So you’ve built an eLearning course – congratulations! Now, you want to give your learners access via the open web. (If you want to host it on an LMS, that’s a whole ‘nother topic!).
Maybe you’re building your portfolio, maybe you want the SME to review it, maybe you just really enjoy building tutorials and you want anyone to be able to complete them. This blog post is for you!
You could always zip everything together and upload it to Google Drive or Dropbox – but then your learners would have to download it, and that’s no good, and not only because of the enormous sizes possible with elearning, you can also spread computer viruses this way.
Web hosting is just to allow your tutorials to be made public – without an LMS, you won’t collect information about your learners or their progress, though you could set your tutorials to issue certificates of completion, or maybe you could add an option for results to be emailed to you, though that’s not a perfect solution either.
In any case, your free options for web hosting are limited, unfortunately! For stability and longevity, paying for web hosting is the way to go.
The Free Option (Amazon S3)
Check out this article on sharing your courses using Amazon’s web services. The first year of 5GB of hosting is free.
You may be interested in using this option to publish your files to the web so that you just provide a link and your learners can instantly view and complete your courses. This is also a nice option for a place to put your amazing work so that you can link it to your growing portfolios!
This option does take a bit of setup. You have to create an Amazon S3 account, download their software, and do some minor code editing.
But, once you’re done and your courses are uploaded, you just have to share a link and your learners/portfolio admirers are good to go!
The Pay Option (Web Hosting)
I use GoDaddy to host my website. I can’t remember how I chose GoDaddy! They were probably running a special. I’ve had a site now for a few years. But any major web host is basically the same – you can get a custom domain and server space. My website costs me about $145 a year (I pay extra (~20/yr) for private domain registration so that my home address isn’t published to the web).
Uploading elearning files can be a pain – I log into GoDaddy manually to upload my courses, but you can also use an FTP program like Filezilla.
A helpful web hosting provider will also give you tools for easily building a website – usually you can install WordPress with a click of a button (I use WordPress for my site), or it will have some other tool for creating a simple home page. I really like WordPress, it’s pretty easy to learn and you can choose from thousands of free themes to make your site look nice.
The features get much fancier for web hosts from there, depending on what you want out of your website. Some offer shopping cart functionality or other support for running advanced scripts and things, or for having a custom email address at your domain.
I found this helpful guide to choosing a web host. I’ve always been into coding simple websites and have taken a couple of web programming classes, so definitely consider your own comfort level when you look into service providers.
How do you host your courses?
I love developing eLearning! It’s on of my favorite parts of my job. I developed my first Camtasia video as a library intern, and then dove deep into Camtasia, Storyline, and Adobe Captivate as a student in my master of educational technology program.
Now, I use Camtasia and Storyline regularly to design info lit and library research tutorials for my library. I also occasionally use Adobe Captivate, and I teach Captivate as an instructor in Cal State Fullerton’s Master of Instructional Design and Technology program.
Learning the software can be tough – but it’s only half the battle. No matter how much of a pro you are at your authoring software of choice, if you aren’t following good design practices and proven learning theory, your tutorials aren’t going to be an effective learning experience.
If you feel like pursuing a certificate or master’s in instructional design or educational technology – you should!!
No time or money for that? Read on for suggestions on how to become a better designer!
To that end, I’ve got several recommendations for educating yourself on effective design. First, get started with learning about good design and how people learn. Then, learn about how people navigate online content and visual content.
Only then should you be producing eLearning content!
All About Good Design
The Design of Everyday Things
This book seriously changed how I view the world! I HIGHLY recommend reading it.
How People Learn
Design for How People Learn
This book is well illustrated and breaks down the basics of how the brain works!
How People Navigate Online Spaces
Don’t Make Me Think
This book focuses on web usability. Your tutorials are going to be web-based. READ IT
Effective Visual Design
Non-Designer’s Design Book (This book breaks down the basics of graphic design so that you can create effective layouts).
Designing Interfaces (Your tutorial is really just an interface your learners will use – you’d better make it usable!)
