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Peer Review

Library Instruction Case Wiki

by Leticia Camacho , Andy Spackman


Overall Numeric Rating:

3.75 stars
Content Quality: 3.75 stars
Effectiveness: 4 stars
Ease of Use: 4 stars
Reviewed: Oct 30, 2010 by Library and Information Services
Overview: This is a repository of library instruction case studies for librarians who are looking for workshop content. Provides case studies for use in library instruction. Most case studies involve topics relevant for advanced business students, although a few are for beginning students of all disciplines. Explains the basis for case study instruction and offers an annotated bibliography of relevant literature.
Type of Material: Learning Object Repository
Recommended Uses: This resource would be of interest for librarians interested in new content for library instruction sessions.
Technical Requirements: Any Internet browser. Adobe Acrobat.
Identify Major Learning Goals: The librarian will be presented with a workshop outline which includes learning objectives, discussion tips and resources. Goals vary by case study. A common emphasis is to understand specific information resources relevant to a case study. Resources may include those free on the Internet or available through library subscriptions.
Target Student Population: Primarily advanced business students; also beginning students of all disciplines for case studies relating to introductory research and position papers.
Prerequisite Knowledge or Skills: Knowledge of business concepts; no prerequisite knowledge for introductory case studies.

Evaluation and Observation

Content Quality

Rating: 3.75 stars
Strengths: This is a potentially valuable resource for academic librarians looking for proven workshop content. The collaborative Wiki format means a broad variety of content, from a variety of sources, could eventually be added. Provides a relevant context for exploring various resources, and provides an outline for creating a learning environment that is more engaging and effective for the students. Business examples seem comprehensive and relevant.
Concerns: Currently the content is limited. The usefulness would be increased with the inclusion of sample handouts, or exercise. Some of the resources mentioned may not be available at individual libraries. The introductory case studies do not seem to be as interactive or as exploratory as the business case studies. Links to some of the handouts are broken. Although the authors allow submission of additional case studies and encourage discussions of other librarians’ experience using case studies, this hasn’t occurred. The site appaears not to have much activity since 2009.

Potential Effectiveness as a Teaching Tool

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Because these library case studies are not as self contained as traditional business case studies, they allow more unexpected opportunities for learning. The knowledge students’ gain from a case study will likely be greater and make more of an impact than traditional instruction. Real world examples are provided, many of which will be of interest to students.
Concerns: Although there is a potential for varied cases and discussion surrounding posted cases, there is currently only a few cases posted by the host institution. Prerequisite knowledge is not provided. However, business librarians will likely know which case study is appropriate for students at specific levels. Effective student learning for case studies is highly dependent on librarian preparation. The case studies are not a step-by-step set of instructions. Librarians who do not sufficiently immerse themselves into the scenarios beforehand, or have limited knowledge of business students information needs, will have difficulty creating a positive learning environment. May be difficult to effectively provide resource demonstration and encourage discussion or student exploration in a typical 50 minute session.

Ease of Use for Both Students and Faculty

Rating: 4 stars
Strengths: Provides good case study examples. Outlines the stages in which to introduce resources and offers suggestions for facilitating discussion. The Wiki format and software will be familiar to many users as it uses the same MediaWiki software used by the popular
Concerns: This is a repository for ideas in the form of text. There do not seem to be any means to share in class materials used by the instructors. Much preparation is required by librarians to be effective. It would be helpful to have more examples of how to facilitate the case studies.

Other Issues and Comments: For more explanation of the author’s approach and results, see their article in the Journal of Academic Librarianship For this to be truly effective it needs to be marketed and a community needs to be developed around it.