Comments on the Conference in Tucson

Our recent  AZLA Annual Conference in Tucson was filled with opportunities for professional development, networking,  visiting vendor booths, and just plain catching up with colleagues around the state who we don’t have the opportunity to see any other time.

Here are some responses to our CULD question “What grabbed your attention at the Annual Conference in Tucson?”

Pamela Rineholt, Learning Resource Center Coordinator at Collins College said:

“My burning desire when attending the AzLA Conference in Tucson last week was to learn some truly functional way to distribute information, particularly instruction, to my patrons, both students and faculty.  I hoped that the half-day pre-conference, “The Library Minute – Creating Short and Effective Outreach Videos,” presented by Matthew Harp, Mimmo Bonanni, and Anali Maughan Perry from the ASU Libraries, would be useful.  My hopes were realized in one of the most informative and practical workshops I have attended anywhere!  I suppose the caveat is that I am fortunate to work with a film school, so, for me, putting the library minute into practice lies simply in collaborating with faculty and staff who have the technical expertise and the equipment to make my ideas happen.

I was happily surprised to find two other sessions in the program that addressed my need as well!  Yvonne Mery of UA presented “Engaging Students With Interactive Tutorials” on Wednesday morning, when I was thrilled to learn that there are (free) tools to create and post short video presentations on the library website or portal.  Wednesday afternoon, more of these tools were described by Allison Leaming of Thunderbird School of Global Management in “Creating an Online Learning Landscape – What Do Students Want?”

There were other great sessions as well, but thanks to these three excellent presentations, I came away from this  year’s conference with the most practical and timely information ever!

Thanks, conference planners and presenters!!!”

Rebecca Blakiston, Instructional Services Librarian and Website Production Manager at University of Arizona Libraries said:

“The LibX presentation by ASU was great and I can’t wait to experiment with it! When the presenters walked us through the process of creating a toolbar for your own library, it demonstrated how easy it is to implement at my own institution. What a great use of technology to reach users where they are.”

Margaret Espinosa, ALA-NMRT Liaison to AILA and RUSA said:

“As always AzLA was wonderful. Stephen Abrams was more thought provoking than our usual keynote speaker, and I would love to see next year’s conference elaborate on his points. My other fav was the AzLA button booth. What a great way to take a break in the midst of information overload. “

Leslee Shell, Health Sciences Librarian at Arizona State University’s Information Commons Library said:

“In his creative and funny presentation, Life on Cloud 9 3/4,Vincent Alascia of the Arizona State Library, Archives and Public Records pointed to the fact that now that we have so much stuff on multiple devices, we need the cloud to update all of our devices at the same time. He gave us a quick look at a few of the major choices – Google Apps (Calendar, Mail), Evernote (notes), Dropbox (documents), Picasa (photos) and Cloud Player (music). I can’t wait to try out some of the new services Vinny highlighted in his informative and entertaining presentation.”

Tina Sibley, Distance Education Librarian at Arizona Western College said:

“I was really inspired by  Li Kang’s (Gateway Community College Library) Roundtable, Library as Place: Using Web 2.0 Technologies with Dev. Ed. Students.  She shared a wonderful, interactive assignment for students to get to know the library and develop some information literacy skills while conducting their own self-paced exploration of the library with an MP3 player and a printed handout. Not only do the students become comfortable with the library, some who are not tech savvy also gain a new technology competency, the MP3 player.  Li has had good results with this and I think it is a great idea for use with my students.”

Do you have some hi-lights to share? We’d love to hear them.

The first item on the Beloit Mindset List 2014

For the incoming college class of 2014, the first item on the list of its annual mindset list is “Few in the class know how to write in cursive.”  This caught my eye because I’d had a conversation last year about this potential disconnect in the classroom with one of our English Department faculty.  She’d told me that one of her students wasn’t  making specific improvements to his writing assignments that she’d noted on his papers and when she talked to him she’d found out he couldn’t read cursive writing.

This had never occurred to her, nor had it occurred to me.  I mentioned it to other faculty and they hadn’t really thought about it either.  Most of us are U.S. educated and of an age where we were taught and regularly used cursive for at least a couple of decades. One faculty explained that most of what he does in terms of student feedback is done electronically and he is not writing remarks with a pen or pencil. In some discussions with K-12 teachers in AZ, and some librarians on email listservs, I found out that yes, many U.S. schools are not teaching cursive. 

