You are viewing raharris

About this Journal
Digital Dog comprises a meditation on my experience with library school and digital libraries -- raharris
Links:
American Memory | Bartleby | Bodley Library | California Digital Library | del.icio.us/raharris | DELOS | DigLibDevo (Google) | D-Lib Magazine | Digital Library Federation | Digital Library in a Box | EduForge | Electronic Text Center (UVA) | Fedora | Folksonomies - Cooperative Classification and Communication Through Shared Metadata | Folksonomies: A User-Driven Approach to Organizing Content | ibiblio | IFLANET: DigLib | Internet Archive | IntraText | Journal of Digital Information | Librarians' Index to the Internet | Library & Information Technology Association | MINERVA | Metadata Object Description Scheme | Metro NY Library Council Digitization Resources | NYPL: Digital | NJ Digital Highway | Project Gutenberg | RU: Digital Libraries Projects | Samuel Pepys Diary
Current Month
 123456
78910111213
14151617181920
21222324252627
28293031
Oct. 4th, 2012 @ 07:52 pm Out with the old --
The new shift in focus means a refreshed link roll, but I preserve the old here --

American Memory - http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/index.html
California Digital Library - http://www.cdlib.org/
D-Lib Magazine - http://www.dlib.org/
Digital Libraries Federation - http://www.diglib.org/
IFLANET - Digital Libraries - http://archive.ifla.org/II/diglib.htm
Internet Archive - http://archive.org/index.php
Journal of Digital Information - http://journals.tdl.org/jodi/
Samuel Pepys Diary - http://www.pepysdiary.com/
About this Entry
punts, oxford
Oct. 4th, 2012 @ 07:46 pm Change of course
I started this blog when I was a student in the Rutgers MLIS program, but stopped posting part way through.  Seven years later and I'm back.  Yes I'm still interested in digital libraries, but my research has turned to the social informatics of learning, Social Informatics (SI) studies human/computer interaction, and the education element suggets that my concern is how students and faculty use computers for teaching and learning; how technology influences educators and how the educated shape technology.
About this Entry
punts, oxford
Nov. 29th, 2005 @ 06:43 pm Latest bibliography
STUDENT NOESIS OF DISTANCE EDUCATION: BIBLIOGRAPHY, 2005.11.28
Ahern, T. C., & Repman, J. (1994). The effects of technology on on-line education. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 26(4): 537-546.
Allen, M., Bourhis J., Burrell, N., & Mabry, E. (2002). Comparing Student Satisfaction with Distance Education to Traditional Classrooms in Higher Education: A Meta-Analysis. The American Journal of Distance Education, 16(2), 83-97.
Anderson, L., S. Banks, & P. Leary. (2002) The effect of interactive television courses on student satisfaction. The Journal of Education for Business. 77(3), 164-168.
Barbrow, E., M. Jeong, & S. Parks. (1996). Computer experiences and attitudes of students and preceptors in distance education. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 96(12): 1280-1281.
Bee R. H. (1998). Differing attitudes of economics students about web-based instruction. College Student Journal, 32(2), 258-269.
Biner P. M. (1999). Re-assessing the role of student attitudes in the evaluation of distance education effectiveness. Distance Education Review. ??(??), ??
Bisciglia, M., and E. Monk-Turner. (2002). Differences in Attitudes Between On-Site and Distance-Site Students in Group Teleconference Courses. The American Journal of Distance Education, 16(1), 37-52.
Brown, K. M. (1996). The role of internal and external factors in the discontinuation of off-campus students. Distance Education, 17(1), 44-71.
Burge, E. J. (1994). Learning in computer conferenced contexts: The learners' perspective. Journal of Distance Education, 9(1), 19-43.
Dutton, J., Dutton, M., & Perry, J. (2002). How do on-line students differ from lecture students? Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 6(1), 1-20
Feenberg, A. (1987). Computer conferencing and the humanities. Instructional Science, 6(2), 169-186.
Hara, N., & Kling, R. (2003). Students’ distress with a web-based distance education course: an ethnographic study of participants' experiences. Information, Communication, and Society, 3(4), 557-579
Harasim, L. M. (1987). Teaching and learning on-line: Issues in computer-mediated graduate courses. Canadian Journal of Educational Communication, 16(2): 117-135.
Hiltz, S. R., Coppola, N., Rotter, N., Turoff, M. & Benbunan-Fich, R.. (2000). Measuring the Importance of Collaborative Learning for the Effectiveness of ALN: A multi-measure, multi-method approach. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. 4(2), 103-125.
Kling, R. (1999). "What is Social Informatics and Why Does it Matter?" 1999. D-Lib Magazine, (5:1) Retrieved 2005.10.20 from http://www.dlib.org/dlib/january99/kling/01kling.html
McGettigan, T. (1999). Virtually Educated: Student Perspectives on the Distance Learning Experience. Radical Pedagogy, 1(2). Retrived 2005.10.30 from http://radicalpedagogy.icaap.org/content/issue1_2/03mcgettigan1_2.html
Mastrian K.G., McGonigle D. (1997). Older student perceptions of technology based learning nation. assignments. On-Line Journal of Nursing Informatics, 11(2). Retrieved 2005.10.21 from http://cac.psu.edu/~dxm12/percep1.html
Mayzar, R., & Dejong, C. (2003). Student satisfaction with distance education in a criminal justice graduate course. The Journal of Criminal Justice Education, 14(4), 37-53.
Njagi, K., Smith, R., & Isbell, C. (2003). Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Web-based Learning Resources. The North America Web-based Learning Series. Retrieved 2005.10 from http://naweb.unb.ca/proceedings/2003/PosterNjagiIsbell.html
O'Malley, J., & McCraw, H. (1999). Students Perceptions of Distance Learning, Online Learning and the Traditional Classroom. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 2(4), retrieved: 2005.11.01 http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/omalley24.html
Qureshi, E. , L.L. Morton, E. Antosz. (2002). An Interesting Profile-University Students who Take Distance Education Courses Show Weaker Motivation Than On-Campus Students. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 4(4). Retrieved 2005.11.11 from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter54/Qureshi54.htm
Rhodes, C. S. (1998). Multiple perceptions and perspectives: Faculty/students' responses to distance learning. Technology and Teacher Education Annual, 1089-1092.
Rivera, J., McAlister M.K., & Rice, M. (2002). A Comparison of Student Outcomes & Satisfaction Between Traditional & Web Based Course Offerings. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration, 4(3), ??
Rovai, Alfred, and Kirk T. Barnum. (2003). On-line course effectiveness: Student Interactions and Perceptions of Learning. Journal of Distance Education. 18(1), 57-73.
Royal, Kenneth, and K.D. Bradley, G.T. Lineberry. (2005). Evaluating Interactive Television Courses: An Identification of Factors Associated with Student Satisfaction. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 8(2), retrieved 2005.11.01
Sawyer, Steve. (2005). Social informatics: overview, principles and opportunities. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Retrieved 2005.10.20 from http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Jun-05/sawyer.html
Spiceland, J. Davis, and Charlene Hawkins. (2002). The impact of learning of an asynchronous active learning course format. Journal of the Asynchronous Learning Networks, 6(1), 68-75.
Thurmond, Veronica, and Karen Wambach, Helen Connors, Bruce Frey. (2002). Evaluation of student satisfaction: determining the impact of web-based environments by controlling for student characteristics. The American Journal of Distance Education. 16(3), 169-189.
Valenta, A.,Therriault, D., Dieter, M., & Mrtek, R. (2001). Identifying Student Attitudes and Learning Styles in Distance Education. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), 111-127.
Zarghami, F. & Hausafus, C. (2002) Graduate student satisfaction with interactive televised courses based on the site of participation. Quarterly Review of Distance Education, 3(3), 295-306.
About this Entry
punts, oxford
Nov. 12th, 2005 @ 11:52 am Update on term paper for Human Information Behavior
Work is proceeding apace. I have copies of most of the articles and some are beginning to trickle in through ILL. One thing I’ve noticed is that a portion of the ILL material is unusable. When I read an article in a journal or online I only copy and add it to the bibliography if I feel it will add to the final product. But I don’t get to vet the ILL material; I have to order it blind. So some titles below – Feenberg, for example – probably won’t make it into the final work.

