Get ’Embed’ with Your Librarian! Meeting the Needs of Students Online


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Presentation for the 2013 Wisconsin Association of Academic Librarians: What do you do with students you rarely see in the library? University of Wisconsin-Green Bay has a growing adult learner population, most of which take classes solely online. Reaching these students can be challenging. Librarians conducted an assessment of adult students to investigate their needs. This session will focus on the assessment results and the outreach plan put into place. It will highlight several initiatives, including the embedded librarian program, marketing efforts, and learning tools geared towards online and adult students. Based on feedback from students and faculty, an increase in reference questions, as well as high usage statistics from librarian-created tutorials and discussion boards, the outreach plan is working. Come and learn about these best practices for online and adult learners and share your ideas, as well.

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  • JHWhat do we mean by embedded?Assessment we did w/ students & facultyHow we put our outreach plan into placeLearning tools we use
  • AKOnline programs are most rapidly growing & will continue to do soMajority of students are returning adult students with needs different from traditional studentsSkill levels are all over the placeLimited staff to extend services—think smartExpect service at time & place of needCurrent efforts not meeting student/faculty needs per survey
  • JH6,700 studentsMajority of classes originate in Adult Degree program or the Nursing ProgramIf there is room in the Adult Degree program classes after Adult Degreestudents register, classes are opened up to traditional on-campus studentsSummer classes—75% are online; in person classes tend to be art classes, science labs, phys ed., etc. Other programs: Masters inSocial Work, Health Information Technology
  • JHAdult Degree program: 900+ studentsNon-traditional, returning adultsStarted in 1978Online classes started in 1998Mostly taught by full-time faculty or long-term adjunctsBachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Applied Studies, Bachelor of Business AdministrationDegree completion programTransfers from 2-year campuses & technical collegesClass formats: mostly online, some hybrid, on-campus (evenings & Saturdays), CCTV, satellite locations—Appleton, Rhinelander, Wausau
  • AKUWGB currently participates in three (soon to be 4 nursing programs)Three different RN to BSN completion degrees—traditional FTF, BSN@HOME (former collaborative program in collaboration with 4 other campuses), & BSN-Linc for students all over the worldFall 2013 start-up of MSN online programFaculty may teach in multiple programs & UWGB may not be their “home”campus”
  • AKStudents have multiple logins, confused about when to use which; don’t check campus e-mail to get messages re: expiring passwords, etc. Faculty at different institution don’t have a UWGB account or access to our resources—unable to advise studentsResources available may not be consistent from campus to campusStudents may not receive library information from instructors
  • AKVarying technology skills, worries themMix of returning adults and traditional aged students in the same class—teaching to the middle doesn’t work.Growing reserve of experienceThey are ready to learn, and motivated to learnMotivation to learn is internal, not based on external forcesProblem-centered learning is best—provides immediate applicationMost grew up with & are most comfortable with the “sage on the stage” model of education, not “guide on the side”Want to learn in order to deal with life situationsThey are used to an analog, or linear research model, not with lateral researching (Badke)Additional family & job constraints make efficiency & timeliness critical when need helpFeel disconnected from campus--Having a face & name to contact makes them feel a part of the campus community, facilitates retentionMemory decreases with age in adults; need to chunk information so max. of 5-9 new bits of infoExpect instructions & library information to be in the course at point of need/directly linked to—not willing to go to the library’s website and look for how-to guides, etc.
  • JHOrient the course towards direct application of learning; focus on theories & concepts as they apply to relevant issuesLearning orientation is task centered & problem focusedThey don’t want background information—they treat it as resource to go to IF need to, not when – they want to just know what’s important to get the task done Teach them how to use resources (information) to complete tasks & solve problemsNO busy workGive assignments with clear & complete directions & expectationsTimely response to questions & concerns essential They want lots of interaction—phone calls, e-mail, discussion boards.