Have you read all of those? Good!
I also recommend getting a handle on copyright – don’t just copy and paste images you find on the web without considering the legalities first. Here’s a great video I recommend watching: Copyright or Wrong? A Brief Guide to Finding and Using Online Images.
Now, and only now, it’s time to move onto learning authoring software:
As an Instructional Design Librarian I get asked periodically for my job description. (I’m trendy!) Since I started this job, I’ve been curious what other ID Librarians do, so I collect job postings as I see them, and I also Tweet out any ID-related librarian job postings that I see.
You can download a zip folder of a selected few ID Librarian job postings that I think are pretty good, and are all titled as “Instructional Design.” This folder includes:
- Instructional Design Librarian (Faculty Position) – Cal State Fullerton (this is my current job)
- Instructional Design Librarian (Faculty Position) – University of Alabama
- Online Instructional Design Librarian (Faculty Position) – Cal State Northridge
- Instructional Design Librarian (Not sure if faculty) – Nevada State
- Instructional Design Librarian (Faculty Position) – Southern Minnesota State
- Instructional Design Librarian (Not sure if faculty – University of Waterloo, Canada
- Instructional Design/Technology Librarian (Not faculty) – UC San Diego
- Instructional Design Librarian (Faculty Position) – Notre Dame
- Find more IDL job descriptions using a filetype:pdf search on Google.
- Find current IDL job postings via Twitter.
Other ID-Related Job Titles
- Instructional technology librarian
- Online learning librarian
- eLearning librarian
- Online instruction librarian
- Digital learning librarian
- Digital literacy and instructional design librarian
- Online and hybrid learning librarian
- Emerging technologies and instruction librarian
I’m now halfway through my third year as an Instructional Design Librarian! This is officially the longest I’ve ever held a single job. This is also the first time I think of my stay here in terms of which year I’m in as a result of the tenure-track process. I had to turn in my 2nd year file in fall 2015, I had to turn in my 3rd year abbreviated file in fall 2016, and in fall 2017 I have to prepare another full portfolio to justify my continued existence. I suspect that, once I get tenure, I’ll miss the progress of the tenure-track even though it’s a lot of work!
Anyhow, I’ve been meaning to take stock of where I am and how I’m doing as a new librarian. I still think of myself as a new librarian. I’m less lost than I was, but still feel inexperienced, young, and naive. I’m still stubbornly maintaining my optimism, though! It’s what keeps me motivated.
Two years ago I wrote The Making of an Instructional Design Librarian over at ACRLog about my experiences as a brand new librarian. I’m surprised and pleased to find that my goals and plans for this position were not only on the right track, but I’ve accomplished most of them. I’ve developed lots of new video tutorials, I’ve developed several interactive tutorials that issue badges (and concurrently advocated for and then built the infrastructure to make the badges happen). I also developed a mini learning object repository that will be transitioned over to our forthcoming institutional repository. I’ve worked with faculty and staff on lowering the cost of textbooks for their students and done several trainings for my colleagues related to instructional design and educational technology.
I have two peer-reviewed articles being published this winter (my minimum tenure requirements are MET!), a book chapter is in the works, I’m working on an article with a colleague in another department, I have three (THREE!) national conference presentations coming up, and also, I’m lecturing part-time for our Master of Instructional Design and Technology program.
Life is good!
Academia is STILL Weird and Will Apparently Always Be
I feel like I’ve written a lot about how I find academia to be a strange cultural experience, since I’m a first-generation college student and I come from a blue-collar family. Seriously, I’m the only one in my family with a college degree, let alone two masters degrees. I identified a lot with a recently published article in the Chronicle, “I Fit in Neither Place,” about a first-gen PhD that doesn’t feel like she fits with her colleagues nor with her family and friends outside of academia.
This is a weird thing that I would like to help other first-gen colleagues with, but to do so, we’d all have to out ourselves as not fitting in. It unfortunately tends to cause sideways glances and awkward silences with my colleagues when I say blue-collar things. On the flip side, my family has no idea what I’m talking about when I talk about publishing in journals and pursuing tenure. They do not share or apparently comprehend my excitement at getting not one but TWO proposals accepted to ACRL!
