International collaboration is always a refreshing and even enlightening experience to me. I have worked with two librarians from Tsinghua University Library in China on a couple of projects and absolutely enjoyed it. I have known them for more than 10 years so we have a very efficient and pleasant relationship. Last year when I was at IFLA, I met a librarian from Ghana and we had good conversations about library research. This spring we worked on a project together to evaluate the reference services at University of Education, Winneba (UEW) in Ghana. We decided to approach the evaluation from the user perspective, and identified the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) based on the RUSA Guidelines for Behavioral Performance. A user survey was conducted to measure the KPIs and to examine how users use and perceive library reference services.
Early in September the world learned of a new human-like species based on the discovery of partial skeletons in a burial chamber deep in a cave system in South Africa. The researcher who made this discovery, Lee Berger, is on the faculty of the University of the Witwatersrand (Wits). While that discovery is exciting, it has even more relevance for the two sections of INFO 204 that I’m teaching this term because the students are engaged in a project with the Wits University Deputy Librarian, Mr. Paiki Muswazi.
One of my main research interests focuses on information perspectives of digital volunteering in humanitarian aid. My work with colleagues Dr. Nina Laurie, Chair in Development, Newcastle University, UK and Dr. Matt Baillie-Smith, Professor of Development, Northumbria University, UK concerns international medical volunteering. Cross-disciplinary collaboration (medical, geography, sociology and information science) is urgently needed to better understand global health volunteering. My expertise in crisis information management helped my colleagues (mentioned above) to identify a gap in their work and, as a result, we have discussed ways in which we can take forward a joint agenda on information/knowledge sharing and digital volunteering in international development settings.
Our analysis of the data culled from the #hyperlibMOOC experience continues. As part of the dissemination, I was very happy to co-author an exploration of large scale learning environments with our research assistant and SJSU SoI graduate Margaret Campbell, Teacher Librarian, Twin ridges Elementary School District, Nevada County, San Jose, California, in the Spring/Summer 2015 issue of the Queen’s University Education Letter.
As part of the Library 2.015 Conference the SJSU iSchool sponsored the first annual Spring Summit, the Emerging Future: Technology and Learning, on April 30. During the half-day event three expert panels along with more than 400 participants explored the rapid advances in technology and learning models.
Thomas Schween approached me about being his LIBR 298 supervisor during spring semester. I heartily agreed since his topic was of great interest to me. I wanted to post something to the CIRI blog because I want my colleagues and other SJSU/School of Information students to see the value and benefits in working with a student on a 298 Special Studies.
After being an online instructor for nearly 13 years with a wealth of anecdotal “evidence” to suggest strategies for engaging students in active learning, I was part of an investigative team that conducted a comparative research study using the Community of Inquiry (COI) survey. The results of the study provided data to suggest that teaching presence–one of the elements in the COI–has a positive effect on learning outcomes and student satisfaction in online courses.
A couple of months ago I gave a talk at SJSU Gateway PhD students’ virtual residency about how to set the research agenda. To prepare for that talk, I looked back in the past 11 years and thought about how I have been planning, conducting and disseminating my research since I was a doctoral student. I was able to summarize a few useful (hopefully) tips from my experience and share them with our PhD students. I’m posting them here too.
The movement of administrative systems towards cloud-based solutions is swift and institutions are struggling to understand, train, staff and support appropriately. Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems are found throughout government and commercial enterprises and, in higher education, take shape as the financial, human resources and student systems that help administer the business of the university. For example, the ERP on a college campus is the software used in Admissions, Financial Aid, Student Records, Student Accounts as well as the self-service functionality which students use to view grades, apply/accept financial aid, review account balance, run degree progress reports, request official transcripts, and so forth.
I had the pleasure of attending the recent ALISE conference to participate on a juried panel called “From Research to Practice: Transforming LIS Professionals into Self‐Confident Leaders.” The panel co-presenters were Maria Otero-Boisvert and Mary-Jo Romaniuk, both from the San José Gateway PhD program, with iSchool Professors Emiriti, Ken Haycock, and Bill Fisher providing introductions and moderation.