Professional Development

In the 'Uncategorized' Category...

ILLiad Conference 2016 Virginia Beach

Tuesday, April 5, 2016 11:57 am

March 17th. Where I attended the 2016 ILLiad Conference on Virginia Beach, VA. from Tuesday, March 15, through Thursday there were over 335 attendees at the conference. This was my second experience at the ILLiad conference, and I wanted to share a few things, including updated information about the ILLiad software.

Mary Sauer-Games, Vice President, Product Management, OCLC presented on Wednesday morning about “Interlibrary Loan in the Life of Your Users”. She talked about millennials and generation X. How millennials (Born 1977- present) spend more time on mobile/ electronic devices, how these users are requesting more materials electronic then the actual physical hard copy. Where the generation X (born 1965 – 1976) prefers the hard copy, paper copy of materials.

In addition to attending several sessions, the most memorable were presented by Kurt Munson, Northwestern University “Half the Work: Circulating Lending and Borrowing Request from ILLiad in Alma Using NCIP. He explains how they checkout and update all their materials in one system where we now have to update in ILLiad and check out in voyager. Kurt explains how circulation interchange protocol z allows for the exchange of an ILLiad supports for NCIP message to create a brief record, then it allows you update both records. This also applies to the borrowing check in.
Another relevant session Stan Huzarewicz, University of Connecticut “Stop saying “No”: Improving Fill rates and Reducing Lending Denials in Interlibrary Loan. He talked about how his library conditional there requests instead of saying “no”. How after carefully verifying request if unable to fill they will conditional the request to the requesting library, This request is not showing unfilled by his Library.

I also enjoyed networking and meeting new people and hearing about their workflow and how they daily operation is at their university.

Social Justice and Disability Workshop

Monday, April 4, 2016 9:46 pm

On Thursday, March 31, the Learning Assistance Center/Disability Services office sponsored a day long workshop entitled “Reframing Disability and Creating Inclusive Environments”. The meeting included interested parties from all across campus, from facilities, to athletics, to student services, and many representatives from the Office of Multicultural Affairs and the Office of Diversity and Inclusion. Dr. Amanda Krause, a faculty member from the University of Arizona and an advocate of the disabled, was the dynamic speaker who kept us engaged and challenged our perceptions, expectations, and beliefs throughout the day.

Through lecture, discussion and small group work, we uncovered much of the bias that has existed that kept disabled individuals as “special” cases. Using historical images and images from media, she discussed how people who are blind, deaf, wheelchair users, etc have always been made to seem “less than” and pitied, requiring extra help and service. Even charitable works like telethons and penny drives, while well-intentioned, still had, as a consequence, perpetuated that notion that those people are “separate” and “special”. The real problem she identified is that environments are not built to be inclusive enough to all people. In fact the implementation of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 resulted in a cultural shift whereby those responsible for the built environment sought out just what is the least that needed to be done to be compliant, undermining the spirit of the law entirely. In actuality, using the principles of Universal Design, no disabled individuals need accommodation. If everything is designed to account for the challenges of those that are in a wheelchair, blind, hearing impaired, or otherwise disabled, then no special accommodations would need to be made. Accommodations are made for individuals to fit into a poorly designed system. It is expensive and requires many special inputs to make these fixes. Creating environments that are inclusive will repair existing limitations and provide equality for everyone. (The attendees from Disability Services mentioned that they are constantly working to put themselves out of a job!) If you are interested in the topic, I encourage you to review her powerpoint, and I’ll be happy to discuss it further with you. It was an enlightening day.

 

 

Steve at North Carolina Serials Conference 2016

Friday, April 1, 2016 12:35 pm

On March 21st, Chris and I got up really early (can’t say “bright and early” because it was before sunrise) and went to Chapel Hill for the 25th North Carolina Serials Conference. While there were a number of interesting sessions (including one on using the free tool OpenRefine to manipulate metadata), I’m going to focus on just one session, which I think might be of the most general interest to everyone in the library, because it doesn’t just focus on serials or metadata. The session, presented by Megan Kilb and Matt Jansen of UNC-Chapel Hill, was called “Visualizing Collections Data: Why Pie Charts Aren’t Always the Answer,” and it offered tips and advice on how to present data.

