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CIL2007: Dynamic Instructional Content – Library 2.0 on a Budget

Posted by comartslibrarian on April 17, 2007

Chad Boeninger of Ohio University presented.

  • Librarians often attempt to squeeze too many learning objectives into one-shot instruction sessions.
  • Sessions are often not presented at the point-of-need

Alternatives to paper handouts — blogs and wikis! Uses these tools (Biz Wiki) to teach every single class. This content is reusable and can reach students later at point-of-need and in subsequent classes. Constantly updated, so handouts don’t go out of date. Wiki entries can also link back to faculty assignments. and are hosted options for interested librarians.

Free alternatives to clicker systems — web polls and MeeboMe widgit. wpPolls can be embedded in WordPress blogs (self-hosted) for example. In-class feedback can alleviate student boredom, gauge students’ grasp of learning objectives.

Survey toolsphpESP, which lives on your server. Limited free version at too. Blogger’s Note: Regent University has used Survey Solutions XP.

Using podcasting for library tours. Form September 2006 to January 2007, the tour podcast had been downloaded 700 times. Used Audacity to record voice tracks and export to MP3.

Screencasting — using Wink, a free non-open-source product. Captures audio and screen action, add text boxes, which can render to Flash. Not as robust as Adobe Captivate, but free! Remember to enlarge text size on your browser before doing a capture, if possible.

Video — Use Windows Movie Maker or iMovie to import video and edit. Upload to YouTube. Can use open-source CamStudio to capture screencast to AVI format, and then load this to YouTube (which uses Flash).

Video IM/Chat — Using Skype to do this.

After-class support — Available via IM, email. Posting recommended links to, in addition to blog and wiki. Pull you RSS feed or link to blog/wiki from a Facebook profile.

KnowledgeBase — Open-source tool at Rate whether answers are useful or not. Users can add questions and comments. Email questions can be sent via this form, be delivered to reference desk, librarian can opt to include answer in knowledge base.

Closing thoughts:

  • Try new things
  • Don’t be afraid to fail or get under the hood
  • Try free open-source tools first before spending money on more elaborate software

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