I put together a MOOC/librarian concept map for a conference on professional development for academic librarians. My professional focus is information literacy instruction, which the map reflects. I'm mixing and matching ACRL and SCONUL views of info lit, so I apologize to any purists. I may be missing some important connections due to my focus. I would appreciate any comments, suggestions or input.
Library Consultation: Meet with library team prior to February 15, 2013 and then complete form and submit it with your grant application. Name of, subject area(s), type of course. Instructor(s) or collaborator(s), and disciplines Describe the course: Existing or completely new? Format envisioned? Provide DRAFT Syllabus with course outline, expected assignments, expected readings, group or individual projects. Describe your expected use of library services and resources from: Gelardin New Media Center: Class instruction in multimedia tools, software, equipment, or online programs? One-on-one multimedia assistance, multimedia production services? Library IT: Digitization consultation? New tools creation? Website design? Integration with existing library applications? One-on-one assistance? Special Collections Research Center (documents, rare books, archives, artwork, MSS); one on one research assistance Collections: Reserve readings or media? Do you envisage using third party images or audiovisual materials? If so, will you require guidance on the use of copyrighted material for your course? Describe expected new electronic, print, or multimedia resources the Library likely needs to purchase for this course. Research & Instruction Department: Tutorials? Class instruction? One-on-one research assistance Describe your expected use of library computer classrooms, high-tech rooms, Skype, GoToMeeting services Describe expected new resources in any format the Library likely needs to purchase for this course, OR permissions from publishers/producers to extend access to MOOC community Describe possible use of DigitalGeorgetown, a portal to the digital scholarship created by faculty, students and staff at Georgetown. Will you consider depositing some or all course projects deposited into Digital Georgetown? Describe outcomes for course:
Number of papers, projects, hand-in assignments. Will there be a research component?
Format of assignments: traditional written term paper? Computerized tests? Automated grading? Any additional comments or requirements Source
It was emphasized that the three areas most appropriate for librarians for involvement with MOOCS are Copyright, Licensing and Open Access. As courses are being offered online to a diverse and geographically distributed audience, what are the challenges for licensing and clearing copyright for materials used in courses? Are there opportunities for advancing the conversation on open access with faculty?
New Opportunities for Librarians: What Happens When You Go Behind the Lines in a MOOC?As we learn about new platforms and new modes of working, librarians are going into the trenches to see for themselves how MOOCs work. How do library resources and research skills fit into MOOCs and other online learning environments? Where do library collections and service fit? How can we use the experience gained in MOOCs to think about the future of the library in an evolved teaching environment?
On the 18th and 19th of March, 2013, OCLC Research and University of Pennsylvania hosted a conference titled MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge? The conference served as something of an introduction to MOOCs, with a strong Coursera bias, although there was a representative from EdX among the speakers. One of the initial speakers, from the University of Pennsylvania, continually referred to their offerings as “Coursera courses” rather than Penn courses. This set a tone for the conference. He did say that Penn’s “mission is the creation and dissemination of knowledge.” Coursera’s licensing policies put limits on the dissemination, which would seem to be at odds with that mission.
The primary theme of the conference was: What can libraries do to support MOOCs? OCLC Research has begun looking into this, and found that some public libraries are thinking about it, most academic libraries are not, and the big MOOC providers (Coursera, Udacity, EdX) are not thinking about it at all.
Much of the discussion focused on copyright, fair use and open access, and it was said early on that there needs to be more discussion in this area. Under US law, there are fair use exemptions to copyright restrictions, for the purpose of teaching and learning. [snip]
Another way of avoiding copyright issues is to use Open Access (OA) course materials. This creates potential librarian roles on two fronts. One is to identify OA materials and locate OA or public domain substitutes for restricted materials. The other is for general OA evangelism, encouraging researchers and academic authors to license their work in a way to facilitate widespread use.
Another panelist brought up the issue of user-generated content. Participants in some MOOCs create a wide variety of content, including blogs, videos, images, audio material, discussion forum posts, collaborative projects. Organizing, archiving and providing access to all this material was brought up as a potential role for librarians. [snip]
The issue of information literacy as it applies to MOOCs was largely ignored. The EdX representative said that they had two library groups: one for content accessibility and one for research skills. He had little to say about the latter. [snip]
Philadelphia — A lot of the discussion about massive open online courses has revolved around students and professors. What role can academic librarians play in the phenomenon, and what extra responsibilities do MOOCs create for them?
At a conference held here at the University of Pennsylvania last week, librarians talked about the chances and challenges that open online courses throw their way. The conference, “MOOCs and Libraries: Massive Opportunity or Overwhelming Challenge?,” was organized by OCLC, a library cooperative that runs the WorldCat online catalog and provides other services and library-related research.
Librarians who get involved in MOOCs should be prepared to deal with “lots of interesting questions for an international audience” of students, Ms. O’Brien said. MOOCs attract students with very different skill sets, languages, technological setups, and knowledge. [snip]
Ms. Bordac described some of the many jobs librarians can be called on to do in support of MOOCs. Library personnel might need to negotiate with publishers over course materials, help make fair-use decisions, track down public-domain images, provide digital production services, set up teaching spaces and equipment, ... . At Brown, Ms. Bordac said, she serves as “a connector” among many several different offices and groups, including the university counsel’s office, media services, and the university library.