The presentation grew out of their need to evaluate the TRLN consortial deal on Springer e-resources. They found that pie charts aren’t always (actually are almost never) the best way to present data, which matches research that has shown pie charts to be sub-optimal for human comprehension. Pie charts get confusing if they have more than 4 or 5 categories, they treat everything as a proportion, they make readers have to compare areas/angles, and the values are only available via labels.

Research into the accuracy of human interpretation of graphical data is on a continuum. The most intelligible graphical data from most accurate to least accurate is:

  1. Position
  2. Length
  3. Angle/Slope
  4. Area
  5. Volume
  6. Color/Density

With this info in mind, alternatives to the pie chart might be the bar chart (because length is easier to perceive), or a simple table (if you have only a few values to consider). Regarding other graphical representations of data, if you have a graph, be aware that backgrounds, particularly lines, can be distracting. Lines and other detail can make it hard to read values of dots on the lines. Stacked charts (charts with multiple jagged lines, each representing different values) can also be problematic, because there may be confusion over what the overall height of columns mean. They require the user to do visual math, which is difficult. Alternatives to this might be to make lines next to each other (rather than on top of each other), or represent each line as a slope, which emphasizes different rates of change.

In addition to attending the conference, I also represented NASIG (as Past President) at our sponsor table, giving out literature and talking up the organization.

Steve, Jeff, and Amanda at LAUNC-CH

Thursday, March 31, 2016 12:27 pm

On Friday, March 18th, Amanda, Jeff, and Steve visited Chapel Hill to attend the LAUNC-CH Conference. This is an annual conference put on by the librarians at UNC-Chapel Hill and features breakout sessions on a variety of topics related to all aspects of academic librarianship.

Keynote Address: Makerspaces in Libraries (Amanda)

The Keynote Address was delivered by Peter Wardrip, a learning scientist from the Pittsburgh Children’s Museum, who spoke to us about makerspaces. Wardrip led an upcoming project to create a framework for supporting learning in makerspaces, and he gave us a sneak peak of that framework:

  • Purpose – refers to determining makerspace goals. Who is the audience? What does success look like? In terms of success, Wardrip emphasized quality of experience over number of people served.
  • People – Wardrip argued that makerspaces need to be more than just putting a tool on a table to be successful. He highlighted the need to have dedicated people in the makerspace, preferably people with pedagogical experience. Even though people are expensive, the value in a makerspace comes from the teaching/mentorship.
  • Pieces and Parts – refer to being intentional about tools and materials. Wardrip argued that too many people rush out and buy a 3D printer when it doesn’t fit in with their program’s goals.

Wardrip also gave examples of how different makerspaces are measuring learning/value. An example of this being done well is the Tinkering Studio, which measures on five different dimensions of learning, which can be observed/reported on in the makerspace.

Map-a-thons, Edit-a-thons, and Transcribe-a-thons at UNC (Amanda)

Many of us are likely familiar with Wikipedia edit-a-thons, but GIS map-a-thons and special collections transcribe-a-thons were completely new to me. All of these initiatives work to get students and other library patrons involved in open knowledge creation. The map-a-thon used OpenSteetMaps to create openly available maps of parts of the world where no accurate maps currently exist. The transcribe-a-thon transcribing hand-written documents from the special collections for accessibility. Both of these projects were creative and unique. Personally, I was very excited to hear about UNC’s experience putting on an edit-a-thon through Wikipedia. I’m planning to have my students edit Wikipedia later this semester, so it was great to meet the librarians involved afterwards to get some first-hand accounts of their experiences.

