Student Lan Miao Provides Assistance to SJSU Health Science Students During Virtual Internship

During the Spring 2012 semester, student Lan Miao completed a virtual internship as an embedded librarian through the SJSU King Library. Her involvement with virtual instruction and the creation and enhancement of digital learning objects supported student learning in several classes in the Health Sciences Department.

With the knowledge she obtained during LIBR 250-Instructional Design, Miao worked to create digital learning objects that met the needs of Health Science students at SJSU. She and her site supervisor developed LibGuides that provide valuable information for students, including detailed video tutorials on how to accomplish various search tasks. Miao was able to assist both undergraduate and graduate students with her step-by-step instructions on how to search within sources such as Rand California and Google.

In addition to developing digital learning objects, Miao had the opportunity to interact with several classes through live streaming. While her site supervisor met in person with students on campus, Miao provided instruction and assistance via Collaborate web-conferencing.

“I was able to introduce the LibGuide to students and go over it with them,” she said of one of the sessions. Through web conferencing, Miao was able to share slides with the students while also streaming audio and video of herself. “The students could see me and I could see them. It was a really good experience, although a bit surreal,” she stated. She imagines that as technology advances, opportunities such as these could be enhanced, pointing out that the inclusion of 3-D technology would make for an even more embedded experience.

Having recently relocated to Texas, Miao found that a virtual internship was an ideal option for gaining professional experience. She used the SLIS Internship Database to search for an internship immediately after her move. In addition, the virtual internship setting was convenient and familiar to Miao after her experience as a student in the School’s fully online MLIS program.

After beginning her studies in Fall 2009, Miao took a mixture of classes in both web technology and information organization. She hopes this combination of classes will help her land a job related to library software and technology, and her King Library internship definitely has her leaning toward a career in an academic library. Miao plans to graduate in Spring 2012.