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Blake, Lindsay. “On Campus or Out of Town: How Publishing Online Tutorials Can Help Your Patrons.” Computers in Libraries 29, no. 4 (April 2009): 11-13, 31.
This short article provides a high-level overview and useful tips for creating screencasts, or screen-capture tutorials, for demonstrating database search techniques from a distance or providing supplemental help for face-to-face classes. The author outlines a process for creating an online tutorial, providing useful step-by-step tips and suggestions. The article concludes with an overview of student reactions to tutorials created by the author.  B. Fagerheim


Betty, Paul. “Creation, Management, and Assessment of Library Screencasts: The Regis Libraries Animated Tutorials Project.” Journal of Library Administration, Vol. 48(3/4) 2008.
This article discusses efforts at Regis University Library to provide remote information literacy instruction using animated tutorials, built with screencast software. Betty identifies some of the software options available, describes the creation of animated tutorials using Adobe Captivate, and provides a helpful list of best practices in the development of animated tutorials. The author also identifies methods to publicize the tutorials. The remainder of the article discusses the assessment of these tutorials using Google Analytics. Betty provides a detailed discussion of Google Analytics, and provides information as to how to embed the necessary code into tutorials created with Adobe Captivate, Techsmith Camtasia and Qarbon Viewlet Builder, and discusses the options made available by each of the products. The author also identifies problems that Regis Library had in collecting usable data from Google Analytics, and suggests ways to solve these problems. The article closes with a summary of the data collected and some tips for troubleshooting in the development of tutorials.  E. Fabbro

Florea, Mona. “Using WebCT, Wiki Spaces and ePortfolios for Teaching and Building Information Literacy Skills’” Journal of Library Administration 48, no. 3 (2008): 411-430. doi:10.1080/0193082802289466
The author took the tools and resources available to her in her institution and the cooperation of the teaching faculty to incorporate new technology into the information literacy instruction for students. Since her instruction was for courses that were completely online or hybrid courses it was important to offer a variety of learning interfaces that would communicate to the learning styles of the students. Incorporating WebCT Campus Edition and Vista, ePortfolio, and Wiki Spaces, she creatively designed instruction for students in cooperation with the faculty which incorporated learning methodologies of direct instruction, cooperative learning, differentiated instruction and use of available technologies. Planning and implementation were coordinated with the teaching faculty to accommodate the Seven Principles of Good Practice in Undergraduate Education. The library learning modules incorporated many aspects of the software available in course management software including whiteboard, discussion forums, learning communities, uploading of documents, etc. Through the use of multiple technology possibilities, the author found that information literacy learning was enhanced and strengthened. Continued research will strive to assess learning outcomes for the library instruction components of courses, adapt to student feedback and continue to incorporate new modalities of technology.  J. Kind

Grays, L.,D. Del Bosque and K. Costello. “Building a Better M.I.C.E. Trap: Using Virtual Focus Groups to Assess Subject Guides for Distance Education Students.” Journal of Library Administration 48 no. 3/4 (October 2008): 431-453.
To obtain feedback about the effectiveness of online subject guides, the authors conducted virtual focus groups with distance students. The authors discuss the importance of subject guides, or pathfinders, in providing information to students. Little has been done to determine if these guides are actually useful, however. A virtual focus group methodology was chosen as a way to gather feedback from distance learners enrolled in online hospitality courses, specifically researching the topic area known as M.I.C.E. (meetings, incentives, conventions, and exhibitions), from the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. Because the data gathered from the virtual focus group sessions is very specific to one library, it is not presented in the article. Instead, the authors provide a brief discussion of the variables that need to be considered when using this research method.  N. Marshall

Hines, Samantha Schmehl. “How It’s Done: Examining Distance Education Library Instruction and Assessment.” Journal of Library Administration 48, no. ¾ (2008):  467-478.
This paper reports the results of a survey to benchmark the ways libraries provide and assess distance education library services. The author posed the question whether larger, wealthier libraries would provide more services and engage in more assessment than their smaller counterparts. The paper reports the results, outlining the types of services offered by the responding librarians at their institutions and the types of assessments undertaken. The majority of libraries offer services specific to distance learners, including websites, online guides, and the shipment of print material; fewer libraries report teaching classes at a distance. The findings indicate weak or no correlations between most services and assessment for distance learners and the size or wealth of the library.  B. Fagerheim

