Thursday, December 21, 2006

End of year blog

We thought that as it's nearing the end of 2006 and the beginning of the New Year we'd have a mini review of what we've acheived so far with our project. We met with staff in our Project Support Office yesterday so that got us thinking about certain aspects of our project.

Creation of RLOs vs. liaison
I think we both started off with the idea that the creation of the RLOs would be the most time consuming section of the project. However, we now realise that it's the liaison, advocacy and promotion which has taken up most of our time and is the aspect least in our control. Even when we used new software and came across technical barriers we managed to create our RLOs on time and to a basic specification.

The difficulty came when trying to get academics on board and stay on board. This was partly due to the time of year that we chose to begin our project. The autumn term is busy enough without project work but trying to juggle usign BRUM RLOs with delivery of their curriculum proved too much for some of our academics. We would recommend anybody attempting something similar spend the spring/summer term heavily promoting and getting staff on board and then by the time the new academic year starts RLOs can already be embedded.

External response
We were really surprised and pleased to receive some great responses to an email we posted on the LIS-INFOLITERACY mailing list. I'm drafting an email to send out to respondees with suggestions for future collaboration and the possibility of arranging a mini-conference/symposium at which we can all discuss RLO issues and future projects.

Project management network
Internally we also discussed the possibility of an annual meeting of all project managers within the university. We feel as if we're on a steep learning curve and that we've already learned so much that we'd like to pass on or share with others. It would be really useful to get together with other project managers to get ideas about what's worked and what hasn't in their projects.

Looking ahead
We've thoroughly enjoyed the project so far and we're now looking to 2007 with focus groups in January and an end of project report in February. However, we've had so many ideas for post-project actions that we know our involvement in RLOs and BRUM won't end when we hand in the project report.

We also look forward to continued inspiration from colleagues in the university and further afield. See you in 2007!

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

UCEL - Universities’ Collaboration in eLearning

The UCeL website now includes links to a range of subject-specific RLOs, all of which are interactive and include quality audio-visual materials. These are well worth looking at, and we would be really interested in hearing from anybody who has had a chance to use them (or re-use them!)

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

New and exciting

I subscribe to Ben Toth's Libraries in the NHS blog and there was a link on it yesterday to the blog of Tim Berners-Lee. I had a look at it and now subscribe to that too. Keeping up with the inventor of the world wide web is very interesting and you find out all sorts of things about new web languages, the semantic web and how the usage of the web is changing.

There is also a blog entry by Tim on net neutrality; how we must keep the web/net country neutral and not let one single body have authority over it. Through listening to one of the History of Information audio lectures from UC Berkeley this morning I went on the site and noticed that they've got a Save the Internet campaign going on the same issue of net neutrality - please visit the site and register your support any way you can. It's crucial that we preserve the incredible freedoms we enjoy on the web and are able to continue to explore new ways of sharing information (including RLOs) and collaborating on projects.

All of my recent reading on RLOs/repositories and my work with our institutional VLE is leading me to think about how web users (especially students) will shape our own online world. Imagine if everyone used a piece of personal web space to link to or interact with every aspect of their online world. So, you'd have all of your links (bank, e-commerce etc.), communications (blogs, MySpace, email etc.), work (institutional VLEs, RLOs etc.) and recreation (music, films, books etc.) hosted in the same space and every new link that you found could be added to it. Visually it could look like a mind map. It would make a lot of sense to someone like me and maybe it's already happening with the semantic web. Tim Berners-Lee (and others) is creating a new type of web broswer, the Tabulator. If anyone can help me to understand if this is moving in the right direction let me know.


I went to a demonstration of the Intrallect repository software yesterday. Several HEIs already use their IntraLibrary product to host electronic learning objects, so too do the BBC with their Jam initiative. The JISC JORUM project use IntraLibrary too and I've been looking closely at JORUM to see if we'd consider contributing learning objects to it.

During the demo we discussed the idea of an institutional repository but apart from generic skills (IT, studying, referencing etc.) we were unsure about why, for example, a medical academic would want to upload subject specific material for a history academic to use. How re-usable are subject learning objects within an institution? I can see the value in contributing and re-using learning objects from other institutions that are maybe useful to you but not within your own university. However, we need to find out what academics think about this, maybe a SWOT analysis of all possible contributors.

