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Reach Out and Touch Someone: Cultivating Information Literacy Competencies with E-Learning Technology. Lisa Santucci / Rob Withers Miami University Libraries. Who We Are. State assisted institution 15,000 undergraduates, 1,300 graduates 3,473 first year undergraduates Selective admissions

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Reach Out and Touch Someone: Cultivating Information LiteracyCompetencies with E-Learning Technology

Lisa Santucci / Rob WithersMiami University Libraries

who we are
Who We Are
  • State assisted institution
  • 15,000 undergraduates, 1,300 graduates
  • 3,473 first year undergraduates
  • Selective admissions
  • Residential campus
need for undergraduate instruction
Need for Undergraduate Instruction
  • Anecdotal feedback
  • NSSE Survey: students note little growth in library /research skills
  • Similar efforts at other institutions: TILT, Penn State - Information Cycle
challenges to undergraduate instruction
Challenges to Undergraduate Instruction
  • No required introduction to use of research/information seeking strategies
  • Limited time available in existing classes
  • Not enough personnel/classroom space to reach every student in entering classes
our vision asynchronous instruction
Our Vision: Asynchronous Instruction
  • Maximize availability of instructors
  • Minimize need for instructional facilities
  • Prevent schedule conflicts with other classes/activities
  • Provide online support through call center software used for reference
  • Enable students to begin prior to Fall Semester
grant opportunity
Grant Opportunity
  • Support for development of distributed education
  • Submitted proposal for development of/usability testing on prototype of online instructional module
  • Requested funding for software/hardware and release time for developers
reaching the gameboy generation
Reaching the “GameBoy” Generation

Today’s students expect:

  • Brief, non-linear communication
  • Multimedia used to deliver information
  • Education and entertainment are not mutually exclusive
  • Giving them what they want AND what they need
hardware software

Delivering Materials:

  • Server to house E-learn
  • Blackboard CourseInfo

Creating Materials:

  • Macromedia Flash, Fireworks
  • Snagit
  • Systems Officer (initial stages)
  • 5 librarians with expertise in public service, instruction, developing electronic resources
  • Subject specialists to adapt to discipline- focused “sequels” (later stages)
development phase
Development Phase
  • Content team develops script containing text information together with ideas for images
  • Design team conveys information in script, with goal of minimizing text needed
  • Invited all librarians to brainstorming session for input
topics covered in e learn
Topics Covered in e - Learn

Nine modules in these areas:

  • Understanding Information/Evaluating Information
  • Finding Books
  • Finding Articles
  • Finding News
  • Searching the Web
initial delivery
Initial Delivery
  • Contacted sample group of incoming students via campus email requesting to take survey
  • Enrolled students in Blackboard course management software
  • Checked students machines to ensure they had software needed
requirements for student computers
Requirements for Student Computers
  • Shockwave
  • Audio card/speakers
  • JavaScript
usability testing
Usability Testing
  • Invite 25% of incoming Fall 2002 students to complete readings and answer survey
  • Notify students BOTH through Blackboard AND through campus e-mail
usability testing1
Usability Testing
  • What Internet experience do individuals have?
  • What kind of Internet connection/access?
  • Is information relevant?
  • Is it readable?
  • Do graphics/animation enhance/detract from information?
  • Do users have needed hardware/software?
feedback from trials
Feedback from Trials
  • First round (50 students): " didn't like the timed element of the screens they want to control the pace"
  • Second round (88 students): positive responses
challenges usability testing
Challenges: Usability Testing
  • Not all students use University E-mail
  • Ensuring compliance with Human Subjects Testing guidelines (no subjects under age 18)
  • Encouraging feedback
upgrading content
Upgrading Content
  • Continuous redevelopment
  • Focus more extensively on non-verbal communication
  • More extensive assessment exercises
  • Modules that are subject specific:
    • Biology
    • Education
    • English
attracting students
Attracting Students
  • Participation in Summer orientation for first year students
  • University Admissions Welcome CD-ROM
  • Personal invitation delivered to student room
  • Students receiving credit
challenges future development
Challenges: Future Development
  • Seeking course credit for completing work
  • Creating more extensive assessment exercises & quizzes
  • Allocating/scheduling staff to support
model for integrating e learn into credit course
Model for Integrating E-learn into Credit Course
  • 1 credit hour class - equivalent to 10 class meetings
  • 45 minutes E-Learn readings equivalent to “lecture material”
  • 30 minutes equivalent to in-class activities
  • 2 quizzes
  • blogging assignment: respond to news items related to course content
  • final project: annotated webliography
special thanks to
Special Thanks to:
  • Stan Brown
  • Sylvia Hu
  • Nancy Moeckel
  • Lisa Santucci
  • Rachel Vacek
  • Ohio Board of Regents
more information
More Information
  • Lisa Santucci (
  • Rob Withers (
  • Jen-chien Yu (
  • E-learn: