EBM and Clinical Support Librarians@UCHC

A blog for medical students, faculty and librarians about their use of evidence based medicine, clinical literature, Web 2.0, sources and search strategies

News, Teaching & Learning, Web 2.0, Commentary: Innovative Course Design, Google and Anonymity

There are three items I’d like to offer up for thought today – and none of them are specifically about medical libraries (nor did I write any of these).

The first idea is on online course designed by David Wiley, professor of instructional design and psychology at Brigham Young University, which was featured on the Dec 1 2008 Wired Campus edition from the Chronicle of Higher Education.

Following is a quote from taken from the syllabus for the online course that Dr. Wiley has scheduled for next year: Introduction to Open Education 2009“:

Instructional design faculty are frequently criticized for delivering information about innovative new pedagogical methods to their students in the form of traditional lectures – for talking the talk but failing to walking the walk. Setting positive examples is important for people in every field to do.

There are two ways to describe the design of this course, and both are equally valid. On the one hand, this course is a mix of direct skills instruction combined with project-based learning and collaborative problem solving. The course employs a progression of increasingly complex problems with supportive information, and requires students to synthesize hundreds of pages of literature, interview data, and their own design intuition to produce meaningful artifacts both individually and as part of highly inter-dependent teams.

The idea of teach-reteach...  is at the heart of the students’  day-to-day learning experiences.”

Source Credit: http://opencontent.org/wiki/index.php?title=Introduction_to_Open_Education_2009 – All rights reserved


Second and third ideas for this post were written by authors raising concerns about two critical areas which librarians spend considerable time thinking about (believe it or not): loss of online anonymity and the omnipresence of Google.  Following are areas of concern:

1) We all use the Internet as a virtual community, as a means of communication, a method of getting work done, a sharer of info or content. Using Google is a daily and constant tool for anyone who is digitally-minded. Our productivity has been increased by using it, and that is a good thing. However, the data mining and storage produced by Googles’ search engine is not necessarily a positive thing… and that video is always on “capture” whether we are aware of it or not.

There is not much that can be done about that storage, sharing or dissemination of data. Google archives it with exquisite, singular specificity. It is this relinquishing of control over our virtual personaes which keeps some librarians awake at night.  It is one trade-off made by our willingness to participate in Web 2.0 tools.

Try this experiment: go to 123people.com and search on your own name. Be prepared for some potential surprises. (Did I know that there are seven people in the U.S. who share an identical, and uncommon, name? Mais oui!  Now I do.) Did the tag cloud generated by this site accurately reflect who you are or what you’re about?

2) At ReadWriteWeb.com, Sarah Perez wrote an article posted Dec 1 2008 regarding the collective loss of online anonymity… you can link here to read it.

3) Lastly, I admired the recent post by Digital Eccentric, librarian and blogger, commenting on Why Google Must Die.

Maybe Digital natives are at ease with their lack of anonymity using Web 2.0 tools such as Ning, Twitter, FaceBook, Delicious, Meebo, blogging, LinkedIn, creating Wikis, posting signed comments or replies, etc. but this distribution of virtual information would have been incomprehensible to (say) our parents.

It does, indeed, reveal a whole new world.


One response to “News, Teaching & Learning, Web 2.0, Commentary: Innovative Course Design, Google and Anonymity

  1. Pingback: Custom Print-On-Demand Wikipedia Books | Educationload.com

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