Category Archives: SJSU SLIS

SJSU SLIS CIRI: New Post – MOOC Meets Learning 2.0

I have a new post up at the Center for Information Research and Innovation (CIRI)  blog at the San Jose State University School of Library and Information Science:

Although educators and scholars are debating the advantages and downsides of MOOCs, with many asserting that MOOCs have the potential to provide new insight regarding online learning, research regarding MOOCs is in its infancy.  A recent study by The Chronicle of Higher Education found that 79% of MOOC instructors believe MOOCs are “worth the hype” (Kolowich, 2013). John Daniel’s 2012 paper Making Sense of MOOCs: Musings in a Maze of Myth, Paradox and Possibility explores emerging issues that educators should consider and scholars should research: technology platforms, for-profit versus nonprofit models, effective pedagogy, and student success within large learning environments. A scan of recent research includes assessing the experiences of students and professors in MOOC environments, and evaluating various MOOC platforms and their impact on student learning. Clearly, evaluating MOOC environments is an area ripe for exploration.

The parallels between the MOOC movement and 23 Things/ Learning 2.0 programs, my research area for the past few years, are intriguing. Might we argue that Learning 2.0 (L2.0) programs, offered in hundreds if not thousands of organizations, are precursors to the evolving, open and large scale learning landscape we’re experiencing now?

Read the whole post at CIRI!

Developing My Personal Learning Network: Processes, Decisions and Outcomes – A TTW Guest Post by Elaine Hall

Personal Learning Network – Presentation

“Developing”, as it pertains to my title of this blog, is defined as the ongoing development, utilization, and management of my personal learning network. It is not something that “is done” and then complete, it is something that will, with careful nurturing and management, follow me throughout the rest my learning life.

The journey began years ago without realization when I signed up for Facebook, popped on (and then quickly off) Twitter, set up a LinkedIn account, and checked out various apps via my mobile phone.  It wasn’t until taking Transformative Learning and Technology Literacy course with Dr. Michael Stephens that the potential of a Personal Learning Network (PLN) came to life!

My favorite explanation of a Personal Learning Network is by Anya Kamenetz who writes on her blog post titled 8 Ways to Build Your Personal Learning Network with Twitter, Google Plus, and More  that “no one learns alone”. The leads to the various discussions about transformative learning we have had in our course this semester – where learning is a transformative process from where we begin in our learning, to how where we end, and most importantly – the resources, tools, and people that helped us through that transformation. David Hopkins (2013) highlights this well in his own blog post when he said “I know my work and perception of my role has been transformed since I joined Twitter and other networks, and it has been because I wanted it to.” That’s the beauty of the PLN – we create it purposely so our learning can be transformed, so we can continuously expand and explore our understanding, and then share that understanding continuously with others.

In the attached “My Personal Learning Network” presentation, I present my PLN as it stands right now. As will always be the case, the network is not yet complete. For example, I have not yet explored or compared bookmarking sites, yet they are on my list of things to check out.  I need to revisit other LIS type social sites such as Goodreads and LibraryThing, both which I have explored before, to see if they should be added as well. And there are so many others. What news feeds will help support my PLN? What list serves should I explore?  What professional associations should I engage with online? What potential employers should I follow?  The process will be ongoing.


For those of you who do not have the time to view my presentation, I offer an outline below of my PLN development process.

My PLN Mission Statement: 

My PLN will…

  • be transparent and open for others to view, to participate, and to learn from
  • foster lifelong learning for myself and others
  • permit both creativity and curiosity
  • be used to share ideas, to play, to have fun, and to continuously explore.

