22 March 2007

Educause MWRC

Here's something that should interest Adam.

Last week at Educause, several librarians from Illinois presented a session about using RSS to provide library resources to students in Blackboard. A particular professor was interested in having the students get good resources, so he asked the librarians to find them and post them. The result was a section of the course that contained RSS feeds from various reputable news sites (say, MSNBC) so that the students could see headlines in Blackboard without leaving the course area.

Additionally, the librarians prepared library catalog searches, and included those links in the course. So when a student went to do research for the final paper, the student merely needed to click on a link of a topic of interest and the results would appear in the library catalog.

At the end of the course, most students said they would be more likely to use the library in the future as a result of their experience in the course.

During the discussion one member of the audience asked whether we should be concerned that students don't know where the information is coming from -- that they just click a link and there is the search. Another member commented that whether students know that the information is coming from the library is beside the point so long as the students get good information. The library is in the business of connecting people with information, and then getting out of the way.

My comment was something like, "I care a little. If the pastors that AMBS is training are going to be telling people what God is saying, I'd sort of like them to know how to get reliable information."

I'm struck, though, by the notion that students did, in fact, realize the library was providing the information as evidenced in the survey.


John David said...

This must be the week to blog about libraries. I have a couple more posts written for the next days--all about libraries.

J. Blessinger said...

Would you mind creating or linking to even brief documentation for this? I'm hopeful it will work as well with WebCT. Of course, we're likely to adopt an entirely new Course Management System before long, rendering any progress I might make null, but at least my curiosity will have been sated.

BMG said...

Hey, no problem. The presentation can be downloaded from the program page of the Educause MWRC website. You'll need PowerPoint, or something capable of reading it.

According to the presenters, saving and retrieving searches via EBSCOhost is a little tricky due to proxying. But getting the RSS Feeds from, say, MSNBC, should be pretty straightforward.

Are you moving to moodle like all the cool kids?