Monday, 31 March 2008

ARGOSI for induction orientation

"The ARGOSI project will use an Alternate Reality Game (ARG) to support the student induction process. This small-scale pilot project is a collaboration between Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Bolton, and aims to provide an engaging and purposeful alternative to traditional methods of introducing students to university life."Sounds an interesting project which is just starting and worth knowing about.

A Vision of Students Today

If yopu haven't seen this video - I really recommend you take a look. Great for triggering a discussion. The soundtrack somehow seems to reinforce the message too! It summarises some of the most important characteristics of students today - how they learn, what they need to learn, their goals, hopes, dreams, what their lives will be like, and what kinds of changes they will experience in their lifetime. It's another video by Michael Wesch, this time in collaboration with 200 students at Kansas State University!


Thanks to a post by Librarian in Black, I have come across a project at the Boatwright Memorial Library at the University of Richmond. They have set up a wiki for Library FAQs. It includes sections on Getting oriented, starting your research and finding sources, choosing and using resources, accessing from off-campus and general questions. Therefore it is another way of helping students find what they need, and in the process help them to become more information literate. Main advantage from librarian point of view likely to be ease of editing and updates, with ability to involve a raft of staff, and students. Uses MediaWiki.

podcasting101 : a podcasting wiki

This wiki by Greg Schwartz (Library Systems Manager of Louisville Public Library) contains some useful links to some general librarian podcasts, a few directories, and some examples of libraries who podcast, but there are plenty of topics which could be filled out if you feel the urge! It is set up on PBWiki.

Friday, 28 March 2008

ESCalate into the future...

The HEA Education Subject Centre ESCalate has some interesting short articles about projects using Web 2.0 :
"Switch that phone on! Extending higher education opportunities for the iPod generation", by Steve Rose.
"Web 2.0 and its potential impact and influence on education", by Julie Hughes and Kevin Brace.
"Creativity in technology rich, flexible learning spaces", by Diane Brewster and Tom Hamilton.
The Secrets Creativity in technology rich, flexible learning spaces of Biblioland” – (London Met University) development, use and evaluation of the pilot version of an educational interactive game designed to support students in understanding issues in relation to referencing, the construction of bibliographies and plagiarism.

Friday, 14 March 2008

Using Wikipedia

Will Richardson in his Weblogg-ed makes telling points in his post Yet Another Reason We Should be Teaching, Not Blocking, Wikipedia. We can't stop kids from using it and we should be encouraging a generation of reader/editors. He quotes a dodgy Physics textbook from Oxford University Press, which he hopes is no longer being used. Some of the ensuing 32 comments give useful evidence of how spoof entries will not be accepted on Wikipedia.

Information behaviour of the researcher of the future

The CIBER briefing paper was the most important read for academic librarians for a long time! I am copying my post from January 23 here :
Commissioned by JISC and the BL, it is the first attempt at a longitudinal study of how the so-called Google generation are using our libraries and what this might mean in the future.
What stands out for me ?
The huge choice available for our users to switch between now - from subscription databases to wikis, bookmarked items etc etc.
The research warehouse concept is becoming redundant as the library adapts to becoming a digital environment.
Everyone (staff AND students) are seeing huge changes in how they find information.
Research libraries are still offering huge range of content but often via intuitive interfaces.
E-books are going to become a big success story - sooner than I expected.
We should stop downloading dubious downloaded use stats and get nearer to our users' real search behaviour.
Time taken by users on e sites looking at e books or journals is low with the rise of power browsing.
Information literacy of young people has not improved despite the growth of access.
Young people do not spend enough time on evaluation of web sites.
They have problems with keywords.
They don't understand the structure ofthe web and associate a search engine as their "brand" of web.
They don't find library resources and prefer the ease of the search engines.
We can expect that present younger generations will move markedly toward virtual library by preference.
There is a lot of questionable information about the way young people behave in cyberspace - many myths.
They approach research without regard to library structure and different segments of our web sites, and we dont aggregate subject resources very well.
Social web sites are transforming the web and making formally published and self-published material indistinguishable.
Libraries often pay for the content but dont get the credit.
E-books are more important than social networking issues.
There is a whole list of supposed characteristics of the Google generation : some they agree with, some myths are exploded. Perhaps a common thread would be that some characteristics are not JUST the Web generation but are far more general - e.g. that learners prefer small chunks of information. Indeed as other generation strive to "catch up" there will be common trends.
From a library viewpoint, the report does conclude that young people are unaware of library-sponsored content, and this is the library's problem.So we are all gradually becoming the Google generation as all generations use the Web and Web 2.0 more widely for all kinds of purpose.
There is too little emphasis on research into information skills behaviour of young people entering into higher education.The research in the US ( Gross, Melissa and Latham, Don "Attaining information literacy : an investigation of the relationship between skill level, self-estimates of skill, and library anxiety" Library & Information Science Research (2007) 29 332-353, if replicated here would suggest that HE is too late to make up for the Googling habits, which will be too deep-seated. This has really serious implications for school librarians, could imply outreach work from HE librarians, or new ways to reach these students once in HE.
Explosion of electronic book content could mean in the future that our library-sponsored content will shrink in relative terms.We will have to cope with different versions of the same document (pre-publication) and different forms of peer-review.
Users will not put up with barriers to access.
We should integrate content within commercial search engines.
Library users are diverse and we need to study their characteristics and behaviour much more closely.
Power browsing is terribly important.
Our sites need to be more visible on the web.
We won't be a one-stop shop.
Get IL on the agenda because people are finding it hard to navigate and get the best scholarly material. Do read the original as well!

LASSIE Literature Review

Since our book was written we have been given the final outcome of the LASSIE project : Social Software, Libraries and distance learners: literature review by Jane Secker. I can firmly recommend this excellent resource both as a summary of how libraries can embrace Web 2.0 and for the ability to time it will save you accessing key resources.

Revenge of the experts

It seems appropriate to start this new blog with a post about an interesting article by Tony Dokoupil in Newsweek on 6 March 2008, because it made me think back to one of my earlier articles "Information Literacy in the age of amateurs". How have things changed? Dokoupil thinks the individual as king on the internet is being replaced by edited information vetted by professionals. He cites the social elitism in Wikipedia which has been found by researchers in Palo Alto, Calif., where 1% of the users make over 50% of edits. He mentions and Mahalo and suggests the tide is turning toward more expert edited information. For a thoughtful view from another librarian see Eric Jennings' blog. Understandably he mentions Andrew Keen's views and this leads to a recognition of the importance of Information Literacy. I would agree that much of Keen's book supports librarians in their IL mission. However, just as I would not go along with all his criticisms of the "amateur", I think that Dokoupil's case is not yet proven. Suspect that much more along this amateur versus expert will be voiced over coming months.

Tuesday, 11 March 2008


Literature review now ready