Several panelists said that working on MOOCs can be a great way to heighten instructors’ awareness about open access and the licensing of course materials. [snip]
In the summer of 2012, Berkeley joined the nonprofit edX venture founded by Harvard University and MIT. Ms. Dorner said the university had a wide assortment of online-ed offerings beyond edX. That gives students a lot of options. It can also be a headache for librarians asked to provide support for many different kinds of courses. [snip]
To help figure out strategies for dealing with those challenges, librarians from all of the edX partner institutions have formed two working groups, Ms. Dorner said. One group is looking into the issue of access to content; the other is talking about the research skills that MOOCs require and how librarians can help students develop those skills.
Merrilee Proffitt, a senior program officer for OCLC, helped organize the conference. In a phone conversation afterward, she said it’s very early days for MOOCs, too early for libraries to rush to build MOOC support into their core services. [snip]
But librarians also can’t afford to sit back and let the phenomenon develop without their input. “It’s important for libraries to be engaged in the conversation and present and watching,” Ms. Proffitt said. “This is a great time for experimentation.” Source and Full Text Available At
Description: Dynamic new modalities of massive online course delivery offer new opportunities to share information literacy skills with very large and potentially global audiences. But how do we create scalable interactions that convey the strategy, judgement, and decision making skills that we want all researchers to possess? Whether designing for university students, city residents, or the participants in our online global community, delivering meaningful and actionable IL training is still more a goal than a reality.
Presenter: Tasha Bergson-Michelson
Format: Facilitated Discussion
Types of libraries: All
Additional comments: We are a set of librarians and educators who have all had different experiences building information literacy courses for large online audiences. We look forward to collaborating with others who are interested or experienced in the same.
We have a larger group of experienced practitioners who are interested in participating--representing many different library types, especially (academic, public, school, etc.).
Session Code: Poster 9 Date/Time: Friday, April 12 / 2:30 PM to 3:30 PM
Venue: Exhibit Hall
Speaker: Gene Springs , Rutgers University Libraries , New Brunswick , NJ
Leading research universities across the world are participating in Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs) in steadily increasing numbers. What implications exist for libraries in the MOOC environment? What kinds of course materials are professors listing on their syllabi? Are open source materials being promoted? This study will examine a sample of course syllabi across three major MOOC systems (Coursera, edXm, and Udacity) and report on the types of materials listed as required or recommended readings.
This group provides a central location for librarians and library workers to discuss the various ways in which MOOCs, as well as other forms of distance and online education, intersect with our working world.
Session theme: Agile management: strategies for achieving success in rapidly changing times We will explore the ways that libraries around the globe have displayed ‘agile’ approaches to respond to a range of challenges. The current challenges we intend to examine include the restructuring of education, alternative models of scholarly communication, the growth of private/for-profit institutions, the onset of new modes of delivery, knowledge management and content management, the expansion of online learning and the rise of MOOCs (massive open online courses), new spaces and new roles. We will give special focus to best practice in the Asia Pacific region.
Session time: Monday 19 August, 2013. 09.30-12.45
Who is looking after your e-journals?: Telling tales about the keepers registry & your digital shelves. Peter Burnhill, EDINA, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland UK
Implementing agile management through collaborative social computing. Margaret Tan, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore.
From search to discovery. Tamar Sadeh, Ex Libris, Jerusalem, Israel.
Agile management: strategies for success in rapidly changing times. Andrew Wells, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia.
MOOCs in the library: addressing the changing needs of students and faculty in the age of online learning. Mariellen F. Calter, Stanford University, Stanford, CA, USA.
The opportunities and challenges of MOOCs : viewpoints of Asia countries. Joyce Chen, National Taiwan Normal University, Taipei, Taiwan.
There is true potential for librarians to become proactively engaged in MOOCs but identifying candidate Open Access learning materials and textbooks for current (and future) MOOC courses,
1) For each course, identify the non-Open Access learning materials and textbooks.
2) Identify potential possible alternatives, using existing directories and search end sites, many of which have populated the _OATS: Open Access Textbooks_ LibGuide (http://instr.iastate.libguides.com/oats), or other methods.
3) Create a spreadsheet (or database) for each propriety resource and their potential alternative, with an indication as to who has adopted the alternative.
4) Inform MOOC instructors of possible alternatives.
I envision a meta-organization of subject librarians from each library professional organization as well as members of a range of professions collaborating in identifying these information alternatives.
IMHO: An opportunity for libraries to get in on the ground floor in a transformational educational phenomena !
Your Thoughts ?
BTW: I believe this initiative can also serve as the foundation of individual institutional efforts.
A Virtual Event presented by Library Journal and School Library Journal
Wednesday, October 16, 2013
Since 2010, Library Journal and School Library Journal have produced a successful full-day program tackling the challenges presented by ebooks and the digital transition’s impact on libraries, their communities, and related stakeholders. As planning begins for our October 2013 event under the theme of “Reinventing Libraries,” we’re also reinventing our approach to programming with an open call for proposals.
