I am honored to have an article co-authored with Kyle Jones in the new issue of Journal of Education for Library and Information Science.
Stephens, M. & Jones, K. M. L. (2014). “MOOCs as LIS Professional Development Platforms: Evaluating and Refining SJSU’s First Not-for-Credit MOOC.” Journal of Education for Library and Information Science, 55,(4).
Beyond for-credit offerings, some library and information science (LIS) schools are exploring MOOCs as a means to promote lifelong learning and professional development. Using web surveys and descriptive content analysis methods, this paper empirically addresses if, in LIS programs, MOOCs can fill a role and serve new populations of learners within large-scale learning environments. To do so, the authors use a MOOC they designed, built, and instructed as a test bed. Findings reveal that students did use the MOOC for professional development, that they expanded their knowledge and applied concept models learned in the course, and benefited from diverse viewpoints provided by the global community of learners. In addition to other findings, the research reveals that the authors’ MOOC model was successful and there is significant opportunity for LIS programs to serve the profession through large-scale professional development learning environments like MOOCs.
Together, we’d like to thank everyone who expressed interest in a second iteration of the #hyperlibMOOC. We believe our MOOC filled an interesting gap in the MOOC phenomenon by providing community-centered, large-scale learning specifically for library and information science professionals. Our reflections, both scholarly and personal, show that this experience was formative for ourselves as scholars and as a teachers. But more importantly, we recognize that the #hyperlibMOOC provided a new, engaging way for our students to continue their professional development and lifelong learning.
At this time, we will be unable to offer another iteration of the #hyperlibMOOC. This is due in part to logistics and professional requirements on our part. But rest assured, it is our intention to revive the MOOC here shortly. In fact, we have applied for a Knight Foundation grant to offer and expand the #hyperlibMOOC to reach more professionals and teach more topics related to the hyperlinked library.
My new column is up at Library Journal, all about our research concerning The Hyperlinked Library MOOC. Also, I’m very happy to announce we’ll be teaching a revised and updated version of the #hyperlibMOOC in Spring 2015.
Kyle and I wrote a paper for the proceedings of the 16th Distance Library Services Conference this month in Denver based on this post-MOOC survey question: “Reflecting on your MOOC experience, what roles do you think librarians might play within MOOCs?” The identified roles include:
Guide Rarely in the library, working on the go, from home or third place, or amid the MOOC community served, the librarian gives learners what they want and need, with an arsenal of technological tools.
Access Provider Building, curating, and sharing resources to help learners wherever they may be, without the confines and barriers we’re accustomed to. This librarian works with authors, scholars, and other content providers to make resources available as openly as possible. Contracts may include “MOOC clauses” for open access.
Creator Librarians create large-scale, small-scale, or “just right” formalized courses for their constituents across a wide spectrum of topics and varying degrees of focus.
Instructor New platforms and methods of offering learning can extend how librarians instruct those they serve. These new environments will encourage librarians to capture and curate more knowledge and package it for anywhere, anytime learning.
As travel and conference budgets continue to shrink, I hope there will be more opportunities for open, sweeping, global learning such as #hyperlibMOOC. Going forward, an LIS professional might continue to use such platforms to keep current with emerging ideas and issues in librarianship as well as specific subjects of interest. The library advocacy MOOC taught by Wendy Newman at the faculty of information, University of Toronto, currently running, also focuses on a timely and important area of librarianship. I look forward to a rich set of communities offering lifelong learning for LIS professionals. As for #hyperlibMOOC, we’ll be updating and refining the model and offering it again in spring 2015. I hope you’ll join us.
Emerging Roles: Key Insights from Librarians in a Massive Open Online Course
Michael Stephens, Ph.D. & Kyle M. L. Jones, MLIS
San Jose State University School of Library & Information Science
From the cutting edge of innovations in online education comes the MOOC (Massive Open Online Course), a potentially disruptive and transformational mechanism for large-scale learning. What’s the role of librarians in a MOOC? What can librarians learn from participating in a large-scale professional development opportunity delivered in an open environment to illuminate their own practice? This paper explores the experiences and perceptions of librarians/information professionals participating in an LIS-centered MOOC taught by the authors. We will share insights gained from active participants in the course as they encounter this emerging landscape.
In September 2013, the San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS) launched its first massive open online course (MOOC), the Hyperlinked Library MOOC (#hyperlibMOOC). The Hyperlinked Library course centers on key theories and concepts that merge trends in participatory culture with library and information environments. At its core, the Hyperlinked Library encourages transparent, participatory, and user-centered information services that employ emerging technologies to increase open, collaborative information experiences.
#hyperlibMOOC was adapted from an existing online graduate course of the same name created by SJSU SLIS Assistant Professor Michael Stephens, an author of this paper. The course had been previously only offered to SJSU students enrolled in the Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program. The #hyperlibMOOC was not for credit and was intended to serve as a professional development opportunity for librarians, library staff, and professionals who work in libraries, archives, and other types of information environments.
“During the MOOC, Gonzalez met information professionals from all over the globe. There was a large contingent from Australia and New Zealand, as well as participants from countries in Europe and Asia. This gave her a sense of connectedness with other information professionals, who brought diverse perspectives on the issues explored during the MOOC.
“That was a tangible, positive experience for me,” she said. “It was also an opportunity to serve others and help them meet their goals, which is important to me. Overall, it was a great experience.
By serving as a MOOC guide, Gonzalez also gained knowledge that will help her pursue her future career goals. “Having been part of the MOOC behind the scenes for its duration, I walked away with a strong sense of how to present content for learners so it’s useful and usable,” Gonzalez said. “I also got a sense of how to improve experiences for course site users, specifically how to tailor information to their needs. I definitely connected that with my ongoing interest in user experience and my long-term professional goals, as well as with several courses I’ve already taken at SLIS.”
New Landscapes: Exploring MOOCs as LIS and Professional Development Spaces with Kyle Jones, Joanne de Groot, Jennifer Branch. ALISE Conference, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
As a professional development opportunity for a global audience, the Hyperlinked Library MOOC was designed to offer an online space for learning and community-building. Panelists reflect on the MOOC, reporting on participants’ sense of community, the technical and instructional design of the MOOC, and present reflections of its students.
Below are the videos recorded by panelists Joanne de Groot, PhD, Adjunct Assistant Professor, University of Alberta , Department of Elementary Education and Jennifer Branch, PhD, Associate Professor, University of Alberta, Department of Elementary Education and School of Library and Information Studies, as part of our panel presentation at ALISE 2014. Their insights about feelings of community within the MOOC resonate deeply with me.