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Accessing Millennium from your VLE Issues, Aims, Requirements Chris Awre EIUG 11th Annual Conference University of Stirling September 2005.

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Presentation on theme: "Accessing Millennium from your VLE Issues, Aims, Requirements Chris Awre EIUG 11th Annual Conference University of Stirling September 2005."— Presentation transcript:

1 Accessing Millennium from your VLE Issues, Aims, Requirements Chris Awre EIUG 11th Annual Conference University of Stirling September 2005

2 Introduction Why? Background to providing access What? Access that could be provided When? Current and future possibilities

3 Access to the library catalogue Users come to the library catalogue website Link prominently displayed on library website URL widely distributed Access through the VLE changes this Taking Millennium to the user Access where the user is, not where the user has to come Bringing more users to Millennium

4 Purpose of providing access Locate items Check user record Books out Holds status Fines Discover items

5 Type of access Access to search functionality Catalogue access, ERM access Access to user functionality User record access Access to additional service functionality e.g., inter-library loan request, link resolver

6 Level of access Surface integration - embedding URL links within the VLE Links to the library catalogue front page or MyMillennium login e.g., or Links to specific search types e.g., Links to encapsulated searches e.g.,

7 Level of access (2) Third party integration - linking the VLE and Millennium through another system Embedding OpenURL links (calling up WebBridge etc.) ast=Weibel&aufirst=Stu&ISSN= &year=2001&volume=14& issue=3&spage=44&pid= &sid=OCLC:Inspec ast=Weibel&aufirst=Stu&ISSN= &year=2001&volume=14& issue=3&spage=44&pid= &sid=OCLC:Inspec Reading list software e.g., Sentient or Talis Acts as link between the catalogue and VLE

8 Level of access (3) In-depth integration - presenting Millennium services within the VLE Embedded search box Embedding the search form only Iframes/HTML fragments/HTML templates Embedding Millennium native website within VLE Look and feel may be Millennium-based or VLE-based depending on route taken

9 Level of access (4) Portlets Encapsulated presentation of Millennium functionality Proprietary methods e.g., Blackboard Building Blocks, WebCT PowerLinks Open standard methods JSR 168 and WSRP standards for use in conformant frameworks (e.g., uPortal/Sakai) Look and feel can be defined according to need RSS feeds

10 Subsequent access After initial access, where is the user taken next? Surface integration User is transferred back to Millennium website Link acts as re-router back to native service In-depth integration Embedded search box transfers user back to Millennium User remains within VLE for other routes

11 Authentication For authenticated services (e.g., MyMillennium) the relationship with VLE authentication needs clarifying No relationship User will have to login to MyMillennium separately Simplified or Single Sign-On solution Permits login to VLE to automatically login user to MyMillennium More seamless

12 Linking to additional functions Once integrating access to Millennium, how much is this replicating existing interaction? Can the user place requests (hold or ILL)? Can the user link to related resources using link resolution? User expectation management Can provide less, but user needs to be clear about what they are getting

13 User requirements User expectation can be managed in part by gathering user requirements What would users want from accessing Millennium within a VLE? Do they want it? CREE Project investigated these questions

14 CREE Contextual Resource Evaluation Environment Part of the JISC Portals Programme Evaluating the use of Internet search tools in portal and non-portal contexts Two strands Technology development and testing User requirements gathering and analysis

15 Search tools in context Usually accessed via home website CREE examined access in different contexts, away from home website Access via a local, e.g., library, web page Access via a virtual learning environment Access via an institutional portal Taking search tools to the user

16 CREE: a partnership e-SIG, University of Hull OUCS, University of Oxford EDINA, University of Edinburgh Archaeology Data Service, University of York Newark & Sherwood College instructional media + magic, inc.

17 Search tools CREE examined examples of different types Library catalogue (University of Hull) Bibliographic resource (zetoc, GetRef) Subject resource (Archaeology Data Service) Reference resource (Dictionary.com) Web resources (RDN) Internet search engine (Google)

18 Methodology Survey Focus groups User testing with demonstrators A range of methods to enable cross-checking and validation (or not!)