Do you have a vision for the future of the library and have ideas on how to connect to that future? If you’re a librarian serving children or adults in any library setting; focused on collection development or technology infrastructure; or partner with libraries in innovative ways, we invite you to submit your program proposals for our October 16, 2013 event.
Reinventing Libraries is a broad theme, and some of the areas we’re particularly interested in exploring include:
Rethinking physical space
Marketing & community engagement
Ebooks/POD (print on demand)
If you have a proposal for a session you’d like to see on the program this year, whether it’s based on one of the above topics or something else, we’d love to hear from you. And if you’re interested and able to program and moderate that session, please be sure to indicate that.
How to submit a successful proposal
We’re looking for discussions and presentations that will help our attendees get up-to-date insights on new technologies and services; understand the latest developments in the publishing industry and how they impact libraries; and/or offer practical strategies to overcome critical challenges to accomplishing their respective missions.
Provide a clear description of what attendees will learn. Whether your proposed session seeks to explain an emerging trend or teach a critical skill, you must provide a direct, concise description of what attendees will learn. We cannot emphasize this enough—be very clear in your proposal about what you will be presenting.
Focus on lessons learned, NOT the benefits of your product or service. Product pitches will be rejected. Lessons learned from building or running your product, however, can be invaluable.
Skip the jargon. The more buzzwords and industry jargon you use, the less we think you have something interesting to say.
The virtual event format has certain inherent limitations that should be kept in mind, and access to a reliable internet connection and the appropriate OS/Browser combinations are a must.
We are accepting proposals for the following formats:
45 minute panel discussions – these can be an interview-style discussion between two speakers, or a panel discussion/debate with two or more presenters and a moderator
15-minute presentations – these can be solo presentations focused on practical solutions or visionary ideas
Presenter: Kent Gerber, Digital Library Manager, Bethel University
What is a MOOC, what is it like to take one, why are they important, and what do they have to do with libraries? This session will provide answers to these questions and give attendees a closer look through the presenter’s experience as a participant in seven different courses in 2012. Participants will be better prepared to discuss and make use of the opportunities and challenges these new learning communities present to our institutions. Come learn about the different kinds of MOOCs, how they can be used to learn new skills, how they implement and share open educational materials, and other topics to engage your colleagues and campus community in conversations about their future.
1:00 p.m. – Webcast Begins
1:00-2:00 p.m. – Opening & Welcomes
2:00-3:00 p.m. – Copyright, Licensing, Open Access
3:00-3:30 p.m. – Break
3:30-4:45 p.m. – Production & Pedagogy
4:45 p.m. – Webcast Ends for the Day
Tuesday, 19 March (9:00 a.m.-12:00 p.m. EDT)
9:00 a.m. Webcast Resumes
9:00-10:00 a.m. – New Opportunities for Librarians: What Happens When You Go Behind the Lines in a MOOC?
10:00-10:15 a.m. – Break
10:15-11:15 a.m. – Who Are the Masses? A View of the Audience
11:15 a.m.-12:00 p.m. – Summary, Next Steps and Group Discussion
12:00 p.m. – Webcast Ends
These presentations will be recorded and made available online and on YouTube soon after the event.
The news today about the development of a UK Higher Education-led MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), (reported by a lot of the media this morning, including these reports from the BBC and THE), made me start to think about what were the implications for academic libraries of this new model. At the moment details of exactly what will be offered by the MOOC are obviously sketchy but you’d expect them to be short-courses, extracted from existing university courses, probably not credit-bearing, but what element of library services, if any, might be involved or impacted by this development?
I’m thinking that there are three broad elements of library services: access to physical library services; access to library-procured resources; and access to library skills training. [snip].
So where do librarians fit in? My hack-force and I are going to participate in MOOCs this fall, purely from a learner prescriptive. We probably won’t finish the courses, but that’s not our objective—the intention is to soak up the community practices, observe the process, and participate when fitting.
I see MOOCs as a way to expand and redefine what a librarian is/does. We don’t break away from the stereotype of “book people” by talking about it on panels or writing books/articles about how our profession has transformed. We change the way people think through out actions, or more specifically, our interactions.
I imagine librarians joining MOOCs and not just serving a traditional role (let me guide you to some info) but genuinely becoming a part of the course (let’s build and learn together.) This is a chance for us to present ourselves as public thinkers, public learners, public instructors, and public knowledge makers. This is an opportunity to fully participate in the total learning process—or at least a greater share of it. I want students, faculty, and others seeing librarians as partners, collaborators, experts, and fellow learners. Not just the keepers of the proxy.
MOOCs might not replace higher ed, but higher ed will definitely absorb some of the MOOC elements. Librarians who are fluent in MOOCs will only enhance our involvement with the teaching and learning experience. MOOC-style platforms seem to be the next step for learning management systems, so invest time now in understanding how they operate. Instead of reading about them, join one. We talk a lot about a commitment to lifelong learning—MOOCs are a way for us to actually back that up.
