Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides
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- Table of Contents
- About the authors
Whether you call them research guides, subject guides or pathfinders, web-based guides are a great way to create customized support tools for a specific audience: a class, a group, or anyone engaging in research. Studies show that library guides are often difficult, confusing, or overwhelming, causing users to give up and just fall back on search engines such as Google. How can librarians create more effective, less confusing, and simply better research guides?
In Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides, author Jason Puckett takes proven ideas from instructional design and user experience web design and combines them into easy-to-understand principles for making your research guides better teaching tools. It doesn't matter what software your library uses; the advice and techniques in this book will help you create guides that are easier for your users to understand and more effective to use.
Jason Puckett is also the author of the ACRL publication Zotero: A Guide for Librarians, Researchers, and Educators.
Foreword by Aaron Dobbs
About This Book
What Is Instructional Theory?
Searching the LIS Literature
A Note about LibGuides
Chapter 1: Research Guides and Instructional Theory
What Is a Research Guide?
What Are Research Guides For?
Terminology Used in This Book
Common Problems in Creating Research Guides
How Can Guides Teach?
Chapter 2: Learning Objectives in Research Guides
What Is a Learning Objective?
Defining Your Learning Objectives
The Action Verb
Putting Objectives to Work in Your Research Guides
Building a Guide Structure from Your Objectives
Chapter 3: Learning Styles
What Are Learning Styles?
Learning Styles: Three Models
Perceptual Preference Modality
Kolb Experiential Learning Model
Gardner's Multiple Intelligences
Applying Learning Style Theory to Library Research Guides
Examples: Using Learning Styles in Research Guides
Drawbacks and Practical Concerns
Summing Up: Some Simple Best Practices
Chapter 4: Designing and Writing for Better Usability
What Is UX?
UX and Online Instruction
Visual Design for Nondesigners
Unintentional Focal Points
Simplicity and Clarity
Consistency of Design
How Users Read on the Web
The F Shape
Above the Fold
Writing for the Web
Making Clear and Useful Links
What to Cut?
Summing Up: Some Simple Best Practices
Chapter 5: Assessment
What Are You Assessing?
Using Rubrics and Analyzing Guide Content
How to Use Rubrics
Assessment Example: Rubric
How to Use Surveys
Assessment Examples: Surveys
What Analytics Assessment Can Tell You
Assessment Examples: Analytics
Chapter 6: Planning, Coordinating, and Administrating Guides
Tying Guide Goals to Instruction Program Goals
Sample Instruction Goals with Research Guide Components
The Research Guide Coordinator
Control: How Much Is Too Much?
Guide Coordinator Case Study
Maintenance and Administrative Tasks
Regular and Periodic Maintenance
Accounts and Ownership
Collecting and Reporting Data
Upgrading and Overhauling
Extending Your Reach
Make Guides Findable
Your Mileage May Vary
Reuse, Reduce, Recycle
Establishing Best Practices
Jason Puckett is Communication and Anthropology Librarian, Librarian for Virtual Services, and Assistant Professor at Georgia State University in Atlanta. He was a Library Journal Mover and Shaker for 2010 for his work with technology in libraries. Puckett has a BA in English from Georgia State University and an MLIS from Florida State University, and has worked in libraries since 1993. He is a B-movie fan and an enthusiastic but unskilled video gamer. Puckett’s other book from ACRL, Modern Pathfinders: Creating Better Research Guides, explores how ideas from user experience web design and learning theory can help librarians make online guides more effective and easier to use. He’s also written about digital rights management and open source and open access issues in libraries. More links and information about this book are available at jasonpuckett.net/zotero. The bibliography is available as a public group library at zotero.org/groups/z_guide_by_puckett. GSU’s Zotero guide, shared under a Creative Commons license, is available at http://research.library.gsu.edu/zotero.
Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL)
Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) is the higher education association for librarians. Representing more than 11,000 academic and research librarians and interested individuals, ACRL develops programs, products and services to help academic and research librarians learn, innovate and lead within the academic community. Founded in 1940, ACRL is committed to advancing learning and transforming scholarship.