June 2011 Archives

This presentation from netflix CEO Reed Hastings made me rethink PPT a little bit. It was designed to be "read" not presented....and I did...through all 128 slides of it...Why?

-I was interested
-the slideshare interface was easy to click through
-engaging, clear points
-clear organization with where I had been and where I was going

Do others have PPTs they like? Any Library examples? 

Introduction to Design Thinking Workshop
Wednesday, June 22, 2011
10:30 am to 12:00 pm
Room S-30A, Wilson Library
Design thinking is a creative problem solving process that challenges individuals to embrace a bias towards action, employ radical collaboration, focus on human values, prototype and experiment, develop and maintain processes, and cultivate a talent for clarifying and solving difficult problems.  In this interactive, hands-on workshop, Paul Zenke, our instructional designer, will lead us through the design thinking process and explore how this method can be utilized at the Libraries to design creative solutions to instructional, service-based, and organizational challenges.  Sponsored by the Information Literacy Collaborative and the Instruction Coordinators Group. 

For questions, contact Kate Peterson at: 
katep@umn.edu or Paul Zenke at: pfzenke@umn.edu.


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I've been reading about the Bologna Process recently. It is an initiative which aims "to create the European higher education area by harmonising academic degree standards and quality assurance standards throughout Europe by the end of 2010" http://www.wg.aegee.org/ewg/bologna.htm).

A good source of information on the basics of the Bologna Process is at http://www.coe.int/t/dg4/highereducation/ehea2010/bolognapedestrians_en.asp

This website states the by 2010 higher education systems in European countries should be organised in such a way that:

  • it is easy to move from one country to the other (within the European Higher Education Area) - for the purpose of further study or employment;
  • the attractiveness of European higher education is increased so many people from non-European countries also come to study and/or work in Europe;
  • the European Higher Education Area provides Europe with a broad, high quality and advanced knowledge base, and ensures the further development of Europe as a stable, peaceful and tolerant community.

47 countries are part of this initiative, including non European nations. This standardization of degrees and outcomes among member nations is meant increase Europe's competitiveness in attracting international students, and help employers understand the skills and learning graduates will bring to the workplace.

I ran across an interesting article on the attempt to ensure that higher education degrees are relevant in the job market by a process named "tuning." Lawrence, Lee (2010, June 2). Fine-tuning college degrees to the job market; US institutions of higher learning are adapting aspects of "Tuning," a European program to give college degrees more job market relevance. The Christian Science Monitor.

Tuning is a product of the Bologna Process. It is described as "a bottom-up process that has implications for the way professors teach and the how students explain what they've learned." European policymakers realized that they would need to understand "what students need to know, understand and do with any given credential." This led to tuning, which has faculty members meeting with employers and administrators to determine what students in each discipline actually need to know. In the US, credits measure hours spent in the classroom rather than what is learned. This kind of reform would increase transparency about what higher education is actually delivering.

The implications for library instruction and information literacy are huge here. Is there a standardized library curriculum as well? What would the nuances and implications of that kind of policy be?  


I've been researching how multimedia is utilized in industry as an effort to better form the narrative of why media skill sets are so critical going forward.  I started at Medtronic and within seconds I stumbled across this article about how they are utilizing the iPad and developing apps for monitoring glucose level in diabetic patients: http://www.medtronic.com/innovation/innovation-stories/apple-ipad.html?cmpid=b_ifl_mdt_11FY13.  In addition to the import of app development, I also noticed they were extolling the virtues of it's ability to synthesize information through info. viz.  Also notice how many times they discuss the value of these tools in quickly accessing critical literature research and general information.  So many levels of literacy here....

Elsewhere, I found this video describing their partnership with Ford on mobile app. development which demonstrates mobile tech., while the presentation incorporates more traditional forms of production (graphics, presentation software): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WS6NLmrJ67w

It does not take a technologist, media specialist, or librarian to recognize that this media is everywhere and mobile/media development is the future.  I am inspired by the leadership of the LT Media Lab here on campus in promoting mobile app. development, and also very excited about the future having supported, through the Library Media Services/SMART, the innovative ways faculty are integrating student produced media assignments into their classes and their understanding of students needing these skill sets for improved learning experience, civic participation, and future employer demands.

On the horizon:  Faculty increasingly experimenting with these technologies to develop/utilize tools that will provide greater disciplinary insight, real-world application, and communication of their research.

I was just helping out a colleague in Google Books, when I noticed that Google Books is now offering exports to EndNote, RefMan, and Bibtex!

It prompted this tweet


I may well be super late to this Google Book records exporting party (which would be a change of pace because I'm somewhat notorious among my friends for actually being obsessively punctual about my party attendance--if the invitation says the party starts at 8, why would I not show up until 9...or 10!--oh well they needed help setting out the relish tray anyway)...but I figure better late than never.

Anyway, if like me, this is news to you here's how you can export...

1.  Do your search in Google Books.
2.  Click on a title that looks interesting.
3.  Look at the top left corner of the Item Record page and click on the About This Book link


4.  Scroll all the way to the bottom of the About This Book page and you should see some export options:


As you can see RefWorks is not an option...but there is a work around!  You can select the RefMan option which will save the citation in an RIS Format file to your computer.  You can then go into RefWorks and import the file using the RIS Format as your import filter (and database).

So if your users are using Google Books...this may be of interest!

Note:  If the book you're looking at has no preview you get taken automatically to the About This Book page...so you can just scroll to the bottom there to find the export buttons.

"We found no matter where students are enrolled, no matter what information resources they have at their disposal, and no matter how much time they have, the abundance of information technology and the proliferation of digital information resources have made research uniquely paradoxical.

Information is now as infinite as the universe, but finding the answers needed is harder than ever.