Goals of My PLN: 

  • Commit to lifelong learning
  • Constantly add to my skillset
  • Develop professional identity
  • Curate information
  • Find a mentor – be a mentor
  • Foster balance between professional and personal life

Scope of MY PLN:

The scope of my PLN is to focus on issues and trends relating to academic librarianship and will include a strong focus on the following areas:

  • Academic Libraries
  • Information Literacy
  • Information Technology
  • Research Methodology
  • Reference Services
  • Online Learning
  • Assessment
  • Learning Environments
  • Social/Hyperlinked Media


  • Connect
  • Contribute
  • Converse
  • Request

My Primary Networks: 

  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Netvibes

My PLN Tools: 

  • Google Docs
  • Slideshare
  • Mindmeister
  • Google Scholar
  • Flickr
  • Tumblr
  • YouTube

Maintaining My PLN: 

  • Contribute at least one blog post per week
  • Participate in at least 3 discussions per week
  • Connect/follow those I meet in discussions
  • Tweet and re-tweet daily
  • Connect by sharing personal interests as well as professional interests
  • Re-evaluate dashboards and collections at each life milestone
  • Review blogs every six months – weed out inactive ones
  • Network at live events, receptions, conferences
  • Introduce others within my network and ask to be introduced

Advice to Others 


  • Building a PLN doesn’t happen quickly
  • It takes time to make connections
  • It takes time to build relationships
  • It takes participation to determine the value of a community
  • It takes perseverance when you receive no comments or replies
  • It requires patience to build your social presence


“Don’t try to game the system, worry too much about your online “brand,” or in any way cajole people into following you or responding to you. The more you reveal your humanity the more people will trust you, identify with you, and respond to your reflections and appeals. More importantly, the more you seek out the humanity in others, the more they will want to connect with you – and share with you.”    Wagner, 2012

PLN Success! 

The following items are examples of outcomes as a result of developing my personal learning network. These results happened naturally as I explored the potential of my PLN: what I wanted it to do, how I wanted to use it, how it could build my personal and professional networks, and how to not only participate in but also build community. It is evident by the immediacy of the results, that my PLN has only begun its potential as an essential tool to lifelong learning.

ACTION: Used Pinterest to do a search on PLN’s. Received numerous resources, suggestions, presentations, mindmap, etc. to reflect upon for my own PLN development.

RESULT: This led to developing my own Pinterest PLN board which has since been followed by others

ACTION: Inquired about favorite tools and resources from graduate students in a MLIS program via Facebook SLIS Students group

RESULT: over 13 responses with over unique 20 suggestions. Not only resulted as a tremendous resource for my project, but also resulted in shared file for future students to access the recommendations. 

Resources supporting both this blog post and the “My Personal Learning Network” presentation: 

Hopkins, S. (2013). Developing your own Personal Learning Network (PLN) #edtech. Technology Enhanced Learning Blog. Retrieved from:

Inquisitive Learning:

Howlett, A. (2011). Connecting to the LIS online community: A new information professional developing a personal learning network. ALIA 5th New Librarians Symposium 2011: Metamorphosis: What will you become today. Perth, Australia.

Kamenetz, Anya (2011). 8 Ways to build your personal learning network with Twitter, Google Plus, and more. Fast Company. Retrieved at:

Rajagopal, Kamakshi, Joosten-ten Brinke, Desirée, Van Bruggen, Jan, And Sloep, Peter. “Understanding personal learning networks: Their structure, content and the networking skills needed to optimally use them” First Monday [Online],  17(1). Retrieved from:

Wagner, D. (2013). Personal Education Networks for Educators. Getting Smart. Retrieved from:


elaineElaine Hall is a MLIS student at San Jose State University studying and working in the field of Library and Information Science with special focus on research, academic libraries, and information technology.

#transtech Learning 2.0 Programs this Semester

In my Library Journal column “Office Hours,” I explored the concept of learning everywhere.  Here’s a snip:

This semester, I’m teaching a new class based on Mezirow’s concepts of transformative learning, the work of Char Booth in the arena of user instruction, and the Learning 2.0 model…. We’re working with consultant Polly-Alida Farrington, who teamed up three groups of my students with two libraries and a school library consortium in New York State. Over the course of our 15-week semester, each group is adapting, designing, and running a “mini-23 Things” for its assigned organization.

It’s been a fun, chaotic, and messy experience. In our weekly group chats online, the mantra has become “Learn by doing….” Real-world messiness offers a level of experience unmatched by classroom activities. This high-tech/high-touch experience sets the students on course for getting jobs and taking on future projects.

