Tuesday, 16 July 2013

New Librarianship MOOC

So after enthusing about the Ancient Greeks MOOC that I completed earlier in the year I've signed up for another one. This one is called the New Librarianship Master Class and is run by the School of Information Studies, Syracuse University, New York.

We're at the end of week 1 and my feelings are mixed. The platform, CourseSites by Blackboard, is not as smooth as Coursera, especially for iPad access. The discussion boards, an integral part of the course, are incredibly slow to load or refresh. I have only contributed a couple of comments, partly because I am in awe of the articulate and well thought out comments from other people on the course, and partly because of technical issues: the iPad flips back to the top of the page when I start typing, meaning I can't see the box I'm typing into!

There is a great level of interaction from the course leader (R. David Lankes) on the discussion boards, both initiating conversations and joining in with threads started by other participants. I also like following the conversations on Twitter using the hashtag #newlib.

The sheer volume of videos to accompany each module is slightly daunting. I did nearly cry when I realised how many videos there were to watch in week 1, which happened to be a very busy week for me. The course leader is enthusiastic and passionate but the Importance of Worldview and Mission of Librarians videos did not inspire me.

I'm glad I persevered though because subsequent videos, focussing on aspects of the mission statement rather than the statement itself, are very interesting, blending theory with practical examples.

I will say more about the content of the course as it progresses. I'm not totally sure what my thoughts are on it at the moment; I am very easily swayed by the arguments of others on the discussion boards. So I read a well phrased comment by X and find myself nodding in agreement, but then I read a counter view by Y and that one also makes total sense. It only happens when I don't have a solid knowledge base (on familiar subjects I can comment at length in a reasoned, rational way using reliable and valid evidence to back up my views - right  Graham??), so my aim by the end of the course is to...Have Formed My Own Opinion! If we relate that back to the course, so far I am the community rather than the librarian...

In other news, my work on identifying true archaeologists has been published, and I have made a cake:






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