Book + Art = Snowball (Jeff)

This is a topic I knew absolutely nothing about, i.e. the best kind of topic. Artists’ books are works of art that take the form of books. Josh Hockensmith from UNC-Chapel Hill talked about his library and Duke’s joint 2010 effort to stage exhibitions of artists’ books from their collections in a series called “Book + Art.” The benefits of partnership on a project like this range from expanded audience to shared cost/labor to greater diversity of expertise. An unplanned outcome of the events was the organic development of a local community centered around common interest the book arts, which eventually came to be known as Triangle Book Arts (TBA). This group in turn increased awareness of the artists’ books held by both UNC and Duke’s Special Collections departments: a win on all sides. And yes, we have some fascinating artists’ books of our own, right here at ZSR.

Archiving for Artists: Outreach and Empowerment (Jeff)

Elizabeth Grab, a graduate student from UNC-Chapel hill, presented on a day-long workshop called Archiving for Artists, which gathered area artists in an effort to empower them to develop best practices for archiving the products of their studio activities. Attendees were instructed in the fundamentals of digitization, organization, storage, etc. The hope of the organizers was that the workshop might serve as a model for similar workshops to be held around the country in a larger effort to encourage artists to document their work and their careers.

Libraries Unbounded: Partnering With Carolina ADMIRES to Expose High School Students to Scientific Research in a Library Setting (Steve)

UNC-Chapel Hill’s Amy Oldenburg and Therese Triumph, a physics professor and a science librarian, respectively, discussed their involvement in a grant funded program to get 8th and 9th grade students involved in the STEM disciplines, particularly encouraging gender and racial diversity. The program began last year with 20 students, who participated in two hour sessions twice a month for a semester. The students were put into pairs and matched with a mentor from the science departments or medical school at UNC. Each mentor was trained in working with high school age kids. About half the time of the sessions was spent in the lab, which had to be set up to be safe for high school age children. The students developed a research project, ending with a capstone research presentation. The students had to be taught the fundamentals of information literacy, because their initial impulse was to rely on Google and Wikipedia for their research, and they didn’t evaluate the credibility of their sources. One important lesson learned by the programmers was that some of the students did not have access to home computers and had to rely on their smart phones for research and staying in email contact with their mentors. The programming for the second year is taking this into account.

Programming on The Edge (Amanda)

This session informed us about the many new outreach activities taking place at Duke’s recently re-designed space called “The Edge.” No, not that Edge. This Edge. Most interesting to me was the Long Night Against Procrastination — an outreach event that has been successfully done at several other academic libraries. The LNAP takes place during finals week, late at night, much like our Wake the Library event. Library staff were there to provide snacks, games, and other activities related to campus wellness. Duke’s unique take on this was to partner with other academic support staff, like the tutors from the writing center. Writing consultations with three different tutors were booked solid for the four hours they were offered. This sounded like an excellent collaboration and perhaps an opportunity for us to explore in the future.

Researching Reynolda: Teaming up with a Campus Institution to Teach Students Research (Jeff)

Our own Amanda Foster presented on her experience with a project in which she instructed her students to choose some aspect of Reynolda House to research for her LIB100 class, using the house and museum, essentially, as their primary sources. Unforeseen difficulties arose when students chose the very worthy topic of the lives of African-American domestic workers at Reynolda House. The archival record, and Reynolda House’s public persona (can a house have a persona?), were disappointingly quiet on the topic. In the end Amanda was able to use this as a teaching moment; both for herself and for her students. I’ll limit my praise here, but Amanda really gave one of the more interesting conference presentations I’ve seen in awhile, making great use of visuals from Reynolda House’s rich history and a compelling narrative structure. And for the record, she went out of her way to praise Reynolda House and its excellent staff. She did ZSR and Wake Forest proud.

Maintaining the Vision: Managing Digitization Projects

Tuesday, March 29, 2016 10:01 am

Although successful digitization projects are developed collaboratively, Leigh Grinstead says that the project manager is the main person responsible for maintaining the vision of the project. This was my key takeaway after last week’s webinar, “Project Management and Workflow for Digitization Projects.”

