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.


Ann-Marie said...

I've begun to watch this and Nancy is right - its a really interesting talk and exploration of the 'phenomology of the web' (love that word).

What also interests me is the whole concept - this talk has been viewed 1425 - what brilliant exposure for Berkeley. This allied with the recent discussion around the incredible popularity of You Tube has really got me thinking about how important multi-media materials are to today's students. We really must move away from wholly text-based learning materials and start facilitating learning in a way that today's students relate to.

Ann-Marie said...

We are also looking into recording lectures at the University (Birmingham) - in particular in our new Nuffield 'Learning Space.'

If you're interested in this - get in touch and we'll pass on your details. Does sound like it could be great exposure for indiviudals, departments and the University as a whole.