August 2010 Archives

1. What is your experience with teaching with the new site?

  • How are you using the new site in your instruction? As we learn and teach with the new website, lets share some of what is working and not working. Please share your comments via this blog (click on the comment feature at the top). The IL Collaborative and Instruction Coordinator are planning on hosting a forum to share these in mid-October.

  • If you are demoing the personalization features and login with your information--you will also get the Drupal black bar at the top of the page which might make it difficult to demonstrate.  If you want another log in, feel free to use: libteach/Goldy7gopher.  You won't see any books or recommendations but you won't get the black bar at the top either.

  • If you are trying to describe something or want to direct a student to a particular can...use the #name of tab (you can hover over tabs and "right click>copy link location"
2. Check (and add to) the Information Literacy Toolkit ( to get ideas for orientation PPTs, guides, handouts and more.

3. Remember to use Desk Tracker for your statistics (

4. New templates from Communications for guides and PPTs (

5. Please continue to update RQS/Subjects and Library Course Pages (

6. Do you know how to reserve an instructional room with Google Calendar? Check out this quick guide ( and see arrow #10

7. We have revised the web pages about the Instruction in the Libraries ( and will continuing to edit and add content. Let us know if you have comments or suggestions.

Please let anyone in the Information Literacy Collaborative or Instruction Coordinators Group know if you have more questions or comments.

I was taken by this post from a professor from Butler University on "A New Kind of Final"

"As I have been reflecting more and more on how technology is changing not only how we teach, but also what we need to teach students, and train students to be able to do, I have found myself considering phasing out exams of the traditional sort, in which I essentially test what they have been able to remember. Information is available with a few clicks of their thumbs, and so it seems better to instead test students' ability to find reliable information online, rather than test their ability to remember it"

"And so I may in the near future give a final exam in which students have access to whatever electronic devices they wish, and are given a limited time in which to locate reliable information and use it to answer a question - with appropriate credit being given to sources and without any plagiarism, of course."

Certainly shifts the skills students would need to focus on in the semester.....

Info Lit in Pictures

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I don't know the origin of these but it is an interesting idea---

What do you think?
As we gear up for the fall instruction push I though everyone might be interested in Judith Boettcher, Ph.D., an expert in online learning's Nine Ways to Customize Learning Experiences.  The good thing to note is we already are doing some of this, or about to start!

  • Item 3 is about examining the course structure. Now is a great time to review items in the IL Toolkit and add items to inspire your colleagues with fresh ideas. 
  • Consider checking out some clickers to use in your instruction sessions to give students' the power to choose what they are most interested in and to give periodic feedback through a session.  This aligns nicely with item 4, Differentiate assignments and content resources.
  • Personally, I <3 the idea of having a discussion around learning goals and objectives and having students comment on a discussion board.  Maybe using Google Docs this could happen before you have an instruction session with them, or consider collaboratively writing them with the course instructor?

It's that time of year again...the days are getting shorter, the temperature is getting cooler (knock on wood!) and the promise of chocolate-covered bacon at the State Fair makes me smile continually. 

(Can't wait for the fair!)                                                 (Image from TwisterMC via Flickr.  CC)

That's right...Autumn's approaching. And with it come Grad Student Orientations.

In my experience the library portion of the Grad Student Orientation usually lasts about 15 minutes.  Fifteen minutes to package the libraries' services, tools and policies and present them to 30-100 new graduate students who are being saturated with information throughout the day.

In my first two years I've tried a couple of different methods (short talks focused on the website with supplementary handouts, short talks focused on intriguing library services with supplementary handouts) in an attempt to make these few minutes useful for the students and effective enough that something that I present will stick with them as they go forward into the new academic year.

I'm in the planning process for Year 3 right now and I thought I'd turn to the Information Literacy Toolkit and see what we had tagged under orientation.

It looks like there are some good examples of orientation tools (some focused on faculty, some on International students) of my favorites is a PowerPoint presentation put in the toolkit by Jan Fransen, "Your Guide to All Things Library".

I adapted this slideshow for my departmental orientations last year and I think it worked's got a lot of good content and is a great example for presenting a lot of information in a succinct manner.

How do you approach the grad student orientation?    What do you focus on...collections?  Services? Tools? Some combo?  How do you present the information...PowerPoint? Prezi? Handouts?

If you have an effective method for these presentations please share in the comments...and if you have a good resource that you've used in the past it would be great to see such tools added to the toolkit!

Good luck prepping for the upcoming semester!

Intl_journal_comm.jpgInteresting article that Jerilyn sent out this week:

"In Google we trust." That may very well be the motto of today's young online users, a demographic group often dubbed the "digital natives" due their apparent tech-savvy. Having been born into a world where personal computers were not a revolution, but merely existed alongside air conditioning, microwaves and other appliances, there has been (a perhaps misguided) perception that the young are more digitally in-tune with the ways of the Web than others.

That may not be true, as it turns out. A new study coming out of Northwestern University, discovered that college students have a decided lack of Web savvy, especially when it comes to search engines and the ability to determine the credibility of search results. Apparently, the students favor search engine rankings above all other factors. The only thing that matters is that something is the top search result, not that it's legit."

Blog post about article

Did you see they posted a "behind the scenes" of the New Spice video.

Love it too! Any anytime I feel like I should be able to pull off this sort of quality sitting in front of my laptop--just seeing all the work that went into this makes me feel a little bit better.

Now we just have to figure out how to capitalize on all the work they did...anyone planning on using this in instruction this year?


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