Thursday, October 18, 2007

Darn tootin'!

I don't do this very often, but I think it's time to toot my own horn! I presented today at the Northwest Innovative Users Group Conference, held as usual at the lovely University of Portland campus in Portland, Oregon.

I presented our process and findings of the web usability testing we did last fall, focusing on the issues surrounding the OPAC interface (since this was an Innovative conference and all!) My presentation (Usability Testing the OPAC: A Case Study from OHSU (PDF)) also is available off of my staff web site. If anyone is interested in the full write-up from our study, please contact me (zeigenl-at-ohsu-dot-edu) and I'll be happy to provide usability information ad nauseum! Just what you wanted, right?

I was somewhat nervous and probably spoke a bit too fast, but people seemed to be interested (and also laughed at what I hoped were funny comments - yay!), so I think they were engaged. It's been way too long since I was up in front of an audience and it's good to be back.

OHSU Library launches "Library 2.0"

This summer as a staff Tech Talk meeting (which we have once a month to just show up and chat about whatever new technology things we have found that we think are cool), several people raised the issue of not being able to keep up with learning new technologies.

Great discussion ensued and out of it we collectively decided to follow what many other libraries have done, which is to help guide our people through Web 2.0 technologies (for library purposes and otherwise) in the "15 minutes a day" concept: in other words, although none of us usually has a 3-4 hour chunk in any given day to dedicate to learning new stuff, we can take a little bit of time each day for this effort. That way at the end of a few months we will have learned a bunch of stuff.

We are using open source CMS Sakai (recently instituted by OHSU as its CMS) for this class as a way to test it out and familiarize ourselves with it, since we will have students using the system. We just launched the class, so we have yet to see how it will all pan out, but so far the discussion on the discussion forums have been very active and people seem to still be enthuasiastic about it, which is great.

Particular sites that we used to inform us about how to go about this were:

The grand experiment in putting our heads together for a collective learning experience continues!

TLTR rises again!

Friday, September 21, OHSU re-instituted one of what I have always thought was one of the coolest groups on campus: the TLTR, or Teaching, Learning and Technology Roundtable. These roundtables are encouraged by EDUCAUSE and other like organizations focused on technology in learning environments, particularly in higher education.

The many questions and resources covered at this meeting include the following. I would like to the OHSU TLTR site, but it will likely be overwritten for future meetings.

Tom Boudrot, Instructional Technology Manager, led a discussion on web conferencing and touched on the following issues:

  • What does web conferencing look like?
  • What hardware and software is required to conduct a successful web lecture or meeting?
  • What software can be used to enhance the design and production of online events and training?
  • What are some best practices in designing, producing and facilitating online courses, meetings and events?
  • What are the current web conferencing pilots at OHSU?
  • How do I get involved with web conferencing?

Select resources mentioned in the session:

Of course, it was a bonus that I won as a door prize a copy of The Synchronous Trainer's Survival Guide by Jennifer Hofmann. I still haven't had time to look at it yet (between helping launch our library's first attempt at providing an online Library 2.0 class to library staff and various conferences), but I'm looking forward to reading it.