Here is my strategy from here on out:

  1. As I read each article I’ll enter notes on thesis and methodology on the Notes Excel chart (the template of which is included in the copy of this document sent to Prof. Pavlovsky through eCollege).
  2. As I read through the articles certain themes (at this rate I’m guessing 3-5) will emerge. When I’m done with the articles I’ll assign each theme a number and re-sort the Excel Notes by theme.
  3. I’ll write a section on each of the themes,
  4. followed by the segueways between themes,
  5. followed by the conclusion,
  6. and finally the introduction.
  7. I’ll let it rest for a few days, proofread and submit.


Finally, I have submitted a slightly amended version of this paper to NERCOMP 2006, the northeast regional EDUCAUSE conference held in (ych) Worcester MA in March. Re-working it for a conference presentation, along with the professor’s notes, will help me shape it into an article for publication.

Here is the latest version of the proposal (amended only slightly) and the 11/10 version of the bibliography -- Robert

Student Noesis in the World of Online Coursework

The dawning of the information age has given young people more than portable music players and the ubiquitous cell phone: digitization allows coursework to be presented in startling new formats that rival any development in educational technology since Socrates picked up a stick and began drawing in the sand. It is not a change that should be taken lightly. The sudden shift from dragging backpacks full of books before a human teacher in a room filled with peers to a laptop alone at the kitchen table necessitates the development of new theoretical and psychological frameworks for both teacher and student. I will draw on the rich, interdisciplinary literature of social informatics to create a model of the emotional, intellectual, and social needs of distance learning students in the digital age. I neither to either praise nor condemn technology-mediated education, merely to get a glimpse into the minds, and needs, of students stepping over this new pedagogical threshold.

Bibliography updated 11/22

Ahern, T. C. and Repman, J. (1994). The effects of technology on on-line education. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 26(4): 537-546.

Allen, Mike, and John Bourhis, Nancy Burrell, and Edward Mabry. (2002). Comparing Student Satisfaction with Distance Education to Traditional Classrooms in Higher Education: A Meta-Analysis. The American Journal of Distance Education. 16(2), 83-97.

Anderson, Lorraine. and S. Banks, P. Leary. (2002) The effect of interactive television courses on student satisfaction. The Journal of Education for Business. 77(3), 164-168.

Barbrow, E. and M. Jeong, S. Parks. (1996). Computer experiences and attitudes of students and preceptors in distance education. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 96(12), ??

Bee R. H. (1998). Differing attitudes of economics students about web-based instruction. College Student Journal, 32(2), pp. 258-269.

Biner P. M. (1999). Re-assessing the role of student attitudes in the evaluation of distance education effectiveness. Distance Education Review. ??(??), ??