“It’s that project manager that holds on to the vision, and uses it as the ultimate motivator,” she said. “You need to act as the project’s advocate. You will also need to consider everyone’s expectations.”

This was my second Lyrasis webinar hosted by Grinstead. The 2-hour webinar focused on the project manager’s responsibility in making sure a digitization project’s vision comes to fruition. This includes meeting the expectations of supervisors, staff and stakeholders.

What also stood out to me is that most of the webinar participants did not have a digitization mission statement at their organization. Grinstead said that this is common. Some stated that they were currently in the process of creating one. Several examples of a digitization mission statement from various university libraries across the U.S. were presented in the webinar. Some were short and concise. Others were more extensive in detail.

Management

Those new to project management or management positions in general were introduced to the idea of “doing” versus “managing.” Grinstead said that this is one of the hardest transitions a first-time manager undertakes, in addition to determining what their management style should be.

Figuring out your management style, she said, will depend on the institutional culture and the personality of the staff. For example, a manager with only volunteer staff may have a more flexible management style than they would with paid staff–or in my case, student assistants. Also, thinking about past supervisors regarding what you liked most and/or least about their management style is a great way to determine your management style, she said.

Resources

Of course, having the proper hardware and software for digitization projects is important. Grinstead said that she visited many institutions that do not have digital image collection management software in place, such as DSpace. These institutions are in the beginning stages of their digitization program, and some even outsource their projects to vendors.

I liked the concept of performing a pilot project for exceptionally large digitization projects that are to be completed in-house. This was explained by digitizing just one-fourth of the project in order to examine all elements of the project and overall budget costs, and to see if it is worth going forward with completing the entire project.

Budgeting typically includes staff, which in many cases is the largest part of the budget. But Grinstead said that most cultural heritage institutions frequently have difficulty considering overall staffing expenses in their overall costs.

“Things will happen”

As with all things dealing with technology Grinstead said “things will happen.” Most of us are aware of typical setbacks regarding hardware and software malfunction. She also reminded us to have plans in place for the unforeseen, such as bad weather storms and even staff departures.

Workflow

Much of what was covered in the workflow portion of the webinar was discussed in her previous webinar. So this part of the webinar was more so a refresher. But it was interesting how she raised the idea of incorporating a pilot project within the workflow.

For instance, incorporating a pilot project can help estimate the time it will take within key workflow steps such as adding metadata, performing quality control, digitization, editing, and creating derivatives (access files, thumbnails, etc.). Knowing this will provide an ever better estimate of how long the entire project will take.

Currently we use Trello to keep track of our projects’ workflow. Webinar participants listed other software that they use including Microsoft Project, ProcessMaker, Smartsheet and even Microsoft Excel spreadsheets.

“Having something, anything to organize and begin that process is important,” Grinstead said.

Safety & Security Training Round-Up: AED, CPR, Fire Extinguisher

Sunday, March 6, 2016 12:14 pm

As part of our continued efforts to maintain emergency preparedness, the ZSR Safety and Security Committee hosted two training sessions this past January. What follows is a brief summary of these training sessions and a review of key take-aways and reminders.

AED/CPR Training

In January, the ZSR Safety and Security Team hosted an AED/CPR (re)certification program. WFU Occupational Health, Safety and Training Coordinator Bridget Marrs led the program and ZSR Administration sponsored the program to have participants certified in National Safety Council AED and CPR response. Program participants included Safety & Security Committee members (James Harper, Mary Beth Lock, Mary Reeves, Meghan Webb, Peyton Barr, Thomas Dowling) and Hu Womack, Monesha Staton, Travis Manning. Some valuable advice in preparing for and responding to an emergency situation:

  • Know where the closest AED (Automatic External Defibrillator) and First Aid Kit are located in relation to your work area.
  • Know your co-workers! Find out if your office mates have any known allergies or medical conditions that may require attention.
  • Keys to acting in an emergency:
    • Your primary goal is to ensure the victim gets help quickly.
    • Call 9-1-1 for all emergencies FIRST.
      • be prepared to tell dispatcher your name, the location and number of victims, approximate age/sex/condition (responsive? breathing? bleeding?), what happened to the victim, what is being done for the victim. Remain on the line until the dispatcher says you can hang up.
    • Give victims only the care you have been trained in.
    • Always check the scene for safety before beginning to provide care. Never put yourself at risk to rescue a victim.
Meghan and Mary Beth getting hands-on experience with removing safety gloves.