Well, the learning continues with the third semester I’ve taught #transtech. We’ve partnered with some great libraries this spring. The students share a link and a blurb about their programs below:

East Greenbush Community Library

This site is for the staff of East Greenbush Community Library in Albany, NY. The library came to us with a specific list of emerging technology tools that they were interested in learning about. From this we have developed an 8 week curriculum. As an added bonus, East Greenbush will be offering continuing education credits to participating staff members. We have 23 participants.
Washington University Library in St. Louis

The Learning Hub 2.0 site was created for librarians at Washington University in St. Louis in the spring 2013. These librarians submitted a list of requested emergent technologies that they were interested in exploring.  Our student group then created 7 learning modules including: Web Marketing, Data Gathering, Online Instruction, eBook Management, Online Chat, Online Collections, and Data Visualization. The participant librarians at WUSL have been exploring these emergent tools and exploring how they can be useful in their institution.

Huntington Beach Public Library

Family Literacy Program

The “Links to Literacy” Learning 2.0 program is designed for use by library staff, tutors, and the diverse community at the Huntington Beach Public Library. We have created 7 modules targeted for this diverse community – many whom have limited education, limited access to computers, speak English as a second language, and need to develop computer skills such as setting up emails, using a search engine, finding and applying for jobs online, and connecting socially. The program has been utilized by patrons with the assistance of tutors who also teach English as a second language. Most fascinating, in addition to learning about the 7 modules, these patrons are opting to perform (ie set up email and corresponding in English) these modules in English extending their overall educational experience.


All of the learning modules will be archived at our Learning 2.0 module site by the end of the term:

News: The Hyperlinked Library MOOC Fall 2013 Announced

hyperlibMOOCNote from Michael: I am very excited about this project! We’ll be offering a professional development opportunity for FREE to a global audience AND I’ll be co-teaching with Kyle Jones! Thanks to SJSU SLIS for the incredible support and encouragement for this endeavor!

In an effort to share insight regarding some of the latest trends in the information profession with individuals from across the globe, the San José State University School of Library and Information Science (SJSU SLIS) will be offering a massive open online course (MOOC) in the fall.

The open online course will bring individuals from diverse backgrounds and geographic regions together in an interactive online learning environment. SJSU SLIS award-winning instructors will spearhead this professional development opportunity. The MOOC is available to the public for free, and anyone can register. MOOC students will not receive college credit.

The information school’s first open online course, the Hyperlinked Library MOOC, will begin September 3, 2013, and it explores how libraries are using emerging technologies to serve their communities.

The MOOC parallels content offered in a Hyperlinked Library Seminar taught by assistant professor Dr. Michael Stephens in the fully online Master of Library and Information Science(MLIS) program and fully online Post-Master’s Certificate program at the San José State University School of Library and Information Science. Stephens and SJSU SLIS lecturer Kyle Jones, along with course assistants, will be the instructors for the Hyperlinked Library MOOC.

Stephens has spoken about emerging technologies, innovation, and libraries to audiences in more than 27 states and eight countries, including a research tour of Australia and presentations for the U.S. embassies in Germany and Turkey. He has authored numerous articles, and he currently writes the monthly column “Office Hours” in Library Journal magazine, exploring issues, ideas and emerging trends in library and information science education.

Jones is a doctoral student at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and teaches on topics related to digital tools, trends, and controversies. He is the author of several publications, including a book chapter in “The LIS Professional Commons and the Online Networked Practitioner” with Stephens.

The term “Hyperlinked Library” describes how our connected world is transforming 21stCentury libraries into participatory, playful, and user-centered spaces while upholding traditional values. It encompasses both physical and virtual space, as well as many types of libraries.

For example, during the 2009 Australian School Library Association conference in Perth, Stephens presented the Hyperlinked Library model to teacher librarians. “School librarians could use the model to extend support for learning beyond the walls of the school library and engage with students, teachers and administrators in an open, transparent manner wherever the learning takes place,” wrote Stephens in his Hyperlinked Library TTW whitepaper.

