I’ve been catching up on some of my blog reading this weekend. One of the bloggers I like to follow is Harold Jarche. His blog, Life in Perpetual Beta, focuses on learning in the socially networked world, both from the perspective of business organizations and from the perspective of academic and personal learning. His June 4th post, Pulling Informal Learning, refocused my thoughts on conversations we have been having in a tutorials committee at work. Conversations with graduate students have assured us that we are offering the kinds of topics in our workshops and training sessions in the library that the students want. Yet attendance, while growing, is still low. Students want the knowledge, but they want it when THEY want it.. not usually when our classes happen to offer it. And the answers of when to offer the classes varies by individual. They want the Pull learning that Jarche discusses in his post.
We’ve started creating short tutorials.. both screenshot instruction sheets and some 5 minutes or less video clips for short topics. We have also been using our research guides (we use LibGuides) to expand our class outreach.. most of our library classes have companion research guides with numerous resources on the topic of the class, as well as our PowerPoint presentation that they can download. But I feel like our grasp is still falling short. We have so much to offer students to help make their passage through the university easier and more rewarding.. how to match up our knowledge and their attention is the challenge.
How have others been addressing these challenges?