Archives for category: Higher Education

lyd2017

The second annual Love Your Data Week (LYD) is scheduled for February 13 – 17.

LYD week is conducted via social media and is coordinated by research data specialists, mostly working in academic and research libraries or data archives or centers. LYD aims to raise awareness about topics related to research data management, sharing, preservation, reuse, and library-based research data services. Practical tips, resources, and stories to help researchers at any stage in their career use good data practices will be shared.

You can add your institution to the list and see other 2017 participants here. You can find detailed information about each day’s activities/resources here.

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It comes as no surprise to the average college student that free textbook usage is increasing and will more than likely continue to increase at a speedy clip given the high cost of today’s textbooks.

According to a Rice University news release, more than 1.5 million college students have used a free textbook from OpenStax, the university-based publisher. “The number of students using OpenStax textbooks has more than doubled since January, and OpenStax estimates it will save students $70 million in the 2016-17 academic year…More than 811,000 students are using [OpenStax] books this fall, which is a 106 percent increase over spring 2016, and the books are being used in over 4,500 courses at 2,688 universities, colleges and high schools.”0927_osx-numbers-infocomp-lg-1dp4quz

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Photo by Adam Przewoski, via Unsplash

Mindshift’s Ki Sung reports on an interesting partnership between librarians at the Chicago Public Library (CPL) and Peer 2 Peer University (P2PU), which is an online education nonprofit organization. The article starts out with the statistic that about five percent of those enrolled in massive online courses (MOOCs) actually complete the course. Perhaps if online students had access to more support from others also taking the course, there will be greater success with completion rates.

Enter an innovative partnership that offers a Learning Circles program which, with the help of a facilitator, brings together people taking an online course for six to eight weeks. “Learning Circles add a social element to what is otherwise a solitary learning experience.”

As stated in the article, libraries are a perfect fit for Learning Circles because:

  • they already serve the local community
  • they are equipped with meeting spaces
  • many have computer stations
  • librarians know how to help people find answers

In the partnership, librarians, in their facilitator roles, promote discussion and help learners use research tools.

How can something so great not produce positive outcomes? These were mentioned (directly quoted) in the article:

  • CPL’s outreach efforts helped a new population of learners take advantage of MOOCs — 90 percent of those who attended a Learning Circle heard about it through the library and 65 percent of those had never taken an online course before
  • Retention rates were around 45 – 55 percent… [and] students were more compelled to take online courses on their own after the guided experience and continued to do work outside of the learning circles
  • Learning Circles also helped librarians interact with patrons in new ways. They found themselves forming friendships and building community through repeated interactions
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Image Credit: Ibagli, OSU Graduation, via Public Domain

In 2013 the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) launched a three-year program, Assessment in Action: Academic Libraries and Student Success (AiA) designed to help postsecondary institutions “investigate the library’s impact on student learning and academic success.” The project findings are important because they reinforce the “growing body of evidence that demonstrates positive contributions of academic libraries to student learning and success.” According to the findings report these contributions are in four key areas. They are listed below (directly quoted from the Executive Summary):

  1. Students benefit from library instruction in their initial coursework. Information literacy instruction provided to students during their initial coursework helps them acquire a common set of competencies for their undergraduate studies. The assessment findings from numerous AiA projects that focused on information literacy initiatives for freshmen and new students underscore that students receiving this instruction perform better in their courses than students who do not.
  1. Library use increases student success. Several AiA studies point to increased academic success when students use the library. The analysis of multiple data points (e.g., circulation, library instruction session attendance, online databases access, study room use, interlibrary loan) shows that students who use the library in some way achieve higher levels of academic success (e.g., GPA, course grades, retention) than students who did not use the library.
  1. Collaborative academic programs and services involving the library enhance student learning. Academic library partnerships with other campus units, such as the writing center, academic enrichment, and speech lab, yield positive benefits for students (e.g., higher grades, academic confidence, retention).
  1. Information literacy instruction strengthens general education outcomes. Several AiA projects document that libraries improve their institution’s general education outcomes and demonstrate that information literacy contributes to inquiry-based and problem-solving learning, including critical thinking, ethical reasoning, global understanding, and civic engagement.

