Sunday, July 27, 2008

JISC/CNI 08: The Next Steps of Electronic Books

JISC national e-books observatory project - a UK wide laboratory: Lorraine Estelle, Chief Executive, JISC Collections

It was noted that the textbook sector does not engage with library – direct to student via academics

That the project was restricted to only 36 books indicates how nervous publishers were and the level of pricing they were charging

127 subscribers to myiLibrary platform (3 subjects)
80 to Ovid (medical)

90% librarians believed e-textbooks should be free at point of use
>22000 responses to survey from users (123 universities)
50% teachers not happy
65% media students “”
But 60% already using ebooks
3.1% thought about buying the book
35% using library
40% share with friend
62.6% read from screen; 6% print off
Equal numbers visit library/access elsewhere
Women in particular appreciated access to digital library, much more than men
Expect access via catalogue

Preliminary results from data with Student use from January
Finding opposite behaviour to superbook project; here only 5% of time spent searching; 72% going straight to content
Attributing to Superbook only third were catalogued – evidence that cataloguing is a user focussed and worthwhile activity

Taking what we observe students doing and use it to inform construction of the ebook. Are we taking ancient physical structures & navigation into a new world.

Repeat using survey asking them why?

The Gutenberg-e Electronic Book Project: Opportunities and Challenges in Publishing Born-Digital Monographs:
Kate Wittenberg, Director, Electronic Publishing Initiative, Columbia University

Prizes for best new scholarship by American Historical Association.
Condition of additional work to transform from print dissertation to born-digital book
Project Goals
Workshops with authors to enable them
Change in attitudes towards digital publishing within academy
Contain costs of publishing scholarly monographs
Authors & publishers became close active collaborators rather than ‘lone toilers’
Both sides became more interested in possibilities and more creative
Attitudes towards digital publications evolved – eg concerns that digital monographs hadn’t gone through same rigorous review process as print.
Time & costs exceeded expectations (possibly because the project had blank slates –perhaps for commercialisation need controls similar to print)

Must the scholarly narrative be presented in a linear form?
How does one present an ‘authorial voice’?
Are image & archives supplementary or the organising structure?
Can new ‘textbooks’ be created by integrating ebooks and teaching tools

Tension between author’s creativity and a very traditional environment e.g. some journals would refuse to review born digital so had to create ‘bound galleys’ Seen some changes particularly in the last couple of years.

Potential can create high costs – need to agree on what can be expected
Enhanced collaboration can increase costs and times; the levels of support decreased with later groups.
Need for continuing innovation; and changes from authors, bulishers and universities attitudes.

Companion websites
Publishers lack of integration of ebook/website something which needs further investigation.

Effects of hardware e.g Kindle; current project looked at content

Would catalogue work as a discovery platform for 1000s ebooks - it does for print
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JISC/CNI 08: Web 2.0/Student 2.0: The Key Challenges for HE over the next 5 years - Conor Galvin, UCD Dublin

7-8 overall challenges

Identity in the modern world
Multiple, fluid, contingent
Relative importance of associations, and in context

Deep relationship with technology, highly visual, we’re not ready – native users from the unremarkable to the unrecognisable. Breadth but not necessarily depth of usage cf university tools

To engage with this generation He has to be:

Multi-componential – across discipline boundaries
Profiled and portable

How does your institution rate in these terms? Most in the room rates themselves less than 4/12 Their Space report ECAR study from 2007 Horizon report highlights 6 key challenges > Techlearning blog 15 minute introduction Educause came back with a number of quick projects which could make a difference

Practical examples of open learning
SURF Foundation

How do we reframe the higher education learning experience?

What is education for?
Divergence between generations
Education for practical working citizenship
Creative living – quote from Modern social imaginaries/Charles Taylor
We need a new social imaginary for higher education
Rethink how we teach and support and assessment

Smart usage:
Happening at the lower level of learning e.g. project based learning
Examples of innovative projects
Alice @ CM reducing dropout rates by 100%
UCD library in 2L

Learning Design
Making/remaking the individuals environment
Learning is networked and should be a hopeful experience – we should be prepared to learn as well as teach

Information Services is at the nexus
provide the architecture
provide the foresight

HE cores
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JISC/CNI 08: Infrastructure to Support Research and Learning

Cyberinfrastructure and Cyberlearning: Cliff Lynch, Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information (CNI)

This looks at issues from a US perspective
NSF Office of Cyberinfrastructure/Office of Educational Resources
How can we leverage these two funding streams?

