Student Margaret Jean Campbell bubbles with enthusiasm when talking about how she helped develop the first massive open online course, or MOOC, at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science.
The Hyperlinked Library MOOC (#hyperlibMOOC on Twitter), which started on September 3, 2013, is taught by assistant professor Michael Stephens and lecturer Kyle Jones. It parallels much of the content in Stephens’ LIBR 287: Hyperlinked Library course, offered to students enrolled in the school’s Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. Intended for professional development, the MOOC is offered free to the public. MOOC students can earn a certificate of completion at the end of the course, but no college credit.
Campbell took Stephens’ Hyperlinked Library course in spring 2013, and quickly decided to apply for a student assistant position, helping develop the MOOC.
“What I experienced was a rush of connectivity and interaction in learning,” said Campbell, describing her involvement developing the MOOC. “And that connection was facilitated by technology.”
Campbell’s role as a member of the MOOC development team involved finding and adding course content, organizing the course website, and communicating with MOOC students.
What attracted Campbell to the project was the fact that it’s based on research and evidence of success with similar MOOCs, while offering the opportunity to extend this research by creating a new professional development opportunity that’s facilitated by technology. She feels that the information school’s MOOC design is highly sophisticated in terms of its interconnectivity and social engagement.
The MOOC development team, which includes nine other student assistants, worked all summer. They received applications from 1,346 people from around the world who were interested in the MOOC, although because this first endeavor is a pilot project, there was only space for the first 400 applicants.
Campbell is currently completing the last of her requirements for her teacher librarian certification, and next semester plans to complete an internship and e-Portfolio to receive her Master's Degree in Library and Information Science in May 2014. In the last few years, Campbell has earned an undergraduate degree in social science research; an MS in education media design and technology; and an MA in teaching.
The Grass Valley, Calif., resident chose the SJSU information school because of its location physically and philosophically in the midst of cutting-edge, forward-looking technological innovators.
“I love information and I love publications, so to me the idea of library science was not the past library science; it was future library science,” Campbell said. “And SJSU is sitting smack dab in the middle of people who definitely aren’t stuck in the past. They’re sitting in the middle of an environment that won’t let them think about the past.”
“Once you get past your requirements, what you have to choose from is of such quality and challenge, it’s almost like you pick thoroughbreds. It’s not like you have to ever compromise. The influential thing for me is I’ve never had to compromise. Everything has been a thoroughbred, everything has been way more than I expected. It’s hard to choose to graduate, because there are three or four more classes that I would love to be able to take.”
“Don’t do anything that can’t be shared. If you’re doing something, do it in a format where it can be shared with fellow students or even the public. Put them in a Google Doc or spreadsheet rather than in a discussion group. Publish it! Use the technology, and don’t think ‘This stuff just belongs to me.’ Someone in the world could use this information besides me.”