Bisciglia, Michael, and Elizabeth Monk-Turner. (2002). Differences in Attitudes Between On-Site and Distance-Site Students in Group Teleconference Courses. The American Journal of Distance Education. 16(1), 37-52.

Brown, K. M. (1996). The role of internal and external factors in the discontinuation of off-campus students. Distance Education, 17(1): 44-71.

Burge, E. J. (1994). Learning in computer conferenced contexts: The learners' perspective. Journal of Distance Education, 9(1): 19-43.

Dutton, John and Marilyn Dutton, Jo Perry. (2002). How do on-line students differ from lecture students? Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. 6(1): 1-20

Feenberg, A. (1987). Computer conferencing and the humanities. Instructional Science, 6(2): 169-186.

Hara, Norika, and Robert Kling. (2003). Students’ distress with a web-based distance education course: an ethnographic study of participants' experiences. Information, Communication, and Society. 3(4): 557-579

Harasim, L. M. (1987). Teaching and learning on-line: Issues in computer-mediated graduate courses. Canadian Journal of Educational Communication, 16(2): 117-135.

Hiltz, Starr Roxanne, and Nancy Coppola, Naomo Rotter, Murray Turoff, and Raquel Benbunan-Fich. (2000). Measuring the Importance of Collaborative Learning for the Effectiveness of ALN: A multi-measure, multi-method approach. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks. 4(2).

Kling, R. (1999). "What is Social Informatics and Why Does it Matter?" 1999. D-Lib Magazine, (5:1) Retrieved 2005.10.20 from http://www.dlib.org/dlib/january99/kling/01kling.html

McGettigan, T. (1999). Virtually Educated: Student Perspectives on the Distance Learning Experience. Radical Pedagogy. 1(2).

Mastrian K.G., McGonigle D. (1997). Older student perceptions of technology based learning nation. assignments. On-Line Journal of Nursing Informatics, 11(2). Retrieved 2005.10.21 from http://cac.psu.edu/~dxm12/percep1.html

Mayzar, R. And C. Dejong. (2003). Student satisfaction with distance education in a criminal justice graduate course. The Journal of Criminal Justice Education. 14(4), ??.

Njagi, Kageni, and Ron Smith, Clint Isbell. (2003). Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Web-based Learning Resources. The North America Web-based Learning Series. Retrieved 2005.10 from http://naweb.unb.ca/proceedings/2003/PosterNjagiIsbell.html

O'Malley, John, Harrison McCraw. (1999). Students Perceptions of Distance Learning, Online Learning and the Traditional Classroom. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 2(4), retrieved: 2005.11.01 http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/omalley24.html

Qureshi, E. , L.L. Morton, E. Antosz. (2002). An Interesting Profile-University Students who Take Distance Education Courses Show Weaker Motivation Than On-Campus Students. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 4(4),

Rhodes, C. S. (1998). Multiple perceptions and perspectives: Faculty/students' responses to distance learning. Technology and Teacher Education Annual, 1089-1092.

Rivera, Julio C., and M.K. McAlister, Margaret Rice. (2002). A Comparison of Student Outcomes & Satisfaction Between Traditional & Web Based Course Offerings. Online Journal of DistanceLearning Administration. 4(3)

Rovai, Alfred, and Kirk T. Barnum. (2003). On-line course effectiveness: Student Interactions and Perceptions of Learning. Journal of Distance Education. 18(1), 57-73.

Royal, Kenneth, and K.D. Bradley, G.T. Lineberry. (2005). Evaluating Interactive Television Courses: An Identification of Factors Associated with Student Satisfaction. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 8(2), retrieved 2005.11.01

Sawyer, Steve. (2005). Social informatics: overview, principles and opportunities. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Retrieved 2005.10.20 from http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Jun-05/sawyer.html

Spiceland, J. Davis, and Charlene Hawkins. (2002). The impact of learning of an asynchronous active learning course format. Journal of the Asynchronous Learning Networks. 6(1), 68-75.

Thurmond, Veronica, and Karen Wambach, Helen Connors, Bruce Frey. (2002). Evaluation of student satisfaction: determining the impact of web-based environments by controlling for student characteristics. The American Journal of Distance Education. 16(3), 169-189.

Valenta, Annette, and David Therriault, Michael Dieter and Robert Mrtek. (2001). Identifying Student Attitudes and Learning Styles in Distance Education. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), pp. 111-127.

Zarghami, F. and C. Hausafus. (2002) Graduate student satisfaction with interactive televised courses based on the site of participation. Quarterly Review of Distance Education. 3(3), 295-306.
About this Entry
punts, oxford
Nov. 3rd, 2005 @ 05:47 pm A break from class -- Metadata w/ Grace Agnew
Metadata – NJEdge, 2005.11.02
Grace Agnew, Rutgers University Libraries (and NJ Digital Highway)


She has been in the metadata game since it started, and wrote the first book on the subject. She's been involved in OAI, etc.


Metadata: describes data

Where does it come from? Can be added by hand, can have it auto generated or auto harvested.

Audience: Almost everyone – end user, metadata creator/manager, computer applications or programs.

For example, at the NJDH they can ask organizations if they want NJDM watermarks on material printed out – it is not on the object itself, and the organization hosting the document has the choice if they want to have it or not.

Metadata can be posted in the document, linked to the document, or some kind of hybrid (not unlike CSS). Putting the information in the header can be bulky and inaccurate; if you link it you can point it to a database that will update UTC, etc.