Our ongoing research confirms proficiency in information problem solving is urgent, given the dauntingly vast and complex wilderness of information available digitally. As one student in humanities said during one of our focus groups, "What's so frustrating to me about conducting research is the more you know, the more you realize how little you know -- it's depressing, frustrating and suffocating."

When we surveyed undergraduates last spring in a large-scale survey, eight in 10 of our 8,353 respondents reported having overwhelming difficulty even starting research assignments and determining the nature and scope of what was expected of them.

As one engineering student explained, "None of the old-timers -- the old professors -- can really give us much advice on sorting through and evaluating resources ... we're kind of one of the first generations to have too much information, as opposed to too little."

We argue evaluation, interpretation and synthesis are the key competencies of the 21st century. These information-literacy skills allow us to find what we need, filter out what we do not and chart a course in an ever-expanding frontier of information. Information literacy is the essential skill set that cuts across all disciplines and professions.

It is time for many educators to stop lamenting about "these kids today" and retool and prioritize the learning of skills for solving information problems if students are to learn and master critical thinking at all. Or, as one student in social sciences we interviewed told us, "College is about knowing how to look at a problem in multiple ways and how to think about it analytically -- now, that's something I'll use in my life."

read more: http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/opinion/2015227485_guest05head.html

I can imagine using these in instruction...maybe having students agree or disagree--a way to start the conversation about the skills that are needed today? What do you think?

Here are some notes from the following session (I will post slides and recording when they are posted):

Video Game Design as a Model For Professional Development and Creating New Staff Trainings Paul Zenke, Kate Peterson, and Tony Ihrig

In fall 2010, the University of Minnesota Libraries' hired an instructional designer to boost its instructional efforts. At the same time, the Libraries' Reinventing Reference Collaborative began work on developing a reference training program based on a set of eleven core competencies they had identified as essential skills for all reference services staff.

One specific competency--the reference interview--offered a unique opportunity for a new digital training tool. Using video game design principles, the group began the process of creating branching narratives based on the libraries' core users and types of reference interactions (email, chat, face-to-face, and phone). In addition to the training deliverable, the group has used the video game design process as an opportunity for reflecting and experimenting with instructional practice. University of Minnesota collaborators Tony Ihrig, Kate Peterson, and Paul Zenke will describe the origins of the project and their progress to date.

Kate's random notes...

  • With new models of reference and new people on our desks...need for systematic reference competencies through RRC 
  • Developed 11 core competencies 
  • stripped out subject specific tools and focus on overarching skills all staff needed
  • Reference interview was challenging to teach via traditional ways (e.g. screen cast, webpage, quiz, etc.)
  • Reference interview usually taught by shadowing and by example--not scalable--fewer reference question so hard to see breadth and also many modes (chat, email, phone, etc.)
  • What would the people do and how can we assess performance?
  • Useful model is branching narrative--choose your own adventure (aka familiar with librarians)-interactive story with different endings
  • Identified 4 patron groups and 4 modalities (ways we interact with groups)
  • Identify working examples to use and model work on--helpful when you are working with something new --connect with haji kamal
  • How can games help us learn? Situated context very powerful, allows you to create a performance based task (not information based task) and includes the role of feedback (e.g. character falls in pit and dies--you need to change strategies)
  • Design Model they laid out (modeling, story building, prototyping, production, implementation, evaluation)
  • Modeling: identify competencies, gather experts, collect anecdotes (common examples), expert/partly/novice reactions (task analysis of reference interview)
  • Partly helps us think about what happens in practice and improve practice
  • Story building: each story needed a intro, goal, and characters
  • Scripting: situation (text and prompt), assistant't text, choices, feedback
  • Assistants give advice (two different perspectives on choices)--adds important element to give information to help them make the decisions (takes away the guess element of traditional multiple choice)
  • Have them learn through the process of assessing -2 or 3 choices per situations (and possible outcomes e.g. good, acceptable, poor, fail)--hence can be repayable for future learning
  • Mapping scripts and branches with Google Docs
  • Prototyping--using powerpoint, using linking features---tools aren't that important--
  • Production--translate PPT to captivate (using SCORM--backend reporting system--to have it talk to Moodle and record decisions made by users to have a conversation about practice as part of training program)
  • Did the modeling without an example situation--so it was focused on best practice not on a specific situation
  • How going to assess? Embed, debrief, survey, --player is making decisions, starting off conversation with supervisor, survey to see overtime if desk services improves
  • Vital to think on how can we meet learning objectives--can spend too much time focusing on tool and miss the point of the whole thing
  • Also added benefit was professional development --hard to build and model practice and spent many weeks shaping competencies which help build practice for all
  • DEMO--combination of images, cartoon style, audio, not trying to be a "you gotcha" and instead make it more subtle
  • Working to codify this work to share with other groups/institution
  • Building capacity important
  • In certain situations Lee (the character) does walk out with a smile on but fails--which is why we are different than basic customer service (and why other training don't necessarily work for us on this competencies)
  • Partly right is challenging to write but also useful for the learning conversation

Tutorial of the month

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Tutorial Description: Based on the multimedia game, Scene It, Library Scene: Fairfield Edition provides an interactive game that combines animation and live action to orient students to the DiMenna-Nyselius Library. The game has four sections that highlight key library floors and services. Following each session students are presented with four challenges. The challenges are presented in a variety of formats including multiple choice questions, word puzzles, and picture matching.

Q: What was the motivation behind the development of Library Scene?
A: We created the interactive game, Library Scene: Fairfield Edition, to instruct first semester freshmen about library services and to orient them to our building. We needed to create something that would meet both our needs to engage students and to achieve our instructional goals. We chose to base the concept on the popular DVD game, Scene It, since it incorporates multimedia elements as well as traditional game play techniques.

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