It seems that everybody is talking about massive open online courses (MOOCs). Steven J. Bell sang their praises during a doom and gloom ACRL/NEC keynote. The Ubiquitous Librarian, Brian Mathews, credited the universities who pioneer(ed) MOOCs with “inventing the future,” in a recent essay for The Chronicle Blog Network. And, the New York Times published a story last week about how the ventures of MOOC companies, like Coursera, are “part of a seismic shift in online learning that is reshaping higher education.” Readers’ reactions were mixed.
This leads me to my primary reason for enrolling. I’d like to evaluate MOOCs from my perspective as an academic librarian. When I reviewed Coursera’s online offerings, I could not find a single course that required research. Even in a class with multiple writing assignments, such as A History of the World since 1300, students aren’t asked to seek, read, or reference evidence to support their theses. To be fair, the instructor suggests a textbook for serious students: his own, in fact. [snip].
While I am fully aware of the licensing and copyright laws that prohibit MOOCs’ prestigious instructors from recommending that students exploit collections of scholarly resources, I see no reasons why these online learners can’t be urged toward authoritative websites, open access articles, works in the public domain, and the physical and digital holdings of public libraries. [snip].
In my review of Coursera and one of its top competitors, Udacity, I see no evidence of either virtual libraries, subject/course resource guides, or recommended websites. Librarians don’t teach courses, nor will they find employment opportunities at Coursera or Udacity ([snip[
But let’s for a minute imagine that they have longevity. And that things like iTunesU become more common place in education. What implications might that have for libraries, and librarians? (Might it have any?) And what about offering a MOOC looking at the area of information literacy? What about collaborating with a non-library MOOC to introduce elements of IL into “the curriculum”? As I re-read my last few questions, I’m reminding myself that these questions aren’t new to libraries or librarians, but the format, or delivery, has obviously changed.
So whether the MOOC continues to grow, or whether something new comes along, I’m sure we’ll continue to try and see how the library fits into the model. Regardless, I think ANCIL’s words ring true (for me at least): ‘While online elements offer useful reinforcement for students who need immediate help at a specific time (such as an approaching essay deadline), we believe that information literacy, as a fundamental aspect of learner development, needs to taught face to face’ (Secker, J, Coonan, E. (2011) A new curriculum for information literacy, Arcadia Project, p. 7, http://ccfil.pbworks.com/f/ANCIL_final.pdf) Source and Full Text Available At
The MITx team continues in its efforts to engage with stakeholders at MIT, edX, and other edX institutions to inform its efforts to identify the needs of MIT faculty and students for library and information services and to begin to scope the changes and effort required by the Libraries to support MITx.
Activities and Accomplishments
Met with Chancellor Eric Grimson to learn about the new Director of Digital Learning position.
Met with Lori Breslow, Director of the Teaching and Learning Laboratory, to learn about their work in assessing 6.002x. Her office is co-recipient of an NSF grant to look at last’s spring’s 6.002x experience and attempt to answer the following questions:
Who are the students who enrolled in one of the first open online courses?
How did students utilize the learning materials and resources offered by the course?
How do student characteristics and their interaction with course materials relate to learning outcomes?
How did 6.002x interact with students’ residential experience?
Met with Vijay Kumar, Director of the Office of Educational Innovation and Technology, to discuss his work to support the Chancellor’s ad hoc working group on MITx, and discussions regarding the relationship between OEIT and the new Director of Digital Learning.
Worked with edX library collaborators to finalize the first two working groups within the library collaboration:
Working Group on Content Accessibility to explore the legal and policy issues surrounding the use and accessibility of course content, and recommend best practices for addressing these issues as well as identify possible opportunities for useful support services for “x” courses.
Working Group on Research Skills to identify how libraries can work with faculty to improve the information skills of MOOC learners to support deeper learning.
Friday, March 15, 2013, 3:10 pm - 5:00 pm > 107 South Hall Speakers:
Merrilee Proffitt & Jim Michalko Bio: Merrilee Proffitt is a senior program officer in OCLC Research. She provides project management skills and expert support to institutions represented within the OCLC Research Library Partnership, with a special focus on increasing visibility of archives and special collections. Jim Michalko is the vice president of the OCLC Research Library Partnership. He was the CEO of the Research Libraries Group for nearly 16 years, until it combined with OCLC Research in 2006. Jim blogs with his colleagues at hangingtogether.org and annotates Above The Fold, a weekly e-newsletter. Source
ZSRx: The Cure for the Common Web is a free, open, online course that will provide a fun, collaborative environment for learning about tools and techniques for using the web. Participants will learn how to increase productivity, search effectiveness, evaluation skills, and awareness of issues related to privacy on the Internet. Anyone who wants to be a better searcher, user of web tools, and evaluator of online information should participate!
This free, open, online course for Wake Foresters will run for four weeks beginning March 18th.
The ZSRx website has more information about the course, and also allows you to register online. So far there are over 600 alumni, parents, and friends who will participate, and they come from all corners of the world.
We hope that our Wake Forest parents and families who have not yet registered will do so if they are interest.
What obligations do libraries have to students in MOOC courses? In academia, this can mean non-matriculated students in MOOC courses hosted by the institution, and matriculated students taking MOOC courses not hosted by their parent university.
MIT recent strategic retreat to figure out the obligation to incorporate their library content into the MIT edX courses.
The university should not have much obligation - difficult from an electronic resources perspective to consider MOOC users "authorized users"
Will student expectations of brick and mortar classes change based on MOOC experiences? i.e. length of courses, assessment (often it is peer assessment)
Does the format of the MOOC (often asynchronous) affect approach to a more structured course?
Simmons ALA Chapter thinking about setting up a Moodle site for student MOOC courses.
When does the content from the MOOC go down? Can depend based on course.
Perhaps a list of open access resources for additional reading?
The library has the only obligation to support courses students are paying for - as long as Coursera is free.
Could non-academic libraries play a role? YES!
Offer computer space and library help in a public library.
Support in the secondary school
(Although academic libraries perhaps need not be required to provide support for MOOCS)
How has experience in a MOOC changed your approach to library instruction or reference service?
Making content more visual
Some instructors learned the importance of "chunking" - breaks in instruction, smaller sessions of instruction.
This is not new! Maybe the MOOC is leading to this concept being taken more seriously?
The technology is available to do more things - more flexible things.
What emerging trends are changing library services? What does the connected world of "continuous computing" mean for 21st Century libraries? The Hyperlinked Library MOOC offered by the School of Library and Information Science at San José State University provides a roadmap toward becoming a participatory, interactive, user-centered library.
The Hyperlinked Library MOOC is a professional development opportunity designed for information professionals and those interested in the topic. The MOOC is not offered for academic credit. SJSU SLIS graduate students who participate in the MOOC will not receive credit toward their master's degrees.
The Hyperlinked Library MOOC will examine various participatory theories of library service, the impact of emerging technologies on libraries, and the growing focus on a creation/curation culture. Students will explore the definition of participatory service, some key trends that impact the model, and examine what the shift means for libraries and information work in today's digital information age.
Students will experience an interactive online learning environment via a wide range of tools and diverse materials (e.g., freely accessible readings, recorded presentations from practitioners, and online videos). Students will be encouraged to explore these resources and engage with peers and instructors, heightening their learning and taking full advantage of this professional development opportunity.
MOOC students will expand their learning by completing assignments such as:
Director's brief - an overview of the origins and usage of emerging technologies in libraries and information environments
Emerging technologies plan - a roadmap for implementing emerging technologies
Social media policy - guidelines on how to use social media
Community engagement plan - strategies and ideas for serving our members
SJSU SLIS assistant professor Michael Stephens, PhD, and lecturer Kyle Jones, MLIS, along with course assistants, will be the instructors for the Hyperlinked Library MOOC. Both instructors also teach in the fully online Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at the SJSU School of Library and Information Science.
The Hyperlinked Library MOOC is a not for credit professional development learning experience. This course emphasizes student involvement and fosters an open and welcoming environment of thoughtful dialogue. Students are encouraged to participate in online discussions, collaborate with other students on assignments, and provide commentary on each other's work.
Instructors will provide informal assessment of course assignments with students earning badges as they move through the course. MOOC students will receive a certificate upon successful completion of required components of the course.
MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, have become all the rage, with numerous institutions joining forces with both commercial and non profit partners: Udacity, Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, and others. The US-based Babson Survey Research Group recently found that although 55 percent of institutions said they were undecided about their plans for offering MOOCs, 9.4 percent said they were in the planning stages of offering one, and 2.6 percent have already taken the plunge; the same survey showed the number of students taking at least one course online has reached an all-time high of 32 percent. With several European institutions signed on as Coursera partners and the launch of the Open University-backed FutureLearn in 2012, and the University of Amsterdam announcing plans to offer their own MOOC in early 2013, MOOCs will soon spread across and throughout Europe.
This presentation will address how libraries are engaged in MOOC efforts on campus, and how libraries are rethinking services with the prospect of an “inside out” classroom. We’ll report on how libraries are supporting early MOOC implementations by engaging in discussions around copyright, licensing, and open access; how libraries are supporting course production; how librarians are becoming “embedded” in MOOC environments in order to provide evolved research services; and finally, what we know about the “massive” audiences for these online courses. Source
Over the past several months, the proliferation of MOOCs (Massive Open Online Courses) has been hailed as a potent defense against the rising cost and insular culture of attending a traditional college. The courses, which are generally taught by experts with affiliations to elite universities, are characterized by their unique pedagogy and unlimited enrollment. To date, no course has been accepted for transfer credit at a major on-campus institution; however some administrators and higher-education experts predict their gradual integration into university curriculum. This article examines the MOOC phenomenon, identifying aspects that academic librarians should consider in the coming years, including how these courses interact with scholarly resources and library services. Methods for integrating library services in these courses are evaluated, with recommendations for the best course of action.