There are commercial and open source models. The commercial costs money obviously, but the open source is not really monitored and standardized. But because it is open source it is flexible.

D-Space is an opens ource turnkey model. Because it is on the business model it is not as flexible as one might expect from open source.

Fedora – developed by Cornell and UVA – powerful, flexible, combines objects, metadata and behaviors in a modular fashion.


DATA MODEL
-- Supports the information context of data users (current and future) – that is, context independence.

Agnew is working with the National Earthquake Engineering System (NEES). They didn't want to start with a data model as they assumed they had on already. She demurred, demonstrating that their data model was not flexible. The contextualized model that NEES started with was systems oriented, it started with the systems. Her contextualized model puts data at the center, around which are located various user communities.



RU/NJDH Model



Moves into IFLA models – structure of information

ExpressionManifestationItem
NovelPaperCopy at Blockbuster
ScriptPDFReel of film
MovieHTML



Metadata Schema

Shared understanding
Shareable across repositories
Can be mapped to other schema (re-purpose it)
Maintained by standards body for durability
“Namespace” used to document the XML schema that defines and validates the metadata schema.
Versions distinguished by number and/or date

She likes to start out with the data model and uses whatever schema is out there.

Metadata schema components
Data element – community defined
Attribute – refines, extends, interprets data element
Value – information unique to each data instance
Constraint – order imposed on elements
Label -- -- contextual instance of data element name

XML – describes data (not unlike metadata itself!)

As I said, she uses any schema that seems interesting, but beginners should start with one and use it.


Types of metadata

Structural metadata – Structured relationship between components – allows a user to browser for chapters, etc.

Meta metadata – describes and manages the metadata record – who created it, when, for what reason
Administrative metadata – official records, rights of access, etc.
Digital provenance -- change in version, audit trail, etc.
Technical metadata – file size, duration, encoding, etc.
Descriptive – find, identify, select, obtain. --> all four elements necessary.


File encoding and Transport

METS -- Metadata Encoding and Transmission Standard -- LOC -- used by NJDH
File selection, structural map, structural links, behaviors

METS is fairly new and the NJDH is one of the first full implementations.

See diagram on Pg. 10 of the first handout for NJDH data model.

Initial goals for Metadata --
Enable discovery access to information
Preserve information for discovery and access to future users

End of first part of presentation


She describes learning about metadata as an iterative process – that is, it might not make a lot of sense now, but sooner or later the shoe will drop. Much like we spoke of in the early part of the HIB class.

Descriptive metadata Schema examples:

MARC
Dublin Core
IEEE Learning Object Metadata
MODS (LOC) – NJDH uses it. She says there are not any great schema out there, but this is as good as it comes.
MPEG-7 Multimedia Description Interface

She is pretty down on DC – she said you'd never want to submit a proposal saying you'd be using DC, but that the schema you'd be using is expressible in DC. Good portability but lacks in flexibility

MODS is pretty flexible – it's really built from a base of MARC (so a librarian likes it – duuuuhhh!!).

MPEG-7 is new and not many people really use it – she claims to be one of it's only real proponents, and suggests that it is finally gaining traction. Describes textual and color attributes. She says the XML is horrible – took her a year to learn it: four months to actually get down to brass tacks preceded by eight months of trying to find anything else to do with her time!

Vocabularies must be controlled – don't let students come up with tags of their own; won't come out well.

Remember, the other goal of metadata is preservation for future generations. Brings us to the technical aspects of metadata.

Key issues of preservation

Authenticity
integrity
provenance
see Gladney and Bennett What do we mean by authentic? Http://www.dlib.org/dlib/july03/gladney/07gladney.html

What is a digital master file? Not Word or Word Perfect. Maybe a canonical master in PDF form?



Representative schema

NISO Technical Metadata for Digital Still Images (Z39.87-2002)
http://www.niso.org/standards/resources/Z39_87_tiral_use.pdf

PREMIS Preservation Metadata
http://www.loc.gov/standards/premis/

Fair use, rights:
See the Mary Minow website about rights. Of course there is always the Creative Commons solution.

For examples of metadata in use, see her Moving Images Collections site at UGA (moving to LOC soon enough). They have links to MIC XML, MARC XML, MPEG7 XML DC XML and the original record.
About this Entry
punts, oxford
Oct. 22nd, 2005 @ 12:42 pm Readings, Week 7: Human Information Behavior
There are many similarities between two studies of the information needs of understudied sub-sections of the female population; both Harris' (1994) discussion of battered women and Chatman's (1991) analysis of female prisoners locate specific information strategies that arise from the peculiar nature of their situations. In each case the information needs are specific to the sub-group, and change with the intensity of the battery, on one hand, and the severity of circumstances within the prison. Battered women are more likely to rely on informal sources of information and, being under served by more formal venues, are more likely to turn away from the non-existent or inefficient formal services, back to the comfort of the informal information networks. The women are nor quiescent, however, and the popular perception of helplessness of this sub-group derives from “an unresponsive help system that fails for provide the information and the assistance these women have legitimate reasons to expect” (Harris, 58). Imprisoned women tend to develop internal information networks within two types of cliques: “cosmopolitan,” facing outward toward family and friends, and a “local,” an inward-looking behavior focused on life inside the prison. Existence for these women become a Life in the Round in which ambiguity is embraced: “it is a world in which most events fit within the natural order of things” (Chatman, 213).