I am very pleased, though, to work at an institution with an incredibly diverse student body and a very high percentage of first-gen students. If my colleagues don’t get what they’re going through, I do, and I can help students. My family is still proud of me even if they don’t know what I do.
I’m really happy with the success of my Spark Tutorials, which are Storyline courses embedded in our Learning Management System – I’ve issued 2,907 badges so far to students for tutorial completion. This adds up to about 500 hours of library instruction that did not require in-person librarian time. I’m working on developing more tutorials in collaboration with my colleagues and am continuing to market these to faculty. This program will continue to scale up our instruction.
I continue to work with our Faculty Development Center and Online Education and Training department to help faculty find low-cost or free replacements for their courses’ expensive textbooks. I’ve dived deep into navigating Fair Use, Creative Commons licensing, and troubleshooting permalinks. I enjoy all of these things.
I love teaching in our Master of Instructional Design and Technology program! It’s entirely online but I’ve gotten to know my students well. I taught my first class last fall and am teaching another this spring. I’m enjoying the time off, though, from teaching right now until classes resume in two weeks.
I still struggle to balance all of the things I’m supposed to do: Ref Desk, online reference, research consultations, subject liaising, committees, research, publishing, presenting, more committees, service, collection development, instructional coordinating, plus my core duties as an ID librarian. I wish I could devote more time to developing elearning, it’s kind of my favorite thing, but also the most time-consuming!
While I have a full plate, I also want to start my own side business for freelancing in elearning development. Stay tuned!
Presentations in 2017:
- Blended Librarian: Conversations with Blended Librarians Panel
- California State University, Fullerton, College of Education Webinar Series
- Association of College & Research Libraries 2017, Baltimore, MD (See Digital Badges for more)
- Digital badges exposed: Technology behind a library badges program (TechConnect in-person presentation, March 23, 4:00-4:20 pm, BCC 317)
- Digital badges exposed: Technology behind a library badges program (60-minute interactive webcast, March 23, 10:00-11:00 am) [three-part recording available via YouTube]
- Electronic Resources & Libraries Conference 2017, Austin, TX
- Digital badges exposed: Technology behind a library badges program (15-minute presentation, April 4, 2:30-2:45 pm, Room 203) (See Digital Badges for more)
- Panelist. Just in case, just in time: The role of the library in active learning initiatives (45-minute panel, April 4, 3:15-4:00 pm, Salon A/B)
- California State University Library Assessment Symposium, Vallejo, CA
- Invited Speaker. Workshop: Assessing Information Literacy Digital Learning Objects (May 26)
A Place at the Table: Librarians Leading Information Literacy Assessment for WSCUC Re-Accreditation
[Slides and handouts]
- Invited Speaker. Workshop: Assessing Information Literacy Digital Learning Objects (May 26)
- ALA Annual Conference 2017, Chicago, IL
- Panelist. Transforming: E-Books & Collections, ALCTS Collection Development Librarians Interest Group. (60-minute panel, June 24, 3:00-4:00pm, W190a).
- California State University, Fullerton, College of Education Webinar Series
- Online webinar September 26 [slides and recording]
- Open Education Conference 2017, Anaheim, CA (October 11-13)
- Connecter, adviser, creator: The role of the Instructional Design Librarian in campus OER initiatives (25-minute roundtable at 11 am and 11:30 am October 12) [handout]
- The Perfect Opportunity: Transforming a graduate instructional design degree with affordable and open educational resources (25-minute presentation, 1:30 pm, October 13) [slides and handouts]
Halfway through last year, a directive from the Cal State Fullerton Provost filtered down the ranks to me, the Instructional Design Librarian: Develop a 10-minute library tutorial that all freshmen will be required to complete.
For such a short sentence, it sure turned into a large project. For starters, a 10-minute tutorial could never be enough. And how are librarians supposed to “require” freshmen to do anything? We don’t even teach credit-bearing courses.
