Libraries and the Enchancement of E

Report
Libraries and the Enhancement of
E-learning: OCLC Task Force
Pat Albanese
CIO and Executive Director of Library
Mount Holyoke College
April 1 2005
Background on the E-learning
Task Force

Composition
Diverse geographically, functionally and
institutionally.

Charge
To explore issues of interaction of the academic
library and e-learning and what role OCLC has
to play in this arena.

Timeframe
Spring to Fall 2003.
What is E-learning?

Technology enriched classes and learning
environments.
From e-reserves to fully online collections.
From syllabus posting to online communities.
Both distance learning and hybrid courses.
A promise of enriched teaching and learning
experiences.

An environment and set of services that crosses
traditional institutional lines.
Key Component:Learning Objects

What are learning objects?
Small teaching packages that can be shared and
recombined to form new teaching packages.
Various forms:
e.g., Powerpoint presentations, Word documents,
hyperlinks, digital images, audio and video clips,
simulations and combinations of forms.

Reusable digital content often stored in
repositories
Learning Objects, cont.
Some Examples of Learning Objects:
A QTVR Interface for Ancient Greek Archaeological Sites
http://www.stoa.org/metis/index.html
Annotated poems by John Milton
http://www.dartmouth.edu/~milton/
Flash animations illustrating astronomical distances
http://www.valdosta.edu/~cbarnbau/astro_demos/frameset_distance.html
Audio files of speeches by US Presidents
http://www.lib.msu.edu/vincent/presidents/index.htm
A murder mystery that allows students to select their French proficiency
level before attempting to solve the crime
http://www.polarfle.com/
Learning Objects, cont.

Composites of:
Object itself
Context that the object is used within
Metadata must recognize this composite nature

Reusing and sharing learning objects requires
metadata and careful management.

Similar nature and issues as with other library
content, but dynamic and more complex.
Digital Repositories

Collections of learning objects and other
digital information

Multiple formats

Experiencing huge growth

Lack of common standards

Often self contained searching

Single or multiple content areas
Course Management Systems (CMS)

Course Management Systems
Also known as Virtual Learning Environments (VLE)
and Learning Management Systems (LMS)

Software applications that manage a course’s
electronic elements.
Aggregation point for E-learning elements
Course Management Systems, cont.

Electronic elements might include: learning objects,
course content, online discussions, e-reserves,
hyperlinks, etc.

CMS vendors include Blackboard, WebCT, eCollege,
and others.

Open source and homegrown CMS:
Sakai Project - (four university partners include MIT
the University of Michigan, Indiana University and Stanford)
Moodle- a favorite among small liberal arts colleges
Segue- Middlebury
Course Management Systems, cont.
Growth in Use of CMS in College Courses
2000-2003
Percent of Courses Using CMS
50%
Source: Campus
Computing Project
Survey
40%
33.6%
30%
26.5%
20.6%
20%
14.7%
10%
0%
2000
2001
2002
2003
Course Management Systems, cont.
Rising student enrollment in CMS at
Mount Holyoke College, 2000-04.
Students Enrolled
1,800
1,600
1,400
1,200
1,000
800
600
400
200
0
Fall 00
Fall 01
Fall 02
Fall 03
Fall 04
Why is E-learning Important?
High use and growth on campuses and in courses
More than 70% of colleges engage in some
form of distance learning
More than 80% of colleges offer hybrid courses
Significant (and growing) campus investments
Control spending increases – need to leverage
resources and opportunity
Why is E-learning Important?, cont.
Core service enhancement with improved learning
outcomes
A new pedagogy
Intersection of technology with content, teaching and
learning
Changes in how students and faculty access, create
and use information
Student expectations
Window into the teaching/learning activity of campus
Why is E-learning Important?, cont.
Potential of convergence of services and
resources
Easy and convenient access to services at the point
of use
Shift to a student-centric learning environment
Parallel Developments:
Internet resources
E-content (books, journals, images, audio etc)
Metadata activity (ie Dublin Core)
Web services
Digitization Projects
Some Issues
Institutional and multi-institutional repositories
Significant growth in number and type
Bridge the silos
Discovery across repositories
Some Issues,
cont.
Ownership, management and support of
learning objects and repositories
Cross organizational project and can
create institutional tensions
Ownership of materials versus
aggregation for wide access and use
Multiple approaches to collaboration
Some Issues,
cont.
 Cultural barriers
Crosses traditional boundaries
Seamlessness is essential, yet different systems
Service convergence but organizational barriers
Lack of common language/values
 Perspective shift to integration/interoperability
of e-learning management systems and library
content
Some Issues,
cont.
Interoperability requires the creation of new
standards
Search for and development of specifications and
standards for E-learning communities
Creation of international standards for managing and
sharing learning objects and embedding access to
information resources in course management systems
National and regional efforts at standards creation (e.g.,
Ariadne, EDUCAUSE, SCORM, METS)
International effort: IMS Global Learning Consortium
How Does It Fit Together?
Requires multiple skill base
Metadata
Technical skills
Instructional design
New pedagogy
Information integration
Crosses traditional boundaries
Faculty, students, library, administrators, IT department,
instructional designer
No common view of e-learning infrastructure and
associated issues
How Does It Fit Together?,
cont.
Questions of ownership and management of learning
objects and other information repositories
Service and/or organizational convergence
Close alliances with faculty/learners
Some steps to integration may include:
Embed library resources in course management systems
Customize portal facilities for storing personal preferences
Provide bibliographic tools that permit easy searching and
reference completions
Some Common Ground: Needs/Skills

E-learning - Needs






Shared repositories
Connect educators and
learning objects
Metadata development
Quality control/version
control
Repository selection
Intellectual property

Libraries - Skills







Federated searching
Locate material
Connections with users
Metadata creation
Standards
Collection development
Copyright/IP education
Findings of the Task Force White Paper
E-learning broadens avenues for teaching and learning
Course management systems (CMS) allow faculty
instructional designer and IT staff to work together
CMS as technological glue joining these groups
Hence the rise of enterprise wide CMS deployments
Findings of the White Paper, cont.
 On campus: A genuine need for cooperation to
leverage resources, create seamless environment
Cultural barriers and political elements
Lack of cooperation between groups within institutions
Among campuses: A need for collaboration
An overwhelming need for standards
Vision for Libraries and E-Learning

What would it change if:
Teachers and learners had a common way to
search for learning objects and other information
resources?
Teachers and learners had help in identifying
existing learning objects?
There was quality control on learning objects?
Vision for Libraries and E-Learning, cont.

What would it change if :
Learners had a common place where their
research elements could be accessed, managed
and organized?
Learners had a common place and set of tools
that helped with managing citations, bib and
webliographies and other writing tools?
Vision for Libraries and E-Learning, cont.

What would it change if :
We had interoperable metadata standards?
Content and other library services were
seamlessly available to E-learning
environments?
The best way to predict the future
is to invent it.
Alan Kay

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