Student Kimberly Price hopes to work as an instructional librarian, and she’s gaining valuable experience that will help her achieve that goal by training SLIS faculty on the new Desire2Learn (D2L) online learning platform.
Price is one of several graduate student assistants who are providing one-on-one training and support as SLIS faculty transition from teaching in the ANGEL learning management system to D2L. All SLIS classes will be conducted in D2L beginning with the Summer 2011 semester.
“One of the best parts of my role as student assistant is developing closer relationships with faculty members,” Price said. “It’s also been absolutely great learning the back-end components of setting up a course and looking at the various ways that you can share content.”
Price conducts one-on-one Elluminate web conferencing training sessions for faculty on both the basic and advanced features of D2L, including setting up discussion forums, grading assignments, and embedding customized widgets in the course homepage. She also provides support via email and creates screenshots and screencasts to help answer specific questions.
The virtual team of student assistants completed their training in Spring 2011 using a D2L example site, where they studied D2L documentation, worked through the tutorials created by SLIS Instructional Media Developer Dale David, and practiced specific tasks. Price is currently assisting ten SLIS instructors as they design their Fall 2011 courses.
“What I didn’t realize when I enrolled at SLIS was how much I would really like being an online student, and how interested I am in different learning platforms,” said Price, who began the program in Spring 2009. “When I saw the posting for the student assistant position, I knew that the opportunity to get a behind-the-scenes tour of D2L from an instructor’s perspective was just too interesting to pass up.”
Price is focusing on academic and instructional librarianship as she works toward a December 2011 graduation date. During the Spring 2011 semester she was a Library Instruction Intern at the Graduate Theological Union (GTU) in Berkeley, California, where she conducted in-person workshops and created online tutorials using Adobe Captivate.
After graduating with a BA in English from Brigham Young University in 2003, Price went to work in a law firm to help support her husband while he earned a master’s degree and PhD. She knew she wanted to earn her own graduate degree in library and information science, but couldn’t manage an on-campus program along with her full-time job.
In 2007, her husband’s studies took them to Germany, where Price spent a year volunteering at the library of a nearby international school. She gained experience in circulation and cataloging and reignited her interest in an MLIS degree.
When Price returned to the U.S. she found that SLIS had transitioned to a fully online format, which allowed her to start her studies and work at the same time. She’ll also be able to complete her degree even though she’s moving back to Germany this summer. “I’m beyond grateful that not only can I take my studies with me, but that I can continue working as a student assistant,” Price said.
Price will continue to conduct training sessions from Germany and help faculty explore the potential uses of D2L.