Lessons that can be drawn from these studies include both the specificity and the fluidity of the information needs needs of social subgroups. Both sub-groups present information needs tailored to the unique nature of their predicament, peer-based networks predicated on close-knit, local affinities, and both are subject to change as the severity of their situation does. The reliance on informal information networks is necessitated by the lack of more formal venues as well as the mistrust of those few which do exist. Left to the information scientist is the challenge of developing both theoretical models that encompass the information seeking needs of subgroups, and formal information networks to serve what the authors demonstrate are under served segments of the population.

Chatman, E. A. (1991). A Theory of Life in the Round. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 50, 207-217.

Harris, R.M. & Dewdney, P. (1994). Barriers to information. How formal help systems fail battered women. , CN: . Chapters 4 & 8: pp. 47-60, 121-140

About this Entry
punts, oxford
Oct. 22nd, 2005 @ 12:40 pm Proposed Paper Topic
Student Noesis in the World of Online Coursework

The dawning of the information age has given young people more than portable music players and the ubiquitous cell phone: digitization allows coursework to be presented in startling new formats that rival any communication development since Socrates picked up a stick and began drawing in the sand. It is not a change that should be taken lightly. The sudden shift from dragging backpacks full of books before a human teacher in a room filled with peers to a laptop alone at the kitchen table necessitates the development of new theoretical and psychological frameworks for both teacher and student. I will draw on the rich, interdisciplinary literature of social informatics to create a model of the emotional, intellectual, and social needs of distance learning students in the digital age. I don't seek to either praise or condemn technology-mediated education, merely to get a glimpse into the minds, and needs, of students stepping over this new pedagogical threshold.

Some [updated 11/06] thoughts on sources:

Ahern, T. C. and Repman, J. (1994). The effects of technology on online education. Journal of Research on Computing in Education, 26(4): 537-546.

Allen, Mike, and John Bourhis, Nancy Burrell, and Edward Mabry. ((2002). Comparing Student Satisfaction with Distance Education to Traditional Classrooms in Higher Education: A Meta -Analysis. The American Journal of Distance Education. 16(2), 83-97.

Barbrow, E. and M. Jeong, S. Parks. (1996). Computer experiences and attitudes of students and preceptors in distance education. Journal of the American Dietetic Association, 96(12).

Bee R. H. (1998). Differing attitudes of economics students about web-based instruction. College Student Journal, 32(2), pp. 258-269.

Biner P. M. (1999). Re-assessing the role of student attitudes in the evaluation of distance education effectiveness. Distance Education Review

Bisciglia, Michael, and Elizabeth Monk-Turner. (2002) Differences in Attitudes Between On-Site and Distance-Site Students in Group Teleconference Courses. The American Journal of Distance Education. 16(1), 37-52.

Brown, K. M. (1996). The role of internal and external factors in the discontinuation of off-campus students. Distance Education, 17(1): 44-71.

Burge, E. J. (1994). Learning in computer conferenced contexts: The learners' perspective. Journal of Distance Education, 9(1): 19-43.

Feenberg, A. (1987). Computer conferencing and the humanities. Instructional Science, 6(2): 169-186.

Harasim, L. M. (1987). Teaching and learning on-line: Issues in computer-mediated graduate courses. Canadian Journal of Educational Communication, 16(2): 117-135.

Kling, R. (1999). "What is Social Informatics and Why Does it Matter?" 1999. D-Lib Magazine, (5:1) Retrieved 2005.10.20 from http://www.dlib.org/dlib/january99/kling/01kling.html

Kling, Robert, and Norika Hara. (2003). Students’ distress with a web-based distance education course: an ethnographic study of participants' experiences. Turkish Online Journal of Distance Education, 4(2). Retrieved 2005.10.20 from http://tojde.anadolu.edu.tr/tojde10/articles/hara.htm

O'Malley, John, Harrison McCraw. (1999). Students Perceptions of Distance Learning, Online Learning and the Traditional Classroom. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 2(4), retrieved 2005.11.01 from http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/omalley24.html

Mastrian K.G., McGonigle D. (1997). Older student perceptions of technology based learning nation. assignments. On-Line Journal of Nursing Informatics, 11(2). Retrieved 2005.10.21 from http://cac.psu.edu/~dxm12/percep1.html

McGettigan, T. (1999). Virtually Educated: Student Perspectives on the Distance Learning Experience. Radical Pedagogy. 1(2).

Njagi, Kageni, and Ron Smith, Clint Isbell. (2003). Assessing Student Attitudes Towards Web-based Learning Resources. The North America Web-based Learning Series. Retrieved 2005.10 from http://naweb.unb.ca/proceedings/2003/PosterNjagiIsbell.html

Qureshi, E. , L.L. Morton, E. Antosz. (2002). An Interesting Profile-University Students who Take Distance Education Courses Show Weaker Motivation Than On-Campus Students. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 4(4), retrieved 2005.11.01 from http://www.westga.edu/~distance/ojdla/winter54/Qureshi54.htm

Rhodes, C. S. (1998). Multiple perceptions and perspectives: Faculty/students' responses to distance learning. Technology and Teacher Education Annual, 1089-1092.