After the demo I got to thinking about the responses to our email and how there are several other HEIs hosting their own IL RLOs and that maybe a national/regional site to host objects is much more logical - just like the North West Information Skills Group Moodle site. I can't remember if we've mentioned the Library Instruction Wiki (?) but it's another example of a pool of materials, ideas and ways of doing things. I've never written material on website evaluation because I've already found at least two excellent worksheets/flowcharts which do the job brilliantly, one from the Quality on the Web site and one from the Cardiff site mentioned in the link on the right, proof that we don't all feel the need to 're-invent the wheel'.

Maybe once we've put out some feelers we'll get a better idea of how a repository would be used and by whom. I'll also be contacting other users of IntraLibrary to find out how they have found it.

Friday, December 01, 2006

The ipod generation

Did you know – 59% of students have an MP3 player, 79% have their own laptop or PC and 99.8% a mobile phone. (more detail) How times have changed from when I was a student and all we had was pen and paper, and relied on books for information.
What strikes me is that we have to keep up with the ipod generation, and work with them using their channels and their technology if we want to engage with them. Pen and paper and books alone just aren’t enough any more.

This is why its no surprise that podcasts are so popular. Sheffield have had over 1700 downloads of their excellent audio tours; Curtin are using weekly library podcasts to promote library services – with casts covering everything from resources and referencing to information about wireless access, borrowing and stories on historic Freemantle. They have had 5000 downloads since September.

The information isn’t new, but the way that we reach our students and engage with them is (or needs to be) and I think if we don’t start using “their” technology we are in danger of being by-passed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006


Picture: The University Lake in Autumn

Just received an additional copy of the Camtasia software (and sister product: SnagIt) that we’ve used for the Digital Recordings and Podcasts. This is really sophisticated software for combining audio and multi-media presentations and screen-capture and we will certainly be exploring this further, to allow us to develop really high quality and durable RLOs. I’m particularly keen to investigate adding further interactivity to engage students more (we can use ‘interactive flash hot spots’) and there are some nice features such as having background music and ‘zoom and pan’ (zooming into specific areas of a video to highlight them).

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Responses so far...

We've already had several positive responses to our posting on LIS-INFOLITERACY. Thank you to all those who have contacted us. Most respondees sent details of similar projects with links, so I'll put these up on the right hand side. It's good to note that those who contacted us are interested in collaboration and that they're producing RLOs for local respositories, either institution-wide or in the region.

So, there are several other efforts being made across the UK to create RLOs and organise them in some way. I wonder if eventually we will have fewer number of larger repositories across the UK hosting these RLOs? Or do librarians/academics prefer to have local learning objects, subject-specific and relevant only to their institution? I may well dig around LISA to find articles on any projects/repositories further afield (Australia/US/Europe).

Friday, November 24, 2006

From RLO to GLO (and back again!)

Thank you to Heather McBryde-Wilding from the University of Northampton, who sent me some interesting information about a GLO in Ethical Decision Making they are involved in, through the UCEL (Universities’ Collaboration in eLearning)

GLOs (Generative Learning Objects) are “any learning object that can be customised, adapted, edited or recombined for specific teaching and learning purposes.” An underlying principle seems to be the separation of content and structure, so that materials can be more easily adapted. There is further detail, articles and examples at:

I hadn’t heard of GLOs until now, but I really like this idea and am sure we will hear a lot more about them in the future: one of our current issues is how re-usable are RLOs, and are people really re-using / re-purposing them? And why are so many people creating their own RLOs! The GLO use of templates and architecture provide a framework for RLO development and re-purposing and I’m sure we will hear a lot more about it in the future. Practically, however, we are still a long way off practitioners and academics using / understanding RLOs, and there remains a lot of discussion and advocacy work to be done.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Librarian’s Top 3 RLOs

Picture: University of Birmingham - Main Library, the hub of RLO creation and evaluation!

Following on from Nancy’s post about the excellent feedback we had from our librarian colleagues, we have now received further useful evaluations, which will inform the future development of the RLOs and their use at the University. I thought it would also be interesting to poll colleagues for their ‘top 3’ RLOs. Although based on a small sample (currently of 4), the current combined view is:

1) Digital Recording - Library Tour
2) Turning Point (personal response system) - Referencing
3) Podcast – elibrary

Overall there was a very wide range of interest in the different RLOs, and comments indicated that people imagined using them in very different ways.
What are your Top 3? (RLOs available from the BRUM RLOs for download link)
And how do you use them?

Project promotion and JORUM

We finally got around to sending out an email to the LIS-INFOLITERACY mailing list, calling out for news of any similar projects in the UK. It would be great to get some feedback on the RLOs from other librarians too.