19 CREE User Testing Three fully-functional search interface demonstrators built Library web page VLE Institutional portal Included access to Millennium using embedded search form (direct access) and portlet (access via Z39.50) routes

20 Demonstrator interface: portal

21 Demonstrator Interface: VLE

22 Searching whilst using a VLE Internet Search tools Catalogues

23 Searching whilst using a VLE Users with greater familiarity of using a VLE showed a higher frequency of using search tools Large proportion of users do not use search tools whilst using a VLE

24 Searching from within a VLE Would you find it useful?

25 Searching from within a VLE Focus groups had a strong preference for multiple windows Allows control of the search tools used Considered to be as quick Access to quick reference tools considered useful, though Dictionary, thesaurus etc.

26 From theory to practice The survey and focus groups offered theoretical feedback and information User testing with demonstrators offered feedback on the basis of seeing and using search tools in context

27 What type of resources? ResourceVLEPortalWeb page Library catalogues 86.9%82.2%93.5% Search engines71.8%64.5%84.8% Bib. databases78.2%82.2%84.8% Subject resources 86.9%82.3%82.6% Ref. resources84.8%71.1%76.1% Web resources76.1%66.7%73.9% Access to resources as useful or very useful

28 What type of resources? ResourceVLEPortalWeb page Library catalogues 86.9%82.2%93.5% Search engines71.8%64.5%84.8% Bib. databases78.2%82.2%84.8% Subject resources 86.9%82.3%82.6% Ref. resources84.8%71.1%76.1% Web resources76.1%66.7%73.9% Access to resources as useful or very useful

29 Will they use them? ResourceVLEPortalWeb page Library catalogues 73.4%56.6%67.4% Search engines51.1%39.1%46.8% Bib. databases75.5%71.8%73.9% Subject resources 80.0%71.8%78.8% Ref. resources75.6%65.2% Web resources66.7%63.0%62.2% Likely or far more likely to use them in these contexts

30 Will they use them? ResourceVLEPortalWeb page Library catalogues 73.4%56.6%67.4% Search engines51.1%39.1%46.8% Bib. databases75.5%71.8%73.9% Subject resources 80.0%71.8%78.8% Ref. resources75.6%65.2% Web resources66.7%63.0%62.2% Likely or far more likely to use them in these contexts

31 Using resources Greater interest is in search tool types that users do not know how to access elsewhere Not necessarily the library catalogue Greatest overall preference is for access to search tools via a VLE Highest demand is for access to search tools relevant to subject

32 And where should they go? Users preferred access to a single screen containing a range of search tools A single place they can remember Where search tools are a part of the VLE or portal, they should not be mixed in with other functionality Clear distinction of roles

33 Forward steps Look to serve library catalogue through portal Partly driven by practicalities and licensing Plan to surface selected search tools within library web pages Starting with library catalogue Play results into ongoing review of e-learning systems View to long-term incorporation within VLE

34 Current possibilities Surface integration Can be done now! URLs can be embedded within VLE documents etc. Does the link open a new window or not? Underused functionality - needs selling? Not limited by VLE system

35 Current possibilities (2) In-depth integration Possibilities often depend on VLE system Search box - should be OK, but need to check Iframes/HTML fragments/HTML templates - unlikely to be possible without some work with vendor Portlets CREE portlet will be available soon for Z39.50 access via a portal No VLE systems are JSR 168/WSRP conformant yet (Sakai?)

36 III and VLEs Blackboard Building Block Specific solution for this VLE

37 III and integration Single Sign-On Via Apache front-end server Makes use of open source CAS (Centralized Authentication Server) RSS feeds “patron-specific RSS feeds of timely personalized information” “automatically updated RSS feeds of new titles or other record groups”

38 Questions? CREE Project Chris Awre

39 Thank you


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