Getting to the Heart of Online Instruction and Training


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Preconference from OLA 2012

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Getting to the Heart of Online Instruction and Training

  1. 1. Getting to the heart of online instruction and training MEREDITH FARKAS
  2. 2. Who am I? Head of Instructional Services at Portland State Former Distance Learning Librarian Faculty for online MLIS program Creating online learning objects since 2004, conducting webinars since 2006 Author of “Social Software in Libraries” (2007)
  3. 3. Agenda Introduction Instructional design and planning Technology options for online instruction and assessment Making content available to your users
  4. 4. Tell me! Name Place of work Your instruction or training situation Something you are hoping to learn from this preconference
  5. 5. Online instruction doesn’t have to be “less than” •Not limited by librarian, patron, student or faculty member’s schedules •Instruction can take place in small chunks •Instruction can be provided at logical points in a student’s work/research process than all at once •We can cover more than in a 1-hour session
  6. 6. Online instruction doesn’t have to be “less than” •Students can customize their learning experience based on what they already know •Lessons can be viewed as many times as necessary •Librarians can create multiple learning experiences that appeal to different learning styles
  7. 7. What do you hope to accomplish? WHAT ARE YOUR GOALS?
  8. 8. Things to ask yourself •Who is your audience? •What are your learning outcomes? •Don’t pack too much into one object •What is the purpose of the learning object? •Supplement F2F teaching, replace, or both?
  9. 9. Things to ask yourself •What resources are available? •Tech, staff time, funding, etc. •What are the skill levels of those creating online learning objects/experiences? •What is your timeline? •Can you reuse other content or must you start from scratch?
  10. 10.
  11. 11.
  12. 12. Don’t be Lame!
  15. 15. Needs assessment for patrons •Talk to reference librarians and look at chat transcripts, reference stats •Survey faculty •Patron need surveys •Focus groups •Websites statistics •Usability testing •Qualitative/observational research
  16. 16. Needs assessment for Staff •Staff skills assessment •Talk to volunteers and/or work study students •Survey staff
  17. 17. Are the things people have trouble with best addressed by instruction? Example:
  18. 18. Instructional design process
  19. 19. Good learing outcomes are Measurable
  20. 20. Good learing outcomes Match the level (bloom’s)
  21. 21. Good learing outcomes are Balanced
  22. 22. Good learing outcomes are Measurable
  23. 23. Building an outcome
  24. 24. Outcomes: before and after Students will Students will Come up with keywords for their paper topic Develop topic-relevant keywords in order to search with maximum flexibility and effectiveness Learn how to evaluate sources Critically evaluate different types of sources in order to select sources with quality appropriate to the information need
  25. 25. Problem outcomes •Develop topic-relevant keywords in order to locate scholarly sources • Find scholarly psychology articles in order to successfully complete a paper in PSY 101 •Evaluate sources in order to write good papers •Define, identify and formulate controlled vocabulary in order to conduct successful searches online
  26. 26. Your turn! •Think of a learning object or training module you’d like to develop •Develop 1-3 learning outcomes that describe what essential things participants should be able to do after going through your training/object
  27. 27. Learning Styles • Some are questioning their existence • Visual, aural, reader/writer, kinesthetic • Kolb • Assimilator - Can easily understand abstract ideas and assimilating a variety of info and making it logical. • Converger - Use experimentation to learn • Diverger - Strong imagination, can see things from a variety of perspectives • Accommodator - Need concrete examples
  28. 28. Strategies for meeting the needs of diverse learners •Incorporate problem-based and active learning •Incorporate case studies or simulations •Include multiple sensory options •Offer multiple delivery modes •Make content modular •You’ll never meet everyone’s needs 100%
  29. 29. Accessibility •Make yourselves aware of ADA requirements •If you use software, make sure it creates ADA-compliant content •Transcripts, alt tags on images, ability to be read by a text-to-speech program •New rules: can’t wait until you have a disabled student/patron to adapt
  30. 30. Mobile Accessibility •Use of mobile devices is growing •More people accessing library via mobile device •Develop with small screens in mind •Avoid the need to type •Avoid rollovers •NO FLASH!
  31. 31. Cognitive load theory •People’s ability to process information is divided into two channels, verbal and visual •The brain can only process a limited amount if info from each channel at once. •Do not make your patrons split their attention. •Worst practices
  32. 32. You can’t do it alone •Borrow, borrow, borrow •ANTS •CLIP •PRIMO •YouTube •Vendor tutorials •ALWAYS give credit
  33. 33.
