I am presenting at the Illinois Library Association conference in October with Beth Mandrell from Rend Lake College in Illinois. I am filling in for a colleague from another city college, and I am considering taking my part of the presentation on a totally new path. Earlier this year I presented with Sharon Silverman at the Information Literacy Summit in Illinois, and discussed using Edmodo as a way to stay connected with students beyond the one-shot library instruction session. It is a way for the librarian to determine if the student actually learned anything after their presentation. Asking a student if they understand is not a good indicator. You have to give them an opportunity to apply what you taught them to determine if they really learned.
So, I spoke to Beth, my co-presenter at the Illinois Library Association conference, last Tuesday and so many ideas went off in my mind. Our presentation is focused on getting students to relate to the library resources we review during our instruction sessions. I use stories and examples, but I said to myself why not a hyperlinked community where students can stay in touch with me throughout the semester. I considered doing this in Blackboard, but it is very stagnate. The way WordPress has been used to create a hyperlinked community for our class is inspiring! I never honestly thought about it. It would be a way for us to keep track of several students’ progress throughout the semester. Students would also be able to ask questions and post comments.
Sometimes I meet 2-4 times a semester with one class and I get to see how students progress. Usually, I have no idea if students successfully completed research assignments unless a student or faculty member contacts me, visits me, or sends me an email. The library is considered a support service at my community college although I am a faculty member, and it is difficult to convince other faculty members and administration the value of the library to a student’s success. A hyperlinked community would be an excellent way to keep track of students from the beginning of their academic careers until they graduate.