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Dianna E. Sachs, Carrie C. Leatherman, Kate A. Langan Western Michigan University

Building Bridges: Restructuring Online Library Tutorials to Span the Generation Gap and Meet the Needs of Millennial Students. Dianna E. Sachs, Carrie C. Leatherman, Kate A. Langan Western Michigan University. Today We Will Cover. Our Study: Compare 2 Online Research Tutorials

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Dianna E. Sachs, Carrie C. Leatherman, Kate A. Langan Western Michigan University

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  1. Building Bridges: Restructuring Online Library Tutorials to Span the Generation Gap and Meet the Needs of Millennial Students Dianna E. Sachs, Carrie C. Leatherman, Kate A. Langan Western Michigan University

  2. Today We Will Cover • Our Study: Compare 2 Online Research Tutorials • Millennial learning outcomes • Millennial satisfaction • What is a “Millennial”? • Working on a tutorial? • Strategies for “Millennial-friendliness” • What happens next?

  3. ResearchPath Modules: College-Level Research Key Research Concepts Using the Library Catalog Finding Articles Using the Internet Citing Sources ResearchPath Module 3 Searchpath Modules: Starting Smart Choosing a Topic Using WestCat Finding Articles Using the Web Citing Sources Searchpath Module 3 Searchpath → ResearchPath

  4. Background • “Searchpath” • Created 2001 – award-winning in its time

  5. Searchpath Today • Seen as: • Text-heavy • Clip art • Visual only • Too linear • Not very interactive • Overwhelming content • Awkward quiz reporting structure

  6. What is a Millennial?

  7. What is a Millennial? • Millennial Generation/Generation Next/Gen Y • Born 1982-2002 • “Digital natives” • Process information differently • Learning Style: experiential, interactive, authentic

  8. Millennial Learning Preferences • Multi-tasking • Graphics • Hyperlinked • Networked • Games • Interactivity • Fast-paced

  9. Millennial Students • “A Vision of Students Today” Source: “A vision of students today”. Michael Wesch, Kansas State University. YouTube, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dGCJ46vyR9o.

  10. Activity • Think back to when you were 12 years old. • Did you…

  11. Four Generations

  12. So what did we do? 2007-2009 – developed technical infrastructure Summer 2009 – created ResearchPath!

  13. ResearchPath • Used video, audio, and kinesthetic • More concise content • Interactivity throughout • Student narration • Photos of actual WMU students • Up-to-date visual components

  14. Did we succeed? • Conducted 4-part research study Part 1: Student satisfaction survey Part 2: Focus groups Part 3: Quiz results Part 4: Mock research assignment for research skills

  15. Study Methods and Procedures • HSIRB – using students as our test group • Advertise, Advertise, Advertise! • Incentives, Incentives, Incentives • Multiple session times  • Proctored sessions

  16. Participants Part 1. Student Satisfaction Survey: 13 participants Part 2. Focus Group: 9 participants Part 3. Quiz Results: 23 participants Part 4. Research Project: 6+ participants

  17. Part 1: Student Satisfaction Survey • 11 questions – ResearchPath vs. Searchpath • 4 multiple choice • 7 open ended

  18. Part 1: Student Satisfaction Survey • Watch three comparable modules of each tutorial • Assigned as they entered site • 45-60 minutes depending on individual and modules

  19. Part 1: Student Satisfaction Survey Quantitative Results • Preferred ResearchPath to Searchpath: • 85% more interesting • 78% easier to understand (retained more information) • 9 out of 14 found audio helpful

  20. Part 1: Student Satisfaction Survey Qualitative Results • 4 main areas of student comments: • 19 comments - self-pacing is important feature. • 9 comments - audio is more engaging. • 8 comments - embedded quizzes as useful • 7 comments - Searchpath is overwhelming due to to much information.

  21. Part 2: Focus Groups • 6 Millennial participants • 1 Borderline (1981) • 2 Gen-Xers • 8 “Compare and contrast” • Student-driven discussion • 90 minutes recorded

  22. Part 2: Focus Groups It was like someone was sitting next to me! A buffet of information! It flows, makes it easier to understand Tutorials à la carte!

  23. Part 2: Focus Groups • What they want: Conversational; informal; self pacing; get more if you want more;  audio; simpler, straight to the point; hands-on; broken-up into “chunks”; neutral color scheme; enthusiasm; options for visual or non-visual, audio or non-audio; larger screen; different formats and presentations

  24. Part 2: Focus Groups • Things to avoid: Cheesy; distracting/loud color schemes; small screen; bad logos; lack of control over content; not enough meaningful graphics and images; too much information all at once; don’t make me mad!

  25. Part 3: Quiz Analysis • Did better in ResearchPath • Identified areas of weakness in tutorials • Consistent trouble with certain concepts • Reevaluate presentation of those concepts

  26. Part 3: Quiz Results

  27. Part 3: Quiz Analysis • Similar not identical quizzes • Effectiveness: • Of each individual tutorial • For Millennial students

  28. Part 4: Learning Outcomes • Still in progress… • Take tutorial & “hypothetical research project” • Compare results with control group • Blind evaluation

  29. Part 4: Learning Outcomes • Image of project they do

  30. Part 4: Learning Outcomes Preliminary Results: • Students are equally able to complete research project after taking either tutorial • Taking a tutorial increases abiltity to complete research project, compared with control group

  31. Bridge to the Future

  32. What’s Next for ResearchPath? • Technical issues • Culturally sensitive content • Go further! More interactivity, customization • Specialized populations at WMU • ADA compliant “text only” version • ESL version • Learning management system

  33. Continue the Study • More participants = more representative sample • Part 5: use identical quiz questions for both tutorials

  34. Things To Consider • What can you do to make your own online tutorials (or other materials) more Millennial-friendly? • Learn from others • Invest time and technical expertise to do it right • Ask your students! • Ask many students • Listen to what they say – and what they don’t say

  35. Use Your Crystal Ball • Food for thought – what will the next generation look like? ? ? Clip art obtained from www.clker.com

  36. Your Stories Created online resources for Millennials? Share your experiences!

  37. Bibliography • Moon, T. (2007). [Untitled compilation of data on Millennial students] Western Michigan University. Unpublished pamphlet. • Oblinger, D. (2003). Boomers, Gen-Xers and Millennials: Understanding the new students. Educause Review, 2003(July/Aug), 36-47. • Reith, J. (2005). Understanding and appreciating the communication styles of the millennial generation. Vistas (2005). • Prensky, M. (2001). Digital natives, digital immigrants. On the Horizon, 9(5). • Prensky, M. (2001b). Digital natives, digital immigrants, part II: Do they really think differently? On the Horizon, 9(6). • Taylor, P., & Keeter, S. (Eds.). (2010). Millennials: A Portrait of Generation Next. Retrieved from Pew Research Center website: http://pewsocialtrends.org/assets/pdf/millennials-confident-connected-open-to-change.pdf • Western Michigan University Libraries (2009). ResearchPath. Retrieved from http://www.wmich.edu/library/researchpath • Western Michigan University Libraries (2001). Searchpath. Retrieved from http://www.wmich.edu/library/searchpath

  38. Presentation is… • Available at: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cjm8593/

  39. Questions?

  40. Presentation is… • Available at: http://homepages.wmich.edu/~cjm8593/

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