November 2012 Site of the Month

primo banner


Introduction to EndNote: A WIT Libraries Tutorial

Authors: Terry O'Brien, Nora Hegarty, Alan Carbery, John Moloney, Delia Foley

Interviewee: Nora Hegarty, Alan Carbery, John Moloney, Delia Foley

Institution: Waterford Institute of Technology, Ireland

Interviewer: Jill Newby

Tutorial Description: EndNote is the standard bibliographic management tool used by staff and students in Waterford Institute of Technology (WIT). The project team wanted to develop an online interactive tutorial for the teaching of EndNote to provide a self-directed flexible tool that students and staff could access at their convenience. Prior to this tutorial, EndNote instruction had been solely provided by in-class training. The creation of the tutorial also contributes to institutional learning and teaching strategies in up-skilling the WIT community in bibliographic instruction and use of bibliographic software.


Q: What software was used to create the video?

A: We made use of a number of software products for this project. For capturing video, we used Camtasia. Our videos also contain graphics and artwork that were created using Photoshop. We made use of SnagIt to enhance our screen captures, as well as Adobe Acrobat to create e-versions of our EndNote guide. Articulate Presenter and Engage were used to package and deliver our overall tutorial.


Q: From planning to launch, how long did it take to complete this project? Was it more or less time than you originally had planned?

A: The tutorial was developed as part of the NDLR Local Innovation Project. The NDLR (or National Digital Learning Resources) is a collaborative community of higher education academics in Ireland that are interested in developing and sharing digital teaching resources and promoting a new teaching and learning culture. The project was planned to take six months and it took the full six months to complete the project (January – June 2011) after gathering all of the software and project requirements.


Q: There are different narrators throughout the tutorial. How many people were involved in the creation of the tutorial and what were their roles?

A: The project was broken into different sections and each team member took responsibility for and worked on a different section. Narration was provided by most team members and two guest narrators. John Moloney was also responsible for graphic design, while Terry O’Brien brought the final project together as project leader.


Q: What was the biggest challenge you encountered when creating this tutorial?

A: Learning how to use the software, in particular Camtasia, without training. It was also a challenge to produce high quality voice-overs. We realized that the microphone quality made a difference to our results and we would recommend a high-spec microphone to others who are facing similar challenges. If possible, we would also recommend some specialized training in the recording process and ideally the use of a recording studio for microphone work.


Q: Did you conduct any accessibility or usability testing on the tutorial before it was launched?

A: Accessibility wasn’t a major issue as tutorials made using Articulate have a standard format. Usability was tested on group members as each member worked on a different section.


Q: Speaking of assessment, have you had an opportunity to assess the effectiveness of the tutorial?

A: Informal feedback has been positive. We plan to carry out post-use evaluation and feedback surveys in the medium- to long-term. We plan to survey all tutorial users whether in WIT or beyond upon completion of the tutorial by means of an online survey, the results of which will be collated through SurveyMonkey software and hosted on the library website.


Q: How do you promote the tutorial?

A: The tutorial is prominently featured on our library website. The tutorial is highlighted to postgraduate students during library training sessions. It is also regularly advertised on WIT Libraries’ social media pages, including our news blog, Twitter, and Facebook.


Q: Has your tutorial been used by any groups you did not anticipate?

A: The tutorial is also featured on the NDLR site, which will give the tutorial a wider audience. There already has been usage outside of Ireland including the US and Europe. We also recognize that being featured on PRIMO will give us a wider audience beyond the original target groups of WIT staff and postgraduates.


Q: Do you have a plan for updating the tutorial when there are upgrades to the EndNote software or library database interface changes?

A: There are plans in place to update the tutorial when significant changes have been made to library database interfaces. Also, when the college fully moves to EndNote X6 (or later) support, we plan to update the tutorial to reflect this. We feel this project is still “alive,” and we hope the tutorial continues to provide relevant and useful assistance to our users for some time.


Q: Do you have any advice for people embarking on similar projects?

A: We would advise organizing training on the software, especially Camtasia. Having a team member who is proficient in Photoshop is very beneficial – in our case, this allowed us to brand the tutorial with our in-house style. It is also essential to have a proper high-quality microphone.


November 2012 PRIMO Site of the Month