Today, I forwarded the Beloit Mindset link to a Director on campus in charge of faculty teaching development and asked if this was a potential disconnect in the classroom. Besides her role in faculty development, she is also a longtime ESL instructor.  She responded that she knew that she couldn’t write in cursive in the ESL classroom because our students educated in Mexico are not taught cursive, but it had not occurred to her that the broader faculty might not know this. She now planned to bring it up at New Faculty Orientation later today. Cool, so I’m not coming out of left field.

I think this is a potential disconnect in the classroom that may not have occurred to many of us librarians who stand in a classroom doing library instruction and write on the white boards. Or for that matter, some of us are doing instruction to distance sites on interactive television or through web conferencing systems, and using whiteboards. Note to self: Stop the cursive writing. Somehow, I know it will take me awhile.

Have any of you out there encountered this?

Tina Sibley is the Distance Education Librarian at Arizona Western College

Contemplating a Certificate in Instructional Design

Tina Sibley is the Distance Education Librarian at Arizona Western College and in this post she recaps some information she has gathered on certificate programs in instructional design.

I do a lot of library instruction sessions both face-to-face and online, and over the past 18 months I’ve been mulling over the possibility of completing a certificate program in instructional design for e-learning.  Since I’m located in Yuma, I’d need a web-based program and that’s what I focused on in my investigation.  Also, I’ll mention that I’ve already had a small amount of exposure to ID, while working as a corporate training manager prior to my library career, so that influenced my research and how I viewed what each program offered for my needs.

ACRL has a variety of web-based classes, including one specifically about instructional design.  Instructional Design for Online Teaching and Learning.  Additionally they also offer a class focused on learning objects, Learning “To Go”: Using the Learning Object Model to Develop Online Instruction.  Both of these are about a month long and look like useful introductions.

Looking at certificate programs, I came across university offerings which varied from several months to about a year and a half. Some result in a certificate with CEUs and others earn graduate units. Some also let you apply the graduate units to a Masters program if you decide to pursue that.

The University of Washington’s Professional & Continuing Studies department offers a Certificate in E-Learning Design and Development.  There are 4 courses to complete and the program takes 9 months to complete.  This certificate earns 17 CEUs.  One thing that caught my eye as I looked at this program was that there is a librarian on the advisory board.  This program does includes some perspective on managing e-learning programs which may not be something most librarians get involved with, but I personally could see a benefit to having had some insight to the big picture decision making process as the librarian engages with the rest of e-learning community on campus.

At the University of Wisconsin-Stout, they offer a five course certificate in E-Learning and Online Teaching which takes 10-19 months, depending upon whether you take one or two classes at a time. The certificate earns 15 graduate credits and they can be applied to the Masters program. This program is fully focused on teaching in the online environment. They also offer an Instructional Design certificate which is not focused on e-learning environments.

Through the University of Colorado- Denver you can complete a certificate of Designing eLearning Environments . This program is focused on instructional design incorporating multimedia and social-networking tools. There are three courses to complete over 18 months.  These graduate units can also be applied to their MA in eLearning Design and Implementation.

At California State University- East Bay, they offer through their Continuing Education department a certificate in Online Teaching and Learning. This is focused on the pedagogy of online teaching and learning. There are 4 courses and each one is 5 weeks long.  The certificate takes a minimum of 4 months to complete and the classes also satisfy the initial course requirements for their M.S. in Education with an Option in Online Teaching and Learning.

Another possibilities for learning about instructional design is to take a two-day workshop  marketed towards corporate trainers. See this certificate program listed on the web site of the American Society of Training and Development (ASTD).
These are just a few avenues to gain some understanding of and skill in instructional design.

Have you taken a class or seminar recently? Write up a summary and send it to culd@gmail.

7Questions? – Julie Hines

This week’s 7Questions? comes from Julie Hines, Regional Campus Librarian at Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary in Phoenix:

1. What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Caregiver, organizer, tenacious

2. What is your favorite place in AZ?

One of my favorite places is Texas Canyon.

