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Reconstituting Library Services for E-Learning Portals Joy Muller, Jane Foo OLA 2006 Superconference February 2, 2006 Presentation available at:

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Presentation on theme: "Reconstituting Library Services for E-Learning Portals Joy Muller, Jane Foo OLA 2006 Superconference February 2, 2006 Presentation available at:"— Presentation transcript:

1 Reconstituting Library Services for E-Learning Portals Joy Muller, Jane Foo OLA 2006 Superconference February 2, 2006 Presentation available at:

2 Overview Our Goals The Portal The Environment Politics and Partnerships Implementation Notes Demo Last Words Comments and Questions

3 To Reconstitute To bring a dried or dehydrated product to its original consistency by adding a liquid Construct or form anew or provide with a new structure; "The governing board was reconstituted"  Let’s repackage what we can offer into “products” that can be more easily accessed and used by our students and faculty.

4 E-Learning Covers a wide set of applications and processes such as Web based learning, computer based learning, virtual classrooms, and digital collaboration. “Searching for a permanent, comfortable and serviceable position that is nimble enough to be flexible, accessible and continually up to date with the wider ‘university’ structure” OCLC Task Force Report on Libraries and the Enhancement of E-Learning

5 Seneca College Mission Statement and Vision To contribute to Canadian society by being a transformation leader in providing students with career-related education and training. Our vision is to lead: in Student Success In Access to Higher Education In Learning In Applied Research In Innovation In our Commitment to People In our Commitment to Diversity and Equity in Employment

6 E-Learning – Goals Enrich & support pedagogy Accessibility of learning materials and support Support students in life-long learning Intra and inter school and institutional sharing of course materials Contribution to public knowledge

7 Portal A Web based tool that provides a customizable interface to information aggregated from a variety of sources. Krisellen Maloney, ASIS Bulletin Lorcan Dempsey: p-portals and m-portals The Recombinant Library: Portals and People The college portal plays an important part in the students’ academic tasks  Focus on integrating with the user flow  Personal Learning Landscape

8 The Portal: MySeneca Usage In a 7 day period during the first 2 weeks of this semester: 16.5 million hits occurred on My.Seneca. 42,158 announcements were viewed through the "My.Seneca - Announcements" module. 62,871 student Webmail accesses occurred through the "My.Seneca - Webmail" module. 11,511 staff Webmail accesses occurred through the "My.Seneca - Webmail" module. 5,213 edits occurred to personalize specific modules. 9,775 changes were made to portal pages contents. 4,803 changes were made to portal layout of modules.

9 Library Catalogue ::Look up books, print periodicals, videos, DVDs, CDs ENCompass for Resource Access ::Find published articles & digital objects via one search ENCompass for Digital Collections ::Create & manage digital assets Linkfinder Plus ::Directly access full-text content across various sources Serials Solutions ::Find an electronic journal, magazine or newspaper EZProxy ::Access any restricted resources off-campus Ask Us Now ::Chat and interact with a librarian online Licensed Digital Databases ::Access and search for published content in electronic form

10 Community System Learning System Content System ?


12 The Portal: Structure & Support

13 The Portal: MySeneca History September 2000: Launch of BlackBoard CMS (Version 4) October 2000: First demo of library material in BB December 2000: First Portal Committee Meeting Summer 2001: First draft of student portal (with library portal) January 2002: Launch of My.Seneca Spring 2003: Load issues after upgrade to BB 6 October 2004: Launch of Employee Portal November 2004: First discussions about a library portal December 2004: Access to library module admin April 2005: Library development tab and modules August 2005: Launch of first non- ITT Student Services Tab


15 Why: “Information literacy should not be considered a given, even among “net-gen” students.… Techniques for finding and assessing relevant information from the array of resources available … are crucial, especially in light of the rising trend toward collaborative work.” The Horizon Report, 2006 Edition.

16 Our Goal

17 The Portal: The Library’s Plan Determine targeted user group Develop timelines Funding/Resource Requirements Methodology Training Marketing

18 MyLibrary Justification More services & greater integration Improved awareness of our resources Improved access to our resources Customizability Greater efficiency Demand for sound pedagogy Librarians excel at collaboration Environmental need to enhance skill sets Provision of successful lifelong learning skills

19 Getting College Buy-In Partnerships/Politics Agenda Presentation Approval process

20 Library and Collaboration Technology skills Access Impact “Collaboration is related to innovation. There would be significant gains in Canada’s innovation performance if we were to increase the level of collaboration.” Conference Board of Canada

21 Implementing Reconstitution The Approach Content and Functionality Technical Information Limitations

22 What is Our Approach, Anyway? Low-Fi and Iterative User-centred Staff-driven Keeping the “big picture” in mind No wheel re-invention Dynamic content wherever possible (“just text” is boring) Focus on what we want, then on what we can / are allowed do

23 Let’s Plan! Content Chunking What is “Chunking”? = breaking down information into its smallest manageable components (content unit). Deliverables A list of proposed “chunks” with label and the intended audience. Guidelines One functionality (service) or content per “chunk” The service / content has to be able to stand on its own. Plan for a “chunk” size that is suitable for width and height constraints. Limit navigation by keeping the “chunk” content within it wherever possible. Avoid linking to other services / content.