The emergence of MOOCs represents a rising trend of removing the learning process from the physical campus, but to an exaggerated degree. This is not necessarily a negative trend; however it does have huge implications for university libraries. The reality of expanded online education in addition to library cutbacks means that librarians have to serve more for less. Additionally, distance learning, particularly MOOCs, rely on professors to select and provide access to scholarly resources by posting links, rather than consulting the library for access to relevant resources. The continued expansion of distance learning will only exacerbate this problem, which is why academic librarians at certain universities have introduced novel approaches to involving library services in online classes, such as integrating tutorials and resource guides. It is my hope that librarians will at least be aware of these challenges and be ready to provide service, or else risk being left out of a huge new development in online higher-education. Source and Full Text Available At
The Chronicle's recent article on plagiarism accusations in Coursera courses kicked off my exploration into MOOCs and the role librarians can play. A recent RUSA post on Chasing Reference points to the lack of research assignments in MOOCs and the need for embedded librarians. Even though students enrolled in a MOOC do not typically have access to the parent institution's fee-based library resources, information literacy and research skills can still be taught and are an important component in courses that ask students to explore complex issues and social problems. Simply providing students with a reading list is not going to teach them to be savvy information consumers who can effectively find authoritative information and critically evaluate sources. So, what's our first step? Librarians should join a MOOC.
This is the advice of Andy Burkhardt (Information Tyrannosaur) and Brian Mathews (The Ubiquitous Librarian). Burkhardt emphasizes the professional development opportunities for librarians to learn new skills, while Mathews describes librarian participation as an opportunity to gain platform "fluency" and redefine/expand the role of librarians in the learning process (and in the minds of students and faculty).
What is the connection between MOOCs and libraries? What’s happening now and where are the opportunities?
To answer my question, I reached out to members of the OCLC Research Library Partnership. This group comprises 20 of 32 Coursera institutions; 3 of 6 edX institutions; and 4 of 12 FutureLearn institutions. I was fortunate to have either an email exchange or (even better) a phone call with nearly everyone I contacted. This information from those in the trenches has been invaluable. In these exchanges, I asked my basic questions: what are you doing now? what do you think the next steps are?
As expected, a number of themes have emerged, along with a wide variety of attitudes (from white knuckle fear to excitement, and everything in between ). Below is a summary of what I’ve learned so far.
FutureLearn has not quite fully launched yet, but the libraries at those institutions are planning to work with one another (good news). Within edX, the librarians have also formed an informal network (more good news). Within the larger Coursera network of institutions, there is no similar alliance of librarians. Here are some some of the themes that have emerged:
On the content side, most institutions are engaging with some sort of copyright or licensing negotiations, or are ensuring that materials used in courses are cleared for use in that context (this does not necessarily add up to making materials open access). [snip
In that vein, I spoke to a few people who are cautiously optimistic about MOOC implementation being a great opportunity to have an impactful conversation about open access publications or learning objects with faculty.
Most of those I spoke with acknowledged that MOOCs could be a great opportunity for their campus to rethink teaching on campus — MOOCs provide a sandbox for experimentation, a place to test what works, what doesn’t, and an environment where findings can be driven back into the next iteration. [snip]
Along with this, there’s an opportunity for libraries to think anew about library instruction and the role that library research plays in a MOOC or “flipped” environment.
There are also opportunities for partnerships. Some libraries may use the MOOC experiment as an opportunity to work with other units on campus, and to draw attention to what the library brings to the campus “team.”. [snip]
There is no shortage of talk about new experiments and especially disruption in higher education. There are a lot of amazing startups, projects, and ideas that are gaining traction in the realm of education. Higher education, due to the high costs and new available methods of delivery will continue to change and evolve rapidly, and it’s important to be aware of those changes. Instead of waiting on the sidelines to see what happens, by enrolling in a MOOC or exploring other higher ed innovations, librarians can be an active participant and contributor to the future of higher education.
Update Your Skills
We can’t learn everything in library school and there are other things I wish I had learned there. But luckily librarianship is the ultimate extensible profession. We are good at learning and, MOOCs are one way that we can gain skills and competencies that would enhance our work. There’s a wealth of classes available that could be extremely useful in librarianship. We could understand how to make decisions based on data, learn how to code, study applying game elements to non-game problems, or even design our own class and learn from one another.
Learn From Great Teachers
The professor for my finance class, Gautam Kaul, is a professor at Michigan and has won various awards for teaching and research. More importantly he is a great teacher. He is authentic and brings passion for his subject into the class. He says things like “my role is to show you the beauty of finance,” and “learning happens when you’re happy.” He talks about finance, but also life and love and even pokes a little fun at accounting. I have learned finance concepts under his coaching, but I have learned from him as a teacher. As educators, librarians can learn a great deal in observing other teachers and how they structure classes, deliver content, and relate with their students. When taking a MOOC the learning is important, but observing the teaching can be equally rewarding.
Do Something For Yourself
It’s important to take care of yourself, develop yourself, and recharge. Similar to choosing to do yoga, enrolling in a pottery class, or taking up photography, finding a class you are interested in online is a way for you to challenge yourself and try something new. It’s not necessary to take anything even remotely related to your career. There are classes on mythology, philosophy, or even a beginner’s guide to irrational behavior (which might help in some of those faculty senate meetings). MOOCs are another way to explore yourself and your interests in a new and low investment way.