Rivera, Julio C., and M.K. McAlister, Margaret Rice. (2002). A Comparison of Student Outcomes & Satisfaction Between Traditional & Web Based Course Offerings. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 4(3), retrieved 2005.11.01 from http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/ojdla/fall53/rivera53.html

Royal, Kenneth, and K.D. Bradley, G.T. Lineberry. (2005). Evaluating Interactive Television Courses: An Identification of Factors Associated with Student Satisfaction. Online Journal of Distance Learning Administration. 8(2), retrieved 2005.11.01 from http://www.westga.edu/%7Edistance/ojdla/summer82/royal82.htm

Sawyer, Steve. (2005). Social informatics: overview, principles and opportunities. Bulletin of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. Retrieved 2005.10.20 from http://www.asis.org/Bulletin/Jun-05/sawyer.html

Valenta, Annette, and David Therriault, Michael Dieter and Robert Mrtek. (2001). Identifying Student Attitudes and Learning Styles in Distance Education. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 5(2), pp. 111-127.
About this Entry
punts, oxford
Oct. 9th, 2005 @ 02:10 pm so-shall kon-struk-shun (deconstructed)
wk5_reflections

I.Grad school meditations continued
a. 20 years of grad school
b. My options
II.Affective behavior folded into the cognitive model of information seeking
a. Carol Kuhlthau
b. Transposing the model to graduate school and classes in general
III.The term paper
a. Assignment and original thoughts
b. The challenge, the doubts
IV.Grad school mediations resolved?
a. Why I made the choice I did
b. Why I am still filled with doubt.


I.Grad school meditations, continued – this is the continuation of a discussion with Lilia earlier this semester, but which I’ve been having with myself since the late 80s.

a. 20 years of grad school – In the mid-80s I was a chef in San Francisco who had two problems: dissatisfaction with my career path and feet that hurt like hell. In the first case I realized that I’d gotten about as far as I was going to get as a chef for some time, and that although I might make many job moves in the upcoming decades they’d all be lateral. Although I enjoyed what I was doing I couldn’t see myself doing essentially the same thing in 20, even 30 years. A change was in order.

b. I chose history because I liked reading about the past. I chose labor history because I worked for a living and belonged to a union. I chose Binghamton because a famous labor historian whose work I’d enjoyed was a professor there. I didn’t like BU because it was too intensely political, though I learned a lot and of course met my wife there. I’d do it again if only for meeting Molly – but that’s a different story. The coursework went well but I got interested in technology and lost my way in the dissertation and never finished it. I’ll always feel bad about that; I let down Mel, Molly, and of course myself.

Years pass I finally give up on the dissertation then wonder what next? I work in academics where one’s degree is sometimes more important that one’s competence (oh the stories I could tell . . . ) but what was I interested in? Did I want an Ed D in whatever I could get the degree in? I could do it easily enough and nearly did until I realized that I wasn’t excited about the degree. That was my problem with the dissertation, so why put myself through that again? Suddenly during a re-reading of Stephenson’s Crytonomicon it occurred to me I was interested in information – it all came together: searching, metadata, digitalization – it was all part of a whole that could be expressed through information science. So I began to look at library school. The question at this point was: MLIS or PhD? I’ll come back to this below.

II. All of the information seeking studies we’ve read this semester have deprecated systems -centered models in favor of those that put the user at the center of the process. How users fit into the process is the point of contention, with each succeeding school of thought arguing against the “tradition” that preceded it. This week Carol Kuhlthau doesn’t sniff at the cognitive model as much as suggesting that we layer affective behavior onto it, that is, considering a user’s feelings as being important as his/her intellectual understanding.

Kuhlthau, Carol. (1991). Inside the Search Process: Information Seeking from the User’s Perspective. Journal of the American Society for Information Science, 42:5, 361-271.

This is the part that I’ve found missing in the models we’ve read so far, though I was never able to articulate it. It fits in beautifully with the stuff Molly is doing with emotions in her work as a women’s studies historian. (One of the other readings was a brave attempt to rehabilitate the long-discredited Foucauldian claptrap that doesn’t deserve even the space I’ve already accorded it).

Kuhlthau’s analysis is predicated on the empirical observation of five different studies. She posits six stages of emotional development in the information seeking process, shortly explicated below.

The six stages include 1) initiation, when person first becomes aware of an information need; 2) selection, when one selects a general topic; 3) exploration, “characterized by feelings of confusion, uncertainty, and doubt which frequently increase (during this period). 366; 4) formulation, the turning point at which one begins to feel that progress is being made; 5) collection, when the user is at the center of the learning groove; and 6) presentation, when one feels good that the process has gone well, or bad if it has not.
One of the great beauties of this model is that it transposes to any number of different processes. Including but certainly not limited to a) graduate school and b) any given course in graduate school.

Initiation
a) deciding to enroll in graduate school
b) deciding to enroll in a course

Selection
a) selecting a program
b) enrolling in the class

Exploration
a) learning the basics of the discipline
b) learning the basics of the course

Formulation
a) deciding on a sub-specialty
b) deciding on a final project

Collection
a) doing the course-work
b) researching the final project

Presentation
a) thesis/dissertation
b) final project

III. Which brings me to the term paper. The question, broadly stated, is to find a group one wants to serve and explicate it’s information seeking behavior. Being married to an historian my first thought was to find what it was historians wanted from the information seeking process, and I proposed a number of of sources:

Buchanan, George, & Ann Blandford, Jonathan Rimmer, Clair Warwick. (n.d.). Usability Challenges in Digital Libraries for the Humanities. Retrieved 10.05.2005, from http://www.dlese.org/cms/qdl/jcdl05/04_buchanan/document_view.

