Roundtable Discussions on All Things Online Learning!

January 16, 2014

Presenters: Kyle Courtney, Mindy Kent, and Deborah Garson

Kyle Courtney, the Copyright Advisor for Harvard University, from the Office for Scholarly Communication, spoke about copyright, MOOCs, and library support, as well as his experiences teaching a smaller version of a MOOC, Cyberlaw.

Mindy Kent, Manager, Reference & Research Services at the Harvard Law School Library, spoke about buildling online video tutorials for legal research methods.

Deborah Garson, Head of Research and Instruction Services at Gutman Library, spoke about online writing classes for incoming international students at the Harvard Graduate School of Education, as well as general assessment for online classes.

This session was co-sponsored by RTL Shares and RTL Working Groups. After brief, informal presentations, we divided into breakout groups to discuss topics these topics further.

We suggested that discussion topics could be anything from building video tutorials to supplementing in-class instruction to partnering with faculty to enhance online instruction for EdX courses. We hoped that this forum would be an opportunity to learn from each other about what it takes to build online content; what works; what doesn’t work; what is hard; what we are doing to build community online; how we are assessing learning outcomes; and what we need generally to be supported as we enter the brave new world of online instruction. 

The following are a few readings (provided by Deb Garson and Lisa Junghahn) to serve as prompts for discussion:

Quick Overview

Peter J. Stokes, Is Online Learning a Disruptive Innovation? (2011)

Anant Agarwal, president of edX, discusses common misconceptions with online learning in this podcast (2013)

Crimson article with student feedback on what does not work in the flipped classroom model (2013)


Scholarly Articles

Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2008). The development of a community of inquiry over time in an online course: Understanding the progression and integration of social, cognitive and teaching presence. Journal of Asynchronous Learning Networks, 12(3-4), 3-22.

Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2011). Understanding cognitive presence in an online and blended community of inquiry: Assessing outcomes and processes for deep approaches to learning. British Journal of Educational Technology, 42(2).

Akyol, Z., & Garrison, D. R. (2013). Educational communities of inquiry: Theoretical framework, research and practice IGI Global.

Garrison, D. R., &  Anderson, T. (2003).  E-learning in the 21st Century:  A Framework for Research and Practice.

ARTstor...and More

February 20, 2014

Presenters: Mary Clare Altenhofen and William Connor

We explored the ARTstor Digital Library and Shared Shelf Commons with Mary Clare Altenhofen and William Connor from the Fine Arts Library.  After an introduction to ARTstor and several similar tools, there was an opportunity for participants to experiment searching for different kinds of visual documentation as well questions/answers and a discussion of the role of visual culture research across disciplines.
ARTstor is a nonprofit resource with over 1.6 million digital images in the arts, architecture, humanities, and sciences drawn from member institutions together with international museums, libraries, photo archives, and artist collections.

General Education from Collections to Instruction

March 20, 2014

Presenters: Christopher Allison, Stephanie Kenan, Ned Hall, Terry Aladjem, Wendy Derjue-Holzer, James Herron, Ramona Islam, Diana Loren, Jessica Martinez, Katie Vale

Part I: Teaching with Things

In this on-the-ground view of a Gen Ed course, Christopher Allison, Ph.D. candidate in the History of American Civilization, presented on innovative uses of collections in lecture courses - specifically on how collections have enhanced learning in courses such as Tangible Things (USW 30) and American Encounters (USW 12). Christopher also talked about ways in which instructors can adapt the conventions of section teaching to the format of visiting collections.

Chris' PowerPoint Presentation

Part II: The General Education Program and the Instructional Support Services Team (ISST)

What is Gen Ed? How can librarians support the program's mission? Stephanie Kenen (Associate Dean of Harvard College for Undergraduate Education & Administrative Director of the Program in General Education) and Ned Hall (Faculty Chair of the Committee on General Education) will presented a broad overview of the General Education Program's distinct mission and goals. This was followed by lightning-round presentations from members of the ISST (including the libraries, ATG, the Bok Center, the Harvard Writing Program, and the Museums) about how the team works to support Gen Ed's goals in individual courses.

Session recording


Mr. Courtney Goes to Washington and Is It Fair Use?

