Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2011 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 3,100 times in 2011. If it were a cable car, it would take about 52 trips to carry that many people.
JorumOpen has now launched – (see the press release at: http://www.rsc-northwest.ac.uk/news/142-learning-resources/1501-the-next-phase-of-jorum-sharing-using-jorumopen-and-jorumuk). This has been in the planning for a long time. Basically what it now means is that any resources that are contributed to JorumOpen are freely available to anyone on the web under a creative commons licence. This now makes one service of Jorum open to ACL, WBL and beyond!
http://open.jorum.ac.uk/xmlui/ gives a good indication of what is currently available in the catalogue. It should grow very quickly from here. The “traditional” Jorum still exists as JorumUK and in order to access the resources within here users need to be part of an FE College or Higher Education Institution and have either an Athens or Shibboleth account.
Unfortunately contribution is still restricted to UK FE Colleges and HEIs, but this is definately a step in the right direction.
In 2007/8 the RSCs were given funding for an Information Officers post whose role, for half of their time, is to seek and assist with authoring FE case studies for inclusion on the QIA Excellence Gateway. This work has resulted in a wealth of information being made available. Some of the library related case studies are below.
Loughborough College and West Nottinghamshire College: The search for single sign-on to electronic resources
Published: 2 April 2009
Following the withdrawal of JISC funding for ATHENS, the access and identity management system in July 2008, many FE colleges have been investigating alternative ways of accessing online resources. In this case study Loughborough College and West Nottinghamshire College have both successfully implemented Federated Access Management using Shibboleth technology to enable students to access various electronic resources by merely signing into their respective College networks.
Tresham Institute: Integrating two library collections
Published: 27 October 2008
Tresham Institute is a further and higher education college with campuses in Corby, Kettering and Wellingborough in Northamptonshire, and The Rutland College in Oakham, with nearly 3,000 full-time and 13,000 part-time students. The College is in the process of a major redevelopment project, the first stage of which is a brand new £20 million campus in Kettering that opened to students in September 2007 and combines the provision that was previously offered at two sites in the town.
Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College: Library system opens up new horizons
Published: 13 May 2009
Queen Elizabeth Sixth Form College uses its new library system in an innovative way, which has benefited the College tremendously. From managing the library’s catalogue to assigning student locker keys, the new system has had a huge impact on the management of resources and improvement of student access to information.
Weymouth’s Learning Gateway improves behaviour
Published: 23 July 2008
Weymouth College set-up a “Learning Gateway” as part of a move towards creating a “learning” rather than a teaching environment. It involved setting up 180 workstations through which learners could access Moodle, both in timetabled sessions and on an open-access basis. The project has been so successful that, three years on, the College is looking at ways of developing it and putting it at the heart of a new build scheme.
Stafford College: LRC uses self-assessment toolkit
Published: 16 March 2009
Stafford College undertook a free self-assessment of its learning resource centre using a toolkit developed by the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (Colric) and the FE and HE group of Cilip (CoFHE). The tool provided a way of evaluating quality of service and served as a useful benchmarking exercise.
Harrogate College: RFID in the library
Published: 13 March 2009
RFID (radio frequency identification) systems are typically used in higher education libraries. This case study is an example of how RFID can work in a further education environment. RFID has many organisational advantages over using only a library management system, which can free staff time for a more personal library service.
Priestley College: How do you successfully develop your new learning space? Ask your students, of course!
Published: 13 March 2009
When Priestley College began to plan the redevelopment of its learning resource centre, it continued the culture of student involvement that exists within the College by asking students to help plan and create the new development. This case study describes how the JISC infoKit on ‘Planning and Designing Technology-Rich Learning Spaces’ was used as the starting point for ideas and planning, and how the finished development was the recognisable result of students’ ideas and plans.
