katep: July 2010 Archives

We have just discovered that our efforts to get the Library Course Page integrated with various University systems has paid off. There is now a "Library Resources" block on Moodle.

The process to create this was very interesting--partly because Moodle is a resource for the entire University of Minnsota system--so it was important for the developers to create a block that had value for everyone around the system. Hence the search box with "Ebscohost" and "MNCAT Plus." We were severely restricted on the wording for this drop down due to space (e.g. couldn't be Academic Search Premier). We are eager for feedback on this and to learn more about what makes sense to label these.

The links under the course title below for "Find Articles and Books" goes to the LCP page (http://www.lib.umn.edu/course/JOUR/3004) and the "Get Reserves Readings" goes to the "reserves" tab in the same page.

Here is an example of the "block" in Moodle:



We are still waiting to see an example for MyU--but if students go to their "MyCourses" tab they should see a link to the LCP along with links to their course sites in Moodle or Web Vista.

How can we tell instructors/faculty/staff to add the "Library Resources" block to their Moodle page?
After turning "editing on"--look on right hand side of the page and use the pull down menu label "Add.." under "Blocks." Select "Library Resources"


How can the Library Resources block be customized?
After the Library Resources block has been added to the Moodle page, you can click the "edit" (hammer) and you will be taken to a page to customize the block for your course. Here are the options and default settings:


If you have any questions, please let me know (katep@umn.edu).
I was demoing Find it today and showed a record with a bx recommender box. The students (graduate level) were interested and wanted to know more...comments like "it is just like shopping" "like amazon" were mentioned and the response was positive but I didn't know what level of detail to go in to...if any--is it so obvious that no explaination is needed? Anybody read any articles or blogs on how to teach about this?

Here is some information (in librarianese) on it form the wiki:

"bX is a service available from Ex Libris that generates recommendations for searchers. bX generates these recommendations based on actual use of link resolver services, such as SFX, using anonymized data contributed by institutions from all over the world. Recommendations can be presented in multiple interfaces including the FindIt menu and MNCAT Plus. More information about the service and how it works can be found on the Ex Libris website.

The service makes connections between articles as searchers discover and access them, so it is continually being refined and improved as more people use it and contribute their data to the system. We are still evaluating the implications of adding our own data to the larger pool, so currently we are not contributing our data. In the meantime, however, our users and staff can take full advantage of this service"

More on https://wiki.lib.umn.edu/ET/BX

Any thoughts? Also any plans to try to simplify the Find it Menu?

referenceservicesreview.jpgThis type of article and summary may be useful in the new Libraries website with examples for faculty. Is it necessary for the examples to be from our campus or will any good example do (or be even better?)?

Armstrong, J. (2010). Designing a writing intensive course with information literacy and critical thinking learning outcomes. Reference Services Review, 38(3).

In this article, Armstrong describes her peerreviewedarticle.jpg attempt to incorporate information literacy (IL) learning outcomes and critical thinking (CT) skills into a quarter-long capstone course in American Cultural Studies. After students choose their research project in the second class session, the librarian-professor spends three class days covering research methods. In general, the way in which the assignments are organized throughout the course are "designed to move students through the logical stages of the research and writing process and also to engage them in the dialectical relationship between research and critical thinking." Students are expected to exhibit a variety of IL and CT skills throughout the course, culminating in their final research paper. Since IL and CT skills are viewed on a learning continuum, a variety of assessments are used: qualitative and quantitative examination of citations used; a research methods questionnaire (e.g. "How did you do your research", etc.); pre- and post-course student evaluations; and overall course grading. The article provides a thoughtful source of inspiration for librarians planning semester-long IL-based courses.

from http://inkandvellum.com/blog/2010/07/current-research-july-2010/

I love these Library videos!

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From the Harold B. Lee Library at Brigham Young University... 1. New spice

2. Interlibrary Loan

3. Can you help me now?

Here are a few things I found useful as I skimmed the book by Janice Redish titled "Letting go of the words." I think these are useful as I am about to rise by subject and course pages. I think I am going to have in my head the image of the slightly impatient student at the reference desk--when you know you need to be quick and to the point or he/she is just going to leave.

  • People come to web sits to satisfy goals, to do tasks, to get answers to questions.
  • They don't read much much, especially before they get to the page that has the information they want.
  • Even on information pages, they skim and scan before they start to read
  • They want to read only enough to meet their needs
  • Write so that busy people can grab the information they need and go on to whatever they need to do next
  • We all interpret as we read.
  • Break up large documents.
  • Give people what they need
  • Cut! Cut! Cut! And Cut Again!
  • Start with key point. Write in inverted pyramid style
  • Writing informally is not "dumbing down"!
  • Talk to your site visitors
  • When you update pages, revise them to be better writing for the web.
  • Break up text with headings
  • Use action phrase headings for instructions
  • Put your site vistors' words in the headings

Do you have any tips or tricks you use when you write/edit your pages?
I just got an email from Project Information Literacy saying that their new report was about to be published:A content analysis of 191 course-related research assignment handouts professors distributed to undergraduates on 28 U.S. campuses (including the University of Minnesota). The report, "Assigning Inquiry: How Handouts for Research Assignments Guide Today's College Students," will be released in the next few days. Here is a preview:

"Instructional design is a process for systematically designing effective instructional materials and learning opportunities. Good instructional design involves needs assessment, development, evaluation, implementation, and maintenance of the learning system... These principles can help librarians design effective and high-impact teaching environments from semester long courses to one-shot library instruction classes to the effective use of signage and website design."

-taken from a pre-conference session description: http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/events/instructionaldesign.cfm

Learn more at Designing Better Libraries.....What is instructional design?

About this Archive

This page is an archive of recent entries written by katep in July 2010.

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