I’m a huge fan of distance learning since it is one of the main focus areas of my job and also how I obtained my graduate degree. I constantly seek out opportunities to attend webcasts, online courses, Twitter hashtag chats (#medlibs tomorrow on expert searching, anyone?), you name it – I want to experience it all, see what does and doesn’t work, and see how I can adapt my teaching style to be more effective. Speaking of, check out the free new courses from the National Library of Medicine National Training Center along these lines!
Over the weekend I read a great article from The Seattle Times entitled Why some of the best universities are giving away their courses that I highly recommend if you have remained skeptical about all the distance learning buzz as it provides a great overview of the history of distance education and the reasons why more universities are offering classes via Massive Open Online Courses, or MOOCs.
I’ll give away the surprise ending because it’s easy to miss, and more in our field need to think about this role in the future (Sally Gore already is!), bold emphasis mine:
People with hungry minds will always find a way to feed them.
“We’ve had MOOCs and open learning resources for centuries,” says Dave Cillay, executive director of WSU Online. “They’re called libraries.“
The MOOC sounds like the latest monster from a dystopian YA novel, but actually, it’s much more real than that. A MOOC is a massive, open, online course. These free, college-level online courses are becoming more popular as universities such as Harvard and Stanford join the open education movement. This is not a passing fancy. Recently, 160,000 people signed up for a MOOC on artificial intelligence!
Why should libraries care? Well, as this educational phenomenon grows, you might find yourself supporting some of these self-motivated learners at the library. Libraries are always trying to gaze into the future to understand the shifts in technology and learning that could affect services, so this is one trend you might want to keep an eye on. Learning on the web may become more the norm than in-person classes in twenty years (or less?). This also emphasizes how integral digital literacy will be for the next generations.
In addition, some of the more monetarily challenged librarians that I know might want to actually take some of these free courses for sheer edification. You know, lifelong learning and all that jazz. Incidentally, some of the first online courses to go up were out of Stanford University and focused on computer science. The basics of networking, programming languages and gaming courses are still very popular MOOC’s that could be useful to librarians or your staff.
Traditionally, MOOC’s have not offered students college credit. However, this is changing as universities get creative with ways to generate revenue. In some cases, students can now pay to take a test after completing the courses in order to get college credit. Experts predict that this will remain a very economical option as organizations such as Coursera bring universities together to share resources.
I don’t believe these massive online course offerings will never equate to legitimate education without serious modification. I noted that Cathy Davidson posed a question in her blog, asking where are the students in the MOOC equation? I ask, where are the librarians? Where are the serious research components that allow for critical thinking, higher-level educational outcomes? Do Harvard and Berkley and Penn all of the others seriously believe MOOCs replicate classroom education or even accredited online education? I can’t believe they do. I can’t believe we as educators are even considering the question. Have we forgotten what education actually entails? I can't help but wonder if MOOCs are the greatest marketing technique in higher education since naming a building after a donor. Where are the librarians??? Source and Full Text Available At
It is a truth not yet universally acknowledged that a venture based on information must be in want of a librarian. Librarians offer expertise in organizing and managing information, clarifying and supporting people’s information needs, and enhancing people’s information literacy skills. There are innumerableendeavors today in education, health, business, government, and other domains that draw heavily on information resources. One such endeavor in higher education is the recently burgeoning massive open online course (MOOC). MOOCs are online classes that welcome any and all enrollees, free of charge, amassing rosters that reach several hundred to several hundred thousand participants. Information flows into, around, and out of MOOC environments through instructor-selected and -generated materials, participant-selected and -generated materials, and instructor-participant and peer-to-peer communication. MOOCs have the potential to create unprecedented levels of access to quality higher education on a global scale, building richly diverse learning communities. Furthermore, MOOCs provide opportunities to disrupt traditional pedagogies, leveraging technology to foster creativity and collaboration while enabling research and development around best practices in online teaching and learning. There are numerous ways in which librarians can use their information expertise to enhance MOOCs and forge new roles in this evolving educational arena.
Kansas Library Association College & University Libraries Section
Proceedings > Vol 3 (2013) > pp. 9-13
What is a MOOC? What should librarians know about MOOCS? This article introduces librarians to Massive Open Online Courses by discussing the historical development, key structure and features that make them a unique teaching platform, and some of the potential opportunities for librarian participation.
Opportunities for Librarian Involvement
Academic librarians should expect to become involved in the MOOCs their institutions offer or are planning to offer. For the most part, librarians can expect to take on roles that are similar to those they have with traditional courses. Two of these roles are handling copyright issues and teaching information literacy (Mahraj, 2012).
According to an Association of Research Libraries Issue Brief, librarians are involved in MOOC-related copyright issues including the “[u]se of copyrighted works in instructional materials such as online lectures or modules (the equivalent of traditional classroom teaching); assignment of copyrighted works for outside reading (the equivalent of assigned texts and course reserves)….” (Butler, 2012, p. 3). Academic librarians are used to assisting their institutions with copyright law and may feel comfortable with their knowledge in this area. However, applying copyright law to MOOCs will most likely be a challenge. The problem is that copyright law does not address the unique structure and features of MOOCs, so permissible uses of materials in a traditional class might constitute an infringement in a MOOC. The use of copyrighted materials in a MOOC does not fall neatly within the descriptions of fair use exemptions (Butler, 2012). [snip].