He further explained, “Hyperlinked library services are born from careful trend-spotting, an application of the foundational tenets of librarianship and an informed understanding of emerging technologies? societal and cultural impact.”

More information about the Hyperlinked Library:

MOOC students will have the opportunity to explore the Hyperlinked Library model through recorded presentations and other content, as well as practical assignments that encourage students to apply what they are learning. For example, students will expand their learning by developing an emerging technologies plan and social media policy. Badges will be awarded as students move through the course, culminating with a certificate of completion.

Stephens developed and created the Hyperlinked Library course over the last few years, drawing on experiences working with libraries located across North America and internationally, including Germany, Australia, Turkey, Switzerland, the Netherlands, and the United Kingdom. He will pull in global experts and resources as part of the Hyperlinked Library MOOC learning experience.

Individuals interested in registering for the Hyperlinked Library MOOC are encouraged to immediately sign up for the course. An interest list is currently being formed, and the first 400 individuals to sign up will have priority registration.

More on the #hyperlibMOOC from Kyle Jones

Please don’t miss:

A snippet:

There are a number of reasons this project excites me, and I think it should excite you as a potential student:

  1. The Hyperlinked Library model takes a humanist approach to user services and their intersection with ICTs: this is not a technology course, but it is a critical examination of the dual shaping of LIS professionals and technologies as they work in tandem to serve library users;
  2. Both Michael and I believe in a constructionist approach to learning: this is not a consumption course where the lecture is a vade mecum to hold onto closely.  A lecture is only a piece of the learning experience that, in our mind, serves as a foundation for exploration, critical examination, and–most importantly–as the base on which other artifacts are created.  As such, the course will be designed in order for students to learn from each other and develop useful products that can inform their daily practices;
  3. The learning management system is a walled garden which restricts the participatory aims of our teaching and denies students the opportunity to share their work and experiences with the world.  Using WordPress and a combination of plugins, we’ve been teaching our courses using a blog-based social course system that we’ve developed over a number of years.  This system has proven its efficacy time and time again, and reviews from students in their own posts and our course reviews indicate that learning online in an organic social environment has distinct advantages over structured, both in power and in content, learning management systems.  We’re excited to create a brand new iteration of our system and to scale it for hundreds of users.

On this last point, I will be leading a cohort of students this summer to build the site.  Students will support in the research, development, and deployment of the MOOC.  Activities will include: gathering research materials on topics related to MOOCs; participating in the construction of the course site by helping with elements of content strategy and management, information architecture, user experience testing, gamificiation, and design; developing a knowledge base and self-paced instructional materials (e.g., screencasts); and assisting in the instructional design of the teaching and learning experience.  I’ve already received a number of inquiries from students about this opportunity and I’m excited to meet them come June.

Blogging Students at the Hyperlinked Library – A Word Cloud Party

Imagining-Participatory-ServiceWe just finished an intensive session of my Hyperlinked Library class – a full semester taught in seven weeks. the students were GREAT and really took on the hard work. One of the students created wordclouds of all of the class blogs to celebrate the end of our journey. He called it a word cloud party. Take a look:

Here’s a very public shout out to the students of #hyperlib-i! Great work!

A Whole New Mind or Using Your Whole Mind: A TTW Guest Post by Terri Artemchik

awholenewmindA Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future by Daniel Pink explores the capabilities of the brain and spirit in this conceptual age where high touch and high concept aptitudes are gaining serious ground. Emotional intelligence is becoming just as important as IQ due to abundance, outsourcing, and automation. People are now required to use both sides of their brain. L-Directed Thinking pertains to sequential, literal, functional, textual, and analytic thinking. R-Directed Thinking is simultaneous, metaphorical, aesthetic, contextual, and synthetic. No longer can we just be knowledge workers. We must be attuned to the big picture, how things work together, patterns, and above all, the synthesis and meaning of life.

Daniel Pink details six concepts, which he calls The Six Senses, that will help people survive and thrive in this adapting and often uncertain world.

