emerging technologies in instruction, instruction section, acrl

September 2003 Site of the Month

Research: the Next Generation

Authors: Donna Goda, University of Central Florida
Interviewer: Jennifer Knievel


The tutorial from the University of Central Florida is a series of streaming videos of a librarian teaching basic search strategies, combined with screen shots of computer screens and images of library locations. This tutorial has two modules: Searching for Books and Searching for Journal Articles. Each module is chunked into short QuickTime video segments. The modules also include transcripts in Spanish.

Interview with tutorial author:

Q. What was the motivation for creating Research the Next Generation?

A. During a Reference Department staff meeting a colleague said, "Gee, I wish we could just have a video for all of the library instruction classes we do for the beginning freshman English classes." The general consensus of the group was that personal contact was an essential part of the instruction session. My thoughts just leapt to a streaming video that I had seen, and I imagined a "talking head" and screen shots demonstrating how to use the UCF library web pages for the catalog and finding journal articles.

Q. How long did the entire creation process take?

A. All technical work was done by UCF Office of Instructional Resources: 2 hours taping, 45 hours editing and revising (half of this time was due to changes in the featured journal database), 15 hours compress time on computer, 60 hours web site creation and refinement, 60 hours Spanish translation, 10 hours miscellaneous.

Q. What were some of the challenges you faced?

A. I considered it very important that the level of wording be not too basic but not too confusing. Like Goldilocks, I wanted it "just right" so that it would appeal to the broadest section of potential users. Since I have been a librarian for some time, it is often very difficult to put myself back into the shoes of a neophyte searcher.

The technical folks graciously reworked many parts when the database changed format mid-project, and experienced some problems converting speech to text (which was done to make the presentation ADA compliant for the hearing impaired).

Q. What support, if any, did you get to assist you in the creation of the tutorial?

A. The project was funded by a UCF in-house research grant. The Spanish translation was provided by a native speaker on our faculty. The technical support came from a videographer, a producer and a coder.

Q. What are the plans for the tutorial?

A. We plan to have the tutorial available on a stand-alone workstation in the library for use by patrons when librarians are not available.

Q. What technologies did you use to create the tutorial?

A. DV cam to video tape, Media 100 digital editing, OIR test site, HTML4 to create hyperlinks, CleanerPro6 for compression.

To contact the authors of Research the Next Generation, please write or call:

Donna Goda
E-Mail: dgoda@mail.ucf.edu
Phone: 407-823-2590