April 17, 2014

Presenter: Kyle Courtney

Kyle Courtney, the Office for Scholarly Communication's Copyright Advisor, updated us on orphan works and gave a review of Section 108 and fair use. Kyle shared news of potential new regulations around orphan works, untangled Section 108 complexities, and led an interactive exploration of fair use.

"Is It Fair Use?" recording

The Social Web: Digital Engagement with our Patrons

May 15, 2014

Presenters: John Overholt, Susan Gilman, Jenny Gotwals, Amanda Strauss

Part I: Creating a Social Media Presence for Houghton Library

Starting with the Houghton Library Blog in 2009, and Twitter and tumblr accounts in 2012 and 2013, Houghton has been working to raise its visibility online and make information about its collections and activities easier to find. John Overholt discussed the different ways Houghton uses each of these platforms to reach interested audiences.

Houghton's blog
Houghton's Twitter
Houghton's Tumblr

Part II: Ways to Engage With Wikipedia: A Conversation

Amanda Strauss, Jenny Gotwals, and Susan Gilman led a discussion about engaging with Wikipedia in your role as a librarian, activist, and/or educator. Topics included: Wikipedia as a reference and instructional tool, the Wikipedia community, how scholars and institutions are contributing to Wikipedia, your experiences and/or how you can get involved.

Schlesinger GLAM page (includes notes from this event)
NEA GLAM page (includes “Checklist for Hosting a Wikipedia Event”)

Session recording

RTL Shares Ultimate Conference Party!

June 19, 2014

We came together over food and drinks for an informal sharing of the most interesting, useful, and hilarious aspects of our profesional conference experiences this past year, as well as tested our knowledge of conference trivia.

A Perspective on the New Media Consortium (NMC) Annual Meeting, June 2014

September 18, 2014

Presenters: Marty Schreiner, Paul Worster, and Kevin Guiney

Kevin Guiney (Instructional Computing Specialist in ATG), Paul Worster (Multimedia Librarian in MMDGI), and Marty Schreiner (Head of MMDGI), shared their three biggest take-aways from the New Media Consortium Annual Meeting this past June. As well, they shared their presentation from the conference: A Teaching and Learning Model for Multimedia Authoring.


Session recording

Library Integration in Canvas

October 16, 2014

Presenters: Kristin Lofblad Sullivan, Kimberley Edelman

Kristin Lofblad Sullivan, Program Director, Teaching and Learning Technologies (TLT), and Kimberley Edelman, Kimberly Edelman, Senior Manager, Academic Platform Support, TLT, provided an overview of Canvas, the background on its selection as Harvard University's Learning Management System (LMS) and demonstrated some of the best ways a library could integrate information on services and resources into the course system.
During the question/discussion period, the following colleagues were there to offer examples and answer questions:
Kevin Guiney
Instructional Computing Specialist
Academic Technology Group
Enrique A. Diaz
Designer / Multimedia Specialist
FAS:  Maps, Media, Data, and Government Information
Kevin Lau
Head of Instructional Technology Group and Library
Graduate School of Design

Jess Rios
Innovative Learning Technologist
Law School


PowerPoint presentation

Session recording

Get It! Services: A Look Under the Hood

Thursday, November 20th

Presenters: Kenneth J. Peterson and Leila Smith

Kenneth Peterson, Head of Resource Sharing and Library Logistics, and Leila Smith, Manager for Resource Sharing Operations and Training, spoke about what services are included in Get It! for our users, the time frame for deliveries and hints on when to use which service. They also provided an overview of the use of the services, a sneak peek behind the curtain of ILL processing and some of the new options offered to users. Lastly, they covered the new Borrow Direct+ agreement and what it means to our scholars and those who come to Harvard to study.

Session recording

Harvard Call Number History

Thursday, December 18th

Presenter: James Capobianco

James Capobianco, Reference Librarian at Houghton Library, led us on a historical tour through the Harvard Library, as seen through its call numbers, from the earliest known shelfmarks through to the adoption of Library of Congress classification. Why do a few call numbers in Old Widener have no letters? What are Inferno books? What libraries, if any, used (or use) Dewey? What other marks in Harvard Library books can tell us something interesting? We explored all of these questions and more, with many books featuring the call numbers and marks discussed provided for our viewing pleasure.

Presentation Slides (PDF)