24 Chunking Example

25 Review & Select … We ended up with 46 suggested modules! Module Prioritization & Layout Default vs. Optional Left Navigation Links vs. Modules Roles Type of Module We narrowed down the selections to 5 left navigation links and 26 priority 1 and 2 modules…

26 Module Candidates Priority 1: Required Content Academic Honesty Virtual Reference (Ask Us Now) Contact Information Copyright Remote Access Instructions Library Instruction and Course Support Citing Sources (MLA, APA) Article Databases & Express Article Search Library Catalogue Search Subject Guides Library News My Library Account Priority 2: Optional Content Quick Reference Tools: Dictionaries, Encyclopedias, Almanacs / Factbooks, Maps & Atlases, Directories Collection Development Faculty Manuals Audio-Visual Services: Videos & DVDs AV Services: Electronic Classrooms AV Services: Equipment Find a Journal (A-Z Search) Research by Course Library Forms Information for Students New Books Priority 3: Want-to-Haves  Group Study Room Bookings  My eJournals & eBooks  My Databases

27 Module Design & Layout Very limited design possibilities Frame Left Navigation Bar (Links) 2-column versus 1-column module colours and borders

28 Re-cyle and Re-use Existing Modules Library/AV Modules Seneca Custom Modules (Weblinks, Toronto Weather, Announcements) Pre-built RSS feeds Online Reference Tools (search, dictionary, maps, weather, quotes) Time Magazine

29 Pre-built Content …

30 Our demo version so far




34 Technicalities… Standards: CSS, HTML, Accessibility Roles Frame Environment Modules Type: HTML, Weblinks, RSS Custom-Programming: BB Building Blocks – web app package consisting of JSP and XML files Portal System = Courseware System No integration with Content System

35 Find Books, Videos & DVDs

36 Internal Constraints No JSP expertise & IDE; no access to Oracle No access to “Live” Modules on production Development server is not synched with production server Lack of procedures and policies Lack of pre-developed customizable modules (e.g., for RSS) List of modules cannot be re-organized No separation of content and formatting (only one external CSS file)

37 Community System Learning System Content System Alternative Paths: Persistent Links in Course Content, Course Pages, Referatory, Course Integrator, eReserves

38 If We Did it Again…Lessons Learned Plan for a departmental/external programming (funding implications) Ask more questions Define / Agree on policies and procedures Get involved as soon as possible Be patient

39 Still to Do Show demo tab to Portal Committee Release new tab to staff and faculty for feedback and review Prepare for training, education and marketing Work on a new collaborative agreement with ITT to speed up development time

40 Future Goals Usability testing Much more personalization: XML records of ejournals and ebooks, new books, staff etc. should allow far more personalization options! More integration with Courseware and Content System Focus on content management

41 Thank you. Any Questions? Joy Muller 416-491-5050 x3042 Jane Foo 416-491-5050 x2011 senlibjane (Yahoo), (MSN), 313050248 (ICQ) Presentation available at:

42 Works Cited Boss, Richard W. “Library Portals”. Tech Notes. Mar. 2005. American Library Assn. 19 Jan., 2006. CARL E-Learning Working Group. “Libraries and E-Learning.” Nov. 2005. Canadian Assn. of Research Libraries.. Dempsey, Lorcan. “The Recombinant Library: Portals and People.” Sept. 2003. OCLC.. Maloney, Krisellen. “Portals in Libraries: Library Technology and Planning for Change.” Bulletin of the American Society of Information Science and Technology Oct/Nov 2004. 20 Jan. 2006 . OCLC E-Learning Task Force. “Libraries and the Enhancement of E-Learning.” Oct. 2003. OCLC. 20 Jan. 2006. New Media Consortium & EDUCAUSE Learning Initiative. “The Horizon Report: 2006 Edition.” 31 Jan., 2006. New Media Consortium.. Portal Webliography. Ed. Eric Lease Morgan. 21 Nov. 2001. Infomotions. 20 Jan., 2006.

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