I had already been thinking about the possibilities of digital badges since mid-2015. Our library dean thought that an info lit badges program was a terrific idea.
As of August 2016, I now have the first module complete: four interactive Storyline tutorials with integrated assessment are live in our learning management system. Together, the four tutorials comprise a complete orientation to Pollak Library and the basics of library research. Once completed with a 100% score, students earn a digital badge that is visible on their LMS profile, allowing their instructors and peers to see their accomplishment.
See the demo:
You can also try out the full tutorials.
Our First Year Experience program is requiring all of its students to complete all four tutorials this semester – that’s more than 600 students. Many other faculty have indicated interest as well in assigning these tutorials to their students.
This is the start of something big. And my position, Instructional Design Librarian, only came into existence at Pollak Library two years ago, in 2014.
I’m about to start designing the tutorials in the second module – there are four planned modules altogether.
But let’s back up. I want to tell you how we got here.
- August 2014: I start at Cal State Fullerton as Instructional Design Librarian
- Fall 2014: I partner with another librarian on redesigning the library component of our campus’ first year experience program, then called Freshman Programs. We designed a 45-minute Storyline tutorial based on a few learning objectives grounded in the new ACRL Framework, and pilot it with three Freshman Programs instructors as part of a flipped classroom format. We got good feedback.
- January 2015: Our campus is all abuzz about assessment. I apply to ACRL’s Assessment in Action (AiA) program with a proposed project that would explore how librarians can effectively serve in online courses, preferably in a scalable manner.
- June 2015: The AiA project proposal is accepted; I am now part of a cohort enrolled in ACRL’s year-long assessment program. I partner with the Human Services librarian and a faculty member to design another 45-minute library research tutorial for an online junior-level class for fall semester. We also embed the librarian into the course itself.
- Fall 2015: I am asked, along with the librarian I partnered with in fall 2014, to chair a new Information Literacy Taskforce. Our job is to gather librarians to develop information literacy student learning outcomes for all freshmen based on the new ACRL Framework. My librarian partner didn’t want to be a co-chair, so I ended up chairing the task force alone. I also serve as the instructional designer, and the librarians as the Subject Matter Experts.
- December 2015: We get good results in our AiA project, but, obviously, embedding into a course is time-consuming and I can’t develop a custom tutorial for every single class (this one took me about 40 hours, as did the Fall 2014 one).
- Spring 2016: Increased focus at campus level on assessment, WASC accreditation (information literacy requirement), and high-impact practices for students. We have Moodle as our learning management system, and I know that it’s possible to issue badges within Moodle, so I start lobbying hard for adding badges capability. Our campus LMS team acquiesces.
- January 2016: CINDEr completes its work. We did great. Our learning objectives are divided into four sections: Pollak Library, Evaluation, Searching, and Citations. This is just the beginning. These learning objectives, once mastered, will lay a solid foundation for Cal State Fullerton students to become information literate. We focused on freshmen, but the same curriculum would be essential for all students to master.
- February 2016: In February 2016, I was asked by the library dean to present at a library-wide meeting on how I was planning for library instruction to not only scale up, but also meet campus assessment demands and WASC accreditation, and support high-impact practices on campus. This is the 8-minute presentation I gave:
- Summer 2016: Badges go live in the LMS! I go into overdrive developing our learning objectives into tutorials and designing the badges program. It took me about 75 hours to design and develop the tutorials, and figure out how to implement the badges program. This number doesn’t include my colleagues’ feedback on the original storyboards and testing the tutorials.
- Fall 2016: Pollak Library Spark Tutorials are tested, proven, and ready to go!
A digital badges program for completing automated tutorials is the perfect solution that helps us meet all of the pressure on library instruction. Faculty can even mix and match the tutorials they want students to complete, since each is only 10-15 minutes.Furthermore, when this project is fully realized, our badges will show potential employers how amazingly information literate our graduates are.