Meghan and Mary Beth get hands-on experience in removing contaminated safety gloves.

Fire Extinguisher Training

Also in January, the Safety and Security Committee collaborated with Scott Frazier, Assistant Director Environmental Health & Safety at WFU and the professional firefighters from Winston-Salem Fire Department Station 8 to hold a fire extinguisher training. The firefighters brought along a fire simulator and fire extinguisher simulators for us to practice with. In using a fire extinguisher, you want to remember the P.A.S.S. method (Pull the pin, Aim the nozzle, Squeeze the lever, Sweep from side to side).

 

The fire extinguishers we have in the library are all the “A, B, C” type meaning they can be used on any fire that would likely start in this building (paper, gasoline, or electrical fires, but not grease). Also it’s important to note that use of a fire extinguisher does not supplant our usual response of pulling the fire alarm pull and starting evacuation! Those should still happen first before starting suppress the fire with a fire extinguisher.

Other considerations for fire safety prep:

  • know where the nearest fire pull (alarm) and fire extinguisher are in your work area(s).
  • be aware of primary and secondary emergency escape routes in ZSR.
  • review the Fire & Life Safety tips provided by WFU Facilities and Campus Services.

On behalf of the Safety & Security Committee, thank you for your efforts in keeping our library safe and secure!

Joy at WISE Conference: Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement

Thursday, February 18, 2016 4:13 pm

On Thursday February 4, I had the opportunity to attend the eighth annual Workshop on Intercultural Skills Enhancement and Conference hosted by Wake Forest University held at the Winston-Salem Marriott in beautiful downtown Winston-Salem. Because of my recent appointment to the newly formed Arrive@Wake Board (part of Wake’s Quality Enhancement Plan), Leigh Stanfield encouraged me to attend. This conference had attendees from study abroad programs in colleges and universities across the United States.

It was a delight to be able to participate in a conference outside the world of libraries! The first person I met when I walked in the door of the Marriott was Niki McInteer, who is the WFU Associate Dean International Admissions. We introduced ourselves to each other and quickly figured out that we were both on the Arrive@Wake Board. It was wonderful to meet her and to learn that so far, Wake has 1,300 international student applicants (a record!).

The keynote speaker for the Opening Plenary was James Pellow, President and CEO of the Council on International Education Exchange (CIEE). According to their website, they are “the world leader in international education and exchange.” One of the main points of his speech focused on the needed for increased intercultural competency. He presented the findings from a study that found that employees in the global market desire intercultural communication skills above all other skills, even above language skills (which was second in the survey).

The first breakout session I attended was titled “Micro-Practices to Develop Intercultural Competencies” led by Adriana Medina at the University of Maryland, Baltimore County. It was perhaps the best breakout session I have ever attended at any conference. She gave seven competences crucial for a successful study abroad experience: description, observation, ability to ask questions, flexibility, adaptation, keeping an open mind, and engaging in ambiguity. For each competency, she had group activities to demonstrate these concepts, all of which could be easily adapted to teach students preparing for study abroad.

The next breakout session I attended was titled “Demystifying Intercultural Outcomes Assessment and the Changing Assessment Paradigm” led by Darla Deardorff at Duke University. This session was theoretical with no examples given of what authentic assessment looks like. I can tell you some things I learned: Pre/Post tests are insufficient assessments, a standardized tool does not sufficiently assess, and outcome assessment is different from program assessment. We are to move to learner centered assessment, find authentic evidence, assess from multiple perspectives, use a holistic approach, and it should be about the process (not numbers). By the end of the session, it was very clear to me that I like concrete examples in presentations.

