Thoughts on Week 2 Readings

The next batch of readings touched on one-shot workshops and screencasts. The excerpt from “Creating the One-Shot Workshop” details the design process of a workshop, using the ADDIE (analysis, design, development, implementation, evaluation) process. The other readings, “Best Practices for Online Video Tutorials in Academic Libraries” and “Building Pathfinders with Free Screen Capture Tools,” focus on creating screencasts and videos for users to access at time of need when trying to use library resources. The one-shot workshop and screencast seem akin to each other; they both try to teach something in one session, so the lesson shouldn’t be too complicated. The main difference is whether the lesson is delivered in long form or short form and in person or online.

The “One-Shot Workshop” reading reminded me of the Rapid Contextual Design process that we went through in 501. In ADDIE and RCD, a need or problem is analyzed and an appropriate solution is developed. I think the coursework from 501 gave me another way to look at the process of creating a workshop, and the workshop reading gave the work we did in 501 more relevance for my future beyond the group work. Though it might seem to be more common in HCI, design is still important in library science so that we can provide users with the best experience possible.

For the screencast readings, especially “Best Practices,” I thought about the author’s findings compared to my own experiences working reference for MLibrary. I know we have some of these sorts of instructional videos available online in research guides and elsewhere on the MLibrary web site, but I have not actually watched them yet. I love the idea of the screencast, especially for the kinds of things that do not translate well to the chat setting and that users may only need at a certain point online, not in the actual library at the reference desk (much like was mentioned in “Best Practices”). I am definitely going to check them out now. Who knows, I might find a link that I could someday send to the right user on chat or at the reference desk!

One place where I get a little concerned in the “Best Practices” is with some of the responses that the students gave about the videos, particularly in their desire to skip to what they want to hear. They don’t want to learn the point of something sometimes; they just want to know the process. This is kind of disappointing to be as a future librarian, since I want people to be able to learn to do things for themselves and become self-sufficient. However, it is futile to try to teach someone who does not want to be taught. Today I was helping a young woman find a journal article that a librarian had been able to find but she couldn’t find it herself. She was searching in the main catalog, but she needed to search the collection of databases to find individual articles. After I showed her that, she said thanks, but I still took the time to explain that she had been using the catalog that doesn’t work for articles. She barely acknowledged my explanation. I know that not everybody wants to be taught, but dang it, I have all of this knowledge and I want to share it! Anyway, the students from the video study seemed to have a similar reaction to any information besides the “how-to” of what they were doing. Maybe if finding easier answers is so easy, people might be more willing to come to a librarian with a more complex issue and that is when the more in-depth instruction can happen.

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2 thoughts on “Thoughts on Week 2 Readings

  1. “The “One-Shot Workshop” reading reminded me of the Rapid Contextual Design process that we went through in 501. In ADDIE and RCD, a need or problem is analyzed and an appropriate solution is developed. I think the coursework from 501 gave me another way to look at the process of creating a workshop, and the workshop reading gave the work we did in 501 more relevance for my future beyond the group work. Though it might seem to be more common in HCI, design is still important in library science so that we can provide users with the best experience possible.” Nice moment of transfer!

    And yeah, you’ve identified a great (as in “large,” not “awesome”) tension – wanting to be helpful as a librarian when the patron doesn’t want to be helped. 🙂

  2. It’s cool you tied the ADDIE process back to 501. I agree that design–which includes planning, evaluating and revising–is a real world skill not isolated to only one specialization. That’s one of the things that makes UMSI so great–the interdisciplinary knowledge makes you more effective in your chosen field! That’s so interesting about your inner conflict at the reference desk. Librarianship is a service-oriented profession, so you prioritize the client interest, but sometimes there are missed learning opportunities as a result. It’s hard to balance. Thanks for sharing this real world example! It will be interesting to see whether reference questions move towards ever more complex and challenging interactions–that require a human being to engage with–like you mention.

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