OK, here's the final post about OffCamp 2006 in Savannah; I saved the best for last ;-), as this was the presentation I gave with Shauna Rutherford, my colleague from the U of C. The paper was actually written by three of us (though mostly by Shauna and Alix), but Dr. Alix Hayden wasn't able to join us in Savannah.
We spoke about a project we've been working on for well over a year called WISPR, which is an acronym for Workshop on the Information Search Process for Research. In a nutshell we wanted to create a tutorial that could be used in a blended learning situation, where students could meet a librarian in class, but then spend some time online learning about the research process at their own pace. In reality, this could also be an entirely web-based tutorial, but we feel it's important if possible to get some face time with the students as well (though of course that's not always possible with DE).
WISPR is based on the research of Carol Kuhlthau and Alix Hayden, and attempts to present the information search process in a new, visual way. Kuhlthau describes six stages in the Information Search Process , but they're depicted in her writings as a grid, which seems to fly in the face of her insistence that the ISP is an iterative process. We wanted to come up with a better way of depicting the ISP, and to that end modified a graphic to come up with the following, which we feel does a much better job of showing the iterative nature of the ISP.
We tried to make this a pretty interactive tutorial, incorporating simple "web-based action mazes" built with a piece of software called Quandary. Think of them as a choose-your-own-adventure, in that you'll get a different response based on the answer you choose. Of course there are screencasts involved, and we have some hands-on database tutorials that incorporate a multimedia component. We also really made an effort to keep the tone conversational, and students have told us they appreciate that too.
We're working with our Teaching and Learning Centre (thanks Patrick and Norm!) to continue to modify the back-end, which will make it a more nimble tool to administer (allow different subject librarians to modify content, create new versions for new courses, roster students for the logbook). At that time we're really hopeful that more of our collegues on campus will adopt it as part of their arsenal, and if we can get it to that point, we'd also like to release the package under a Creative Commons license so folks like you could use it too!
A couple of the suggestions we received from the audience included:
- State minimum system requirements.
- Can Refworks be integrated into the logbook?
- Captivate / Breeze etc don't allow for printing from within the tutorial - make printable/downloadable versions available (I believe this can be done as a PDF - sort of like a ppt handout with each slide being displayed separately)
All of these are great suggestions and we can easily add the first and last suggestion, and will put the second one on our wish list.
There's much more to the project, but I wanted to finally get this introduction to our tool posted! You can read the paper we wrote for the OffCamp proceedings, and you can take a look at WISPR yourself at http://library.ucalgary.ca/wispr. There's a general version, and several class-specific versions there. Tell us what you think, please!
A disclaimer on the paper, which should also be published in an upcoming issue of the Journal of Library Administration: All rights reserved. No further distribution of this material may be done without permission of Off-Campus Library Services at
Technorati Tags: WISPR, OCLSC06, ISP, Kuhlthau, Information_Literacy, Calgary