We are now busy helping academics post the RLOs on their WebCT sections and encouraging students to fill in the diagnostic questionnaire. We will post updates as and when we get them.

On a related note, I attended a JORUM training session in Leicester a couple of weeks ago and it was really useful in highlighting how we could best organise and use any RLOs created at the University. Eventually we could have a system in which a co-ordinator gathers together all RLOs, quality checks them and contributes them to JORUM.

But I think the most interesting part would happen after someone else downloads, re-purposes and re-uses a learning object. To be able to track any changes that took place with an RLO that you created would be really useful to see how they evolve and at which point they are most useful etc. I spoke to the techy person from JORUM who thought this was a good idea, but said that any updated or edited RLOs wouldn't be able to go back into JORUM due to copyright restrictions. Maybe something for the future...

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

Do you use Learning Object Repositories?

The JISC CDLOR (Community Dimensions of Learning Object Repositories) has just produced an interesting report on if and how people involved in teaching and learning currently find, create, store and share their educational resources.

Findings suggest that there is significant sharing of work, but that this is predominantly within departments and via email and the majority of respondents re-purpose materials (rather than using them without modification). Issues include the searchability of repositories, the trustworthiness of resources, and the integration of repositories with institutional VLEs.

RLO evaluation

I've just read the evaluation of our RLOs by two of our librarian colleagues. They're really valuable and both come up with some excellent suggestions. I suppose it's a bit like having our very own editoral board looking at what we've created and quality assuring the content. Having an outsider look at your work and criticise it is really very useful.

It's brought up issues that we were already aware of, such as the technical aspects that we need to improve upon to make the RLOs more user friendly. What we'll need to do is put some time aside to make improvements to the RLOs and release new versions of them. These learning objects can't stand still, they must constantly evolve and be allowed to change as appropriate.

We've also decided that we need to make several versions of RLOs available at the same time. Our colleagues have had problems downloading the eLibrary podcasts and we're thinking about putting up three or four different software types to choose from.

Colleagues also made the point that these RLOs can be embedded not only in course material but also within appropriate library web pages so that our referencing RLOs are linked to from our referencing website and so on.

Another interesting point made by a colleague is that we should have a clearer framework for each RLO, focusing on who our intended users are and maybe even putting together learning outcomes for each learning object. I think this would make a crucial part of a workflow document each time an RLO is produced, especially if we then contribute it to JORUM.

More soon....

Friday, November 10, 2006

Students like RLO !

We used the Captivate ‘Doing a Literature Search’ RLO in a lecture room, with 2nd year Business students this week. Despite being eerily quiet (as there isn’t any sound with this RLO), the RLO was really well received., students’ confidence improved and students appeared to be receptive to the idea of an RLO.

Student comments were particularly enlightening: most (33 out of 58) found out how to ‘find and use information' through trial and error. Second was ‘friends’ and joint third ‘lecturers’ and ‘self-guided materials’. Only 5 replies mentioned ‘a course’ and 1 a ‘library tour’, and nobody mentioned their friendly librarian! This suggests to me that we still have a lot to do in reaching out to students and supporting them in ways and at a time that are meaningful to them. Hopefully providing quality RLOs will help in this area, alongside providing more embedded information skills sessions, in context and at the point of need.

Friday, November 03, 2006

Eduserv Projects

As you're probably aware The Eduserv Foundation are the kind funders for our BRUM project. Interesting to see the 3 other projects they are funding - the 'national information literacy framework' project being run by Glasgow Caledonian sounds particularly useful.

Eduserv Foundation Information Literacy Projects

Thursday, November 02, 2006

First RLO feedback

We finally had our first use of an RLO in a face to face training session. I supported a colleague during an induction talk and used the Search Strategy Quiz on Turning Point software. We'd spent time setting up the software on a laptop and had booked support from our hardware team. Unfortunately our 'techy' wasn't able to get the quiz handsets to work so I had to make do with the old fashioned show-of-hands.

However, despite the technical problems the students filled in our questionnaire to measure impact of the quiz and the feedback was positive.

We are currently tackling the technical issues and hope to use the Turning Point soft/hardware again next week with another set of students. We'll report back on the outcome.

Thursday, October 26, 2006

RLO Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning

The RLO CETL (run by London Met, Cambridge and Nottingham) has just issued its first newsletter
This highlights some of the RLOs now available on its website.