Ivanitskaya, Lana, Susan DuFord, Monica Craig, and Anne Marie Casey. “How Does a Pre-Assessment of Off-Campus Students’ Information Literacy Affect the Effectiveness of Library Instruction?” Journal of Library Administration 48, no. 3/4 (2008): 509-525.
The authors investigated the impact of pre-tests on the effectiveness of library instruction. Using Central Michigan University’s Research Readiness Self-Assessment as both a pre- and post-test they examined how pre-testing with proper feedback about strengths and weaknesses primes students for an information literacy instruction session. They found that students who took the pre-test before the instruction session scored higher on assessments of overall information literacy and their ability to obtain information. They also showed a stronger propensity to use the library rather than general Internet search engines.  K. Duckett

Kimok, D., & Heller-Ross, H. “Visual Tutorials for Point-of-Need Instruction in Online Courses.” Journal of Library Administration 48, no.3/4 (2008): 527-543.
Librarians at SUNY Plattsburgh began experimenting with visual tutorials for use in an online section of the library’s information and technology literacy course.  Captivate, Adobe’s screen capture tutorial software, was used to create short visual demonstrations for online lectures, personalized feedback on assignments, and as a method of answering student questions.  Student feedback was overwhelmingly positive, especially among those who described themselves as visual learners.  Visual tutorials were then integrated into the library’s distance learning reference services.  A year’s worth of online chat reference transactions were analyzed to determine which frequently asked questions might best be answered with a link to a visual mini-tutorial.  Plans for the future include continued assessment of tutorials, an online bank of tutorials for easy embedding in the university’s course management system, increased use of tutorials in library instruction sessions, and creation of narrated tutorials.  C. Howard

Owens, Rachel. “Where the Students Are: The Embedded Librarian Project at Daytona Beach College.” Florida Libraries 51, no. 1 (2008): 8-10.
An embedded librarian is one who is added to an online course as an assistant instructor or the equivalent with the cooperation of the primary course instructor. The librarian is thus able to see the class syllabus and assignments and thereby guide students in the direction of appropriate resources as they work on various projects. The librarian can establish a thread on the discussion board for research questions and check it frequently for posts from students. The librarian may also monitor other discussion areas for questions or problems that students may not realize the librarian can address. The author describes the addition of an embedded librarian to business writing courses in the Bachelor of Applied Science program at Daytona Beach College. Student response was positive. Collaboration with faculty is essential for the establishment and success of an embedded librarian project.  A proactive approach from the embedded librarian is essential for success.  H. Gover

Skekloff, Susan and Worth Weller. “Library Instruction for Distance Students: Pioneering an Online Collaboration.” Indiana Libraries, 27, no. 2 (2008): 51-53.
This article reports on the efforts at Indiana University-Purdue University at Fort Wayne (IPFW) to provide outreach and instruction for distance education students. The authors describe how they collaborated to incorporate library instruction into Weller’s intermediate writing course using pre-recorded “mini-lectures” and an “Ask the Librarian” discussion board monitored by Skekloff. A multimedia library overview unit for all prospective IPFW students is also described.  K. Duckett


Blummer, Barbara. “Utilizing WebQuests for Information Literacy Instruction in Distance Education.” College & Undergraduate Libraries 14, no. 3 (2007): 45-62.

The author reviews selected studies on problem-based approaches and on faculty-librarian alliances for information literacy instruction. A WebQuest, an online enquiry-based set of activities, as first developed in 1995 by Dodge and March at San Diego State University, was used as the design framework for a problem-based, faculty-librarian, course integrated information literacy instruction unit. Following a review of the literature on the use of WebQuest in information literacy instruction, the author describes her own project, which utilized templates from the San Diego State WebQuest Portal to create problem-based learning activities for a hypothetical information literacy unit in an undergraduate class for education majors. The author designed a set of accompanying Web tutorials: one on searching online scholarly literature, one on locating information on the Web, one on searching the library catalog, and one providing an introduction to problem-based learning. A rubric was designed as a method of assessment of student performance on all the exercises, using the student’s identification of the problem as a vantage point. H. Gover       

Childs G.M.“Technology. Database instruction from a distance.” MLA News 393 no. 18 (Feb 2007).

