New Tools for Training

Research assistance and instruction anytime, anywhere: Blogs, Wikis, and IM.

Chad Boeninger, Ohio Universities

Students have information needs regardless of time or location.

The business blog:

  • promote existing or new resources and services

  • research hints for specific projects

  • nuggets of information literacy

  • information at the time of need

  • knowledge base for both patron and librarian

Challenges with the blog:

  1. measuring use is difficult

  2. which posts are being read?

  3. RSS slow to catch on

  4. Must regularly generate content

  5. What are students working on?

  6. Difficult to categorize/browse/search content, especially the bigger it gets.

40% of people reading the blog – another librarian at another institution.

The biz wiki

  • took wiki and put research guides on it

  • searchable

  • wikis make excellent teaching tools

  • replace handouts

  • broader scope than class specific handouts


  • more content=more maintenance

  • maintaining organization and structure with growth of content is difficult


  • Decrease in redundant questions, patron experiences have increased, students can help themselves. 

Jeff Humphrey, INCOLSA (Indiana Cooperative Library Authority)

Delivering training over the Internet

3 ways: videoconferencing, streaming video, webconferencing.


  • two-way interactive

  • integrated audio and video

  • bandwidth intensive

  • views well in a big room

  • multiple camera inputs

  • better audio

  • ability to record sessions

  • utilizes existing bandwidth   


  • anchored to a live schedule

  • uses a lot of bandwidth

  • doesn’t play well with firewalls

  • not good for hands-on workshops

  • high startup costs

Streaming Video

  • started in 1998 with LSTA funding

  • equipment replaced with IP units in 2001

  • expanded to 30 sites in 2004

  • point to point for meetings

  • multi-point for workshops

  • slow acceptance

  • recent growth, but still not perfect (connectivity and equipment issues)

Streaming media

  • one way flow of information

  • integrated audio and video

  • traditionally delivered to the desktop

  • live or on-demand

  • can be more bandwidth friendly

  • many delivery options (windows media, quicktime, flash, etc.

  • user can participate live

  • user can pick time and place with on demand

  • post production allows for a better sessions

  • most pcs and macs already capable of viewing  


  • No two-way interaction

  • Many encoding options (probably best to stick with one)

  • Harder to incorporate viewable graphics

  • Not every workstation can handle the feed


  • live browser-based meeting

  • integrated and non-integrated audio

  • potential to use video

  • incorporates presentation and document sharing

  • very user-interactive experience

  • usually bandwidth friendly

  • good for live demos

  • good for hands-on workshops  


  • user tied to time and place

  • prone to “creative multitasking”

  • requires a plug-in or script

  • audio integration can be a hassle

  • really requires a “room monitor”

  • costs quickly add up

Sean Cordes, Iowa State


  • content dissemination

  • study support tool

  • instruction recording tool

  • reference recording tool

  • student engagement – motivates students to participate

  • active – integrate all the language arts

  • reflective – requires students to analyze sources and think about evidence in new ways

Using open source tools and a simple process, podcasts can distribute course materials in the online classroom.


  1. record mp3 file
  2. upload file to web space
  3. create blog posting
  4. generate web feed with enclosure
  5. create WebCT posting page to distribute
  6. Use WebCT and Feedburner stats to assess


  • sony digital handheld recorder

  • blogger or blog software

  • ftp client to upload to the server

  • feedburner

  • feed to javascript – syndicate info into CMS

Has blogger account – CoursePodcasts.  Links to MP3 files on the web.


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