Technology enabled education reaches beyond traditional models, not only for adult education, but also to supplement e.g schools. Museums have moved into this in an aggressive way. Platform for advancing relationships between professional & amateur science. The massive data resources can be used for teaching.

Spent far too long creating information objects/courses which cannot be sustained, either because of platform obsolescence or funding. Need platforms which last for a decade at least. Data deluge also applies to learning systems, about how the students are interacting with them; new tools are developed in some areas. Privacy issue is a caution on this e.g cannot build recommenders without user history; but learning systems can be open to abuse. How much privacy should users have? Would this impact on projects such as the digital lives project?

Report recommendations re openness – default should be skewed towards openness
4-5 weeks due
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JISC/CNI 08: Digital Lives Research Project: Ian Rowlands, University College London

How do we manage our personal digital collections?
Traditionally expressed ourselves on paper, which could form the basis of scholarly collections for major research libraries.

Although not a feature here what if the Hydra had been a blog?

Personas around how we use digital collections can be complex; mixing private and work. We are all also collaborating e.g commenting on someone else’s blog?
Will future historians find similar richness of collections?
We can consciously build a legacy for ourselves

Challenges of distributed information, version control, responsibility of individuals not organisations

Internet business cycle 7 weeks

PIM very under-researched – how do people organise, name files? Provide tools to help people organise these better - can we integrate these with our our traditional bibliographic management tools to provide a seamless user experience?

35 interviews with prominent musicians, academics, politicians.

Diversity across group
Email used PIM

Still live a hybrid world, use mixtures for version control etc.

New computer
52% migrated selectively
43% backed up to external
31% archived machine
17% did nothing.
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JISC/CNI 08: Directions and New Collections - Kevin Guthrie, President, ITHAKA

Think of the academic system as an ecosystem – electronic developments intruded into that ecosystem; we now share space with them.
Relentless need to innovate, provide higher value systems. Todays value added = tomorrows commodity
Newspaper Publishing
Look at how this ecosystem is doing (funded by JISC/SCA)
Discontinuous, disruptive change
News papers in decline
Competition for audience – new players moving into online e.g. BBC, losing geographic leverage. cf libraries

Digitisation for Success

Grants are for start-up; not sustainability

Cost-recovery is insufficient. Growth is necessary as more added value is required, more IT investment required

Value is determined by impact
Subscription engenders discipline. Need to determine community of users to ‘sell’ at any level

Scale matters – consider partnerships, mergers and acquisitions (regarded as success on commercial work)

Flexibility, nimbleness & responsiveness are key – accept there may be need for change

Leadership must be fully dedicated and accountable (this is an entrepreneurial exercise)

We need to set up examples of revenue models as part of project
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JISC/CNI 08: Student Experience

The Information Behaviour of the Researcher of the Future:
Ian Rowlands, University College London

Google Generation defined as those born after 1993 - the press portrays this generation as being different somehow.

UCL's project was to acquire qualitative data on usage (Longitudinal study from Univ Tennessee)

OCLC report – search associated with Google/Yahoo branding only; library associated with legacy print – how do we put our search tools in their environment

Google are easy & predictable, but not seen as a gateway to expensive publisher-created content.

Go for easy option – need clear mental map of premium content

GG not unique

Mental map – did we only have this mental map because the library was static – what now?

People have no idea what an electronic book is?

Get much closer to our users – well beyond satisfaction surveys

Deep log analysis of 9 digital library platforms challenges assumptions on how people read – jump around spend little time on actual content. through ‘metadata broth’ viewing rather than reading

Differences in number of keywords by different nationalities = Germans most structured, Italians power browsers; males prefer HTML, females PDF

Are people using these to check facts, to avoid reading, or rejecting resources, or unable to find relevant resources.

Continuity – differences lessen as older generations catch up & even overtake.

Are our mental maps based on our models of learning?

Listening to Students: Innovative Responses:
Betsy Wilson, Dean of University Libraries, University of Washington

CIBER report (2005) – no library had a department devoted to assessment of the user – a few have now developed expertise in assessment.

ARL Library Assessment Conference among those sponsoring many activities

Based on user behaviour, use & non-use, and related to outcomes.

