Student Mardi Veiluva Develops Instructional Skills as Peer Mentor and Virtual Conference Moderator

Community Profile

Student Mardi Veiluva relied on the web-conferencing skills she gained as an San José State University School of Information Peer Mentor as she moderated multiple presentations during the Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference.

Veiluva used her knowledge of web-conferencing software as she helped Library 2.011 speakers and attendees navigate through the virtual conference presentations. As a “super-volunteer” she simultaneously managed multiple sessions during the three-day, twenty-four-hour global event.

“I really wanted to participate in the conference and to build up my instruction and technical skills,” explained Veiluva, who volunteered for a 10-hour shift from 5:00 p.m. – 3:00 a.m. Pacific to give conference organizers a break from overseeing the back-to-back sessions. She provided technical support and trouble-shooting tips, and was able to participate in different presentations from all over the world.

Veiluva was recruited to be a virtual moderator because of the expertise she gained as an Elluminate/Blackboard Collaborate Peer Mentor in spring 2011. She received training in the software’s advanced features and was embedded in three distance education classes to teach students how to load virtual PowerPoint presentations, use whiteboard tools, and communicate using voice and text chat.

Volunteering at Library 2.011 helped Veiluva to develop her instructional and technical skills, and she also had the chance to learn about different approaches for providing library instruction.

“At about 1 o’clock in the morning I was moderating a session by Judith Way, a high school librarian who was a beta tester for the interactive Pottermore game,” Veiluva said. “I started thinking about game-based learning in libraries, and I shared my ideas with iSchool Lecturer and Collaborate trainer Debbie Faires. She prompted me to research the types of games that are appropriate learning tools for library instruction.”

Veiluva shared her findings in a joint presentation with Faires at King Library in November 2011. “I think learning-oriented gaming is a really good way to reach students,” she said. “There are some very creative and compelling games available, so students have fun while they’re learning and become more motivated and able to retain information.”

Veiluva is passionate about making libraries and learning accessible to all students, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds. After a dedicated twenty-five-year career as a paralegal, she is fulfilling her life-long goal to become a librarian and help people use library services to improve their lives.

Veiluva enrolled at the iSchool in fall 2008 and is following the Information Intermediation and Instruction career pathway. She currently works at the Academy of Art University Library in San Francisco and plans to graduate in May 2012.

The SJSU School of Information is a founding partner of the Library 2.011 Worldwide Virtual Conference, held in November 2011. The school is also partnering on the Library 2.012 Conference on October 3-5, 2012.