 

Academic libraries do indeed contribute to student success and the research and critical thinking skills developed in college will also contribute greatly to success in the work environment.

16_Skills_FutureofWorkImage Source: Tanmay Vora, QAspire Blog, August 31, 2015

I ran across a great article through a post shared on LinkedIn (thank you John Semanik). Entitled, Skills For Future Success in a Disruptive World of Work, author Tanmay Vora starts out with the story of his father retiring as a Library Science professional right before libraries were completely transformed by digital disruption. Questioning what skills will be required in a future world of work that will continuously be disrupted by technology and innovation, Mr. Vora lists the “skills young people should be learning to be prepared for a career in 2020,” which are from a 2012 Elon and Pew study, and included in Janna Q. Anderson’s article: The Future of Work? The Robot Takeover Is Already Here.

My favorites:

  • The ability to concentrate, to focus deeply.
  • The ability to search effectively for information and to be able to discern the quality. and veracity of the information one finds and then communicate these findings well.
  • Synthesizing skills (being able to bring together details from many sources).

Mr. Vora, added a few of his own; which are depicted in his graphic shown above:

  • The ability to learn constantly in a self-directed mode.
  • Social Intelligence and ability to connect with people beyond geographical barriers virtually in a deep/meaningful way and collaborate.
  • Adaptive mindset to evolve the thinking and learning to keep pace with the pace of changes around us.
  • Interdisciplinary thinking
  • Critical thinking

 

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Image Credit: Painted/brushed heart symbol – abstract love, by photosteve101, via Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC by 2.0) license

February 8-13, 2016, is Love Your Data (LYD) week. According to the LYD week blog, the event, coordinated by research data specialists, mostly working in academic and research libraries, “is designed to raise awareness about research data management, sharing, and preservation along with the support and resources available at your college or university.” Each day of the week will focus on a different theme. The themes are:

Monday, Feb. 8 – Keep Your Data Safe

Tuesday, Feb. 9 – It’s the 21st Century – Do You Know Where Your data Is? (organizing data)

Wednesday, Feb. 10 – Help Your Future Self – Write It Down! (document, document, document)

Thursday, Feb. 11 – Respect Your Data – Give and Get Credit

Friday, Feb. 12 – Think Big – Transforming, Extending, Reusing Data

Being a social media campaign, the event will take place mainly online. Click here for logistics details. On the homepage, there is a list of participating institutions. Here is a sampling of participants:

Columbia University
Cornell University
Emory University
Florida State University
Indiana University Purdue University – Indianapolis (IUPUI)
Penn State University
Purdue University
University of Arizona
University of California
University of California – San Diego

Even though this event is designed for students to help them get their “data organized, secure, and ready for write-up, sharing and reuse,” it is an excellent learning resource for business professionals to use as well.

Lolly Daskal, President and CEO, Lead From Within, lists “30 of the best sites for professional and personal development. Learn as an individual or connect your team.” This is a great list!

Here are her top five, directly quoted. Click here to read the entire list on Inc.com.

1. TED Talks 
TED’s tagline is “ideas worth spreading.” TED Talks is a video collection in the form of short, powerful speeches on every subject imaginable (18 minutes or less).

2. Brain Pickings
Brain Pickings has interesting posts drawn from art, science, design, history, and philosophy.

3. 99U
99U’s actionable insights on productivity, organization, and leadership help creative people push ideas forward.

4. Lynda
Lynda has thousands of video tutorials covering technical, creative, and business skills, all taught by industry experts.

5. University of the People 
University of the People is a nonprofit, tuition-free online university based in California and committed to educational access and inclusion.