Library Safari and iPads: Technology to Enhance Student Learning: 2012 Update
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The Library Safari program at the University of Maryland Libraries aims at reducing freshmen anxiety about using a large and complex academic library system through exercises and teamwork. Every fall semester instructors who teach the orientation course UNIV 100, "The Student in the University," request this workshop for their students. Once scheduled, students come to a teaching lab in the main campus library and are given a brief introduction. Students are then divided into small teams and assigned a set of exercises to complete. These exercises, designed around the themes and ideas expressed in the First Year Book, teach students how to navigate the main library by learning: how it is organized, how to access its resources, know how to contact a librarian, and learn what public services are available. Printed sets of team exercises and hardwired library computers have traditionally been used to conduct this workshop. In fall 2011, librarians in User Education Services experimented by incorporating emerging technologies or iPads into the way students interfaced with the Libraries. At the conclusion of the fall semester, analysis was conducted to evaluate the students' experience with this mode of instruction. The positive feedback helped us determine the successes made by this modest blended learning approach. Additionally, it has informed us what changes should be made to improve this program of library instruction.
Poster presentation at the Innovations in Teaching and Learning Conference, April 26-27, 2012, University of Maryland, College Park and the Maryland Library Association & Delaware Library Association 2012 Joint Library Conference, May 9-12, 2012, Ocean City, Maryland.