Thursday, June 18, 2009

Good Intentions report

I *finally* got around to finishing reading this report:

Good Intentions: improving the evidence base in support of sharing learning materials by Lou McGill, Sarah Currier, Charles Duncan, Peter Douglas (December 2008). Available at

It makes very interesting, hopeful reading for those of us keen on truly sharing our learning materials, improving the quality of IL RLOs and reducing duplication of effort. The report looks at how sharing takes places and learning from the good practice that's out there in the RLO/repository community. The authors focus on different models that are particularly successful, including the subject-based sharing model and the open sharing model.

The subject-based model is of interest to us in libraries as the authors explain that disciplines with a strong professional identity (librarians) and shared curricula (we're all teaching referencing, plagiarism, evaluation of information and search strategies at least) are more successful than, say, institutional sharing models.

They conclude that evolving attitudes to IPRs (Creative Commons etc, Open Jorum) and technology (Web 2.0 sharing tools) mean that sharing is becoming more widespread. The report also includes some really useful tables and business model charts.

SUILCoP talk

Just wanted to update everyone about a presentation that I gave at the Staffordshire University Information Literacy Community of Practice (SUILCoP) on the 29th April. My talk covered the background to BRUM, RLOs in general and, most importantly, sharing learning material. It was good to speak to an audience who were all interested in sharing IL RLOs, but don't quite know where to start. After waffling on for about 45 minutes, there was a short group discussion and many of the issues that came up at the LILAC symposium were echoed here, including:

  • Developing standards - by which I mean having a set of standards as to how material is first created. For example, DDA compliance was raised as an issue for one library and I'm sure this would be a universal standard.
  • Training/expertise - it was agreed by the participants that some of our time when developing IL training material is wasted in getting to know software or new bits of kit (e.g. Captivate, TurningPoint, Echo360) and virtually no formal training is offered in library schools (Bob Glass of MMU is keen to follow up this point in particular).
  • One-stop shop - many people expressed interest in the idea of a one-stop shop of shared training materials or at least a detailed listing of what's out there. I have put up a current listing of all the IL RLO sites that I'm aware of on the ILRLOShare wiki (details below).

It was a really enjoyable event and it was interesting to meet so many like-minded library folk. I've uploaded my slides to SlideShare so please take a look: