There was a posting on LIS-LINK@JISCMAIL.AC.UK by Karen Rolfe, Assistant Librarian User Services @ National Oceanographic Library summarising the information she received to a question she had posed about the technology\software\applications that people are using to support information literacy. Which I thought might be of interest to some of you.
Total number of responses received 10
Questions and replies (number of responses in brackets)
- Do you produce your own online learning objects to support Information Literacy skills? – Yes (10)
- Do you produce them just for computers or for computers and mobile phones? – Just PCs (6), Just PCS but considering mobile phones (4),
- What applications or software do you use to produce your learning objects? Articulate (1) + (1 – another respondent would like to use this instead of the application they are using) Audacity (1) Basic HTML (2) Camtasia (2) – screen and audio capture Captivate (4) CourseGenie (2) Echo 360 (1) – record lectures eXe (1) Flash (4) – animated learning objects Glomaker (1) Hotpotatos (4) – quizzes INFORMS (4) – real time tutorials Java script (2) Moodle (2) –VLE Sproutbuilder (1) TOIA (1) – quizzes Turning Point (1) Udutu (1) Viewlet builder (2) – screen and audio capture Wimba Create (1) – mini website tutorials Wix (1) Xml (1)
- Why did you choose the software you are using? – Cost / It’s Free/ Open access (4) Staff expertise – e.g. in house developer (2) Easy to use (2) Recommended/ being used by others (3) Suitability for the task (3) Pedagogic ethos (1) Compatible with University network (2) Accessibility (1) Customisable/Flexibility (2)
- Are there some examples of your learning objects that we could look at available on your website?
* Articulate tutorials with Captivate and Informs outputs embedded http://libraryonline.leedsmet.ac.uk/pages/subject_guides/law/types_of_information/law_reports_and_other_case_info
* Information Literacy Resource Bank – http://ilrb.cf.ac.uk<http://ilrb.cf.ac.uk/> which contains a variety of IL learning objects
* Some of our tutorials (many of these are a bit out of date now, so we need to update them) http://www.library.bham.ac.uk/searching/infoskills/Brum.shtml
* This page should allow you to look at most of our Camtasia films http://www.bath.ac.uk/library/infoskills/libflicks/index.html
6. Is there any information or advice that you would share with us about creating learning objects for information literacy using your chosen software?
* Keep text short and simple where possible, enable interactivity wherever possible, get colleagues to test afterwards.
* Be aware of the need to maintain LOs which are up-to-date and relevant, plus the need to train or have staff with skill set required to use software.
* Currently we have concentrated on specific IL skills for certain subject areas where student numbers made IL teaching nearly impossible, however we are starting a project just now on developing an assessed stand alone IL tutorial based on our Little Book of Information Skills. This will again utilize Articulate instead of web pages as we prefer the interactive nature and free navigation this software offers us. The software does not require any formal IT skills, and we currently just have two people working very few hours on our output. As with most things you can spend as long or not creating your tutorials, but most people know how to use PowerPoint so can easily transfer work into a more interactive openly navigable output.
* We feel that the key to a successful learning object is to keep it fairly bite-size, try to keep the content as generic as possible and keep branding to a minimum. This helps to ensure its suitability to a wide range of teaching and learning scenarios.
* Some quick and dirty advice would be to avoid creating a scroll of death, interminable pages of text students and staff simply won’t read. Contextualise any skills development. Incorporate self assessment and possible peer review evaluation – wiki or live chat
* CourseGenie was very basic, which was good, because it was quick to learn how to use it, but unfortunately means it is not very sophisticated. For example, if you wanted to put photos on, it was almost impossible to line them up to where you would like them. There has been very little use of this learning object by the students – I think we might have had more usage if the program had been more interactive.
* Ask your students/ users what they need first (not what they want) before doing anything and assume nothing. Make sure that any text you use is in plain English. Use a balance of textual/ visual/ animation/movie media (ASK is still too text heavy). What ever time you put aside for development multiply by 3! Keep it simple.
* Regarding eXe: I would undertake basic training and talk to IT about it’s limitations (we wasted a lot of time trying to solve technical issues ourselves). We’ve had problems when trying to play videos on our SunRay PCs (the servers which support these PCs haven’t got the right media player application), which only became apparent when we were well into the project.
* What we have learnt so far though, is that we don’t have enough time to spend on this at the moment and that we need some training on the software and on the pedagogical implications of what the software can do.