We are now able to:
- Scale up our instruction, helping us meet WASC’s info lit requirement
- We can also now focus time in one-shots on hands-on practice as part of a flipped classroom format
- Track students that complete the tutorials for assessment purposes
- Allow faculty to confirm that students completed the tutorials
It’s like all of the pressures on myself and library instruction funneled perfectly into this outcome: online tutorials rewarded with digital badges. I’m more than a little intimidated by developing the rest of the modules, let alone maintaining them, but I am very proud of this project.
I attended Library Instruction West last week: June 8-10, 2016 in Salt Lake City! It was a fantastic conference, I had lots of interesting conversations with awesome people.
Here are my biggest takeaways by day and session:
Thursday, June 8
- Keynote: Dr. Donna Lanclos
Dr. Lanclos said that she is an anthropologist that studies higher ed. Great keynote! My biggest takeaway from her talk was that it’s important to show vulnerability in digital spaces, since people go online to connect with other people. I felt very validated by her statement that academic values dehumanized voices and “real” scholars don’t have emotions – not only are we to write in the third person, but we are discouraged from talking about families and feelings at work. Personal life? WHAT personal life? I must pretend I don’t have one, because academia is everything! Anyways. Obviously I had lots of feelings from her talk.
- Walking the path together: creating an instructional design team to elevate learning
This session was about how an Instructional Design Librarian (IDL) and an Instructional Technologies Librarian (ITL) work together at UCSD. LOVED it. Basically, Dominique, the IDL, does the big picture stuff and the politicking and the meeting with library clients, and Amanda develops whatever elearning product was requested. As the only Instructional Design Librarian at my institution, I wish I had someone to help me out with ID stuff, but I have NO idea which of these two roles I would want to play. I do prefer elearning development to the politicking and strategizing, but I also like having a lot of control over picking and choosing my projects according to my own interests/the library needs that I identify. Of course, UCSD probably has a much larger library with more demands.
- Engaging with empathy: Mapping the path to insightful instruction
Great presentation! Kimberly led us attendees through through an activity where we practiced constructing a “persona” that we might encounter in our jobs, and what kinds of needs that person might have. My group constructed the persona of a first-gen college student that attended hybrid classes on a commuter campus, and we imagined the challenges that student might face and how we might create more meaning in our library instruction to help that student feel connected to campus. It was a really great exercise.
- Then I presented on using WordPress as a learning object repository!
I talked about how challenging it is to be a new librarian, and how sharing your instructional materials can help make new librarians’ lives better. I feel like I struck a bit of a nerve – more than one new librarian told me they identified with this description. I got some great questions and had some good conversations. This felt like the best conference presentation I’ve given yet.
Friday, June 9th
- Canvas Commons: Scaling library instruction in the LMS
I already Tweeted it, and I’ll say it again: Francesca is doing great work at Nevada State College as their Instructional Design Librarian! She created a beautiful set of guides that are built directly into her school’s LMS. And now, when instructors create new classes, the appropriate subject guide is automatically built into that new course. Super cool, and her guides really are beautiful. My campus has Moodle, but I almost wish we had Canvas just for the Commons, which is a built in learning object repository where you can access objects from EVERYONE that uses Canvas. Alas, Canvas Commons is not open to the public. You have to have Canvas.
- Digital research notebook: A simple tool for reflective learning at scale
UCLA librarians came up with this nifty little library assignment (longer version) that they are OK with anyone reusing! Basically, they have students copy a Google Doc that walks them through the research process. Librarian Julia assertively tells her faculty to assign the notebook as a *mandatory* pre-assignment to a one-shot (and they do!!). Students are asked to share the completed doc with their instructor and the librarian. Julia does spot-checks to see how well students did. Check this assignment out, it’s a great idea. It forces students to get reflective about the research process and gives librarians insight into where students struggle.
