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I recently read the book unSpun: Finding Facts in a World of Disinformation, by Brooks Jackson and Kathleen Hall Jamieson, in preparation for an eXtension webinar I am co-teaching on assessing the reliability of online information. This book does a nice job presenting various spin tactics used by advertisers, media, and politicians to tell their stories. Librarians aid in developing students critical thinking skills. This could be a nice textbook for an information literacy course, writing course, or communications course. Here are a few spin tactics used include:
• Deception: False or misleading claims 
• FUD factor: fear, uncertainty, doubt (Example: Pop-up virus warning windows to buy a product.) 
• A story too good to be true usually is. 
• The Dangling Comparative: larger, better, faster 
 • The Superlative Swindle: smallest, highest
 • The Blame Game 
• The Glittering Generalities 

The authors proceed to outline nine rules to detecting spin. Personally, I liked tips four and eight the most: cross -check primary sources and check everything that matters. These steps could be used in developing rich instruction around visual literacy and critical thinking. Another text that would tie nicely and goes into more in-depth discussions is Damned Lies and Statistics: Untangling Numbers from Media, Politicians, and Activists by Joel Best.

Beyond Moodle?

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Thoughts on a Post-LMS World:
from EDUCAUSE Review

"The exponential growth of open source, a new age of interoperable systems, and the increasing demand for e-learning solutions have converged to make the time right for a new kind of LMS."

"In this new LMS environment, a faculty member is a learning architect (the future) as opposed to a learning manager (the present). The LMS 3.0 world will adapt to the art of teaching as opposed to faculty having to adapt to a particular technology."

"Content used for enrichment as well as remediation can be subscribed and syndicated to student learning profiles in ways we cannot accomplish today. In the new LMS world, institutions will be able to shape the component architecture to the individual needs of the program, course, or learner."

Essential Components:
  • Learning Grids
  • E-Learning Intelligence
  • Content Clouds
  • Open Architecture
did you see this in the Monday Memo...

SFX Link Tutorial
Over the past few years, I have received a lot of requests from online course designers and faculty on how to setup links to articles properly.  In response to this, Paul Zenke, Elena Carrillo, and I created a short, two minute tutorial on how to create a SFX/FindIt Link.  You can find the recording linked at: under the "Using the Libraries in Your Teaching" heading.
-Kristin Mastel

Articles of Interest

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Some articles from around the literature... stack.jpg

 Kashmir Hill (October 3, 2011). What Prospective Employers Hope To See In Your Facebook Account: Creativity, Well-Roundedness, & 'Chastity' Forbes. Retrieved from on October 5, 2011. 

 Erin L Davis, Kacy Lundstrom, and Pamela N. Martin (2011). Librarian Perceptions and Information Literacy Instruction Models. Reference Services Review, 39(4), 1-25. 

 Michael J. Paulus Jr. "Reconceptualizing Academic Libraries and Archives in the Digital Age." portal: Libraries and the Academy 11.4 (2011): 939-952. 

"This paper considers the concept of "the archive" in the digital age and the situation of libraries and archives within the lifecycle of information. After discussing the changing nature of books, records, scholarly communication, and the concept of "the archive," this paper merges book and record lifecycle models into a new archival cycle. To avail themselves of the opportunities and to confront the challenges presented by digital materials, librarians and archivists are beginning to assume new roles and reposition themselves within this archival cycle. As professional trajectories converge, preservation can be linked with creation or distribution and it becomes easier to imagine a viable model for curating the archive in the twenty-first century."

 When the (Web)master becomes the student: Usability testing in the classroom November 2011, College & Research Libraries News, vol. 72 no. 10 600-601 
"Standing up in front of a classroom of students gives you a different perspective on who you really work for. "

 Tom Stafford (October 24, 2011). Make study more effective, the easy way. Retrieved from on November 1, 2011. 

"If you are a teacher, like me, then this research raises some disturbing questions. At a University the main form of teaching we do is the lecture, which puts the student in a passive role and, essentially, asks them to "remember this" - an instruction we know to be ineffective. Instead, we should be thinking hard, always, about how to create teaching experiences in which students are more active, and about creating courses in which students are permitted and encouraged to come up with their own organisation of material, rather than just forced to regurgitate ours." 

 "Assessing an Information Literacy Assignment and Workshop Using a Quasi-Experimental Design" College Teaching, Volume 59, Issue 4, 2011 

Results of an independent-samples t-test revealed a significant difference on posttest scores on students' information literacy skills between those who participated in the workshop and those who did not. There was also a positive change in students' subjective views of their ability to use the library and online library resources.

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