  34. 34. learning object: a reusable instructional resource, usually digital, developed to support learning
  35. 35. Types of learning objects for patrons •Demonstrating library services •Resource how-to’s •Information literacy •Research in a specific subject
  36. 36. Evaluating technologies •What technologies are your audience familiar with? •What technologies will not require your audience to learn something new, download something, etc? •What technologies will really meet user needs and your goals?
  37. 37. Evaluating technologies •Find a balance •Consider long-term sustainability High Impact Low Impact High Cost Low Cost More Effort Less Effort
  38. 38. For Staff •How do staff currently learn what you’re trying to teach? •What isn’t working? •What are the barriers to staff continuing education? •How much support will there be for training in terms of time?
  39. 39. For students •Talk to faculty, TA’s, etc. and look at syllabi •Find out what technologies students use and faculty teach with •Find out how students communicate in class •Do online courses have synchronous components?
  40. 40. for public library patrons •What instructional content currently exists? •What isn’t working? •What are the barriers to online patron education?
  41. 41.
  42. 42. Technologies for online learning
  43. 43. Printable documents •PDFs are better than Word docs •Good for short, discrete instruction • Good for things that people frequently ask at the reference desk •Include images and screenshots to illustrate and break-up text •Should not be the only form of instruction on some topics
  44. 44. Static HTML tutorials Pros 1. Relatively easy to create 2. Easy for students to skim, scan and skip around 3. Easy for students to try out resources side-by-side 4. Easy to update Cons 1. Text-heavy 2. No interactivity, less engaging 3. Not as useful for aural and kinesthetic learners
  45. 45. Tutorials with basic interactivity •Often have to click on something or take some small action to have the tutorial advance •Rollover actions •Not so great examples: Notre Dame, PSU and PSU •Good example: Daemen Library
  46. 46. tutorials with basic interactivity Pros 1. Relatively easy to create 2. Easy for students to skim, scan and skip around 3. Easy for students to try out resources side-by-side 4. Easy to update 5. Might be able to use some interactive components for assessment purposes Cons 1. Text-heavy 2. Not as useful for aural and kinesthetic learners 3. If interactive components are not meaningful, it may just annoy the user 4. Frequently not mobile- friendly
  47. 47. Approaches to the “research tutorial”
  48. 48. Examples • Not great • • http://www.c • Better • • •
  49. 49. OK, now let’s remember that our target audience for these are not librarians
  50. 50. The modular research toolkit approach Pros 1. Can provide a variety of learning experiences using different tools. 2. Doesn’t need to be covered in a single class session. 3. Easy for faculty to integrate into their courses and assess. 4. Can be packaged for different needs/audiences Cons 1. Requires strong collaboration with faculty
  51. 51. Subject/course guides •Guide research in a specific subject or course assignment •Tend to have a lot of links out to resources •Also known as pathfinders, research guides
  52. 52. Tools for creating Subject/course guides •HTML (and HTML editors) •LibGuides •Library ala Carte •Subjects Plus •Drupal •Wikis •Blogs •Social bookmarking
  53. 53. Examples of course/subject guides •Library ala Carte and here •Subjects Plus •Drupal and here •Wikis and here
  54. 54. Course/Subject Guide do’s
  55. 55. Course/Subject Guide do’s
  56. 56. Course/Subject Guide do’s
  57. 57. Course/Subject Guide do’s
  58. 58. Course/Subject Guide don’ts
  59. 59. Course/Subject Guide don’ts
  60. 60. Course/Subject Guide don’ts
  61. 61. Course/Subject guides Pros 1. Easy to create 2. Tailored to specific students/subjects 3. Consistent look and feel 4. Can offer various types of learning experiences within a guide 5. Often offers places to connect with a librarian 6. In some cases, can easily reuse content Cons 1. No or little interactivity 2. Text-heavy 3. Requires significant staff time to update as the number of guides grows 4. Tools like LibGuides can be abused 5. Usability of guides rarely assessed
  62. 62.