The Six Senses


The British Museum Whether a building, a toilet bowl cleaner, or a website, design affects our day-to-day lives. Pink describes the ideal design as beautiful, whimsical, or emotionally engaging. Function is no longer enough. Librarians have a plethera of design issues to consider every day – interior design of the library, website design, marketing materials design, message design, and instructional design- to name a few. Library websites play a huge role in getting users to use the library resources and take advantage of librarians’ expertise. In many ways, we’re competing with Google. That’s tough competition! The more intuitive and attractive the site is, the better the experience for the library community. Pink’s Portfolio section provides useful activities you can do to increase your design palette, from keeping a design portfolio to help you stay attuned to design that works to the C-R-A-P-ify method which can come in handy when creating promotional materials for libraries.


Pink expresses the concept of story perfectly with this quote, “When facts become so widely available and instantly accessible, each one becomes less valuable. What begins to matter more is the ability to place these facts in context and to deliver them with emotional impact” (p. 193). Stories live at the library through books, video, and people. The reference desk is often the place where students and community members tell their stories. Listening to peoples’ stories is one of my favorite things about my job and often necessary in order to glean what they need help doing/finding/getting. “I need information on ethics,” for example, usually comes with a story. It’s a librarian’s responsibility to figure out the story.


SymphonyThe ability to relate concepts, make patterns, and synthesize embody the symphony aptitude. Relationships are at the core of symphony. Boundary crossers, inventors, and metaphor makers are able to pull ideas together from seemingly unrelated concepts. Librarians must be boundary crossers in their profession. They are often called up to bridge the gap between faculty departments, communities, and concepts. Seeing the big picture comes into play when we think about information literacy. Yes, we want students to know how to search in databases or how to do an advanced Google search, but really, our goal is to make them independent, self-directed lifelong learners. More importantly, our goal is to inspire them to be curious about the world around them. Pink’s Celebrate Your Amateur section revels in the idea that we are all learners, forever. Marcel Wanders writes, “I am best at what I can’t do. It has become my ability to feel strong and confident in these situations. I feel free to move, to listen to my heart, to learn, to act even if that means I will make mistakes” (p. 157). It reminds me of Char Booth’s comment recently in a lecture for our TransTech course, “Stay brave and vulnerable.”


The ability to put yourself in someone else’s shoes is paramount in libraries and in life. It ties with the story aptitude in so many ways. Just listening to someone’s story can put you in the position of understanding their perspective. Subtle clues like facial expressions can tell you how someone is feeling- if they’re overwhelmed or confused. In teaching, it’s necessary to read people’s faces to gauge their level of engagement, their comprehension, and their annoyances. A librarian can learn to adapt their sessions based on these reactions. Empathy also comes into play when it comes to workplace relations. Learning to work collaboratively with colleagues takes openness and delicacy. Being open to your colleagues’ perspective can sometimes make all the difference in how you interact.


playPlay is monumental and necessary. It adds a joyfulness and positive spirit to any learning process. Just the fact that it’s called play provides a light-hearted mindset. Introducing play into a library instruction can be freeing for students. There is no right or wrong way when it comes to research. Every topic will lead you in a different direction and having the openness of mind to follow a topic through all the tangents, nooks and crannys, and caveats should be fun – not a chore. Pink mentions laughter as one of the key elements in having a spirit of play and I am a firm believer that trying something new and knowing that you will most likely make a fool of yourself – but everyone else will too – inspires laughter and openness. On the right is an image of me trying flying trapeze last fall, and yes, it was slightly terrifying the first time. But the second and third time, pure excitement and freedom! My friends and I laughed and played during the entire experience. When teaching or learning new things, play can make all the difference in the experience of learning.


meaningThe This Emotional Life series on PBS recently took on the topic of Happiness. It relates so well to Pink’s section on Meaning. We are all looking for the key to happiness and it comes from our social relationships – whether that’s parent/child for an infant, friends, colleagues, or partners. We want to feel fulfilled and supported in our lives. So, it seems, relationships are also the key to meaning, in addition to symphony. When a relationship is off at work, at home, in your life, it affects you. Meaning and mindfulness also go hand in hand. Simply being more mindful through labyrinths, through empathy, through perspective from gratitude, by giving yourself the permission to play and rest, dedicating your work, and re-claiming your priorities as Pink suggests, can create a framework for what you want your life to look like. At some point, it will become second nature and you’ll be living the life you seek.


