Feb 09

eCapabilities – Concurrent Session 13 – VALA 2012

Online learning: eMpowering eFutures through developing staff capability at Monash University Libraries – Lisa Smith and Steven Yates

Monash University Libraries has 6 libraries in Australia and 2 overseas, with 260+ FTE staff, including casuals. They work in partnerships with faculties and other areas of the university. They offer increasingly interactive and engaging resources, services, tools and spaces.

Program was founded on both the unversity’s and the library’s Digital Education strategies, which has a blended learning approach.

The library’s strategy is underpinned by a research approach, which consists of four areas – methods and approaches to development of self, develop staff capability, identifying content and exploration of tools and learning environments.

Capability: training, providing tools and standards, consultation.

The aims of the course were toe develop the knowledge and skills of Library staff to create e-learning tutorials using Adobe Captivate and to create several useful online tutorials (some of which are created by staff).

Course was run in Moodle, using a constructivist learning approach and involved 12 task based activities and 3 workshops, with real life outcomes which matched up to important milestones and was a blended learning course. Most took place online, but also involved face to face.

Mostly doing stuff, but also evaluation. Involved higher order thinking from creation to assessment. Used multiple methods and design experiments for the learning experience, with the emphasis on qualitative feedback and tasks artifacts.

There were 12 course participants, 2 expert reviewers and 1 participant observer.

Course was developed using mindmapping, then was storyboarded, from which it was developed.

Course commenced in June 2011 and was designed to run for two months, but ran to 6 months due to work commitments. Three projects were completed.

Evaluation determined that the course was effective as they all produced effective e-learning resources, with minimal technical expertise. Participants gave a good rating, but there were areas to improve, including improving clarity, reduced workload, software practice, negotiating time to complete tasks.

Next steps: consider next and ongoing interactions, improve submission process and documentation, confirm staff development process and time allocation, improve evaluation, increase collaboration, include staged reporting and enhance the staff e-learning development process.

Playing at professional development? – Ellen Forsyth

How much do you play how much do you work.

92% of Australian homes have electronic games devices. 59% play for an about an hour a day. (only 3% for five hours or more).

Ellen joined up to World of Warcraft a few years ago and is now involved in training in the library in that space. The library is in a public space, but the interaction between participants is restricted to the particular guild. Transcripts are saved to a wiki. Ellen has been running these professional development talks in this space for 12 months.

Even though presenters kept presenting and people kept attending, it was still hard to know whether it was working. She went back to the participants to find out how it went.

Speakers are speed typists. Questions from attendees are best as YELLED out. And it is up to the speaker to acknowledge and respond.

Talks have been about using games in the library, reflections on play – pedagogy and World of Warcraft, WOW in schools, how children learn from computer games.

Presenter feedback – thought it was good, but they have to be a fast typist and fast reader. All presenters were game players, but not all had been WOW players, but they adapted well. It was more relaxing and they enjoyed it more. It also involved trust – on the Internet, no-one knows you’re a dog. They found it easier to engage with the attendees.

Results are skewed because it only involved participants. They came from the US and Australia – from ages 20 to 50 and from across library sectors  etc. You could participate even if you couldn’t play. They came because they thought it was the right environment in which to learn about this. The cost entry was low, allowing them to tap into international knowledge for the cost of a WOW subscription. Transcripts were useful for picking up on things they missed.

Series of talks is just the start of exploring the use of games into libraries and for players to be involved in professional development in the games environment. Implications for bringing in reluctant potential participants are still being explored.