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Re-skilling Librarians An e-learning professional development course at the University of Western Australia Ralph Kiel & Mark Pegrum.

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Presentation on theme: "Re-skilling Librarians An e-learning professional development course at the University of Western Australia Ralph Kiel & Mark Pegrum."— Presentation transcript:

1 Re-skilling Librarians An e-learning professional development course at the University of Western Australia Ralph Kiel & Mark Pegrum

2 Aims: Participants should: broaden and deepen their understanding of e-learning; become familiar with pedagogical approaches compatible with web 2.0 and related technologies; begin to use these technologies in a pedagogically grounded way in their professional contexts.

3 The course: STRUCTURE ran in January-February 2008 5 sessions of 4 hours at weekly intervals STRANDS sessions to build conceptual understanding of pedagogy & technology tools sessions to discover and discuss key technologies workshops to explore technologies in a hands-on way class wiki to reflect and interact in a social constructivist, technologically enabled space projects to develop online resources relevant to professional contexts

4 Methodology: EVALUATING TRAINING PROGRAMS MODEL (Kirkpatrick & Kirkpatrick, 2006) Reaction: what they thought and felt about the course; Learning: the increase in participants’ knowledge and capabilities due to the course; Behaviour: changes in participants’ on-the-job behaviour due to the course; Results: organisational results achieved due to participants’ involvement in the course.

5 Data Collection MAJOR SOURCES: Class wiki: postings made on the class wiki during the course Evaluation questionnaire: Questionnaire, compiled by Library management & administered at the end of the course MINOR SOURCES: Emails: electronic communications received by the authors Project rationales: statements of rationale accompanying submitted projects Presentation notes: notes for talks given in the final presentations session

6 1) Reactions Participants … Were motivated and positive liked the focus on pedagogy and the relevance to academic libraries liked non-traditional, multimedia materials, but reacted in varied ways to individual web 2.0 tools liked the detailed feedback on their projects generally liked the organisation of the course many suggested –running it at a different time of year –spacing out the sessions more some requested more guidance on developing projects

7 [I]t’s without doubt the best course I’ve ever participated in (including my initial degrees many years ago when universities were rather different). (Participant G, email) I have become more interested in new technologies and their uses, both professionally and personally, as a result of this course. It was a pleasure to attend this course – I enjoyed every session and it’s been one the highlights of my first year at UWA. (Participant A, questionnaire)

8 2) Learning Participants … focused heavily on the pedagogical aspects –rapidly understood that pedagogy must drive technology related the pedagogical approaches to their own learning styles felt challenged by the social constructivist approach & the use of new technologies –most eventually appreciated the value of their initial discomfort related the pedagogical approaches to their own professional contexts –many were very interested in literacy, multiliteracies & information literacy

9 2) Learning continued Participants …formed a learning community saw themselves as a community of practice collaborated & shared insights realised the parallels between the theoretical approaches covered & the community in which they were participating expressed a wish for the learning community to continue after the course

10 It was very interesting to learn about the different educational theories in Week 2. All of this stuff is very new to me as I haven't done any educational studies previously. It’s like learning a new language! (Participant A, wiki)

11 This […] require[s] us as Librarians (particularly the older models such as myself) to get out of our comfort zones and really become familiar with the new and emerging technologies and understand their strengths, weaknesses, and best applications. We need to learn the right tool for the right job in the digital environment; how best to use the tools; and USE them. To just do it. (Participant F, wiki)

12 I'm pretty much convinced of the benefits of Communities of Practice. As a small CoP ourselves I am already benefitting from the discussion on our wiki pages - after only 2 weeks. (Participant G, wiki) It's a fantastic venue/platform for us in this course as we're learning about the theory by applying and practising it. (Participant J, wiki)

13 3) Behaviour Participants … changed their pedagogical approaches felt more comfortable using web 2.0 tools felt they would need more time to fully digest what they had learned noted limitations as Librarians in the University context –constraints on their contact time with students –constraints imposed by academics –constraints on their freedom to innovate in the IT area

14 [The course] made me realise that I had been trying to teach without the necessary pedagogical knowledge to underpin my teaching. I have used the knowledge I gained about the pedagogy to re-evaluate my teaching, both face-to-face and online […] (Participant G, questionnaire) I am avoiding where possible a skills based ‘click here, then click there, then select this’ [approach] and focussing on a higher level critical awareness of information sources and their uses. (Participant J, questionnaire)

15 [I have] increased confidence in relation to web 2.0 technologies, willingness to take on any projects involving them, and independently explore any opportunities they might provide. (Participant H, questionnaire)

16 4) Results Research Success! Library Blog

17 4) Results Student Services Vokis

18 Using an online animated character for service delivery (Lisa Cluett)

19 4) Results Legal Research Video

20 4) Results Wiki-based Research Video

21 Conclusion we ran a second course in October-December 2008 –it occurred at the end rather than the start of the year –it lasted 10 weeks as opposed to 5 weeks –closer collaboration with Library colleagues was encouraged –the Library provided a list of suggested projects reactions were overwhelmingly positive feedback is to be collated after the submission of projects in February

22 My lack of knowledge, fear of, and overall inexperience with, Web 2.0 technologies created a real barrier to entry. I was very hesitant and spent a lot of time reading as much as I could before I started. Now I’m addicted!

23 Webpages Vokis LeFever’s Common Craft videos Mark Pegrum’s wiki

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