As the words flow through my mind after writing this, I stop on these. Openness. Mindfulness. Vulnerability. Heart. Relationships. Empathy. Perspective. Life. Going through your life, your career, it is necessary to reflect on yourself, your relationships, your career, and your contribution to society. Even if you lead a small life, like me, you can glean little things every day that serve to enrich your life and fire up both sides of your brain.



Terri at Westminster Abbey

Terri at Westminster Abbey

Booth, C. (2011) Reflective teaching, effective learning: Instructional literacy for library educators. Chicago: American Library Association.

Pink, D. (2006). A whole new mind: Why right-brainers will rule the future. New York: Riverhead Books.

Terri Rieck Artemchik is an Adjunct Librarian at the College of Lake County in Grayslake, Illinois. She is currently enrolled in the Post-Master’s Degree Certificate Program at San Jose State University’s School of Library and Information Science and received her MLIS from Dominican University in 2011. Terri’s interests include emerging technologies, digital services, information literacy, and Learning 2.0. 

Note from Michael: This is an example of the “Context Book” assignment from #hyperlib.

You are not alone in a hyperlinked world – A TTW Guest Post by Joyce Monsees

“I am “, I said

To no one there.

And no one… heard…at all… not

Even the chair.

“I am”, I cried.

“I am”, said I.

And I am lost and I can’t

Even say why.

Leavin’ me lonely still


(Neil Diamond, 1999)

Lost image


It use to be that being physically isolated meant being alone. But now, internet access allows us to be connected to the world. As information professionals, we can create thriving communities that are face to face, site to site, app to app. I am a teacher without barriers and a humanitarian aid volunteer without borders. Why can’t a librarian create such freedom?


I am a hyperlink. A road sign. A matchmaker. A synapse.


My students think that information starts and ends with me. (They are 12 and younger!) I would rather that they see me as a vessel that guides them to find the answers themselves. Weinberger tells us that people would rather find information themselves by using the Web. Fantastic! This is the goal of teachers! We want students to read directions and try on their own first before seeking help. As librarians, we should continue this encouragement of self-motivation. We shouldn’t be offended if young people don’t seek our direct assistance, we’ve been guiding them toward independence since birth!

If library patrons come to us through a database search engine that we’ve created, we’re still as useful as if they physically walked up to our desk. But now, we can reach more people, even beyond our borders, at the same time. We can be roadsigns and hyperlinks at the same time. We’re a bigger community of researchers.

Teachers can be gateways to the world, not only by teaching search techniques, but by creating student-lead web-conferences, blogs and book reviews. Our school has a news program each Monday morning completely lead by 5th and 6th graders. Our library has featured web-conferences with NOAA Hurricane Hunters and famous authors.

Students can check their progress, download worksheets and find missing assignments on Edmodo, a learning management system with a social network vibe. A chat box allows students to ask others about homework, due dates and anything else that will help them. Since the site is monitored by the school, conversation remains positive and appropriate. The students don’t just learn to communicate better, they strengthen their grade level community which enriches their relational and learning environments at school.

As a digital humanitarian, I am a hyperlink between victims of disaster and relief organizations. Their message does not end with me. It is categorized and defined, then sent to those who can help them best. Am I ever the end of the information chain? Nope. Good thing. What a heavy burden that would be! Our team talks through Skype chat while we geo-locate the tweets and posts. We aren’t alone while we face pleas for help and people describing such personal tragedies that sometimes make us cry. My fellow volunteers are in Vienna Austria, Darwin Australia, Bergen Norway, Washington DC and many other places. We use GMT time instead of our own timezones.

Check out this Hurricane Sandy Twitterbeat Map created by Kalev Leetaru. It shows the emotions felt through Twitter during Hurricane Sandy. This map is a hyperlink to the world that shows how people felt.


“I am”, I said… to all my communities everywhere.