  63. 63. Blogs •Organized in reverse chronological order •Static and chronological pages •Searchable •Can have multiple authors •Can have comments open •RSS-enabled
  64. 64. Blogs in libraries •Research guide/subject-related instruction •Ohio University Business Blog •Sharing departmental knowledge •Reference at Newman Library Blog manreference/
  65. 65. Blogs in Teaching •Reflective learning •Learning 2.0 •Web 2.0 class •Teaching tool for learning about scholarly communication •Blogs are far more approachable to undergrads than peer-reviewed journals
  66. 66. Wikis •Content management system •Makes it easy for multiple people to develop and edit pages together •Content is organized by hyperlinks
  67. 67. Wiki in Libraries •Norwich University Research Guides •Davis Wiki •Antioch University New England Staff Training and Support Wiki wiki=antioch_university_new_e ngland_library_staff_training_and_support_wiki
  68. 68. Social bookmarking •Web-based space to collect and share web links •Uses in teaching and learning •Subject guides •Resource sharing/collaboration •Independent inquiry
  69. 69. Screencasting •Video taken of your desktop •Call outs, captioning, highlighting •Can include quizzes, interactive components
  70. 70. Screencasting Software $$$ (>50) $$ (<50) Free -Camtasia (Mac + Windows) -Captivate (Mac + Windows) -ScreenFlow (Mac) -iShowU (Mac) -SnagIt (Mac + Windows) -Screenr (Mac + Windows) -Screencast-O- Matic (Mac + Winows) -CamStudio -Wink
  71. 71. Screencasting examples •SUNY Geneseo •Penn State •Auburn •Harvard •Crossett Library •King County Library System •University of Washington
  72. 72. Screencasting best practices •Under 5 minutes (ideally under 3) •Break screencasts up with navigation so people can get just what they need •Storyboard and/or write a script •Make sure the script sounds natural •Make sure you film at the resolution you want the final product to be •640x480px for YouTube
  73. 73. Screencasting best practices •Don’t bury the lede!!! •Avoid jumping around the page •Match audio with screen actions •With talking, one speed doesn’t fit all •Make sure sound quality is good (example) •Do it all in one take, even if you have to record multiple versions in that one take
  74. 74. Screencasting Pros 1. Appeals to diverse learning styles 2. Visually engaging 3. Interactivity can be integrated 4. Quizes can be integrated Cons 1. Time-consuming to create and update 2. Have to be short 3. Difficult for students to skim, scan and skip around 4. Difficult for students to apply what they’re learning while they watch
  75. 75. Video Software •Software •A huge variety •Plenty of free and low-cost options •$$ •iMovie •Pinnacle Studio •$$$ •Final Cut Pro (Mac) •Adobe Premiere (Windows) •Video Studio
  76. 76. Video Hosting (also applies to screencasts) •Your own server •Make sure you have sufficient bandwidth!!! •YouTube •Vimeo • • •All are free, but free versions usually have limits
  77. 77. Video Examples •MSU Billings •Otis College •Orange County Library System •University of Tennessee •Kimbel Library •University of Arizona •College of DuPage Library
  78. 78. Video pros and cons Pros 1. Can be very engaging Cons 1. Time-consuming to create 2. May need frequent updating as things about the library or its resources/services change 3. Must be short 4. Can be cheesy 5. No way to really put active learning exercises into a video
  79. 79. Making a one-minute video •Nail down the 3-5 points you can make in one-minute •Develop brief talking points •Introduce, highlight, wrap-up •Not a tutorial. Doesn’t teach them how to use. Shows them WHY they’d want to use
  80. 80. So you think you can make a one-minute video?
  81. 81. Web conferencing •Allows for synchronous online instruction for one or many users •Possible uses •Guest speakers •Training or instruction session •Office hours/research consultations
  82. 82. Web conferencing Software • Features • VoIP or call-in • Text chat • Polling • Display of slides • Whiteboards • Screensharing • Web tours • Web cams • Sub-rooms for group work
  83. 83. Web conferencing Software • Popular options • Blackboard Collaborate (used to be Elluminate and Wimba) • Adobe Connect • Skype • BigBlueButton • Zoho Meeting • TokBox • GoToMeeting • WebEx • Microsoft Live Meeting
  84. 84. web conferencing Pros 1. Can provide tailored instruction to students in real-time 2. Live interaction with a librarian builds connection 3. Questions can be asked/answered 4. Can add interactive components 5. Can be recorded for later viewing Cons 1. Requires synchronous attendance 2. Students may not have the requisite technologies 3. While active learning is possible, it’s rarely used in web conferencing 4. Staff time 5. Cost of technology
  85. 85. Recording instruction sessions •Can do with web conferencing software •Some classrooms are setup for capturing the lecturer and their screen •Panopto •Example •Different to sit through a lecture in- person vs. viewing a recording
  86. 86. Embedded librarian •Librarians embedded in classes •Online, it usually happens in discussion boards •Provides instruction & reference help •Sometimes students are required to contact the librarian, sometime the librarian just has a discussion board where they can ask questions
  87. 87. Embedded librarian Pros 1. Promotes deeper connections with students 2. Librarian can provide instruction at logical points in the term rather than all at once Cons 1. Extremely time- consuming and unsustainable for all but a few classes 2. Requires significant collaboration with faculty
  88. 88. electronic games • Must outline measurable learning outcomes on which to base in-game play/assessment • Pros: Can potentially engage students more than any other instruction tool, games are 100% active learning • Cons: Extremely difficult to produce a good one, highest costs in time and $$$.
