ONL 171

The librarian in the room

As the only non-lecturer/researcher in my group, I’ve got a slightly different perspective. My main objective for joining this series was to look at how as the library can support online learning as the new organisation I joined has mostly (70-80%) online/distance learners. However, as time has gone on, I’m finding myself reflecting as a learner and identifying my interaction between my current studies and what research and other universities are looking into. I believe the reason for this is I’ve realised my role where I am, I am unable to do much or encourage change in this area – no matter how much I talk to people and there are others that feel the same.

Information transfer
While I’ve been studying online for the last 3 and a half years, I’ve found myself engaged in my studies when I’ve actually liked the topic, and could see the relevance in my own work. A couple of my subjects that stood out with this were in relation to organisation culture and digital environment. However, most of the information given to me has been a website or an article to read and reflect on, most of the time the reflection is “find something else to support this claim” – not very reflective. For me, the idea with the online realm should open up opportunities to be able to create and engage differently with the information, but still being able to receive and reflect with the information.

Online/Distance vs. relevant teaching options/assessment
In the PBL group that I’m part of, an interesting factor came about for blended learning: it’s not about online resources vs. physical resources. As someone who is constantly going “why?” in the world, it came a little bit as a shock that I was so focused on the materials themselves rather than what the students are getting out of it. In my current course for my Masters, this has been a good demonstration. The lecturer has given us a bunch of different tools to give us knowledge on how to make a website and the various considerations you have to remember whilst making a website. Then there was an exam with 22 multiple choice and three short essay answers: one for understanding a concept, one evaluating a website design and the other…. I honestly can’t remember.  For our last piece of assessment is using all these elements to create a small five page website. All these elements give justification to how all the learning activities and the assessments go together to give a holistic approach into what I can use in my professional and personal life.

Garrison, R. & Kanuka, H. (2004). Blended learning: uncovering its transformative potential in higher education. The Internet and Higher Education
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4 thoughts on “The librarian in the room”

  1. Hello Lara! Yes, just like me. At the moment I’m not a lecturer. But in my role I have an assignment to develop the methods for e-learing – together with our teachers. I’m also in a little team with the librarian Lara (She is also a educated teacher.) In addition to the library she also to help students with special needs when it comes to reading and writing. She is also an expert in source critisism. In my mind its also about learningdesign. To make learning activities that engage the students. Further how to interact with the information together with the other participants. Because I’m also quite new at work, Lara and I just started to find the path to collaborate towards the same goal. /Charlotte

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  2. In my current role, i am not a lecturer, but an academic developer in which one of my goals is to support teachers in integrating, or blending technology in their courses so as to stimulate personalized and higher order learning in students. And i am wondering if there would be ways for you to collaborate with your academic developers at the centre for teaching & learning to explore how you can support your students.

    Recently i had the opportunity to have a discussion with a group of librarians and we were also discussing on what scaffolds that libraries can provide to our students, and how librarians can also work closely with faculty to integrate library services (eg., information literacy integrated into some of the courses). we should talk further on this. an interesting topic to explore

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  3. Hi Laura
    Taking on this course while also studying and working has been a huge commitment, and I think that although you may feel as though you cannot influence change at your workplace, just being a librarian who values ongoing learning and who is critical and reflective can only lead to positive outcomes.

    I too have been in roles where I felt unable to enact change, and it can be frustrating! What I have drawn from my time as a librarian and now as a full time student is the power of social media and online presence to create a voice for myself; even if I cannot influence one particular group, I can contribute to sharing knowledge with the wider world. Having an outlet such as a blog or Twitter account to connect with like minded learners who will challenge and extend your thinking is an important way to keep the passion for learning alive even when it seems as though nothing is changing within your immediate context.
    All the best :). I hope we will meet up again at a Uni or Library event :).

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