International Association of Scientific and Technological University Libraries

IATUL News Alerts

Archive May 2014

Passive MOOC Students Donít Retain New Knowledge, Study Finds

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 4:02:34 p.m.

Students in massive open online courses are apt to take a passive approach to learning, avoiding collaboration with others, seeking only passing grades, and therefore not retaining new knowledge, a new study has found.
Researchers at Glasgow Caledonian University surveyed about 400 students who were taking the Harvard Medical School’s “Fundamentals of Clinical Trials,” a MOOC intended for health professionals and offered through the U.S.-based platform edX.
The researchers found that most students entered the course hoping to gain skills to boost their careers. As time passed, however, their main concerns shifted to completing the course and getting high scores, not practicing their newly acquired skills.

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Technology to the Rescue

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 4:01:33 p.m.

How might public flagships meet some of their most pressing challenges? Earlier this month, Ithaka S+R completed a study on behalf of Lumina Foundation to  understand the growing but contested role of technology-enhanced education at these universities.  In this issue brief, Deanna Marcum, Ithaka S+R's Managing Director, offers an abbreviated look at the study's findings on how public flagships are addressing the need to increase access to education, contain costs, improve student learning outcomes, and increase institutional efficiency.
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Update on the ARL/CARL/COAR/LIBER Joint Task Force on Librariansí Competencies in Support of E-Research and Scholarly Communication

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 3:50:17 p.m.

In August 2013, the Association of Research Libraries (ARL), the Canadian Association of Research Libraries (CARL), the Confederation of Open Access Repositories (COAR), and the Association of European Research Libraries (LIBER) came together to work jointly on defining professional librarians’ competency needs to support e-research and scholarly communication. The aim of the task force is to outline the service areas, roles and competencies needed by libraries and librarians in this evolving environment. The first step will be to identify the various avenues of service for libraries within the context of e-research, repository management, and scholarly communication, amongst others. These services and roles will then be mapped to the competencies required by librarians and library professionals. The task force will also make note of the array of organizational models evolving to support new services. The task force will produce a toolkit that will help to build capacity in libraries for supporting new roles in the area of scholarly communication and e-research. The toolkit will allow library managers to identify skill gaps in their institution, form the basis of job descriptions, enable professionals to carry out self-assessments, and act as a foundation for the development of training programs for librarians and library professionals. In addition, the toolkit will provide an outline of new organizational models that are evolving in this dynamic environment. The work accomplished to date in 2-4 profile service areas will be presented, including scholarly communication and research data management.
Link to the Presentation at the CNI Spring 2014 meeting.
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The Internet of Things Will Thrive by 2025

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 3:47:29 p.m.

Many experts say the rise of embedded and wearable computing will bring the next revolution in digital technology.
This report is the latest research report in a sustained effort throughout 2014 by the Pew Research Center Internet Project to mark the 25th anniversary of the creation of the World Wide Web by Sir Tim Berners-Lee (The Web at 25).
A February 2014 report from Pew Internet Project tied to the Web’s anniversary looked at the strikingly fast adoption of the Internet. It also looked at the generally positive attitudes users have about its role in their social environment.
A March 2014 Digital Life in 2025 report issued by Pew Internet Project in association with Elon University’s Imagining the Internet Center looked at the Internet’s future. Some 1,867 experts and stakeholders responded to an open-ended question about the future of the Internet by 2025. They said it would become so deeply part of the environment that it would become “like electricity”—less visible even as it becomes more important in people’s daily lives.

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Major international associations join together to underscore their support for immediate open access to research articles

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 3:46:11 p.m.

As organizations committed to the principle that access to information advances discovery, accelerates innovation and improves education, we endorse the policies and practices that enable Open Access - immediate, barrier free access to and reuse of scholarly articles.
Policies that promote Open Access are increasingly being adopted world wide by research funders, academic institutions and national governments in order to improve the use and value of scholarly research. We fully support such policies and the dual avenues for implementing them: open access repositories and open access journals. These policies play an important role in creating an environment where our collective investments in research can be maximized for the benefit of the public, and for society at large. 
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The "Digital" Scholarship Disconnect

Wednesday, 21 May 2014 3:44:45 p.m.

EDUCAUSE recently kicked off a discussion with Clifford A. Lynch, Executive Director of the Coalition for Networked Information, by asking: "How would you define digital scholarship?"
Digital scholarship is an incredibly awkward term that people have come up with to describe a complex group of developments. The phrase is really, at some basic level, nonsensical. After all, scholarship is scholarship. Doing science is doing science. We don't find the Department of Digital Physics arguing with the Department of Non–Digital Physics about who's doing "real" physics.
Interestingly, one of the first terms that people used for digital scholarship as a large-scale phenomenon was e-science; this was popular in the United Kingdom in the very late 1990s and early 2000s. While helpful for funding agencies, the term puzzled scientists, who might say: "We don't do e-biology. We do biology. And in our biological research, we use technologies that are constantly changing and improving."
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