  89. 89. electronic games • Industry Island • Carnegie Mellon’s Games • Plagiarism Game • Quarantined • Bioactive • Library Craft • Lemontree
  90. 90. so...Where’s the active learning? • Find ways for users to practice what they’re learning while or immediately after they’re learning • With web conferencing: Have students “drive” • With asynchronous: CATs, have them do something and enter it into a web form, have questions that they answer as they go • My favorite: University of Arizona’s “Guide on the Side”
  91. 91. Assessment
  92. 92. Usability testing •Before you roll out the object •Get a few members of your target audience to try it out. •Record what they’re doing •Ask them to think out loud as they go through •You still may need to make changes after it’s rolled out if your other assessments suggest changes are needed
  93. 93. Peer Review •Ask your colleagues for feedback •Many learning object repositories (like MERLOT) have peer-review functionality
  94. 94. Assessment of use •Look at stats •Google Analytics, AWStats, etc. •Many hosting sites provide their own analytics •How many uses •Devices used to access (mobile?) •Find out what classes are using it (survey faculty) & make it easy for them to tell you.
  95. 95. Assessment of Efficacy •Activities that require students to demonstrate learning •Part of the learning object •Quiz, CAT, self-assessment, pre- test/post-test, survey •As part of a class •Requires collaboration w/ faculty •How will you analyze results?
  96. 96.
  97. 97. Making your instructional content findable
  98. 98. But how do people find this awesomeness? find this awesomeness? find this awesomeness?
  99. 99. why would patrons be coming here?
  100. 100. I need 3 articles on global warming I’m looking for the book “The Awakening.” I searched for my topic in JSTOR and couldn’t find anything How do I cite this in APA format? I found this article but I’m not sure if it’s scholarly I’m looking for topographical maps of Chile
  101. 101. Finding a specific book in the catalog tutorial How do we get them from this to this? I’m looking for the book “The Awakening.”
  102. 102. Find Books I want a specific book I’m looking for books on a topic Finding a specific book in the catalog Finding books in the catalog Developing a search strategy Are you looking for a specific book or books on a topic? Finding books in the stacks I’m looking for the book “The Awakening.”
  103. 103. But Don’t just stick it on a “tutorials” page
  104. 104. GET IN THEIR FLOW
  105. 105. Where might patrons look for help on your library’s website? •Ask a Librarian page •Any help type of pages •Research guides •Databases page (and inside databases) •Catalog •Websites pages for specific services (ILL, gov docs, etc.)
  106. 106. Finding the pain points •Web stats •Where do patrons get frustrated and leave the site? •Reference transcripts and stats •Talk to colleagues •Survey patrons •Usability testing •Ethnographic research
  107. 107. Go where your users are: Learning objects... •in the Learning Management System (LMS) •on an Intranet •in any local social networks or relevant community websites •on Facebook •on mobile devices •in computer labs (on the desktop)
  108. 108. Connect the physical world with Digital research help
  109. 109. QR Codes •Short for Quick Response •Originally developed for inventory control •Need a QR code reader to read •Scan a QR code to access info or take action
  110. 110. QR Code Generators and readers
  111. 111. Uses of QR codes
  112. 112. Uses of QR codes
  113. 113. Uses of QR codes
  114. 114. Uses of QR codes
  115. 115. getting outside of the library •Fliers and posters that link to instructional content •Put them where users might have information needs outside of the library •Buses, business support organizations, daycare centers, community centers, high schools, academic department offices, student lounges, computer labs, etc.
  116. 116. QR Code tips •Can also use shortened URLs (, tinyurl, etc.) or both •Make sure it’s going to mobile-friendly content •QR code size: ideal = 1.5 inch sq. some can work as small as 0.4 in.Some QR code generators provide usage stats
  117. 117. Why it’s critical to know your users
  118. 118. Reach out to those who influence your audience’s information behavior
  119. 119. Marketing •Recommend during reference transactions •Recommend during F2F instruction sessions •Make them visible on the library website •Branding? •Link related learning objects together
  120. 120. Closing tips • Learn everything you can about your users • In academic libraries: work closely with faculty and academic computing/CTL/etc. • For training: learn where your colleagues are and determine where they need to be • Even with unmediated instruction, make sure it’s easy for patrons to get help from a human being
  121. 121. Closing tips • Choose the technology that is the right fit for the need, for the audience, and given your own constraints • Place instruction at your users’ points of need • Give patrons’ choices. Let them determine the order in which they wish to learn • Integrate active learning as much as possible
  122. 122. Questions? Find me at mgfarkas (at) flickr, twitter: librarianmer facebook: meredithfarkas