Blackpool and The Fylde College: Rethinking spaces, rethinking staffing – new staff structure and roles for a technology-rich learning resource centre
Published: 13 November 2008
This case study focuses on how the staffing structure and roles have been redefined to meet the needs and challenges of ‘The Loop’, a new technology-rich library and learning resource centre at Blackpool and The Fylde College.
Northampton College: Embedding information skills into the curriculum
Published: 26 January 2009
Northampton College has offered structured Information Skills programme in selected courses of study that have seen the skill levels rise of those learners. For example, one review concluded that grades had risen by 5% on a module that relied solely on assessment by essay.
Peterborough Regional College: Making information retrieval sessions “wicked”
Published: 29 June 2009
‘Library+’ staff at Peterborough Regional College have developed an innovative approach to help students get to grips with using the Dewey Decimal system. Inspired by staff development training using interactive whiteboards, they have designed an activity-based interactive pairs game which is fun, engaging and effective in helping students search for course-relevant resources in the library.
Lambeth College: Subject Finder – supporting student research online
Published: 11 March 2009
Subject Finder was an original idea of Teum Teklehaimanot, a member of Lambeth’s Learning Resources team, when he was himself a student and considering options for a web design course project. The subsequent development of Subject Finder as an education-based web directory and search engine has also been driven by his personal interest and commitment to providing a student-friendly Internet search tool. It is now becoming an embedded tool within the College’s virtual learning environment to support Lambeth’s students across a variety of disciplines.
Henley College Coventry: IT Project Area focuses on learners’ needs
Published: 6 July 2009
The IT Project Area (ITPA) is part of a converged learning resources centre (LRC) service offering study support and audio and visual services. The ITPA reflects the learners’ needs and is very curriculum-focused with services, including one-to-one IT support sessions and a comprehensive LRC induction programme.
Yesterday some of the RSC NW team went to see the team based at the University of Manchester who make up the Janet Access Grid Support Centre (AGSC). I must admit that I went along not knowing an awful lot about it, but had a suspicion that a number of years ago I attended a meeting that was held in “The Grid” (sounds ominous). Following the meeting I was absolutely amazed by the potential for the technology.
The Access Grid (AG); according to the AGSC website (http://www.agsc.ja.net) is:
“… in simple terms is an advanced videoconferencing application that uses audio and video tools allowing people in different locations worldwide to meet in a virtual venue (virtual meeting room). In these virtual venues participants can see and speak to each other in realtime, use online chat and share applications simultaneously.”
There’s very little needed to get started in the AG and it can be quite cheap. Don’t get me wrong, I think that the AG would definitely be overkill for an awful lot of what could easily be done in a Web Conferencing tool such as Dimdim or Adobe Connect, but for a collaborative meeting I suspect you couldn’t get a better service – especially with the free 9-5 support provided by the AGSC team.
I’ve just had a look at free software that was shown to us yesterday called Evo http://evo.caltech.edu/evoGate/. It’s easy to install, free, and; just using a microphone and web cam; I easily went into one of the virtual venues on the grid. Didn’t cost me a bean :) There’s a beginners guide to setting it up on the AGSC website http://www.ja.net/services/video/agsc/services/evo.html There are other software packages available to get onto the Grid, but I thought I’d start here. The other free one is the Access Grid Toolkit.
I could really get into this for meetings and it’s a way of being green. It’s a real shame though at present that all attendees need to install software before accessing the grid so at present it restricts how we can use it. We always try wherever possible to use technology that doesn’t require installs to ensure that any restrictions to installing software do not impede anyone taking part.
If you would like to join me in the grid to see how it works, then drop me a line. I think the potential for meetings with this technology is huge and I would like to keep testing it for while to see what we can do. Maybe, at some point, we should try piloting it for a meeting with one of the library circles? What do others think?
OK, so it took two years but I’m going to ressurect my blog. We’ve had a think and redesign of the RSC Northwest website and decided that staff blogs are the way to go – hence the resurrection! Over the next few weeks I will be populating the blog with items from the website and will then start new posts. I hope you find my blog useful.