3. What do you value about working in a college or university library?

The different aspects of the job, with ability to move (came from children’s area, where you can only go so far).

4. What is the best thing about AzLA?

Timeliness, especially of conference topics.  Also, the people.

5. What was your first library job?

Very first was as a student assistant during high school; professionally, children’s/young adult librarian in Sierra Vista (1984-87).

6. What are you currently reading?

Near to the Heart of God, biography of Cleland B. McAfee (a distant relative).

7. Any parting words of wisdom for your AZ CULD colleagues?

For those of us at the smaller libraries, where we may be the only one doing majority of work, be involved with AzLA.  Maintain your membership, go to conferences, be on ListServs–this minimum level will still help with networking and give you assistance with your job.

ASU Librarians Bridging the Gap

The following post is the first of what we hope to be a continuous stream of information highlighting what’s going on at academic libraries in Arizona. What’s happening at your library? Let us know!

In August of 2008 Ann Ewbank, subject librarian from ASU and former AzLA President, was approached to do a presentation about college readiness to the English teachers in the Scottsdale High Schools at their fall In-Service day.  Ann willingly agreed but proposed that she invite several colleagues and turn it into a panel presentation on how university librarians and high school librarians and English teachers can collaborate to help their student be better prepared for college-level research. The other panelists, some of Ann’s colleagues at ASU, were Melissa Guy, Bianna Ine, Julie Tharp and Ellen Welty.  Our first presentation was well received and was followed by an invitation to develop a similar presentation for the AzLA conference the following year.

While developing our presentation for AzLA, we discovered that the annual conference of the Arizona English Teachers Association would be in October of 2009, a couple months before AzLA.  Submitting our proposal to AETA seemed like a good opportunity to target English teachers from all over the state and would give us a trial run for AzLA.  Our colleague Bianna had moved out of state by this time, so we had four panelists.  The presentation at AETA was scheduled at the same time as a couple of popular local authors at the conference so it wasn’t well attended.  Nevertheless, the teachers who were there expressed their appreciation for the opportunity to exchange ideas with us.  In contrast, the presentation at AzLA was well attended and produced a lively discussion.  By this time, we were receiving invitations from school librarians to visit their schools and present to their teachers.  In order to maximize our time, we decided to apply for an LSTA grant and produce a couple of all-day workshops to which we would send invitations to all the teachers in several school districts in the Phoenix metropolitan area.  The schedule would consist of a keynote speaker who has done extensive research on the “12-13 gap”, a deconstruction of a typical freshman writing assignment and a hands-on workshop using the databases provided to Arizona residents by the State Library.  The panel discussion followed by closing remarks would round out the day.

The first of these two workshops was October 16, 2010 at ASU’s West campus.  We had 65 teachers in attendance and the response was almost uniformly positive.  We will repeat the basic program at a second workshop scheduled for April at the Tempe campus.  We have taken the show on the road three times this winter as well; once in Blue Ridge district in Pinetop, at Tolleson Union High School district and Tempe High School.  One thing we are hearing at every presentation is that the outreach needs to begin with the junior high school teachers; waiting until the students are in high school doesn’t give them enough of an opportunity to develop the information literacy skills that college faculty assume they have.

In concluding, I would urge all of us in the library business to keep the conversation going.  Any opportunity we have to engage with teachers is golden – take advantage of it!

Ellen Welty, Associate Librarian
Arizona State University Libraries

Reflections on a Conference

This past November I had the opportunity of attending my first AZLA conference (actually, my first ever professional conference). Though I could only attend one day, I had a chance to sit in on a few informative workshops, one of which dealt with presenting an effective webinar. This workshop was especially timely, as the school I work at now offers online programs and our library is looking for ways to bring services to those students. But aside from the workshops I found a huge benefit in attending the workshop was just networking with other library professionals. And what a friendly group of people we are! During lunch, everyone at my table was excited to talk about what’s going on at their library, and some people left with ideas to try back “home”. I definitely plan to attend next year as well.

Sara Zapotocky

Sara is the Assistant Librarian at Le Cordon Bleu College of Culinary Arts in Scottsdale, AZ. She received her Master’s in Library Science from the UofA in 2005. On a side note, she recently became involved with “In2Books,” an online program that pairs volunteers with students to read and discuss books together.