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Introducing the ZSR Plagiarism Tutorial!

Tuesday, January 29, 2013 12:48 pm

It is my honor to introduce you to one of the most amazing tools that I’ve seen in a long time! After several months of research and hard work, the ZSR Plagiarism Tutorial is up and running! Productions of this quality do not happen overnight, and this is no exception.

When we began the LIB100 Template revision last summer, we knew that we needed to include a significant unit on plagiarism. We looked at several tools, but Laura Aull in the English Department (who specializes in plagiarism issues) directed us to Cornell University’s Plagiarism Tutorial and informed us that studies showed that students learned best from their tool. While we loved the content, the tutorial was last updated in 2005 and it was tailored to the Cornell community.

It was during Kyle Denlinger’s first week of work that I showed him this huge project, and to my surprise and delight, he took it and ran with it!! Kyle received permission from Cornell to update the tutorial and then proceeded to find all new sources and create all new examples (a very difficult task in itself). He then composed the most clever narrative ever written for any library tutorial–I’ll be doing mental celebratory roundhouse kicks for years to come (try out the tutorial to find out just how awesome you really are!).

Kyle began working with Kevin Gilbertson early on in this project, and the results are positively stunning! Kevin has created a beautiful, highly interactive tool that is student friendly and is simply a pleasure to navigate. Kevin is the Steven Spielberg of the internet, we are so fortunate to have him at ZSR!

This entire process has been a delight to observe. Putting Kyle and Kevin together on a project is like creating fireworks–simply incredible! Thanks to both Kevin and Kyle for going above and beyond the call of duty on this.

Here is the link: http://zsr.wfu.edu/tutorials/plagiarism/ – I look forward to using this in my classes starting tomorrow!

LIB100 Intellectual Property Class Videos

Wednesday, January 9, 2013 3:36 pm


Some of the most interesting things that take place in the Z. Smith Reynolds Library happen behind the scenes during intercessions when the students are away and we are diligently preparing for the upcoming semester. Yesterday morning was an example of this as Barry Davis magically transformed the ZSR Viewing Room into the ZSR Production Studio. For two intense hours under the heat of studio lighting, Barry filmed our very own Molly Keener in what will be 8 clips that will be used as part of the Intellectual Property portion of the Library 100 Template.

During the fall semester, Molly and I worked together to create the Intellectual Property portion of the LIB100 Template. Using Molly’s rich knowledge in this complex field, we created 16 real world case studies for the students to discuss in class. The format was highly successful, engaging the students in lively discussions and prompting many positive comments during the end of course evaluations. Now, thanks to Barry and the wonders of technology, if Molly is unable to attend one of these classes, LIB100 students will be able to view video clips with Molly’s responses to the case studies.

The video clips are coming soon and will be available in Sakai under the LIB100 Template. Hats off and ZSR Academy Award nominations to Molly and Barry!

“Find a Database” New Look!

Thursday, August 23, 2012 3:03 pm

By the time this article is posted, you may have already discovered the radical changes that have been made to our Library’s “Find a Database” page. What I would like for you to know is that there is a story behind these changes. The latest chapter in this story began in the spring of 2012, when Kevin, Lauren Pressley, and I had the opportunity to intensely observe students navigating our Library webpage. The premise of the occasion was usability testing of Summon, but the spillover effect was observing students stumbling through our webpages, most notably our “Find a Database” page. It quickly became evident that students were consistently using the search box on that page for keyword searching on their topics (like a Google box). We all cringed each time a student enthusiastically typed in their search which took them nowhere.

Earlier this summer, with that in mind,Kevin invited Derrik and me to serve on an ad hoc task force to give the ZSR Find A Database web page a long-overdue makeover. The three of us met several times over the summer with the overall goal to de-emphasize the search box. I shopped for various models that I liked, Kevin created a new and improved WFU version of those models, and Derrik changed the background data to complement the new design.

In between meetings we re-designed, revised, and reviewed. Then we met several times, looking at the draft page, and batting around ideas to help settle on more changes. We solicited opinions from other reference librarians to help guide our design, especially for identifying “Best Bets” for each subject area. Derrik entered the Best Bets into the xml file that drives Find A Database, Kevin devised a way to bring those to the top, and I practiced “guerrilla usability testing,” finding users to test the changes without having to schedule specific groups or times. We finally presented the updated page to the RIS team earlier this week and added a few more ideas from that meeting, then I ambushed a couple more students (thank you, generous student supervisors!) to test out the changes. We now feel it is ready to reveal to the public. We are excited for the changes, and hope you will find the new Find A Database to be much more helpful in your research!

Although the “new and improved” Find A Database is ready to go to work, the task force doesn’t consider it complete. We believe it is a step in the right direction – we hope it is a large step in the right direction – but we know it can be improved. Please take a look and let us know what you think!

This post was a collaborative effort between Derrik, Kevin, and Joy.


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