Blended Learning Information literacy

Open Educational Support for Marketing and Management courses at JMSB

As one of the librarians taking care of the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, I am responsible for supporting two of the five departments, namely Marketing and Management. Over a decade ago, I embarked on an initiative to transform my library service, leveraging blended pedagogy to provide Open Educational Resources for my community. Learning to use a library and trusted resources is the original (dare I say canonical) experiential learning activity. This simple fact is sometimes forgotten…

In short, my pedagogical delivery strategy involves curating a set of short videos (5 to 10 minutes), hosted on YouTube and embedded in an instructional website. These videos cover using specific databases to empower learners to succeed in their classroom activities. These videos also provide insight on search strategies and skills applied to the Canadian business environment. Students can discover these videos and corresponding web pages through direct links in the Moodle instance for their course, through subject guides on the library website or, more improbably, by searching on the Internet. I currently have about three dozen videos in active use.

JMSB provides for some distinct challenges in devising a library learning program. An entering cohort of new students has around 1500 undergraduates. Class sizes are capped at 60, which means that a required course would have up to 55 sections a year, spread over 5 semesters (fall and winter, as well as 3 spring/summer terms). In the past, I would strive to visit as many course-sections as humanly possible, sometimes providing up to 5 library lectures per day. These 60 to 90 minute lectures were provided to a handful of select courses, so each time a teaching faculty would request a library lecture, I would attempt to secure a visit in all sections. Other librarians would pitch in. My records would indicate that we would only visit about a third of course-sections as many teaching faculty would not allocate classroom time for our visits, for a handful of courses.

As I gained experience with my community, I became increasingly aware that the 60-90 minute lecture was neither systematic, nor sustainable. Blended learning, in the form of embedded video lectures on course-related websites, was the strategy I determined to be the most appropriate.

Given the current context, this asynchronous pedagogical strategy is more than necessary.

Academic Integrity Business plans Guidelines - recommendations

How to ethically use articles and reports from databases licensed by a library?

This question is quite astute as it allows me to consider both academic integrity as well as complying with copyright and licensing requirements. I’m periodically asked whether one can send an article or a report from a licensed database by our University Library to someone outside of our University’s library. The gist:

Don’t share, just cite

Source: Olivier Charbonneau, Senior Librarian, Concordia University (Montréal)

To expand on this simple guideline I can provide the following insight: our licensing agreements with most of our vendors do not allow members of the University Community to send the verbatim or full reports to parties from the external community. So, please do not forward PDFs from our licensed databases outside of our University. Caveat: anything on the “free web” – such as websites/reports from governments – are free to share in full (as per the Canadian Copyright Act).

I know this is unfortunate but I offer you a silver lining: members of the university community are allowed to read, learn and cite from reports or articles from our licensed databases to draft summaries or briefs. In addition, you can cite from multiple sources to craft a really powerful synthesis of a complex business topic. This resulting paper is your own, as long as you cite short but salient passages from reports or articles our licensed databases and provide the source in a proper bibliography (footnotes and/orendnotes).

This advice stems from a simple ethical rule in research: if you share a single source in full, this is usually called stealing… but if you cite salient but short passages from multiple sources and provide proper references, this is called research. The resulting research paper is yours: the authors of the research paper own the copyright of the resulting paper with citations and can leverage or mobilize it as they wish, like selling it to a client or posting it on the free web.

This is the ethical rule in authorship, in line with various complex copyright or licensing requirements, that exemplifies best practices for the university community. In addition, it also provides for a “value-added” service for business analysis: selecting and arranging salient business insight in a research brief. Believe it or not, this is what you are groomed to do in our business school. Your question exemplifies best practices, that of validating with a colleague how best to proceed given a novel or uncertain context.

In addition to the above insight, please allow me to point out the following resources I’ve created to support Canadian entrepreneurs:

1. I have created a “quick list” of best resources on the free web for entrepreneurship research on this post on my work blog: Researching a business plan using free sources

2. My “expanded” list of resources, with licensed databases from our collection, is on the Library website: Entrepreneurship research guide

In closing, please note that this summer, I shall be overhauling my research guides and corresponding YouTube tutorials, so these sources will shift in the coming months, as fast as this humble librarian (and single dad from an undisclosed location deep in the Montréal Suburbs) can crank out web and video Open Educational Resources. Please consult my work blog, www.outfind.ca, for updates.

Information literacy Videos

Quick and easy video production for Librarians and Instructors

This video showcases my method or protocol to prepare quick & easy videos for my learners. I am a librarian working in a University in Canada and I use free software, namely Quicktime, to produce these instructional support materials. This video is hosted here: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

Here is the outline of the video:

1. Before you begin: Create a new user account; Fix accessibility settings; Lights, camera, outline

2. During the video capture: Be yourself, pretend a friend is with you; 10 minutes max; Don’t edit, throw away & start over

3. Post production and uploading: This outline is your description on YouTube; Use YouTube’s tools for post production

DON’T PANIC! Be playful! Practice…

Source: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

I have prepared a 10 minute video about how I produce my instructional videos. It has taken me about a decade to arrive at this workflow, I’ve transformed my practice long ago to harness the potential of new technologies, tools and platforms. My goal is to share with you my playful and underwhelming method to make simple but useful videos.

Please don’t feel like you should put yourself “out there” as I have. As a middle-aged, overqualified and, well, tenured, white male, I am well aware that I can leverage many factors in my favour to curate an Internet persona. Please focus on the production method (QuickTime hack & inexpensive computer equipment), not the dissemination strategy (YouTube & posting on a blog available on the Internet).

I simply use QuickTime, my old computer with an onboard mic and camera and zero editing (ok, I have a nice external microphone which is 10 years old, but you really don’t need it).  It is available on my YouTube channel and embedded in my work blog, at this address: https://youtu.be/62sy1xJG4YY

Of course, this is the workflow I’ve implemented for my own practice in supporting my community: hundreds of faculty and thousands of students from the Marketing & Management departments of the John Molson School of Business at Concordia University. These diverse and energetic colleagues and learners require a special kind of library service, which goes well beyond the canonical book-article paradigm of librarianship. (Actually, most of my colleagues go well beyond the book-article paradigm, but I need to speak to what people perceive librarians to be).

I say this because there are passionate and smart people working on various “video production workflows” at my institution, Concordia University, and elsewhere. Please consider this video as “a” possible method, the one I’ve crafted that I am now sharing with you. It works for me and maybe you’ll feel empowered or inspired to try your hand at creating your own videos… Please remember to consult with your institutional experts about best practices that are meaningful for your local community.

Stay safe and well. See you around the Internet!

Olivier Charbonneau

Olivier Charbonneau is an associate Librarian at Concordia University, Olivier Charbonneau is primarily interested in copyright issues as well as questions of open access and Web 2.0. He is a doctoral student at the Faculté de droit, Université de Montréal. He has over 15 years of professional involvement in library and cultural communities. He holds two masters degrees from Université de Montréal, one in information sciences and another in law, as well as an undergraduate degree in commerce from McGill University.

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