Tag Archives: reference

December 7, 2010, 10:20 am

Levels of Patron Assistance: too much pressure on the top? (another conceptual pyramid)

So the whole pyramid thing… An Assistant Dean turned me on to them. We were talking in my office and he saw my white board– we chatted about the engagement theory and he mentioned that over in Career Services they explored a similar concept based on services. In a nutshell, they offer a hierarchy of services attempting to match different student needs:

 

A student might come in and need help with a resume. While she might just need a handout describing formatting, she could be directed to a career planning professional. This might be similar to a patron asking where BF637.T5 A45 2001 is located. Rather than giving him a floor plan or directing him to the BF range, it would be like setting up an appointment with a subject librarian.

 

The sense I got from the Career Services example is that their model is directly tied to expenses. It costs them a lot in terms of salary and time to sit…

Read More

May 10, 2010, 4:19 pm

Need Homework Help? Don’t ask us! A review of Course Hero’s reference service (Part 2 of 3)

I found Course Hero’s Homework Help to be very tempting. Here
is the screen you are greeted with when you first log-in:

  
CourseHero_welcome_screen
  

Inviting, huh? And pretty straightforward. Subject. Ability
to attach your assignment. Your Due Date & Time. Submit it and then you just chill and wait while the
experts work on your homework.

 

Here is how it works:

  
Course_hero_how_works 

And who are these experts? Tutors who are allegedly affiliated with top tier universities. Let's meet a few:

  
Coursehero_expert1
Course_hero_expert2
Course_hero_expert3 

Ok, great. Let’s give them a test. I started with a fairly common question that you might get at any ref desk or via email or chat or txt around the country:

"I need to find
three "peer-reviewed" articles for my english class. I have to write
about Hawthorne and the occult. I was looking on google but can't seem to get
the full articles, just some abstracts?”


 This is the response I received:

  
Course_hero_question1
  

"Us" huh? Got a team…

Read More