The Library & The CMS: a wish list

November 8, 2009, 7:47 pm

I’m really excited about the relationship that is forming between the Library and our Course Management System folks. UCSB is adopting Moodle and there is a lot of momentum gathering. The Library has been invited to be development partners but also to help with assessment as well.

Here are my quick and dirty notes of blue-sky thinking. Please feel free to add more ideas in the comments. I’m also curious to hear about tips and pitfalls of working with CMS teams.

Core theme: “the library in every course”—building on their theme of “a website for every class.” We want to integrate library resources and services into the infrastructure– make it as easy as possible for students and faculty to access the library via their course management system.

1. We’d like to have a default library “widget” or tab or space for every course. This will include basic stuff, such as reserves, Ask-A-Librarian, libguides, the catalog, etc.  Ideally this would be standardized and automatically loaded into every course.

2. We’d like to have the ability to customize the widget or space for particular courses and/or for particular disciplines. This would allow us to create special content for a research-intensive course, or create a customized suite of services/resources for all Art courses or all Sciences courses, etc. Think of this as an advanced widget. A more customized suite of services.

3. We want to integrate reserves with Moodle. We currently use Docutek. Let’s consider the student accessing necessary materials all in one space instead of just linking them to our website. If a class has reserves, they should show up where they access their course information. Let’s also consider how faculty place/submit reserves via a common menu or process. Is there an opportunity to take advantage of persistent links here too?

4. We’d like to have a permissions/access level for librarians so that they can view course material, and perhaps post to message boards, wikis, etc—but not have access to grades and other sensitive information. While some interactive capabilities would be great, we’d be happy to start with read-only access to every class. This allows us to farm syllabi for assignments. Also, this allows us to build on the idea of micro-instruction, essentially a library instruction artifact (various formats) housed in every course.

5. We’d like to have a universal space where students can go to ask questions. While we want to encourage them to continue using our Ask service, having a CMS embedded destination for research help is something to explore. If we could have one place online for this, librarians can become embedded into the classroom as well as the core infrastructure. This builds on the idea of we go where they need us, or rather, where they need help.

6. We’ll want to consider proxy access. Students have to log in to access GauchoSpace, so can we transfer that into our databases for a seamless experience?

7. We want to be involved in the assessment of the CMS. We actually want to talk with different segments of student and faculty users before, during, and after the implementation. 

8. We’ll want to consider collaborative projects—how groups can conduct, share, use, notate, cite, tag, and store research together. Are there any “group tools” that we can support? How can we allow them to collect and access documents and data together? It will be good for us to think beyond just providing access to information and instead be looking for ways to help enable educational experiences.

9. We’ll want to consider long-term archiving. Does a student/faculty lose all of their content once the quarter is over, or is there some value to being able to go back and look at past material and digital notes from the other quarters? If I take a Class X right now, I might want to go back and look at that material next year when I take Class Y. If we assume that the curriculum is building on itself, then this is a good opportunity for students to accumulate and access that knowledge whenever they need it.

10. We’ll want to consider the pedagogical opportunities and perhaps use this as a chance for the library to help faculty integrate 2.0 tools into their instruction efforts. We'd really like to find a good partnership with Instruction Design/Development and other units on campus. Now that profs have these new tools (wikis, chat, podcasting, etc) how can we help them get the most out of this software? This could be mix of live classes, a sandbox, personal instruction, as well as handouts that feature/collect case students, best practices, and general guidelines to using these tools. I imagine a lot of door-to-door sales strategy here.

11. We’ll want to use this opportunity to teach the campus about copyright. Could try and blend fair-use with open access, future of publishing, and related themes.

12. We'll want to consider how library instruction can take advantage of Wimba or a similar product. How do librarians fit into online classroom environment?

13. We want to be involved in creating a landing page, one for students and one for faculty. This essentially aggregates (RSS feeds?) campus info into a portal-like place. Ideally we could filter this by discipline so as to allow a blend of general of specialized info. Not limited to library material, but campus news, grants, events, important dates, professional development, etc.

What else should we aim for?

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