Monday, June 30, 2008

UToronto E-Resource Feed to Blackboard

Poster Session "Matching courses to resources: integrating discipline-specific Library resources in Blackboard courses." Here’s the abstract:

The University of Toronto Libraries faced a daunting challenge this year -- thousands of new Blackboard courses coming online, and ZERO Library presence in the Blackboard LMS environment.
With a small grant from the University, Library staff built a structural framework using RSS feeds, that would automatically feed existing discipline-specific resource lists and essential library services, into appropriate Blackboard courses. For those courses where the auto-generated resources were inappropriate, Library staff built an online "fix-it" tool.
The fix-it tool enabled librarians to both modify the feeds AND see how the rendered web results would look in Blackboard, without first having to seek course access from individual instructors. The rendered pages of Library resources are automatically integrated in Blackboard through a building block, which was also developed as part of the project. Rendered pages can easily be repurposed for other course management systems or standalone web pages, making this a secure, flexible and scalable model.

Rita Vine and Sian Miekle answered questions at the poster. The system handles e-resources of any kind. While the intent is to feed into Blackboard, the system was designed to feed to any web page. As Sian was explaining all this, Michael Brewer form University of Arizona, Tucson described how they’re using an information literacy question base in Blackboard to administer an IL pretest. The results go to both the course instructor and the library. This allows the librarian and course instructor to prioritize the information literacy instruction for each class.

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