Commitment to continual assessment & evaluation for positive outcomes

Dialogue with users for new services & discontinued services

Qualitative & quantitative methods; they have had a series of surveys since 1992

Most have moved to remote use – preferred method

Self-reliance is of high importance

Desktop top priority

Library as place to work, other visits drop

UWash. has a focus on bioscience; 70% of faculty & students have some interaction with bioscientists but there is no actual faculty of Bioscience

Print really dead

Library provides ejournal with big chequebook – what happens with OA

Need help with personal information

Fulfilment – library costs from transaction to delivery too high

Integrate discovery & delivery

Integrate collection development budgets

Get librarians out of the library

Can we generalise?

Disparity between faculty & UG usage greater than assumed

Move to desktop – faculty use of collections drop, but UG relatively static. Their activities in library also static. UG remote access increase not as steep as Faculty & Research

Survey that students agreed libraries make them more productive researchers

UG – space

Res – how to save time

Fac – collections

Extend hours

Diversify space

Discovery & delivery

Collection resource reallocation

Worldcat local

20% local

60 regional ILL

114% international ILL

Maintain relevancy & centrality – increase since 1995 – refocus on student needs rather than faculty

Do students rate value with how difficult resource is to obtain

Use consumer mindset to judge materials also services

Print rather reading use

Log analysis based on the browser use

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Thursday, July 10, 2008

JISC/CNI 08: Students and the Transformation of Higher Education - Diana G. Oblinger

Diane is trying to put the students experience in context

Students – multitasking
Where they spend their time – not in class (US studies indicate only 7.7% of time)
Social networks – their choice for email/exchanging information
Gaming (70+% of Americans – is this same in UK?)
Media creation – not just looking at immediate local feedback; audiences are on the web
Participatory culture – not necessarily about the product but the process
Everyone has something to contribute – do they really? Is everyone’s input equally valid?
Social connections create a set of social skills which we value.
Knowledge needs have changed from know how to know what to know where

Definitions of learning are changing
Experiences – learning by doing rather than assimilation
Knowledge distributed across communities/networks
Assessment through reputation

Contextual constructivism
Not possible to separate learning from context e.g what you learn changes
Learning interfaces are part of this context
Familiar with desktop > cf gaming multi user virtual environments

Infrastructure based on learning
Complex, multidisciplinary data
Multiple systems

Real world problems
Remote instruments but employers complain that students know theory but can’t handle the equipment in practice

Science gateways e.g Earthquake Collaboratory, nanoHUB, Galaxy Zoo which include researchers students and citizen environments

Sensory rich
2nd life, haptics (learning by touch) e.g. for medical education
Reinforces memory and learning

Create & collaborate
Digital storytelling
Virtual worlds
Open University free learning resources

Space establishes context
The way we set them up implies how we expect people to learn
rotating seats in lecture theatres
Joint problem solving – improves dropout rate for low achieving students
Metacognition improves learning
Thinking about learning processes
‘wrappers’ – students asked about how they expect to do, then after exercise/exam asked again to reflect on these wrt to how they actually performed


Open educational resources
-Challenges assumptions about knowledge, originality and ownership

Need for enabling infrastructure
Infrastructure for discovery
Data as an infrastructure
Distributed infrastructure – grid computing
Virtual organisations


Who or what they can trust?
Have shown themselves to be much more savvy, information literacy/fluency programmes. Different attitude to trust, maybe just because they’re younger?

How are universities responding to shallow learners?
Courses are more interest driven & distributed – students who are not interested continue with a shallow approach
Deep problem solving produces more transferable skills
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Wednesday, July 9, 2008

The JISC/CNI Meeting: Transforming the User Experience

To a pretty wet Belfast for this meeting - I'll be blogging the individual sessions as usual.

Full conference website

On the social side, I can recommend the lamb shanks at the Crown
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Friday, July 4, 2008

Friday Book Review: Restoring period gardens : from the Middle Ages to Georgian times

Restoring period gardens : from the Middle Ages to Georgian times by John Hooper. Harvey. Aylesbury, Bucks, UK: Shire Publications, 1988. 112 p. : ill. (some col.) ; 21 cm.

Not so much a how-to book; more a guide to some of the principles and ethics behind garden restoration. It does give useful descriptions of restored gardens in the UK (and mentions some major restorations from the USA). Perhaps the most practical aspect are the appendices - lists of plants that were commonly available in the UK at the different periods covered by the work. Like most Shire books, a good, brief introduction
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