Over 700 Registered for Inaugural MOOC Hosted by the Library and Information Science Department
April 28, 2015
The free, four-week course, “Are You Experienced? Exploring Public Libraries,” was open to anyone anywhere. Persons interested in the course were encouraged to register in advance, but registration continued after the class began.
The course covered four topics, one each week: the “Customer Service and the User Experience,” “Youth Librarianship: Best Practices to Serve our Youngest Patrons,” “Technology: Improving Library Services by Managing Technology,” and “Community Engagement,” said Andrea Copeland, an assistant professor in the department, who developed the course, and taught the Community Engagement section.
“Given the central role of information technology in libraries and the transition of the Master of Library Science to an entirely online program, creating the MOOC was a natural step for the department,” Copeland said, “and the fact we are located in the School of Informatics and Computing, it just made sense.”
“Our degree is open to a national audience in a way that it was never before,” she said. “The library community is national and international and I thought this would be a good way to let people know we’re here and what we’re really good at.”
One of the department’s strongest areas is public libraries, Copeland said. “The course is a digital open house where people can, at no cost, and with as much energy as they wish to expend, learn about our program and what’s going on in public libraries.”
An equally important goal is to explore the feasibility of using the online site for the course for professional development of Hoosier librarians.
About half-way through the four-week session, there were 764 people enrolled from all over the United States, and countries like Spain, Lithuania, and Costa Rica among others. The majority of those who registered for the course are librarians, who will be eligible to receive 12 educational credits from the Indiana State Library as part of the required continuing education classes, others are learning about the Master’s in Library Science (MLS) as a degree option or about librarianship as a career.
The course featured instructional video as well as resources to read, explore and view. Using Canvas Learning Management System (LMS), allowed participants to customize their learning experience. They had freedom to work at their own pace, and had the option to participate in weekly discussions, take quizzes on the week’s lectures and readings, and work on an optional project.
“We really are thrilled with the response. Since this was the first MOOC for the campus, we weren’t sure what to expect. We are pleased with the outcome and look forward to working with the Indiana State Library on future opportunities, as IU’s technology infrastructure is a valuable asset,” said Rachel Applegate, chair of the library and information science department at IUPUI.”