Cullen, Charles T. (2000). Authentication of Digital Objects: Lessons from a Historian's Research. Council on Library and Information Resources. Retrieved 10.05.2005, from http://www.clir.org/pubs/reports/pub92/cullen.html

Jantz, Ronald, & Michael Giarlo. (2005). Digital Preservation: Architecture and Technology for Trusted Digital Repositories. D-Lib Magazine 11:6. Retrieved 10.05.2005, from http://www.dlib.org/dlib/june05/jantz/06jantz.html

Meghini, Carlo, & Thomas Risse. (2005). BRICKS: A Digital Library Management System for Cultural Heritage. ERCIM News No. 61. Retrieved 10.05.2005, from http://www.ercim.org/publication/Ercim_News/enw61/meghini.html.

Seely, Bruce. (1995). Libraries, Printing, and Infrastructure: A Historian’s Perspective. Association of Research Libraries, Proceedings of the 126th Annual Meeting. Retrieved 10.05.2005, from http://www.arl.org/arl/proceedings/126/seeley2.html.

Unsworth, John. Supporting Digital Scholarship. (1999). Retrieved 10.05.2005, from http://www.dlese.org/cms/qdl/jcdl05/04_buchanan/document_view.

Which the professor initially rejected as being too systems-oriented. I took from that that I should be looking at information-science theory first. Molly of course rolled her eyes and said something to the effect of “that’s what’s wrong with all academics; people want to talk to each other and not to the subjects of the inquiry.” She suggested that historians were frustrated with librarians because sometimes librarians seem more interested in their own theories that what it is historians need. It is worth noting that when I re-presented both Cullen and Seely in the context of the “historian’s eye view” the professor semi-relented, urging me to keep my options open.

So where does that leave me with the paper? I’ll use the template provided by the Week 12 readings in Information and the Humanities to re-cast my sources, but in the meantime see Kuhlthau’s third stage – uncertainty, confusion, constipation, yada yada.

IV.Grad school meditations resolved?

a. Speaking of confusion, where does that leave me with grad school? So I decided on Information Science – that isn’t enough. The next question is: which degree, MLIS or PhD? Or both? After some initial research I decided that while the PhD might be the ultimate goal there were advantages to the MLIS:

1.I’d learn the groundwork – searching, cataloging, etc, that would be essential for a PhD. One would not do a history PhD until s/he had the theoretical and content grounding provided by the MA, for example.

2.The content work looked interesting enough (human information behavior? Bring it on!)

3.Even if I didn’t get the PhD the MLIS is considered “terminal.”


b. This is all sound reasoning. No huhu. Right? Well, I’m beginning to wonder. First off they’re not even planning on offering metadata to the distance “digital library” students. What’s that all about? Why not just not offer MARC to anyone?! Second, does the MLIS really lay the groundwork to the PhD, or are they different animals? Is one designed for public and school librarians and the other for academics? And third, haven’t I already been through the MA rigmarole once? Discipline-to-discipline the MA involves coming to grips with many of the same intellectual issues, and if my ultimate goal is the PhD do I really need to jump through these hoops again?

There is no answer here. Much of the reasoning in IV a. still seems sound to me, so I don’t anticipate any changes right off. But re-cast in the context of Kuhlthau’s six stages I can be comforted that my intellectual and emotional processes are not isolated, but can be seen as part of a natural progression.
About this Entry
punts, oxford
Oct. 8th, 2005 @ 06:07 pm User-centered infomration seeking models, continued
Week four continues a study of user-centered information seeking models. I'll pick up on week five where I leave off below -- RAH

“Information retrieval” sounds formal and mechanistic, but it’s a process we undergo in any number of ways all day long. The obvious example from a library perspective is locating the correct source of information using online and text tools as well as consultation with librarians. But that process is rather formal; many of the information we gather is done much less formally. Say I’m on my way to work and can’t find my hat – what resources do I have to draw from? My own memory and that of my wife. Having burned away much of my short-term memory a quarter of a century ago my wife can be considered the better resource in this case. “Honey, have you seen my hat?” Of course it’s not that simple; I have lots of hats, and how is she to know to which I am referring?

“Which hat?” she might answer.
“Why, my Boston Red Sox hat,” I say.
“You have about a dozen of those. The old weather-beaten one?”
“No, the 2004 World Series one.”
“You have two of those – the one with the red “B” or the one that says Championship?”
“The second one. Championship.”
“It’s right there about four inches from your left elbow.”
“Right – thanks.”

That is a simple information-seeking process that engaged my wife’s memory, what is left of my memory, and about a dozen blue baseball hats. It may have taken 20 seconds to transpire and in the scope of things not very important. It’s not an interaction that would evoke a lot of debate or analysis.

Except from information scientists.

We’ve spent the last several weeks reading very astute analyses of all sorts of information-seeking behavior. Some of it is rather absorbing, some dense, and some is frankly reductive. One thing for sure, I’ll never think of IR the same way again. When reading these articles I’ve been bearing two things in mind: the reference interview and the possibility of writing the cognitive process into into algorithms that will allow digital tools to mediate the expressions.

The reference interview concerns me because my students are the human information resources in computing labs around campus. They exist to answer questions and help people use the software and hardware. Like clients in a reference room, lab users often don’t know quite what they are asking for when they ask for it, and my students need to tease it out of them, then point them to the right resources. Often this is done rather clumsily, in part because they are working without this theory and in part because we’re talking about 20-year olds. I can’t do much about age thing, but I can work to translate this theory into some concrete interview tools that will help my students help the clients.

The algorithm thing comes from my interest in digital libraries, search engines and the like. The only thing I’m convinced of right off is that I have a long, long way to go. Long way.