  • AKComputer literacy focuses on ability to use the computer as a tool, regardless of whether it is used for processing information or other purposesThe United States National Forum on Information Literacy defines information literacy as " ... the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively use that information for the issue or problem at handIn fact, a study by Wecker found in some cases students with more advanced computer skills acquire less knowledge due to more shallow processing strategies such as browsing.Both faculty & students overestimate their skill level
  • Are we meeting the needs of students?
  • JHDistributed two surveys: Students & FacultyUsed the Qualtrics survey system. Emailed out to students & faculty.Purpose: Provide information about the libraryGage knowledge of library servicesAssess what services are being usedFind out what is needed
  • JHStudentSurvey:Response Rate: 5%Asked: how far they live from campus, what hours are they most likely to study, how they do their research, library satisfactionLack of awareness of library servicesProblems finding full-text articlesMore library info needed in intro courses
  • JHStudent Comment
  • AKFaculty SurveyResponse Rate: 50%Half had been with the program less than 4 years; half had been teaching online less than 4 years. Most experienced instructors were less satisfied with their students’ research skills, or had adapted class to not require library use.Instructors who were newer to the program were more receptive to having a librarian embedded in their class.Many were unaware of the majority of library services available to them.Some teach only in online program & don’t live locally; some never set foot on campus.
  • AKFaculty Comment
  • JHBasedon survey results, Outreach Plan put into place:More promotion of library services/marketingResearch assistance available evenings & weekendsIncrease use of Embedded LibrarianMore online tutorialsMore citation assistance neededIncrease use of library resources for student assignments
  • AKStudents now feel more comfortable contacting us outside of D2L (email, IM, etc…)Expanding programDoesn’t have to be a full semester; flexibilityNeeds a research component to be usefulEmbedded Librarian startup—An effort to improve library service to online studentsLibrarians were added as teaching assistants in D2L courses, where they set up a discussion forum, introduced themselves, and posted information for the students.Summer 2011-pilot program with a Human Development class that previously had instruction for FTF sessions Fall 2011- Invited instructors who formerly requested information literacyfor FTF classes Targeted writing emphasis classes or those with complex research assignments Also invited Human Biology instructor whose students were struggling with their research assignment. Staff participated in 8 classes total.As a result, spring 2012 staff embedded in 7 Adult Degree Courses, 5 Nursing classes, and 3 traditional FTF classesProgram was then widely advertised in the campus faculty newsletter- opening it up to traditional courses as wellFall, 2012—22 Adult Degree classes, 14 FTF class. All 5 Public Services Librarians participated.The other 3 embedded in 7 classes; Joe & Anne handled the rest (14/15 each). Some courses made effective use of their embedded librarian, but many requested one “just in case”—not an effective use of staff time; little or no activity when there was no assignment requiring research.Expanded guidelines for faculty to decide whether an embedded librarian would facilitate their learning objectives, or whether a LIBGUIDE would adequately meet their needs—some faculty uncomfortable with others in their class.Sharp decrease in participating classes in spring 2013, but interactions per class have increased. 5 AD classes and 5 FTF classes. Students in fully online courses ask twice as many questions as before, and twice as many as the students in FTF courses. Attempt to track all questions from online/D2L students in our Qualtrics system for tracking all reference transactions. Interlibrary loan requests are tracked in ILLIAD.Instruction Librarian attends Adult Degree faculty orientation session each fall.
  • AKStudents form a personal connection with library staff, increasing sense of connectedness to campus – personal connectionReduces anxiety so they can focus on course content, not the mechanicsCan be done privately so student is not embarrassed – builds self-confidenceStaff can proactively see where problems are creeping in and take steps to redirect students before it becomes a crisis. Librarian can be proactive with issues. Takes some of the burden off faculty so they can concentrate on content. Decrease faculty workload. Students can focus on content.
