Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Library Services Delivered to Distance Users

If you are or will be teaching off-site, online, or VOALC courses, consider collaborating with an information specialist who will bring library resources and services to you and your students.

We would like to collaborate with you to empower your students and enable them to undertake academic research effectively and efficiently. We are searching for ways to partner with you in order to provide library services to Miami students enrolled in off-site courses, at the VOA Learning Center, and in online courses.
You expect university students, upper division and graduate students, to know how to undertake research papers and projects using academic resources specific to your discipline. Librarians find students are unfamiliar with today’s electronic resources and services and do not know how to proceed:
• to locate authoritative academic resources, print and electronic

• to understand copyright issues & cite sources properly using APA or MLA

• to narrow a topic and select search terms best suited to the research topic

• to utilize full-text databases, eBook collections, and digital media

• to understand the difference between popular and scholarly sources

• to evaluate Websites

Typically most instructors assume these information literacy skills are in place and do not take class time to teach students how to search for information. Sadly, many students do not possess these essential information literacy skills, although they surf the WWW, download music, and text wonderfully well. Moreover, the information world is ever changing. New tools are released such as Reference Universe, new database interfaces are released as was the case of for all EBSCOhost databases in July 2008, and then specialized, subject-specific databases are available about which students know next to nothing.
Students become anxious and overwhelmed by research assignments, but may say little to you, the Professor. Who wants to admit such things to one’s professor? We librarians see these students at the library, wondering and wandering.
Gardner-Harvey librarians are adopting a proactive approach to information literacy for students who may never walk through the doors of our Library. We are offering MUM Faculty who are teaching off-site, online, or VOA courses a suite of library services to strengthen student achievement. See the list below and determine which ones would work best in your class. Then contact one of GHL Librarians to create the services selected. Let’s work together to ensure your students have the research skills they need to succeed.

1. We will come to your classroom and provide information literacy instruction, customized to your student research project or paper. Typical sessions last from 45-75 minutes.
2. We will create research guides listing research strategies, full-text databases, and citation tools to assist students in completing research assignments for Nursing, Botany, Computer Info Tech.
3. We offer individual research consultations by appointment, using an online form
4. We have built a series of brief screencasts covering essential information literacy concepts and skills which you may link to from your Blackboard course.
For example: “The Ins and Outs of Searching for Information
5. We will build new Captivate screencasts if one is not already available.
6. We will post reference works and authoritative Websites relevant to a specific course on Delicious.com See one example for Nursing 105
7. Pilot Program: Embedded Librarian in Blackboard, Spring Semester 2009
Because Gardner-Harvey librarians teach credit courses using Blackboard, we are able to work with students in your Blackboard course as an instructor or course builder. We will partner with you during the research component of the course or throughout the semester if you prefer, by answering students’ questions dealing with research in the discussion board, blog, announcements, or email. We will suggest sources, research tips, and new ways of working efficiently. We are eager to connect your students with the many and ever-expanding collection of electronic resources available to Miami University students.
To ensure January 2009 Library Services are in place for your course and students, contact the Gardner-Harvey Librarians now to discuss the most effective suite of library services for your course requirements.

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