August 28, 2014

From the Bell Tower

If Confusion Helps Students Learn, Shouldn’t They Be Information Literate By Now? | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

When students have trouble grasping the subject matter, intuitively we work to make it as clear as possible. New research suggests actually promoting some confusion may work better. If that’s true, how would it change library instruction?

Resolving the Link Resolver Problem | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Students appreciate having access to a vast selection of full-text content, but when our link resolver takes them to an intermediary screen—between the database and content—they find it extremely confusing, presenting them with too many unclear options. Academic librarians have researched the effectiveness of link resolvers since 2004. One not-so-surprising finding is that a high percentage of users never make it past that screen.

Taylorism Comes to Campus | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Just because technology allows us to do something, should we? That’s a big question being asked in higher education when it comes to student performance tracking analytics and predictive analytics.

Higher Ed Pays Attention to Design Thinking | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Using methods familiar to designers as an approach to problem solving in organizations is not a particularly new development, but now higher education may be looking at it as a way to reform how education is delivered.

Common Core 101 for Academic Librarians | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

The Common Core is said to be the most radical innovation to public education in a generation. The average academic librarian has paid little attention. What exactly do academic librarians need to know and does it matter to us?

Where the Opportunity Is | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

According to some research I came across, there are few academic library positions devoted to distance learning. You wouldn’t know that by the crowd that showed up for the 16th Annual Distance Library Services Conference. Trends in higher education suggest that distance library services may be where the opportunity lies.

To Empower Community Colleges, Empower Their Librarians | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Community colleges are increasingly important to America’s higher education system, but they are also a point of failure for too many students. The American Association for Community Colleges (AACC) is planning to change that with the rollout of a new guide—but where do librarians fit into the program?

Save the Time of the Faculty | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

New research sheds light on how faculty members spend their time. The bottom line is they have too little of it to do all that is expected of them. This creates opportunities for academic librarians to save them time.

Expanding News Coverage of Higher Ed Is Good for Us | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

Once you get past The Chronicle of Higher Education and Inside Higher Ed, reporting on news developments in higher education—and thus shaping what is considered newsworthy—is scattershot. But as public interest in higher ed grows, it’s attracting more news coverage. Whatever the reasons, the growing level of national interest in higher education should be a boon for academic librarians who take their “keeping up” seriously. Done right, it’s a powerful form of personalized professional development.

It Can’t Hurt To Ask—or Can it? | From the Bell Tower

Steven Bell

What lessons can academic librarians take away from “W,” who negotiated for a tenure-track position thinking there’d be no harm in asking for more—but in fact it did a lot of harm?