International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive October 2014

From Gamification to Touch Interfaces: Designing for 21st Century Learners

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 2:33:34 p.m.

The proven efficacy of games in helping students learn has yet to fully surmount skeptical attitudes among educators, but the motivational aspects of games are enticing, as are the futuristic apps and cross-cultural connections that new devices make possible.

What would people do if an asteroid the size of Texas was racing toward Earth? How would scientists, physicists, politicians, and media react? Sounds like a game, right? What if it was not a game, but a class? What if that scenario was used to bring together students in government, science, and language arts courses? How would they react? And, more importantly, how many rich, teachable moments could educators find in that gamified simulation?

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Learning Analytics: Helpful or Harmful

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 2:31:50 p.m.

In the current higher education landscape there is at least one significant development generating enthusiasm and suspicion in equal parts. Learning analytics refers to technologies, usually software tools, that enable the analysis of student data in order to identify learning weaknesses so that faculty, advisers and even librarians could intervene with corrective action. It has its origins in business and industry where statistical analysis of big data is used to analyze market trends and consumer spending in order to predict purchasing behaviors. While this technology has the potential to increase the odds that academically at-risk students will persist to graduation, it also presents ethical issues related to the gathering and analysis of student data.

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NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 2:29:46 p.m.

The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition, examines key trends, significant challenges, and emerging technologies for their potential impact on academic and research libraries worldwide. While there are many local factors affecting libraries, there are also issues that transcend regional boundaries and common questions; it was with these questions in mind that this report was created. The NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition was produced by the NMC in collaboration with University of Applied Sciences (HTW) Chur, Technische Informationsbibliothek (TIB) Hannover, and ETH-Bibliothek Zurich. To create the report, an international body of experts from library management, education, technology, and other fields was convened as a panel. Over the course of three months in the spring of 2014, the 2014 Horizon Project Library Expert Panel came to a consensus about the topics that would appear here in the NMC Horizon Report: 2014 Library Edition

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How to prepare for the financial side of open access

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 2:25:59 p.m.

Disruption in any sector naturally incurs costs in transitioning to a new model or way of working. Despite its promise to liberate research and benefit universities, the move to open access (OA) publishing is no exception - and a particularly topical issue with Open Access Week 2014 starting on Monday. 

The way that research outputs were traditionally published – and to be clear, many remain to be today – was in journals, conference proceedings and books that then required payment to read. 

Now, however, UK government has recognised that opening access to these outputs can save money by enabling more efficient use of technologies, underpin innovation by making content more readily available, and strengthen the economy. First, though, there’s that tricky transition period to navigate. 

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Technology: Its Potential Impact on the National Need to Improve Educational Outcomes and Control Costs

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 2:24:20 p.m.

The paper explores the extent to which higher education in the United States is falling short in satisfying the nation's need for improved educational outcomes and how technology might be employed to overcome the significant hurdles colleges and universities face. But, technology is not a panacea, and Bowen believes that faculty roles and higher education governance itself will need to evolve if we are to reach our goals of having more students attain degrees in less time and at a lower cost. 

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The Changing Landscape of Library and Information Services: What Presidents, Provosts, and Finance Officers Need to Know

Wednesday, 29 October 2014 2:20:30 p.m.

Rapidly evolving digital technologies and services are profoundly influencing the financial model supporting many colleges and universities. Institutions that rely solely on traditional solutions to address the growing challenges to the higher education business model are unlikely to thrive. Colleges and universities must identify and seize new opportunities in light of new financial challenges.  

In December 2013, Council on Library and Information Resources (CLIR), with representatives from the USA, Canada and Europe,  sponsored a workshop that explored the ways in which library and information technology services (LITS) organizations and academic institutions will need to evolve. Workshop participants—members of CLIR’s Chief Information Officers (CIOs) group, responsible for integrated library and information technology services organizations—identified changes they would be likely to face in the next decade and what strategies they should adopt to prepare themselves for this future.

CIOs Richard Holmgren, of Allegheny College, and Gene Spencer, of Ursinus College, draw on the workshop discussions to summarize the key challenges and opportunities facing LITS organizations. Developments of the past decade—from the ubiquity of cell phones to the growth of virtual server infrastructure and the maturation of open-source software support models—have created new opportunities for LITS organizations to improve student outcomes, increase revenue, and manage costs. The authors discuss these opportunities and identify the core competencies that LITS organizations will need to support positive institutional change in the decade ahead.

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