February 05, 2011

Article on using Skype for information workshops

Eva, N (2011) Using Skype for distance information literacy instruction.  Multimedia Information & Technology, 37 (1), 10 - 12.

This article is very informative and interesting as to why an academic library (University of Lethbridge) decided to use Skype for Information literacy courses.  The courses/ workshops were being held on satellite campuses and it wasn’t economical for the librarians to visit these campuses to give the workshop.  They looked into using online tutorials but decided that it would be better for the students to have a personal “live discussion”. 

University of Lethbridge researched literature and attended courses on blending learning to find out about all of the different types of e-learning and how to present a workshop via e-learning.  In the end they decided to use Skype as the type of communication as it is free and cheap to set up as all they only had to purchase microphones and web cams.

The sessions were deemed to be a success by the students as they could ask questions and felt it had a personal touch.  University of Lethbridge will be conducting more elearning in the future.

Virtual workshops can work if the proper thought and research goes into them.  They could also work for guidance sessions as students / graduates would be able to see the person they are talking to respond to body language and be more personal.  A good alternative if you can't make it onto campus.

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