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Increasing the Library Role?
April 7, 2010 - 8:12pm

Great discussion around the "Eroding Library Role?" article from 4/7.

One area that I'd like to engage the library community is around librarians and course development.

Do you see a future where librarians partner with faculty to design Web-enabled (hybrid/online) courses?

I ask this question for 3 reasons:

1) Learning design skills can be taught, and the establishment of a robust course design methodology and timetable makes it possible to scale and diffuse quality course development.

2) We need more learning professionals with learning design skills partnering with faculty to design courses. The ubiquity of the LMS means that every course can benefit from a full course re-design around the fundamental principles of sound learning design. The rate limiting step is not the technology, but the people to partner with all the instructors. Hiring a bunch more learning designers is usually not a fiscal possibility.

3) Librarians working directly in course design would add a number of important dimensions that are currently lacking. For instance, I don't know enough about library databases, journals and materials that would work well with a course. I don't know enough about designing and supporting student research projects. Librarians integrated with course design would mean better courses.

This is one of those issues that I know I don't fully understand or grasp. For instance, if librarians did more course design than how would their other responsibilities be fulfilled? We are all too busy, and I don't want to come across as saying that librarians should start doing something new.

Perhaps this is already being done on campuses and I'm unaware of the reality that librarians are routinely working in the LMS to partner with faculty to design courses against a standard learning design methodology?

I also understand that the professional skills and training of a librarian are different from those of a learning designer - and that librarians have been trained for a vital role in the teaching and research work of higher ed. So please take these questions as sincere, meant if nothing else to improve my own understanding.


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