Overall, it was a wonderful day and I’m thankful I had the opportunity to participate. I have already been able to use many of the concepts I learned in my position on the Arrive@Wake Board.

By the way, the logistics for this conference were all top notch–delicious, abundant, and beautiful food. The picture was from lunch held in the Garden Room of the Embassy Suites. At my table were people from UNC-G, Amsterdam, Indiana, and Pennsylvania. My respect for the WFU Center for Global Programs & Studies has grown immensely and I am grateful for the opportunity to be a part of this conference.

 

Steve at ALA Midwinter 2016

Monday, February 1, 2016 5:48 pm

I know that it can be kind of difficult to read these conference entries thoroughly, especially when they discuss areas of librarianship that aren’t in your bailiwick, so I’ll give the headline for my Midwinter 2016 (with more details to follow, if you’re interested): the governance of RDA is changing, and the bibliographic models that underlay RDA are changing, and nobody is really sure how either of these developments will shake out.

First, let’s talk about the governance changes. I’m one of eight voting members of CC:DA (Cataloging Committee: Description and Access, the committee that develops ALA’s position on RDA), and at our Saturday meeting, we heard a presentation from Kathy Glennan, the ALA representative to the RSC (RDA Steering Committee), the body that ultimately determines the content of the RDA code, about changes to the structure and membership of the RSC (which was called the Joint Steering Committee, or JSC, until last November). The JSC had representatives from constituencies who use RDA, including ALA, the Library of Congress, the Canadian Committee on Cataloguing, the British Library, etc. The new structure, which will be fully in place by 2019, limits the membership of JSC to one representative each from six regional groups (North America, Latin America & the Caribbean, Europe, Asia, Africa and Oceania). The North American group will consist of just the U.S. and Canada. Mexico will be in the Latin America & Caribbean group, while other potential members of the North American group (Bermuda, Saint Pierre and Miquelon (had to look that one up!), and Greenland) have not yet adopted RDA. So, the United States and Canada will go from having three representatives on the RSC (two for the U.S., one for Canada) to only one representative for both countries. How this will be worked out is still being discussed. One idea proposed was to create a small committee (perhaps with the three reps who used to go to the RSC) that would function like a tiny RSC for North America, with one of the members of this group attending the actual RSC on behalf of North America. This proposed group has the suggested name of NARDAC (North American RDA Committee), which, when pronounced, sounds like the name of a villain from a 1970’s episode of “Doctor Who.”

The other major change to RDA was discussed in our second CC:DA meeting by Gordon Dunsire, the Chair of the RSC. Gordon is a brilliant guy, who usually talks about a mile over my head, but I think I got the basic gist of his presentation. As a re-cap, RDA is based on the FRBR (Functional Requirements for Bibliographic Records) model. If you’ve ever heard us catalogers talk about the distinction between Works, Expressions, Manifestations and Items, that’s what we’re talking about. FRBR not only models bibliographic entities, it also models people (as individuals and groups) and subjects. Well, the FRBR models are being revised. The new model FRBR-LRM (FRBR-Library Reference Model) is expected to be published during the first quarter of 2016. It will describe new entities including Place, Timespan, and Collective Agent. What FRBR-LRM will look like after it is vetted, revised and finally accepted is obviously unknown as of yet. But, once FRBR-LRM is in place, it will most likely mean that there will be new entities that need to be described by RDA, which will mean a revision of the code. The changes could be minor or they could be enormous, there’s really no way to tell quite yet.

Stay tuned for more developments.

 

International Data Privacy Day

Thursday, January 28, 2016 10:07 am

Happy International Data Privacy Day!

January 28 is an international holiday* focused on raising awareness about the importance of online data privacy. This year, the Electronic Freedom Frontier is emphasizing the need to protect student privacy, most notably in a Google Apps for Education environment (which includes us). Google has been especially criticized for how they handle data from K-12 students, but it’s worth reviewing what they say for college students also and anyone else who uses Google apps.