For example, there are really good quality RLOs on quantitative and qualitative research, reflective writing and statistics, as well as some more subject specific resources.
Have a look and let us know what you think!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Tackling plagiarism

An article in the Education Guardian yesterday reported on the plan by Universities UK (UUK) to hold a conference on plagiarism caught my eye. The plan is to produce national guidelines so that universities won't have to come up with their own rules and regs and every student will be judged equally. Read it here:,,1924352,00.html

I was interested as some of our RLOs are on referencing and cover the WHY of referencing. A simple, short digital recording or Turning Point quiz could be very useful in explaining why it's important to reference other's work in a fun, interactive way. It's already being done in lots of universities and websites like Intute's Internet Detective ( are also playing a useful role.

The more interactive and relevant we can make it for students the more the message should sink in.

The new and improved BRUM project webpage!

Please take a look at our new RLO repository webpage at All 15 RLOs are now on here complete with files and download instructions - it couldn't be easier to use them!

Eventually we hope to have a webpage with a more relevant URL but for now it's great to have everything just one mouse click away, not hidden within WebCT. We're hoping this will make them more attractive and easier to use.

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Who wants to be a Millionaire?

Well don’t we all! While we work out how to (maybe RLOs are the next big You Tube !), just a quick post about the technology used in the Ask the Audience bit of the show. We have bought a site licence for a very similar system, a Personal Response Systems (or Clickers for short), using Turning Point software. Everyone on campus can download the software from then from the top bar select Downloads – TurningPoint Software, TurningPoint 2006 Installation and then accept all defaults. The software will be downloaded and cancel any messages about registering via phone / email. The software looks exactly like powerpoint, but with an extra toolbar.

Its that easy to create interactive quizzes for your lectures and seminars! Please get in touch if you’d like further details or a demonstration. We’ve created 3 RLOs using this software – one on referencing, another on the range of resources available to students and the third on search strategy. Hope you enjoy using these!

Tuesday, October 10, 2006


MERLOT - Multi-media Educational Resources for teaching and learning

MERLOT is an excellent repository of re-usable learning objects. (RLOs). All of the RLOs are peer-reviewed and created specifically for HE. Although US-biased in content, all of the resources are really well designed, interactive and visually appealing.

It is well worth registering and browsing your subject area, or searching for specific topics, and you can save interesting objects to your own personal collection.

In relation to Information Skills there are some excellent materials on search strategies and using the internet – and ultimately these are the benchmark to which we aspire! (Dream on!)

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Feedback on UC Berkeley webcasts

So I've now watched a couple of the video lectures that I mentioned in my last post. The most interesting video was not the Sergey Brin lecture (he's not such a great speaker) but the Geoffrey Nunberg talk. Dr Nunberg focused on how society has placed 'real world' print models on information on the web. I may not explain it as well as he (he is a good speaker) but it got me thinking about how we, as librarians, try to re-create our inductions and skills sessions as web tutorials almost exactly as we'd do them face to face.

There is a problem with transferring material from face to face lectures to virtual learning environments. Some lecturers/librarians will simply stick up their lecture notes/PPT slides etc. in the same old Times New Roman font and think that this is 'e-learning'. I don't think it is. Students don't want to sit and read a text heavy lecture because that's not what people like to use the net for. They might print off that lecture, so what was the point of putting it online? Is this really utilising the web to it's fullest e-learning potential?

The accessibility of the web has changed the way we use the material published on it and the values that we give it. I happily pay 70p for a print newspaper but wouldn't dream of paying, at point of access, for an online version. I even expect more from the online version - value added, if you like - and the same goes for our online tutorials.

I've just had a quick trawl of a few UK universities' library websites to check out any online inductions/tours/tutorials. I know that there are plenty of techy, interactive tutorials out there but the ones that I looked at were text heavy with no images or any interaction. I did find an audio tour at Southampton and one at Sheffield. Web technology can allow us to really make library inductions user friendly at point of need not at our convenience. Liaise with your academics, respond to their needs and embed training at point of need.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Get Casting !

Podcasts are adding the ‘human touch’ to previously dry corporate information
Information World Review, Oct 2006 issue 228 p18-20.
This is a really interesting article highlighting the value of podcasts in allowing time-poor people to ‘time-shift’ – using previously ‘dead time’ and the value of podcasts over text-based information: “audio conveys personality, passions, interests.”

