Monday, February 23, 2015

Three librarians from Northeastern Illinois University’s Ronald Williams Library, Michelle Guittar, Molly Mansfield and Kimberly Shotick, will lead a half-day pre-conference workshop at the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Conference on March 25 in Portland, Ore. Joining them will be former Northeastern librarians James Rosenzweig and Mackenzie Salisbury.

The workshop, titled "Tutorials Toolkit: Creating Sustainable Library Instruction,” is a product of Northeastern’s Innovation Grant Program. In 2012, Northeastern sought innovative ideas to advance the mission of the University. The Library’s proposal, “Web-Based Library Research Instruction Modules,” was one of eight selected for development.

“The grant proposal was written by Associate Dean of Libraries Dave Green. The funding allowed us to develop nine animated videos produced by Fly Machine Picture Company, along with supplemental video tutorials that were made in-house,” said Guittar, the Social Services librarian.

The tutorials produced by Fly Machine were designed to answer big questions that students have about the research process, such as, “Should I use Google or the library resources?” and “What's the difference between academic and public libraries?”

The in-house team developed video tutorials that were to be used at point-of-need, such as “How to Find Articles in Academic Search Complete” and “How to Get an Article not Available in Full-Text.”

“By creating online tutorials that convey foundational concepts about libraries alongside more traditional ‘how-to’ directive tutorials that cover specific electronic resources to be used at point-of-need, the library created this whole package of tutorials designed to holistically address student knowledge gaps,” Guittar said.

The goals of the workshop include enabling participants to build a suite of complementary online video tutorials that can be used as a sustainable mode of library instruction, translate student learning outcomes into outlines for videos, and identify best practices to make tutorials accessible across learning styles, technologies and disabilities.

“My section of the workshop will teach educators how to develop their own tutorials using whatever technology they have access to,” said Shotick, the Multimedia Learning Resource Center (MLRC) coordinator and Information Services librarian. “Essentially, I will be sharing my process, which I've developed during my time at Northeastern both working as the MLRC coordinator and tutorials librarian, and researching best practices for learning in the virtual environment.”

The workshop’s four components include the research and preliminary planning for the project, creating the conceptual videos through collaboration, creating the directive videos using free applications, and assessing the use of the tutorials using different analytics.