Gary M. Childs highlights and recommends software that could be used to provide database instruction to distance students.  Features of both virtual classroom software (Centra and Horizon Wimba) and screen/image capture software (IrfanView and SnagIt) are compared and discussed.  The author states that the use of such software can provide more effective online tutorials for distance-learning students.  K. Pickett


Buck, Stefanie, Ramona Islam and Darby Syrkin. “Collaboration for Distance Information Literacy Instruction: Do Current Trends Reflect Best Practices?” Journal of Library Administration  45, no. 1-2 (2006): 63-79.

This paper compares data from a 2005 survey of ARL member libraries’ practices concerning collaboration on information literacy for distance learners with best practices as reported in the literature. The authors compare data from a survey conducted by the ACRL Distance Learning Section Instruction Committee with reports of best practices reported in recently-published articles in library journals.  Methods to provide information literacy opportunities to distance learners in areas such as needs assessment and program assessments, establishing communication with teaching faculty, libraries’ online presence for distance learners, teaching collaborations with faculty, and training opportunities are reported. The authors discuss the areas in which libraries are successfully meeting the challenges of collaboration for information literacy instruction for distance learners and areas of difficulty. B. Fagerheim

“Case study: Lesley University, Cambridge, MA.” Library Success: A Celebration of Library Innovation, Adaptation & Problem Solving; 2006, 54-56.

This brief article describes the challenges faced by Lesley University in Cambridge, Massachusetts in providing information literacy instruction to its distance students. The article describes the development of a Searchpath tutorial that allows students to learn about information literacy concepts and practice database searching, over a set of six modules. The article is primarily a description of the Searchpath tutorial, and does not include analysis of the success of this tutorial with distance students. E. Fabbro

Green, Brenda Faye, Lin Wu, and Richard Nollan. “Web Tutorials: Bibliographic Instruction in a New Medium.” Medical Reference Services Quarterly 25, no. 1 (2006): 83-91.

Teams were formed at the University of Tennessee Health Sciences Library to design Web based tutorials. HTML was chosen for ease of use and to provide freedom to create, update, and to add or delete. Tutorials could be delivered in a classroom or viewed individually. Tutorials were self-paced, with or without instructor, and could be started at the beginning or at any point within; were not interactive, so users could not be asked questions. The following themes were chosen: basic library skills, the online catalog, finding articles, using the Web, and citing sources. The overall goal was to make each module both as informative and as easy to use as possible. Designers initially outlined major elements of each module to gain an idea of the path users would take, to get a preliminary overall conception of where the site elements would be, and to troubleshoot the possible ways users might become lost or confused. Creating modules was distributed among those team members having the most expertise in given areas. Developers worked singly or in teams to create each module. However, editorial norms were pre-established for font, font sizes, font colors, and page format, setting locations for titles, images, and paragraphs. To increase user friendliness, most pages were created to fit on a single screen. Moving and clicking were kept to a minimum with a uniform look and feel the overall aim. One guiding principle emerged early on: Not to put any more content into each module than was absolutely necessary. The goal was twofold: first, to keep each module and the overall site to a size that would not require a great investment of time by the user; and second, to minimize maintenance. Focus groups and survey forms were used to get feedback from faculty, students, and librarians not on the design teams. To enhance appeal, the addition of animation and sound are anticipated for future upgrades. H. Gover

Locatis Craig, Cynthia Gaines, Wei-Li Liu, Michael Gill, John Carney, Jaimela Foster, Valerie McCall and Michelle Woods. “A blended training approach using videoconferencing for distance education.” Journal of the Medical Library Association 94, no. 4 (2006): 464-8.

