Virtual Campus for Real Students: How LMS and Libraries Can Work Together to Overcome Barriers to Access

Concurrent Session 7
Streamed Session

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Brief Abstract

Access to learning materials is via the LMS for students in both distance and blended courses. Libraries need to be in the mix. How?


Lauren Fancher has an educational background in studio art (BFA, UGA) and instructional technology (MEd, UGA), and as a result, has a focus on interactive design and digital media. She is active in the instructional technology, library, and open education communities and is currently serving as the Director of GALILEO Support Services and Affordable Learning Georgia for the University System of Georgia.
Lisa Kafati is the Interim Director of Learning Management Systems for the University System of Georgia. The USG is comprised of 29 public higher education institutions across the state of Georgia consisting of over 300,000 students. Lisa served as the Project Manager on the system wide transition from Blackboard Vista to D2L and since as the LMS Associate Director. Previously, Lisa Kafati held management positions in information technology at Hewlett-Packard and Electronic Data Systems.

Extended Abstract

Technologies for access to online learning lag behind every day consumer experiences, creating barriers and frustrations for students as well as faculty. Music sites and apps such as Spotify, social media sites such as Twitter, Tinder, Instagram, and Facebook, and consumer purchasing sites such as Amazon lead students to expect seamlessness in their online learning experience; faculty expect ease of curation and presentation of learning materials; libraries have a wealth of content in silos outside of the LMS; LMS administrators are stretched too thin to set up materials for each individual; and authentication creates barriers at every turn. How can we improve the presence of the library and incorporation of quality materials already provided by the library for use in these challenging and evolving LMS environments?

The University System of Georgia has both a centrally supported LMS (D2L/Brightspace) for its 30 institutions as well as a shared library system for materials management as well as discovery and linking to content. The LTI standard has made it possible to build tools for integration of library resources into the LMS, with surprising results. This session will explore the access barriers and implication for student success, related research, and both technical and personal approaches for integration, including library widgets and embedded librarians.

Come hear and share how different institutions are reducing barriers to access with these tools and improving student learning experience. With the dawn of analytics, one day soon will we be able to review an end-to-end analysis of student learning? With the increasing ability to make the learning experience as seamless as possible, will we be able to draw strong correlations between access to materials and student performance? The communities of practice have a shared interest in ensuring student access to low-cost content. Let's get together and talk about how to build on our partnerships in the future.