Rapid Prototyping in the Wild

This April, while I was celebrating my birthday in Sonoma, my instruction colleagues and supervisor attended the CARL Conference. My supervisor also attended the pre-conference, “Let’s Build Something! A Rapid Prototyping Instructional Design Workshop,” which was presented by UC colleagues Dani Brecher Cook (UC Riverside) and Doug Worsham (UCLA). Adapted from Stanford’s d.school’s Design Thinking Bootcamp Bootleg and Brown and Macanufo’s (2010) Gamestorming, the series of worksheets they have created  have been extremely helpful planning tools for designing learning objects. The worksheets include:

  • Empathy Map
  • Learning Journey Map
  • 4 Paths Prototype
  • I like, I Wish, What If?

Find the entire toolkit at: https://ucla.app.box.com/v/build-something-toolkit

I hope others find these worksheets as helpful as I’ve found them to be. We’ve been using the materials to help us plan and design learning objects for our newest general education course at UC Merced, the Spark Seminar, which begins this fall. What’s truly exciting about SPRK 001 is its focus on research as inquiry, which affords us the opportunity to engage with the Research as Inquiry frame of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education head-on. It’s not that we don’t teach this, but this course spells it out for us a bit more readily. The idea is that instructors will be able to launch the learning objects we’re working on independently via Canvas, giving us the time to teach about how to approach the research process and how to begin developing research questions in person. The learning objects we’re making aren’t full-fledged modules, but they will assignments with embedded activities.

I’m very excited about this project. Some of the instructors teaching SPRK 001 are also those that we haven’t necessarily worked with before, so it gives us another opportunity to show what we can do to a new set of folks. I also think this could have a greater impact on the university since other faculty will also be able to use these activities.

The objects I’m working on focus on databases–what they are, why students should use them, and how to select a relevant one (we have 700+). I’ll be building these in Canvas next week.

LibGuides CMS Webinar

I  haven’t been posting since I started my new job on June 1. I have been busy and thoroughly enjoying every moment. It’s Saturday, and I’m actually at the library now. Most of our new student orientations are during the week, but there are a few on Saturdays. After some morning presentations, I got the opportunity to welcome and speak with students and their families ¡en español! at the information fair. I really enjoyed it, and I think I helped people feel welcome. I have a couple more presentations this afternoon.

Coming in early today gave me a chance to watch a recording of a LibGuides CMS webinar that my manager sent me. She and the library’s technology manager attended the webinar on June 19th. I came from an institution where it took several years just to get a link to the library on Blackboard, so the features introduced by Springshare’s courseware integration tool are a bit amazing. Here is the rundown of the webinar.

Instead of being compatible with specific course management systems (CMSs), it is Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) compliant, so as long as your campus’ CMS is also LTI compliant, the LibGuides CMS will work with it.

With LibGuides CMS, not only can you display a LibGuide directly in your campus’ CMS (when you click on the link in the CMS, it opens directly in it), you can also add other things, such as a chat window, your library’s hours through LibCal, a list of the specific subject librarians, LibAnswers, and an A-Z list of subject-specific databases.

The webinar instructor did a great job explaining and showing step-by-step how you, at the CMS course shell level, can add a subject LibGuide to a slew of subject-specific courses though the automagic tool. You can also do this with class-specific guides. Changing between a subject and class-specific guide and vice versa is very easy. You can also add a single guide to a single course though manual mode. If you are wondering about usage statistics, those are also readily available.

The webinar also covered an upcoming update to the A-Z list in LibGuides. The A-Z list will be on its own page in both LibGuides and LibGuides CMS. There is also a place for internal notes and a way to mark certain databases as popular or be able to hide, say, a trial database. There is also going to be a keyword feature to increase discoverability. Only LibGuides CMS will have access to community analysis, which will allow you to see how many people in the system have a certain database, etc.