Joyce Monsees is an instructional assistant at a public elementary school. She teaches 3rd, 4th and 6th grade students. She is a former school librarian clerk and a City of Orange Library Trustee and she volunteers with the Standby Task Force, a digital humanitarian group who examines messages sent through social media during a global crisis then maps their exact locations and type of need to assist the United Nations or other disaster relief agency send aid. She is a student in LIBR287 The Hyperlinked Library at San Jose State University SLIS.

SJSU SLIS News: Instructors Garner Award for Online Teaching Excellence

Note from Michael: I am honored to be amongst these great folks who teach at SLIS for this award. Also – thanks to the WISE students far and wide who have taken my classes!
Five faculty members from the School of Library and Information Science (SLIS) at San José State University received a 2012 Excellence in Online Teaching Award from the Web-based Information Science Education (WISE) consortium. Lori LindbergDr. Michelle Holschuh SimmonsDr. Michael StephensGawain Weaver and Patty Wong were among the 11 recipients of the national award, which recognizes the accomplishments of online educators.

Lori LindbergLori Lindberg uses real-life workplace examples in her courses on archival methods. “Complex technical courses presented online succeed best when the instructor is consistent, organized and prepared,” she said. Lindberg makes her course materials available in a variety of formats so students can access them anywhere, online or offline. One student described her teaching style as meticulous and thorough, adding that she makes learning interesting and approachable.

Dr. Michelle Holschuh SimmonsDr. Michelle Holschuh Simmons, who received the award for the second time, structures her courses on information literacy to foster personal connections and a sense of community among her students. Simmons “provides an innovative learning environment where students can participate in ways they feel most comfortable, and can experiment with new learning activities to stretch beyond our comfort zones,” one of her students said.

Dr. Michael StephensDr. Michael Stephens tells students in his courses on emerging trends and technology that learning is an ongoing process vital to keeping up with technological and societal change. He keeps that in mind in his own teaching and use of technology, learning from his students, colleagues and online networks. But in teaching, it’s also important to nurture the human connection, he said. “Bring yourself to your online teaching – share, be authentic and connect with students via the heart and the keyboard.”

Gawain WeaverGawain Weaver incorporates live lectures as much as possible in his photographic preservation courses to provide classroom-like interaction with students. Video is another important teaching tool, he explained. “I use the video to show different photographic processes and to demonstrate how to examine them to observe their unique characteristics.” Students said he’s extremely helpful and quick to respond to questions, and that his enthusiasm for his subject is catching.

Patty WongPatty Wong gives students in her grant writing courses a chance to work with actual clients to research grants and write proposals. “The student benefits from real-world experience working with an agency, determining client needs, and integrating practice with theory within a deadline,” she said. Aware that some online students live outside the U.S., she seeks out resources and foundations that can be of help to them in their communities. Her students said she’s an involved and inspirational teacher.

All five teach in the ALA-accredited Master of Library and Information Science (MLIS) program at SJSU SLIS. However, the award is based on nominations from WISE students at a school other than the instructors’ home institution.

WISE announced the awards at the Association for Library and Information Science Education (ALISE) 2013 conference, held Jan. 22-25 in Seattle.

As members of the WISE consortium, SJSU SLIS students can take online courses from other ALA-accredited programs. The School’s faculty can also take advantage of its online pedagogy resources.

For more information about the School’s collaboration with WISE, visit Web-based Information Science Education (WISE).

ALISE Presentation Slides: “Beyond the Walled Garden”

walledI was honored to present at ALISE 2013 with Kyle Jones. Here’s a link to our presentation:

Session Abstract:

Beautiful Connections: Questions in Distance Education

Distance Education SIG
Convener: Nora Bird, University of North Carolina at Greensboro

The session will explore new research by three presenters on the connection opportunities that extend beyond the virtual classroom. Presenters will explore walled gardens, communities of practice, and ego- centric analysis of connectedness.

Presenters: Michael Stephens, San Jose State University; Kyle Jones, University of Wisconsin at Madison; Jennifer Branch, Joanne de Groot, and Kandise Salerno, University of Alberta; and Fatih Oguz and Nancy Poole, University of North Carolina at Greensboro