A blended approach  to distance instruction, employing a series of videoconferences to a classroom and follow-up guides with archived presentations, is presented in this article. The program was initiated by the National Library of Medicine with the goal of reaching minority high school students. A videoconference presentation on a topic was  followed-up by a presentation focusing on online information sources, and the logistics and methodology of this approach is explained. The authors cover the evaluation methods and their assessment of the program’s overall value, teaching methods, technology, and logistics and cost. B. Fagerheim

Richard, Debbi. “On the Road Again: Taking Bibliographic Instruction Off-Campus.” Journal of Library Administration 45, no. 3 (2006): 411-425. doi:10.1300/J111v45n03_07 Co-Published in The Twelfth Off-Campus Library Services Conference Proceedings: Savannah, Georgia, April 2006, edited by Julie A. Garrison. Binghamton, NY: Haworth Information Press, 2006, 411-425.

Ms. Richard describes her three year journey to provide a face to face presence for the distance education students at Dallas Baptist University at several regional campuses. These campuses provided working adults the opportunity to obtain a wide variety of degrees taking evening classes in both undergraduate and graduate level degree programs. This article is a case study approach of her experiences in the areas of public relations, bibliographic instruction, and reference service especially focusing on one of their external campuses which had the largest student population. Her advertising campaign included a cookie week, serving cookies, candy and coffee to entice students to meet and greet the librarians. She met with faculty who were teaching off campus as well as online. The bibliographic instruction sessions were tailored to the unique needs of the distance student and the particular requirements of the courses. It included a combination of PowerPoints™ and web page demonstration. Through experience she had learned to be prepared with several back up plans should technology fail. She provided reference service by locating in a visible or available location, using creative signage and treats to entice conversations with students regarding reference assistance they might need. She also shared candidly what worked and what did not work. The program expanded to other regional locations that the university maintained. J. Kind 

Sacchanand C and V. Jaroenpuntaruk . “Development of a Web-based self-training package for information retrieval using the distance education approach.” Electronic Library 24 no. 4 (2006): 501-16.

The authors report on their creation of an independent learning module on information retrieval for distance learners. From the initial step of profiling the learners who will eventually use the information through evaluating the effectiveness of the module, each step in the process is discussed. The self-training package was designed for non-traditional-aged, motivated students who need to develop their information literacy skills. Because the information is delivered to students online, it is accessible, flexible, and easy to use. Two types of focus groups were used to evaluate the program; one group consisted of instructional design experts, and the other was comprised of users. Feedback from the evaluators was used to enhance the training package. N. Marshall.

Virkus, S. “Development of information-related competencies in European ODL institutions.” New Library World 107 no. 11/12 (November 2006): 467-480.

The author shares a portion of his research project regarding the development of information-related competencies (IRC) at six open and distance learning (ODL) universities in Europe. Using a multiple case study approach, administrators of varying levels at each of the institutions, librarians, and students were interviewed as part of the study. The administrators interviewed were familiar with IRC and indicated that these “competencies were highly valued” (472). While universities chosen for inclusion in this research project have established IRC programs and are considered leaders in this area, interviewees discussed challenges to integrating IRC into courses. Interviewees indicated that librarians have an important role in bringing IRC to the curriculum, but stated that they do not necessarily view librarians as having the skills needed to support students and IRC in a distance learning environment. N. Marshall.

Webb, Paula. “Meeting the Needs of Distance Education Students: Creating an Online-Only Library Instruction Course.” C&RL News, 67, no. 9 (Oct. 2006): 548-550.

In a short article, Webb clearly outlines steps taken to plan, organize, market and initiate an introductory library orientation course for distance education students at her institution. Using course management software the course was designed for students who would not necessarily visit the library. Understanding the time constraints that a distance student has, the author purposed to provide introduction and teaching for the resources specific to her library. The steps she took included assessing the need, training for herself as the course developer, consulting with other experienced faculty and librarians at her school, planning the development process so her deadline could be comfortably met, and promoting the course to appropriate audiences. She also realized that the first time of teaching it would call for subsequent modifications so assessment of the course by the enrolled students would be anticipated. J. Kind