[segue to grad school meditations]

To be continued . . .
About this Entry
punts, oxford
Sep. 27th, 2005 @ 09:54 am User-centeredness
I'm developing the bit below into a longer work -- RAH

I started work at William Paterson on the first day of the Fall 1995 semester with the understanding that I was to create a staff of student lab technicians – as well as the labs in which they were to work. What I found when I got there were two in-staffed labs each with some battered 386 and 486 computers running MS DOS. Plans were afoot to create a third lab, this in an unused room adjacent to the reference center in the library. There would be new computers in the library Electronic Resource Center (ERC), and they would be running MS Windows NT and, better yet, connected to the Internet. So in addition to hiring and training a staff from scratch I was faced with two poorly equipped old labs that needed new operating systems and Internet connections, an one new lab that would have both those things. Naturally I thought most of my trouble would come from the superannuated labs; Imagine my surprise half a year later when it occurred to me that the library-based lab had caused me more problems than the other two combined.

One problem was the fact that adults – the reference librarians – shared contiguous space with the ERC technology lab. The other problem was that those adults were reference librarians. For example, since both the program and the students were young there was a problem with tardiness. Most students have a generous opinion of what it means to be “on time,” and shift changes often resulted in coverage gaps. If the biologists down near the Science lab ever noticed these inconsistencies I never heard about it. Ditto the computer scientists in the Coach House. I noticed, of course, but I didn’t tend to call myself in order to leave panicky messages on my voice mail. The librarians noticed, and boy did they call. Such was their concern that a restroom-length absence might be enough to trigger a call. These calls were so persistent that I soon, made “friendships” with many of the librarians, and the memory of those relations are carried down to today, a decade later*.

A bigger issue arose from the nature of help offered the patrons. The student technologists were there to help their peer students use the computers: getting online, double-spacing in MS Word, learning what spreadsheets do, and the like. But because the reference area and computer lab share a contiguous area many patrons approached the technologists with questions better handled by librarians trained in consulting with patrons on library-related issues. But the student technologists had been trained to be helpful, and when someone approached with a question they tried their best to answer it without distinguishing between technology and reference. This did not make the librarians happy. They complained to the students, to me, to my supervisor, and the their supervisor. The library supervisor in turn complained to the students, to me, to my supervisor, and to the provost. The provost has recently retired so I can’t ask him if he complained to anyone.

At the time I assumed the librarians had some kind of turn issue with the STCs. A proud lot, they knew their jobs but at the time those jobs didn’t entail use of technology and many were, to be blunt, afraid of computers. Afraid perhaps that computer labs staffed by scantily trained (in comparison to their own) student were going to take their jobs. Despite any fears and the occurrence of panicky calls one thing the librarians had in abundance was patience. Again and again they explained to me the importance of what they called the “reference interview,” the process by which they teased answers to questions the patrons weren’t sure of to begin with. I thought the librarians were being over-sensitive and picky; they probably thought I was being insensitive and sloppy. No doubt there’s some center ground between the two positions that best describes the scenario I am relating, but over time I came to better understand what it is the librarians had in mind.

At the root of the librarians’ argument was the principle of customer service. Patrons were at the center of every interaction, and the importance was to understand what the patron wanted (even if s/he didn’t) and provide the appropriate resource(s). I didn’t reject their argument because I disagreed, but because I felt that my students actions complied en toto with that described by our friends in the reference section. I’d trained the students in the technological aspects of their jobs and had no doubts they understood the proper resources in that arena, and I’d advised the best resource for reference-related questions were the librarians. My bases covered, I didn’t see the problem.

With time and observation I gradually began to understand the librarians’ perspective, but it took this weeks reading to uncover the root of their orientation. While both camps had the best intentions, the librarians had a theoretical matrix from which to work while I did not. The librarian entrusted with overseeing the ERC was fresh from library school and could probably quote textbooks from memory. I don’t know the texts in question, but no doubt they were influenced by the user-centered approach espoused by Belkin and others. Implicit in that approach was the concept of negotiation. I never once suggested that the students knew more than the librarians, I just didn’t think it was such a big deal that the students could take first whack at student questions then refer them to the librarians if necessary. I tried to frame this approach as labor-saving, but the reference staff wasn’t going for it. They didn’t want their labor saved, and now I see a little better why. The student workers not only didn’t know the answers, to a large degree they didn’t know the questions. They didn’t know how to help the patrons articulate their queries, for example. The issue was more than one of turf or of understanding the library, but of understanding the patrons themselves. Taylor and especially Belkin have helped me to understand the user-centered library in a more sophisticated manner. The patron is not just the center but is the point of the entire exercise.

I don’t think it has always been that way. Back when I was still flogging away at my history dissertation I spent some time in an archive at a coal museum in Pennsylvania where I shared a table with the volunteers who helped out. One of the regulars was a professional librarian probably in her 80s, someone who’d worked in both school and public libraries. I understand it is a mistake to use one person as a template for understanding an entire profession, but this old gal did not suggest a user-centered approach. Just the opposite, in fact; her opinion seemed to be that she guarded a precious resource, and her most important job was to maintain strict vigilance over it. Yes, users should be allowed in a library, but only if they met certain criteria and acted in a given manner. She was like a mother hen guarding the latest batch of chicklets. I suspect that what new librarians today might want to remember about Belkin et alia is not just their message but the fact that it was probably revolutionary for its time, and helped to shape not only the librarians of today but the libraries themselves. And if the architects of the Internet can bring that message online it can only help to improve the usefulness of cyberspace as well.

*One of those librarians is currently on the faculty at SCILS – not telling you who!
About this Entry
punts, oxford