- Addressing cultural humility and implicit bias in information literacy sessions
Another great session! Seriously, this was the best conference. Anyhoo, two librarians from the hosting institution, U of Utah’s Marriott Library, gave us a great overview of recognizing your own bias and some strategies on how to overcome your own biases. We all have biases! If you’d like to discover yours, presenter Twanna recommends completing tests over at Harvard’s Implicit Bias Project. They’re a great way to discover your “implicit” biases, which are those biases you didn’t know you had. They’re also a great way to feel terrible about yourself! In any case, knowledge is power, and you need to know about your biases. Also, AWESOME handouts with TONS of further reading, and a great glossary of related terms.
- Navigating the sea of information: Creating DLOs to empower students to develop their own information literacy compass
CSU Northridge librarians are doing some really great work on developing online materials to teach info lit, more specifically, the Searching as Strategic Exploration frame. Check out the mini-course that is part of Felicia’s info lit toolkit. Students work through a series of videos, readings, and quizzes to get an intro to the research process. Cool stuff! And a great example of how to scale up your instruction.
The conference’s special events were also fantastic – we did an opening reception at Westminster College (we drank booze in an academic library!). And we did a social at Tracey Aviary in Salt Lake – wonderful Mexican food from Red Iguana and beautiful birds! Everyone from Salt Lake professed their love of living in Salt Lake. The moment that someone told me that you’re only 30 minutes from skiing in the winter, I said SIGN ME UP, I’m moving to Salt Lake! Plus, both Westminster College and U of Utah had beautiful libraries.
Last year LinkedIn purchased Lynda.com, the go-to subscription video service that teaches software, design, and more. Since the purchase, LinkedIn has been doing a lot to increase the value to users of both companies by integrating their best features. Now, LinkedIn users can complete one of 53 “Learning Pathways” on Lynda.com and display their achievement on their LinkedIn profiles.
More and more libraries are adding Lynda.com subscriptions to their digital offerings, so this is a great opportunity for librarians to pursue new skills and show off what they learned without adding to their student debt!
EduTech and instructional design skills are a growing demand from library employers, and Lynda.com offers a lot of professional development in these areas. Check your local public library to see if they offer a Lynda.com subscription, I’m lucky to work at a university that offers it to all students and employees!
I browsed through the new Learning Pathways, and pulled those that I think would be most useful to librarians:
- Become a multimedia specialist
- Become a video editor
- Become an ebook publisher
- Become a graphic designer
- Become a digital illustrator
- Become an iOS app developer
- Become a project manager
- Become a project coordinator
- Leverage Those EduTech Skills
- Become a design business owner
- Become a small business owner
- Web Skills
- Become a digital marketer
- Become a user experience designer
- Become a front-end web developer
- Become a programmer
- Become a web designer
- Administrative Skills
- Become a manager
- Become a project manager
- Become a project coordinator
See these courses and more on Lynda.com.
I attended Library Technology Conference last week: March 16-17, 2016 in Saint Paul, Minnesota! The TL;DR: it was SO WORTH flying out from California. I Tweeted (#LTC2016), and talked, and discussed, and I even presented. The company was good, the food was good, the presenters were awesome.
Here are my biggest takeaways by day and session:
Wednesday, March 16
- Keynote: Dr. Safiya Umoja Noble
Takeaways: “We are now turning to algorithms to identify what we need to know,” – Gillespie (2012, see pres). Google is a monoply and threat to democracy (83% of adults use Google by default, and believe that search engines are fair and unbiased!). The consequences of turning over our decision making to Google, and letting Google filter the world for us, is a tragedy. Dr. Noble’s collected search results were horrifying: she searched for the word “beautiful” in Google images and all that came back were white women, she searched for “black girls” and almost all that came back was porn. The results that Google returns on political candidates can swing an election. Are we really OK with this?
Teaching takeaway: Teach students about Google’s algorithmic biases by encouraging them to search for an identity that they care about, and see what results come back. (My own test searches weren’t as bad as Dr. Noble’s, but they are still really bad!)
- Digital Storytelling
Takeaways: Make visible the work of your library! Take pictures at library events, verbal release for photography permission is often OK. Illustrate all stories with stock images if need be (Pixabay was recommended). You can also make simple graphics using Canva (I LOVE Canva) and simple movies using Moovly. Short stories/features are great to assign to students – help them build their portfolios.