At the technological end of podcasting, its possible to include music, multiple speakers and scripted programming – all things we need to explore further. Lincolnshire County Council have led the way in using Readspeaker Podcaster to automatically convert text-based news feeds. Clever stuff! As the article notes podcast search engines such as podzinger and podscope are going to increase in importance, and need to develop to allow better resource discovery – searching beyond the podcast metadata to the audio files themselves. On a day to day basis there’s so much scope for using podcasts to improve working life: by recording key meetings / briefings, capturing expert knowledge for wider dissemination, and for encapsulating information that can be assimilated on the move (what better way to be briefed than via your ipod on your 10 min walk to a meeting?)

Ultimately these developments have the potential to fundamentally change the way we do business at the University, in terms of internal communication, publicity and promotion and scholarly communications. Come on Birmingham – get Casting !

Google search video lectures from UC Berkeley

I've just seen this link to 6 videoed lectures on Google etc. on Ben Toth's excellent blog 'Libraries in the NHS'. There's even one with Sergey Brin, co-founder of Google. I've yet to watch them so any feedback on them would be interesting. I'll let you know what I think once I've looked at them properly. Here's the link:

Thursday, September 28, 2006

BRUM in the Guardian

Brilliant to see Nancy's quote from this blog cited in the Guardian, in response to a letter about the use and abuse of Google. See,,1866056,00.html for more details.

Monday, September 25, 2006

MP3s for OPen Days

Nice to see the University using Audio recordings for its recent Open Days.

Law have an interesting 5 minute MP3 file, based on questions and answers with the school, while Medicine and Psychology have a number of smaller files focusing on specific aspects, such as Entry Requirements, Graduate entry, First Impressions of Birmingham, and Psychology have also included a student perspective. I really like this idea and think these have been very well thought out – look out for Information Services input next time!

IL training - the frog way

Ann-Marie found this fantastic video on Google that uses a frog puppet to teach search strategy. It' s very simple but effective. Take a look here:

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Demo to academics

Yesterday afternoon we welcomed five academics from four Schools to demonstrate our RLOs to them and to discuss the idea of using RLOs for information skills training. It went pretty well, there were no technological problems (thanks Debbie!) and they were all positive about the RLOs.

They were very interested in software that we'd used to create the RLOs and most of them could say which ones they would use specifically for courses they run. I feel that this is a win-win situation, as we're the ones doing all the work, customising RLOs and then we just hand them over to academics to use - how could they resist?

I suppose the important battle is making them see how important the skills training is in the first place. So, it's plugging into the fact that their students need to know how to set up a proxy server from their PC in Belguim or need a brief refresher on referencing. Find out the gaps and fill them with interesting, interactive stuff.

We've sent out a follow up email asking them for slightly more formal feedback with their top 3 choice of RLOs. Then we can set about arranging the logistics of using them with students and assessing their usefulness.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

More powerpoint adventures (or not!)

Inspired by the old ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ (CYOA) books which we all read in our youth (didn’t we?), the idea behind the CYOA power-points is to empower the user by giving him choices about what he wants to learn, and to do this in an interactive way in order to facilitate engagement.

This is far more difficult than it sounds for information literacy-type areas. Firstly, the subject matter is pretty dry - its difficult enough to generate enthusiasm when you have a face-to-face ‘information literacy’ class and have the best jokes and props to hand, so to try and generate interest on a standalone power-point is a challenge that we still have to conquer. Also, in my experience classroom sessions work best when run within their subject context, drawing on meaningful subject examples and especially when you tackle their forthcoming essay question ! – to tailor a CYOA powerpoint essentially means starting from scratch and is pretty resource-intensive.

Secondly, it is actually far harder to create one of these adventures than it first seems. A 3-choice, 20-30 slide CYOA power-point takes at least a day to create. This is because the whole slide show needs to be meticulously mapped out before-hand: one extra explanatory slide in the presentation can put the whole adventure out and 100+ links will need amending.

Hopefully these problems can be mitigated by adding colour, pictures and possibly even sound to enliven the adventure. Part of our project is about learning what works well as an RLO and what doesn’t, and we will certainly be evaluating this in more detail.

If you have had experience creating CYOA powerpoints, we’d be interested to hear from you!

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Podcasting fun

We’ve heard a lot about pod-casting over the last year and Nancy and I spent a fun afternoon yesterday recording 2 for this project:

1) An audio induction to the library. This concentrates on the key messages we want to get across and we hope that in time it will reduce the need for doing endless tours and induction talks. A recent survey at Birmingham found that over half of our students now have ipods / MP3 players so it makes sense to start using this technology.

