Professional Development

NC-LITe at High Point University

Friday, December 20, 2013 2:35 pm

On Wednesday, Amanda, Hu, Joy, and I made the quick drive to High Point University for the winter meeting of NC-LITe, a small (but growing!) group of North Carolina librarians interested in learning and sharing about technology and library instruction. It’s a great opportunity for cross-pollination, and I’m starting to make some great professional relationships with people I’ve met through NC-LITe. I’m always excited for NC-LITe, but this time I think all of us were excited for one reason in particular.

One of the *many* decorated trees. This building smelled like cookies.

One of the *many* decorated trees.

Sharing

The turnout this time was great–there were about 30 librarians from universities all over North Carolina. Each campus shared some updates, then there were a handful of lightning talks, including our own Hu Womack, who talked about the very exciting pilot project of using a class set of Kindle Fire tablets in his LIB210 class. Here are some other highlights:

  • HPU has some beautiful and heavily-used new library instruction spaces. They’re currently partnering with their English department to integrate online information literacy tutorials into first-year writing seminars, and currently five librarians are teaching a one-credit “research in writing” seminar in conjunction with the English department. They’re also doing a lot of support for faculty who want to assign multimedia projects.
  • UNCG just went to a new team-based model for their liaison and instruction folks: the way I understand it, instruction and scholarly communication people work in functional teams that support the work of liaisons in subject teams. For example, there’s a team for instructional design that can work alongside a subject team that wants to do some ID work. They’re also expanding the services and spaces they offer in their Digital Media Commons–they now have a gaming lab, a small makerspace, and lots of support for multimedia assignments (sensing a theme yet?).
  • Duke is continuing their work with MOOCs. Right now, each Duke MOOC (DOOC?) is assigned a subject librarian. It wasn’t mentioned what kind of work they do for the MOOCs, and I didn’t get a chance to ask, but you can read more about it here.
  • NCSU recently opened some new spaces in the new Hunt Library (which we visited last time). Their media spaces are now open, and to get them just right, they brought in a rock musician, who is also developing multimodal courses at NCSU, as a consultant. They seem to be focusing quite a lot on integrating themselves into multimodal courses and multimedia production, so the library has loose support teams that spin up every time an instructor wants students to create, say, podcasts or websites as part of a course.

Useful Tools & Resources

One of my favorite things about NC-LITe is that I always come away from it with a few new toys to play with and resources to explore. Here are some of the best that came out of the breakout sessions:

  • Amanda mentioned Doctopus and gClassFolders, two scripts in Google Drive that make collaborative student work a breeze. I’ve been using Doctopus for a while now, and I think it’s the bee’s knees.
  • Edmodo, which is used heavily in K-12, is more of a social network for learning–quite far removed from our nearest equivalent, Sakai.
  • Socrative is a rapid-feedback response system that seems to be getting a lot of attention lately.
  • Of those libraries that are supporting multimedia projects, nearly all of them mention Penn State University’s Media Commons and the University of Richmond’s Digital Storytelling as those efforts they’re trying to emulate. Samantha Harlow at HPU did a great job modifying the PSU multimedia assignment guide for her faculty.

Campus Tour

HPU’s campus is pretty impressive. I’ll let the photos speak for themselves, but what you can’t see from the photos is that everything smelled like fresh-baked cookies. More photos here and here. Thanks, Joy and Hu, for taking pictures!

Kyle and Hu embarrassing Amanda

Kyle and Hu embarrassing Amanda

We caught up with Anna!

We caught up with Anna!

Joy, in her element.

Joy, in her element.

Kyle, in a moment of thought.

Kyle, in a moment of thought.

Hu: "This is my dream retirement gig."

Hu: "This is my dream retirement gig."

NC-LITe at NCSU

Wednesday, May 4, 2011 9:02 am

Yesterday Mary Beth, Mary Scanlon, Sarah, Kaeley, Barry, and I went to NCSU for an NC-LITe meeting.

from nc-lite

This gathering has evolved quite a bit in the past few years. The first meet up was at UNCG, when Steve Cramer got in touch to see if we wanted to share information about some of the new and interesting work happening at both our libraries. Over time it’s evolved and grown and now includes representatives from NCSU, UNC-Ch, Duke, UNC-G, High Point, and WFU. Each time we get together we experiment with different approaches to the day, but we generally share information about Library Instruction & Technology.

This year’s was the most well attended with about 25 participants. We started the day with a round robin where we heard a bit about what different institutions are up to. UNC-G has created an instructional technology toolkit and a new tutorial, High Point is moving to OCLC Web-scale Management, Duke is about to host a retreat for librarians on data in the classroom, UNC is looking to move from Library à la Carte, NCSU has a new elearning team within their instruction unit and are looking at redoing their tutorial (that I remember taking a version of when I went there!). There was also a theme around new spaces as NCSU has a new building and grant for next generation learning spaces and UNC-G has a new Journal of Learning Spaces. All in all, it was a very informative round robin!

Next up, we heard more in-depth from UNC about their assessment strategies for their library instruction for first year english classes. They have 60-80 session for just these classes, and 4 full time librarians and 10 library school students to teach them. Given the scale, they are able to do a lot of custom training for these classes and want to make sure the experience is similar, so they talked about getting feedback from instructors, the value of qualitative feedback, and how to share the feedback they got. One of the most practically useful tips of the day for me was about an online stickies service. They highlighted how you can use this to get anonymous feedback or in active learning exercises. I look forward to experimenting with it!

UNCG went next, sharing about their PATH tutorial. I am generally not sold on library tutorials in this format unless academic faculty ask for it and build it into their classes. At UNCG, though, that is exactly the case. And if you’re going to make a tutorial like this, PATH has all the right elements: multimedia and text, varying quizzes (so you can’t just click each answer until you get it right), information and humor. It’s a really nice product. They also addressed possible ways to improve it over time. And since faculty have requested this, there is a way to email a professor after you’ve completed it (or along the way). This makes it really easy for any professor (think: first year seminars, introductory english, etc) to assign the tutorial as homework at some point in the semester and then they are able to mark the assignment as complete when they get the notification email.

Next up we broke up into groups: one on technology lending, one on teaching, and one on spaces. I was torn between the first two, and when I saw how big the teaching group was I went with technology lending. Maybe others who attended can speak up to the other group discussions. Barry and I were part of a small group that included someone from UNCG, High Point, and NCSU. We talked about using data (often quantitative from circulation records) to make decisions about technology purchases, about ebooks (together andseparatefrom readers), and the future of the book. The future of the book was about multimedia and text blurring with Our Choice as an example (thanks for the tip, Kevin!):

Al Gore’s Our Choice from Push Pop Press on Vimeo.

We stayed for a late lunch, but had to miss the technology tour to be back by 5:00 for various obligations. It was a great day and NCSU did a great job hosting. We’re up next, and they set the bar high!!


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