As education technology has evolved over the last decade, many of the software systems were developed without input from the users. As educators become more involved in the development of their online classes—and because the current environment demands better library integration—the quality will improve. Also, by investing in digital asset management and/or academic collection development, educators can manage digital collections, publications and offer students exactly what they need.
With a dramatic increase in online classes, educators must decide which library solutions work best for their students. They need to find ways to use existing software resources to enrich learning. Library software should be at the center of the data management strategy required.
As part of online learning, faculty members can work with academic services to prepare a series of indexed Libguides and/or web page/content management systems. Allowing time for both prep time and orientation for faculty will help the process run more smoothly.
Silos proliferate in the modern learning environment. As the data sets grow larger and uncategorized, it is difficult to access material and build on research. Colleges and Universities need to build and maintain integrated systems. While a College or University may technically have all the data it needs, it could be “lost” to students if it is stored by faculty and not the library.
Setting up the Online Library
Here are questions to consider:
- Does the school, college or university have existing policies for using online resources?
- Have the faculty thought through how online learning tools (library resources, libguides, DAM’s, etc.) can best be used for their course work?
- What are the curriculum objectives and how will online learning support the objectives?
- What subject areas are best suited to online learning?
- What areas will require creative solutions?
- Are there any products or subscription services that can be purchased?
- Will research skills activities be integrated into class time, or will information literacy be a separate activity?
- What kinds of library resources will be required? Is there funding for these resources? How are they managed?
- Are there students who would benefit more from building their own research links? How would they be able to add to the class knowledge base?
- What means of evaluation will be used to determine whether the online library resources support the classroom? Has it been useful or successful? How will this data be shared with leadership?