Game Changer: Learning Resources Via an LTI in Your LMS

Concurrent Session 3
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Innovations in Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) have provided the opportunity to enhance the accessibility of library and tutoring resources by integrating them within a LMS. Partnering with instructional design, our Library and Learning Services staff discovered innovative ways to increase students’ awareness of the most relevant academic support resources.

Presenters

As the Dean of Library and Learning Services at Rasmussen College, I oversee our CRLA-certified mentoring and tutoring programs in which our online Peer Tutors and Peer Mentors facilitate approximately 7,000 virtual appointments with students annually. I also serve as the Professional Development Director for the College Reading and Learning Association and as a board member for my state chapter of NADE. I am an (NCLCA) Certified Learning Center Professional - Level Three.
BethMarie Gooding began her work with Rasmussen College in 2005, initially as a campus librarian at the Fargo campus. She moved to the national online campus as their librarian in 2009 before becoming the Associate Dean of Library. She is a graduate of Indiana University with a M.L.I.S. in Library Science and an M.S. in Education. BethMarie is on the board of directors for PACODES an international library project in South Sudan and is active in academic conference presentations and organizations including ACRL, ALA and the Online Learning Consortium.

Extended Abstract

Our collaboration with subject matter experts, instructional designers, and learning management engineers has resulted in a seamless integration of customized learning tools and objects.

To bridge the divide between student resources awareness, access, and usability, we utilized recent advances in Learning Tools Interoperability (LTI) through our online guides vendor to provide point of need course module integration. The LTI integration enhances the student experience with the learning objects; they appear as part of the course module itself rather than an external link or links after text.  As Frierson and Virtue (2013) emphasize, “unlike a generic link to the library homepage, the library course pages (LCPs) are embedded in a course and contextually relevant”(p.7).

Making learning resources accessible by directly integrating them with course content has been a priority initiative for our Library and Learning Services team over the past year. As fully online and blended course offerings continue to increase, so has the amount of attention being paid to success rates in these different modalities. As a result, how (and how often) support resources - a known high-impact practice for increasing student success rates - are being  used by online and blended students has also been an increased area of focus. Positioning these resources so they are accessible by students who prefer to enrol in blended or online classes is critical to ensuring that this student population is adequately supported.

Integrating student support resources, such as assignment-specific online learning resources, directly into courses is a response to the needs of nontraditional higher education student populations. As Nellen (2003) points out, nontraditional student populations are drawn to distance education programs in part by the ability to work on course content at nights and/or on weekends. Institutions that are able to adjust the availability of resources for students will be more likely to see nontraditional students take advantage of those resources.

Improving access to support resources for nontraditional learners has also provided a direct connection to current college-wide student retention and student success goals: the use of resources to successfully complete assignments, increased levels of student engagement, and higher levels of student satisfaction. Connecting to college-wide goals has, in turn, resulted in establishing mutually beneficial partnerships across departments. This includes frequent communication with admissions, advisors, faculty, curriculum development, and course design. These partnerships allows for increased visibility of academic support resources as well as the appropriate consideration of resource integration in the student experience to occur throughout the conception of a course through the life cycle of each student.

This session is timely given the current higher education landscape. Many institutions are expanding to meet the growing set of needs of an increasingly diverse student population. Some expansion is physical - branch or satellite campuses, for example. Other growth is occurring in the increasing size of students taking courses in hybrid or online modalities. Both situations present a similar challenge: supporting students equally regardless of course modality or location, including students who enroll in courses of different modalities concurrently. The content shared in this presentation will directly equip participants to meet this growing need.

We plan to engage participants in a variety of ways during the 45 minutes allotted for concurrent sessions. First, we will briefly share (in a Prezi presentation) an overview of our student population, our course modality breakdown, and our roles within the institution so participants can better understand our context (5 minutes). Then, we will share specific examples of initiatives centered on collaborative approaches to supporting students so participants can walk away from this session with a clear way to begin to build support at their home institutions for similar partnerships. More specifically, we will discuss our evolving collaborations with Faculty, and Instructional Designers at our institution (20 minutes). Next, we will screen-share available resources that we have worked to strategically integrate into courses for students and how they appear and function within the learning management system (20 minutes).

 

By the end of this session, participants will be able to:

  • Evaluate existing resources in order to identify those that are a fit to integrate into courses

  • Identify potential partnerships needed to ensure thoughtful integration of resources and approach stakeholders strategically

  • Measure and communicate to stakeholders the impact integrating resources has on student usage

 

References

Frierson, E., & Virtue, A. (2013). Integrating Academic Library Services Directly Into Classroom Instruction Through Discovery Tools. (Cover story). Computers In Libraries, 33(7), 4-9.

Nellen, A. (2003). Using technology to teach nontraditional students. Tax Adviser, 34(5), 290.