  • JHBased on survey data from students, they wanted more info from the library. Or were not sure how to get it.Taking information on disparate webpages an organizing it on one convenient pageReminders sent to faculty each semester about this guideSent out in an online newsletter to studentsInstructional technology staff have embedded it as a permanent link on all D2L courses for Adult DegreePoint out: “10 Library Tips” on student LibGuideFaculty LibGuide: helps fulfill goal of providing library info to faculty (requested from survey)—POINT OUT EMBEDDED CHECKLIST
  • JHIncrease in Fall 2012 corresponds to when Instructional Technology staff added a permanent link in every Adult Degree D2L course
  • AKMore advanced & specific than Adult Degree Libguide
  • AKHuman Bio (about 1 use per student)Human DevelopmentOverall LibGuides usage
  • JHSurvey feedback: students need help citing sourcesIncoming students asked if we had NoodleTools, or similar servicesRunning a 1 year pilot of NoodleToolsWell-received among students & facultyWhy we picked NoodleTools. (Some think it’s too “high school”)Embedded on our “Cite Your Sources” guide – one of our most popular
  • AKSome created w/ Captivate, others with iMovieAll uploaded to YouTubeEmbedded into LibGuidesLinked & embedded in D2LFocus on topics mentioned in the survey:Skills: Identifying Scholarly Sources, Google Scholar, NoodleToolsServices (e.g., ILL)Databases (e.g., CINAHL)
  • JHAdult Degree/Nursing Survey on Tutorials: what library/research issues do students struggle with the most?We grouped the issues by importance, based off of faculty feedback
  • AKPilot program was marketing. One on one marketing, etc…Attending dept. mtgs.Info in newslettersEmail to faculty at each semesterMarketing materials (eg, Research Help graphic)New Student OrientationLibrary Info is in Orientation packs sent out to students who can’t be here in-person (eg. “Top 10 Library Tips” that Joe created)Faculty marketing librarians to their students
  • JHHaving dedicated peopleHaving funding allocated from distance ed service fees assessed to studentsJoe & Anne explain their positions: Anne’s specialty is distance ed / Joe’s job partially funded by Adult DegreeStakeholders know who to turn to to get helpUsing Data to tell your story:Online students unfamiliar w/ libraryMore in-depth questions require more timeLibrary contributes to student successGrowing need for supportYou have to have library leadership that ASKS! Can’t do more with “less.”
  • AKHow to target the right courses (Embedded Librarian Checklist), continue dialog with targeted faculty.Project SAILSAssessment of embedded librarian programVirtual office hours—testing Anymeeting software & Google Hangouts; is free videoconferencing software with screen sharing; ads are unobtrusive. Synchronous sessions (Skype & AnyMeeting) is free videoconferencing software with screen sharing; ads are unobtrusive. Tutorial portalWorking with nursing faculty to tweak teaching model to “guide on the side” collaborative systemExamining how what we do is tied to retention
  • Get ’Embed’ with Your Librarian! Meeting the Needs of Students Online

    1. 1. Meeting the Needs of Students OnlineGet ‘Embed’Your Librarian!withJoe HardenbrookInstruction & Reference LibrarianCofrin Library, UW-Green KasuboskiDistance Education & Reference LibrarianCofrin Library, UW-Green
    2. 2. embedded?Why goonlineRapid growth ofprogramsadult studentsReturningwith different needsvaryingStudents haveskill levelsextendLimited staff toservicesExpectation of services@ time & place of needstudent & facultyCurrent efforts not meetingneeds
    3. 3. UW-Green Bay6,700 studentsAdult Degree& NursingOnline classes: mostlyMSW & HealthInformationTechnology75 % onlineSummer classes:traditionalSome online optionsforstudents
    4. 4. Adult Degree Program900+ studentsBachelor of Arts,Bachelor of Applied Studies,Bachelor of Business Admin.onlinewith some other formatsMostlyMix of full-time & retiredfaculty, and adjuncts
    5. 5. Nursing Programs4 programsUWGB participates insoon-to-beRN to BSN3 differentcompletion degreesFaculty may not beUWGB-basedonline programMSN- Fall 2013
    6. 6. Collaborative ProgramscomplexityAddedEach institution hasits own procedurescontact?Who do youLibraryWhat can the do?