If you haven’t done so, it’s worth a few minutes of your time to run through the Google Privacy Checkup. This will present options for what profile information other people can see about you, what settings apply to Google sites like Photos and You Tube, and whether Google will use what they know about your interest to tailor ads for you (you can turn off that tailoring, but not the ads themselves – at least not without something like AdBlock Plus).

Google has grown into a massive set of applications that know a lot about you. To their credit, the My Account site does a pretty good job of offering and explaining options for how that data gets collected and used.

Mozilla.org has also posted some information for Data Privacy Day. Their message boils down to: update your software. Time and again, malware that mines your private data gets in through security holes in outdated software that have already been patched in the current version. In other words, if you’re currently ignoring an alert to upgrade to Firefox 44, you should upgrade to Firefox 44.

Some other good places to check privacy settings:

Anyone who knows the Apple ecosystem, feel free to add comments for iTunes, etc.

NC-LITe at UNC-CH, December 2015

Wednesday, January 27, 2016 12:02 pm

On Wednesday, December 16 Sarah Jeong, Kyle Denlinger, Amanda Foster, Meghan Webb, and Joy Gambill traveled to beautiful UNC-Chapel Hill to attend NC-LITe, the twice-annual mini-conference loosely focused on instructional technology in libraries. NC-LITe is always an awesome conference and this was no exception! Our day began in the Undergraduate Library where we checked in and spent time informally meeting and greeting colleagues from 15 institutions across the state. After the check-in, we made our way over to the historic Wilson Library where the program began in earnest.

The beauty of NCLITe is its small size and each time we meet, we begin with a check-in to hear what is happening at each institution represented. These updates are always interesting and it is where we learn things such as which campus has a new library dean (WFU!) and the fact that Canvas is being launched as the Learning Management System for several NC institutions.

After hearing updates from each campus, Jonathan McMichael (UNC-CH Undergraduate Experience Librarian) led a design thinking activity (based on Stanford d.school’s method). The design thinking process is unique in that it focuses on needfinding, understanding and empathy first, and then the designer and user work together to define, ideate, prototype and test solutions. Also, one of the fundamental concepts at the core of this process is a bias towards action and creation: by creating and testing something, you can continue to learn and improve upon your initial ideas.

One of the highlights of the day was touring one of UNC’s newest (and by that I mean re-modeled) active-learning classrooms. The classroom use to be a 150-seat lecture hall. It was transformed into an active learning space (seen below) that featured around 100 rolling Steelcase “Node” desks and several projection screens.

The classroom was inspiring, to say the least. We had some definite classroom envy. Naturally, there is a high demand from instructors to use the classroom. Instructors must apply to use the room and show that they have plans to use the room for active-learning. which has challenged instructors who teach sections with 100+ students to re-think their teaching. Overall, its first semester has been a success and almost all the instructors asked to teach in the classroom again.

If the library gets another instruction classroom, I (Amanda) think we could definitely use some of the ideas featured here for ourselves. It definitely inspired us to think creatively!

Image Credit: UNC Center For Faculty Excellence – Interactive Classrooms at UNC-CH

After the classroom tour, we heard four lightning round talks including two from our own Sarah and Kyle! Kyle taught us how to use Voice Thread.

Sarah talked about her 2015 Summer Technology Exploration Grant from Wake Forest University Provost’s Office, that she used to convert a lecture-based course, LIB 220 Science Research Sources and Strategies, into a learner­-centered, flipped course. Her talk highlighted the redesign process to incorporate student reflections using Blogger as a core component of the course to enhance metacognition in learning outcomes.

 

After the wonderful lightning talks, we went to lunch on Franklin Street and spent more time catching up with NCLITe colleagues. Please note that this post was a collaborative effort by Meghan, Sarah, Kyle, Amanda, and Joy!


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