A couple of weeks ago I attended the Alberta Distance Education and Training Association's (ADETA) annual conference, held here in Calgary. There were two library-related presentations at the conference, and I got something from both of them.
The first was presented by a student (and not a library student!) who had been involved in a research project with librarians at the University of Alberta. Jamal Mansour presented Teaching Information Literacy Over the Web - From Developing the Development Team to Instructing the Instructors (PDF), which discussed a modular IL program developed for large classes of UG Psychology students at the U of A. It was developed as a result of a survey in which most students ranked themselves pretty low in several information literacy areas, and the librarians wanted to tailor some online instruction to meet these perceived deficiencies. They used Macromedia Director to create five tutorials, which are available here. Nice work!
Several librarians from Lethbridge Community College and the University of Lethbridge presented The Magic of NESA Information Literacy through WebCT (PPT). NESA has something to do with their nursing program, and this was a description of how librarians at these two institutions were collaborating to offer IL to nursing students moving from one institution to another. What really hooked me though, is that LCC is using Elluminate vClass as a virtual reference tool, and I didn't realize that could be done! Basically they've got a link on their library home page (though it's not there now, maybe down for the long weekend?) that logs the user into vClass and bingo, you're off on a chat session that also allows co-browsing and full duplex voice communication via the web. I've used vClass to deliver instruction before, and to realize that it can be used for reference is exciting to me. I'm going to try to set it up at my institution to offer reference to students enrolled in the one program that supports this platform. Anyone else out there using vClass for virtual reference?
Most of the other presentations from the two-day conference are also online, either as papers or powerpoints (http://www.adeta.org/interface2004/interface2004.htm). Have a look, maybe there's something else of interest there for you.