    7. 7. Learning StylesVarying tech skillsSage on the stagevs. Guide on the side“Chunking” info into manageable bitsLibrarypoint ofhelp atneed
    8. 8. Teaching StrategiesTimely response toquestions & concernsessentialdoneto get the taskGive students what they need Interactivity is key
    9. 9. Computer Lit v. Info Litinformation literacyComputer literacyis not their skill levelFaculty & studentsoverestimatedue toWecker study: Some students withless knowledgecomputer skillsadvancedshallow processingmoreacquire
    10. 10. Survey – Spring 2011informationProvidewhat services are usedAssesswhat is neededFind outGage knowledgeof library servicesStudentSurvey FacultySurvey
    11. 11. Student SurveyawarenessLack of Problems withfull-text articlesLibrary infoMoreneeded in coursesintro
    12. 12. Student Survey
    13. 13. Faculty Surveyciting sourcesStudents need helptoolFaculty need aLibraryfamiliarize themselvestowith theintrocomponent should beLibraryadded to courses
    14. 14. Faculty Survey
    15. 15. Morepromotionof libraryservicesResearchassistanceavailableevenings &weekendsIncreaseuse ofEmbeddedLibrarianMore onlinetutorialsMorecitationassistanceIncrease useof libraryresourcesfor studentworkOutreach Plan
    16. 16. Embedded Librarianfaculty in D2LwithPartnerPilot ProgramDiscussionForumsto the LibraryPuts a Name & FaceapproachFlexiblecomponent is keyResearch
    17. 17. BenefitsPersonalConnectionSelf-ConfidenceBuildsproactiveLibrarian can bewith issuesDecreasefaculty workload
    18. 18. Degree Library Guide
    19. 19. Adult Degree Library Guide535 viewsFall 2011613 viewsSpring 20121856 viewsFall 20121424 viewsSpring 2013 (to date)
    20. 20. Student Library Guide500views since Fall 2012Nearly
    21. 21. Course Research GuidesHuman Biology 102:Intro to Human BiologyHuman Development 336:Gender DevelopmentAcross the Lifespan5,129viewsFall 201021,070 viewsFall 201144,455 viewsFall 2012Stats
    22. 22. Citing Sources - NoodleToolsfeedbackSurveyFrequentlyasked forPilot year
    23. 23. TutorialsCaptivate& iMovieServicesSkillsDatabases
    24. 24. Tutorial PlanningHighImportanceEvaluatinginformation foundon websitesHow to identify if asource is scholarlyHow to citematerials properlyMediumImportanceChoosing relevantlibrary databasesChoosing correctsearch terms andkeywordsHow to locate afull-textInformation onplagiarism andacademic honestyLowImportanceSearching forarticles in a librarydatabaseGetting materialsnot owned byCofrin LibraryFinding a book inthe library catalog
    25. 25. MarketingPilot ProgrammeetingsDepartmentNewsletters & EmailMarketing GraphicsStudent Orientation
    26. 26. Advocating for SupportdedicatedHavingpeopleFundingallocationaskLibrary leadershipneeds tostoryTell yourdataDemonstrate with
    27. 27. rightTargeting thecoursesRetentionSkillsassessmentAssessmentof servicesVirtualoffice hoursSynchronousabilityPortalTutorialcollaborationFacultyGoing Forward
    28. 28. Sharing & Questions
    29. 29. This presentation uses Creative Commons images available from Flickr: “Like”: “Abstract Fabric Swirls Background”: “8th Floor, Looking Towards the Northwest”: “Cofrin Library on a fall morning”: “Tools of a midwife”: “Branches”: “01.12.11”: “The Chalk Board (104/365)”: “Mac Keyboard”: “HELP POINT”: “Survey Says…”: “070305”: “Shelving”: “The Adventurers”: “Questions”: Sources