy to use  CommonCraft, Wikis in Plain English ImageCredit: Creative CommonsAttribution 2.0 Generic and cogdogblog on Flickr
    7. 7.
    8. 8. Store, share, manage, and organize your bookmarks online!
    9. 9.
    10. 10.
    11. 11.  Create documents, spreadsheets and presentations  Share and collaborate online  Store and organize files
    12. 12.  Digital audio files  Playback on mobile device, portable audio player or computer  RSS capability Image Credit:Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic and Abletoven on Flickr.
    13. 13.  Who? Arizona State University Libraries  What? News, events and announcements  Where?
    14. 14.  Student Response Systems or Personal Response Systems  Student involvement  Interactive teaching  Similar tools  Live QuestionTool  Hotseat Image Credit:Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 2.0 Generic and Universidad de Navarra on Flickr
    15. 15.  Typically how-to or topic-oriented  Brief and to the point  Some examples  NCSU LibrariesTutorials and Online Learning Guides,  Cornell Libraries Research Minutes,  UB Libraries onYouTube,  UB HSL onYouTube,
    16. 16.  Creating Presentations  Prezi,  Zoho Show,  Sharing Presentations  Scribd,  Slideshare,
    17. 17.
    18. 18.  What are they?  Web-based tools for managing and delivering courses  University at Buffalo uses Blackboard  How can they be used in teaching?  Embed the librarian  Create tutorials  Create assessment tools
    19. 19.  What do they do?  Notify you when new information is available  What types of alerts can you set up?  Table of Contents  Keyword or Subject  Saved Searches  Where can you find alert services?  Some library OPACs  Some library databases  Some journals
    20. 20.
    21. 21.  Technology used to share content  Stands for:  Really Simple Syndication  Rich Site Summary
    22. 22.  Web-based and desktop tools  Used to read RSS feeds  Display new content from web sites  Also called:  Feed reader  News reader  RSS reader
    23. 23. What works?What doesn’t work? How do we know?
    24. 24.  Pre and PostTests  UsabilityTesting  Surveys  Focus Groups  Feedback/Suggestion Forms  Google Analytics  YouTube Insights
    25. 25. Before you jump into adding technology to your library instruction, keep these things in mind.
    26. 26.  You need support staff with the skills  Continuous monitoring and updating  It’s not free  Time to learn technology  Time for implementation  Assess, assess, assess!  Just because everyone else is doing it…  Technology is an enhancement, not a replacement
    27. 27. Bridget Schumacher
    28. 28.  AnimatedTutorial Sharing Project   CommonCraft   ELI “7 things you should know about…”   Library Success Wiki   PRIMO   The WGIL Room   World WideWeb Consortium (W3C) 