- Are You Research Ready? Adding ImagineEasy Academy’s Tutorials to Library Instruction at Hamline
Takeaways: These librarians had students complete a locally customized version of five library tutorials from ImagineEasy before coming into live instruction. Students said the tutorials were boring, but they did recall some information, and it helped them come to in-person instruction with some prior knowledge. Tutorials included multiple choice questions as assessment, but did not embed into LMS.
Teaching takeaway: I’ve been saying this myself for a while, but offload the lower-level learning stuff into online tutorials and save in-person time for higher-level learning.
Personal takeaway: Seriously, commerically available library tutorials are awful. ImagineEasy’s tutorials were like PowerPoint slides from the 80s – a click-through setup with tacky stick figure drawings and speech bubbles. We can do better. (Last time I saw Credo’s tutorials [2013?], they weren’t as bad as these, but they were also pretty bad). A future post awaits on this topic.
- Building a Usable Information Architecture in LibGuides 2
Takeaways: Conduct user testing at your local institution – the best way to layout your LibGuides will depend on your library website (i.e. whether horizontal tabs or vertical side navigation is better depends on your site). Overall, a two-column format was best – most usable and students retained the most information. Furthermore: use icons for database listing – draws the eye and helps label each offering. Create templates for librarians to use (have to be an admin to create templates). Make a style guide for librarians to follow. Finally, get librarian buy-in by having them sit in on user testing so they can see firsthand how students interact with guides.
Teaching takeaway: No more than two columns; use icons for databases; no more than one row of tabs (3-5 tabs is best; create additional guides if needed instead of having an overwhelming number of pages).
- Getting Started with Google Analytics
Takeaways: Use the Chrome plug-in GA Debugger to see if you put the code in right in your websites. Create multiple “Views” to compare different sources of traffic (e.g. only show external traffic, exclude bots). I’m a relative novice to GA, so I have a bit of work to do to get better at using Google Anaytics. Also, URI is the same as URL. AND – you can create custom URLs to track marketing campaign success (add utm+code to web address, set up view to track visitors that arrived via those links).
Thursday, March 17
- Keynote: Andromeda Yelton
Takeaways: It is really super easy to spy on web traffic on the same wi-fi network as you – just use WireShark. Do not create accounts on websites that don’t have https:// at the beginning of their web addresses. Cookies last for two years, and websites know the last time you visited thanks to said cookies. Major library vendors including EBSCO and ProQuest have laughably bad security. Yikes.
- What’s Going On? Educating Staff About Library and Campus Technologies
Takeaways: Presenter does tech workshops for her library. She schedules them a week or two out, picks a topic, and just invites people to come. She doesn’t send an Outlook appointment even. And it works! People show. She keeps it casual, low pressure, and tries to have hands-on activities. These come-as-you-are workshops are a “safe space” for people to admit that they don’t know something, and often people “don’t know what they don’t know.” Workshops are a success, plus a monthly edutech blog is also a success at her library.
Personal takeaway: I really need to do this, I’m supposed to be in charge of training people on technology, but I don’t want to duplicate what’s already offered on campus, but no one from the library goes to those though they would probably come to mine, so I should just do it. Inspiring! I brainstormed a list of topics to teach about.
- Lightning Rounds!
I didn’t take many notes from this – I did notice that the presentation on Lending Technology at the Library inspired a LOT of questions.
Almost forgot to mention: I also presented on Thursday! You can download the slides from my presentation, Scale Up Your Instruction by Sharing Your Resources: Deploy WordPress as a Learning Object Repository! My presentation went pretty well – about 25 attendees and several good questions at the end.
In conclusion, I met tons of awesome librarians, learned lots of new things, and am inspired to try some new things at my library. This was an energizing, rejuvenating conference – it’s so good to get out from my own silo and my own library to see what others are doing!
Learn about our eLearning efforts at Pollak Library, and how we can scale up our instruction and impact without using more librarian time. I originally prepared this presentation for a library meeting.