Thursday, January 22, 2009

ALISE day 2

My favorite session from Wednesday was one of a set of three juried papers on social networking in LIS education. Two of the presenters talked about the use of social networking and/or technology in course delivery but the third took another tack. He used network analysis to examine the relationships between students to study the relationships between students in an online LIS class. The data he used were taken from the discussion forums. His specific question was whether name networks or chain networks were more effective for this type of study and he hypothesized that name networks were the better choice because of their use of the message content to look for names of the persons communicating. Name networks still present challenges because students may have the same name, one student can have multiple names. He used both name networks and chain networks to compare the effectiveness and then triangulated using an online survey of the participants. He found statistically significant differences between the two types of networks (using the results of the survey as a baseline, although that data was self-reported): name networks provide roughly 40% more information about social ties in a group as compared to chain networks. Self-reported networks are almost twice as likely to to share the same ties as name networks than chain networks. Name networks method found three important types of social relations: learn – collaborative work – help.

After that session I attended a “birds of a feather” luncheon where I sat at a table of educators whose expertise lay in cataloging including Arlene Taylor! We talked about the relative merits of including specific types of cataloging work (like serials/continuing resources cataloging) in a broad introduction to cataloging versus the inclusion of cataloging in a more narrowly focused course on a specialty like serials/electronic resources librarianship. The consensus was that the former method would reach more students and have a greater effect of introducing students to a variety of specialties that they might not otherwise have the opportunity to be exposed to.

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I am... a wife a daughter a sister/sister-in-law an aunt a reader a librarian a doctor a quilter a niece a grandmother ;-) a cat owner 6 feet 1 inches tall a yoga enthusiast a cook