The difficulty associated with copyright law provides librarians with the opportunity to encourage the use of materials in the public domain or subject to open licenses such as Creative Commons licenses. (Butler, 2012) As with fair use, librarians need to be careful. It is crucial they read license agreements even if they are “open licenses” to make sure use in a MOOC is permitted. [snip]
In addition to helping their institutions properly use resources, academic librarians should be involved in teaching and promoting information literacy skills to students taking MOOCs (Mahraj, 2012). Students in MOOCs must have strong information literacy skills as connectivism, the theory of learning utilized in MOOCs, “… [snip] (Kop & Hill, 2008 p. 2). Furthermore, connectivism “…puts the responsibility of information gathering, the validation of sources, and the learning process in the hands of the learning….” (Kop, Fourtier, & Mak, 2012, p. 75). Many students do not have the ability to handle this responsibility without assistance and instruction in information literacy. [snip]. Mahraj (2012) suggests academic librarians can teach/coach MOOC students by scanning student blog posts to find where students are having problems evaluating sources and then providing comments to the posts. Considering the huge numbers of students who enroll in a MOOC, following Mahraj‟s suggestion could take an extraordinary amount of time and effort. More efficient ways to reach students enrolled in a MOOC could be modeling appropriate citation (Mahraj, 2012), providing information literacy skills self-assessment tools, and creating online information literacy tutorials. Regardless of the teaching method chosen, MOOCs offer the opportunity to increase the information literacy skills of huge numbers of students.
This meeting will feature thoughtful and provocative presentations about how libraries are already getting involved with MOOCs, and engage attendees in discussions about strategic opportunities and challenges going forward.
MOOCs, or Massive Open Online Courses, have become all the rage, with numerous institutions joining forces with Coursera, edX, FutureLearn, and other providers. The Babson Survey Research Group recently found that although 55 percent of institutions said they were undecided about their plans for offering MOOCs, 9.4 percent said they were in the planning stages of offering one, and 2.6 percent have already taken the plunge; the same survey showed the number of students taking at least one course online has reached an all-time high of 32 percent.
Please join OCLC Research and the University of Pennsylvania Libraries for thoughtful and provocative presentations about how libraries are already getting involved with MOOCs. Whether your institution is already on board or on the fence, you’ll learn from the pioneers how library content and services can be represented in these new learning environments, and about opportunities for new discussions with partners in supporting learning on campus. Potential themes include:
Copyright, licensing, open access
As courses are being offered online to a diverse and geographically distributed audience, what are the challenges for licensing and clearing copyright for materials used in courses? Are there opportunities for advancing the conversation on open access with faculty?
Production & pedagogy
How libraries and academic support offices contribute to MOOC-related course production options—a view on how technology helps and hinders, and how pedagogy may need to shift in a new environment. What are we learning about teaching, what works, and what doesn't?
Embedded librarians: what can happen when librarians go behind the lines in a MOOC?
As we learn about new platforms and new modes of working, librarians are going into the trenches to see for themselves how MOOCs work. How do library resources and research skills fit into this new and evolving picture? What can we learn from the data we can mine from these platforms?
Who are the masses? A view of the audience
MOOCs are drawing thousands and even hundreds of thousands of attendees. What do we know about these learners? What might we discover? How might we change as a result?
The British Library has announced its intention to join the UK’s Mooc platform FutureLearn Ltd, offering participants of its online courses access to the Library’s unique digitised resources. The Library will be the first non-university research institution to join the initiative, and is among five university partners announced today during a major business and skills mission to India with the Prime Minister.
The launch of the FutureLearn Mooc (or ‘Massive open on-line course’) stems from the growth of online degree-style courses in the USA, where companies such as edX and Coursera offer around 230 Moocs to more than 3 million students. The first ever UK Mooc, FutureLearn Ltd, was launched by the Open University last December and includes partnerships with eighteen UK universities. Existing Library digital resources will be made available on FutureLearn, complementing plans for large-scale participation in online lectures and courses which are due to start later this year. The Library’s freely available digital collections include over 800 medieval manuscripts, 40,000 nineteenth-century books and 50,000 sound recordings, and continue to grow each year.
Roly Keating, Chief Executive of the British Library, said: “FutureLearn is an exciting development in higher education, with the potential to enable mass access to valuable resources and teaching anywhere in the world, for free. As the home of a growing set of unique and valuable digital resources, the British Library is looking forward to partnering with The Open University and widening access to our collections for even more researchers online worldwide as the initiative develops.”
Welcoming the new partners to Futurelearn, Open University Vice-Chancellor, Martin Bean said: “We’re in the middle of an exciting time for higher education in which anything is possible. I am delighted that these iconic institutions - the British Library and five top universities - have joined us on our journey to make Futurelearn the world’s best source of free, open, online courses. I’m convinced that Futurelearn will quickly become a great, innovative British export. We’re building on the country’s 800-year history of higher education to deliver a best in class teaching and learning experience that will benefit students all over the world”.