Screencasts and One-shot

I am a huge fan of screencasts and online tutorials especially when they are used in libraries. I found this weeks reading really interest and they brought up a lot of important aspect of teaching library and literacy that are often overlooked.

One of the most interesting things that came out of the readings is the idea of the ‘one-shot workshop’ that is pretty common at libraries. If your unfamiliar with this term, it basically refers to the short information workshop held by librarians to teach users how to use certain library features. I’ve attended a few in New York, but honestly they’ve been a little boring and in some cases useless. Typically these workshop are conducted by a library staff member (hopefully one who is familiar with the topic and workshop structure), and for about and hour they ramble or show examples of how to do something (like navigating the stack, placing a book on hold, or citing a source). One issue with this format is that the user is rarely engaged and often the librarian is trained on how to teach the material. However the book Creating the One-Shot Libary Workshop highlighted some really cool tips and techniques on improving this experience for both the librarian and the user. According to the book, one of the most important things a librarian who want to do a workshop should keep in mind is ADDIE:

Analysis

Design

Development

Implementation

Evaluation

Each of these steps are key to having a meaningful exchange. I think this process seems great. Its ensure that all the basic components are in place and that after the workshop is over, you take the experience and start over to improve it. I’ve facilitated several workshops in the past and feedback/evaluation is just as important as any other step because it encourages you to make changes and fix things that didn’t work the way you thought it would.

I think that the ADDIE process should  be including in every teaching experience, even in online tutorials.  Not many libraries have a collection of tutorials but I think that they are very useful and when done correctly are usable and valuable to  users. The article on online tutorials; Best Practices for Online Video Tutorials in Academic Libraries looked at how user of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign library understood and engaged with the video tutorials. One of main things at a library that want to put out a collection of tutorials should really think about is the content and quality of the video, as well as advertising to and feedback from the users. I think its pointless to wait until a user is in chat reference service to bring up the videos. Users need to know that the videos are available otherwise there’s no point to having them. And I think there should be a quick survey at the end of the video to collect feedback.

Sidebar: I’m super excited for class tomorrow!!! And I can finally let my background in journalism shine with scripting and producing screencast.

Til next week…shhhhh!!

Advertisements

6 comments

  1. I really like how you tied in the ADDIE process to best practices in screencasts. I think you hit a really important point that librarians can’t just make a screenshot and say it’s good to float out on the web for the rest of eternity as is. Just as with an in person workshop, you have to evaluate whether users are getting anything meaningful out of the product. App developers serious about their product don’t just create a first version and call it a day–they get user feedback and come out with new and more effective versions. Thanks for sharing!

    1. Thanks Rachel! I completely agree with you. I think library workshops could benefit from some usability testing techniques to make improvement and keep the content up-to-date and interesting.

  2. “honestly they’ve been a little boring and in some cases useless. Typically these workshop are conducted by a library staff member (hopefully one who is familiar with the topic and workshop structure), and for about and hour they ramble or show examples of how to do something (like navigating the stack, placing a book on hold, or citing a source). One issue with this format is that the user is rarely engaged and often the librarian is trained on how to teach the material.” So, Future Librarian, how are you going to fix this? 🙂

    1. HAHA! A fair question! And honestly I’m hoping all the work I do here at UMSI will show me some new techniques to be able to make library workshop more engaging and interesting.

      My issue with the ones I’ve attended is that they were bland; boring powerpoint slides, lots of confusion and monotone voices. If the librarian isn’t excited to teach the workshop, no one is going to be excited to be there.

  3. Your comments about the marketing of tutorials and screencasts is really illuminating. Collections of tutorials are not usually highlighted on academic library home pages, or public ones for that matter, at least to my knowledge. The AADL has its video collection nested under two layers of links (http://www.aadl.org/video) and MLibrary their online video gallery similarly nested, not available from the main page (http://www.lib.umich.edu/online-video-gallery/all-videos). It is interesting that the Ask a Librarian MLibrary main page does not have any links to video tutorials (http://www.lib.umich.edu/ask-librarian). Is one of those reasons that they want the information to be available but not prioritized over patrons having face to face interactions with librarians? Perhaps librarians are afraid of being replaced by digital versions of self. If we can teach everything digitally with screencasts, we don’t need a physical space filled with people who are able to do the same thing? These scenarios are a bit extreme but I think they are legitimate concerns for libraries with tight budgets and patrons who are increasingly using online communication as their main interactions with their library (e.g. e-book check out; blog interactions, etc.).

    1. You bring up a lot of really great points! I’m not sure why video tutorials are highlights the way other resources are..maybe librarian are afraid or being replace..or maybe they assume people aren’t interest in them.. or maybe they just don’t know how to make them well. I’m really glad this is an assignment because it gives us a chance to at least say we have knowledge on how to do them and what they can offer user.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s