Friday, September 08, 2006

Collaborative Role of the Academic Librarian in Distance Learning - Analysis on an Information Literacy Tutorial in WebCT

Collaborative Role of the Academic Librarian in Distance Learning - Analysis on an Information Literacy Tutorial in WebCT. A new issue of E-JASL is up. Of the articles, I think this one is the most interesting from an information literacy perspective. It is by Xiaoli Shirley Fang. This is from v.7 no.2 (Summer 2006).

Of note, my article on Collegiality and Libraries is also up in this issue.

From the Fang article:

This article profiles a project to expand our general Information Literacy Tutorial into WebCT for students taking online courses. The Tutorial has provided online learners with a grasp of information competencies. The process of the project has confirmed the importance of academic librarians’ collaborative role in distance learning community. It presents both opportunities and challenges for academic librarians to collaborate with faculty and educational technology specialists in integrating information literacy education into the course management system. More active multi-aspect collaborations are required to ensure effective teaching information literacy via the courseware.

As course management systems have became a popular support to distance learning on campuses, integration of library presence into the courseware “has had a challenging agenda”, citing Campbell’s phrase (2006), to academic librarians. This challenge applies especially to those with related position titles, such as a Distance Learning Librarian. It has been recognized that academic librarians “must seek to integrate their resources into online courses delivered via course management systems, in order to ensure that libraries continue to remain vital to higher education.” Collaborations are crucial to ensure successful integration of the library into the course management system. (Fang & Kortz, 2005) This paper examines our experience in expanding information literacy instruction into WebCT at New Jersey City University, to define academic librarians’ collaborative role in the distance learning environment. Future improvements in teaching information literacy via WebCT will be dependent upon the librarians’ more active collaboration with faculty members, educational technology specialists and librarian colleagues, as well as new information technologies. This analysis will benefit further cooperative ventures among the campus community to advance distance learning students’ information skills in the ever-changing and increasingly prevalent digital world.


Helen said...

Hello Michael, I accidentally stumbled upon your blog and started reading. I found it all very interesting as I am at the moment getting up to speed with Technology and english second language learning. I am doing a Masters in TESOL at Queensland University of Technology in Brisbane. As you see, I am from Oz and this part of the world is your second home. I beleive we have been involved in every stoush around the globe for almost two centuries. I admire Academic Librarian's and their capacity to re-invent themselves and escape into cyber land. Bye and take care.

M said...

Hello Helen,

Thanks for yur kind comments.

I agree that Australia is a hot bed for information literacy and has been for some time.

I hope I can visit Oz someday and talk with Australian IL folk.