2) An audio guide to our elibrary service. This is our flagship service, providing access to all of our electronic journals and databases. Although use of this is high, there are still many students who use Google as a first port of call, so the idea of this podcast is to make elibrary use as simple and useful as possible to capture these students. We hope that students might listen to this while on their home PC and beginning to explore what’s available.

We will be recording our third podcast next week:

3) The student experience. Thanks to the Guild Officers who have agreed to participate and have some great tips for making best use of the library. Surveys have found that students are most likely to seek help from their friends / fellow students, so it makes sense to capture this and use it to promote the library / information literacy.
We’re using Camtasia software for this and learning it as we go along – quite a task and many a botched recording on the way! The software is really quite advanced so we hope to explore this further later in the term and enhance some of our recordings with music and better editing etc. We both love exploring new technology, but its important not to under-estimate the time it takes to really master and make best use of this type of software. The final challenge is how to make these downloadable from WebCT, so our next task is to consult with our elearning team to check this out.

Monday, September 04, 2006

There is a need for information literacy!

Even though I was in the process of painting my bathroom last Thursday, I still had time (during a tea break) to read a very interesting article in The Guardian Technology section (,,1861112,00.html) about web searching habits. It seems that the first result on any search engine will get 42.1% of click throughs, meaning that web searchers have so much faith in the search engine coming up with the goods that they'll trust that top result. But does it mean, the author asks, that the top result contains factual information?

This is the problem that many of us librarians face when delivering information skills training to students. As I stand in front of 400 new medical students on the 2nd of October my main message will be "Don't click the first result!!". I will be using exercises and problem based learning to teach them how to find good quality information on the web.

And so with our RLOs. These useful little tools will also help to increase awareness about the importance of information literacy. To evaluate the information they find as well as how to reference it correctly are still vital skills for students. A colleague of mine today returned from a meeting of academics who are creating a set of classes on reading, comprehending and evaluating academic papers. We can slot into this training and support our academics with online courses, face to face sessions and electronic RLOs. We can use articles like the one in The Guardian to promote our services to those who know that there is an information skills gap.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

RLOs on the web

As part of this BRUM (Birmingham Re-Usable Materials) project, we conducted a brief audit into materials already available.

A key player in this area is obviously the Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) in Re-Usable Learning Objects, led by London Metropolitan University, in partnership with the Universities of Nottingham and Cambridge. Although still at an early stage in their development their site already contains some relevant information literacy materials such as an interactive referencing RLO and there are RLOs for reflective writing and qualitative and quantitative research etc.

JORUM is also beginning to take off, as a national repository of academic-quality re-usable materials. There are a number of information-literacy type materials in JORUM and we be adding our own RLOs to this.

Personally, I also really like the idea of Cardiff’s Information Literacy Resource Bank and the way they are encouraging academics to utilise their materials in their VLE.

Less-reusable (as they are institution-specific) but good examples of the use of technology for induction and information literacy, are the Sheffield ipod tour and the Warwick Learning Grid recording
We are particularly interested in their use of peer-to-peer support and learning and one of our own RLOs will include students’ own perspectives on what is important in the library.

There are certainly many more good examples. If you know of any useful information literacy Re-Usable Learning Objects or innovative use of technology in this area, please do post a comment / get in touch.

Monday, August 14, 2006

Choose your own library adventure

Here at the University of Birmingham, Ann-Marie James and myself, of the Academic Liaison and Collection Development department of Information Services, have bid successfully for a research grant from Eduserv to do a project on creation, use and impact of a suite of electronic reusable learning objects (RLOs) to help students with their information skills. For example, we've created a Turning Point interactive quiz on basic referencing.

We've got some academics on board who will pilot the RLOs in their lectures etc. in the autumn term and we're going to put on focus groups and have pre and post RLO questionnaires to find out how useful they are.

We've created quite a few of the fifteen RLOs (3 versions of 5 different type) and it's been a steep learning curve using some of the software.

There are Captivate demos, Turning Point interactive quizzes, choose your own adventure PowerPoints, digital recordings using Camtasia and Captivate and mp3 Podcasts using Camtasia and iTunes.

There is still a long to do list. I've just jotted down some ideas for the publicity material, to go into our divisional newsletter etc. , scripting the next digital recording and meeting with the project officer to check we're doing everything correctly. There will be updates as and when exciting things happen.

Here we are embracing technology! - Nancy on the left, Ann-Marie on the right.