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Becoming a LibWizard Wizard (‘s apprentice)

September 24, 2020

I was approached by a new faculty member about working with three sections of Psychology 101 this fall. Her initial request was for me to record a video for her students that she could show in all three sections on the same day. She told me what she wanted me to cover and then said her class was 70 minutes long so my video could be that long.

I immediately thought no one, and that includes my own mother, wants to listen to me talk for 70 minutes about library research. Even in the most basic of one-shot database demonstrations I at least try to make the students follow along on their own computers.

Over the summer we anticipated that our instruction needs were going to change so we acquired the LibWizard tutorial module. I had really high hopes that I would spend my summer making tutorials for all the common questions we are asked but that didn’t happen. I decided that this request was going to be my time to jump in to the deep end of tutorial creation. I whipped together a few slides using YouTube videos that I’ve used in my instructions sessions before. I sent them off to the faculty member and said something like “instead of a video, how about this – but better?” She responded enthusiastically so I started working on building out the tutorial.

I quickly realized I had overestimated my ability to create “this – but better”. I think the software, like most Springshare products, is pretty easy to use but figuring out how to deliver an instruction session asynchronously was new to me, and nerve wracking. How many knowledge check questions are appropriate for each slide? What’s the best order for students to work through this content? Is a slide on source evaluation criteria and a slide on the peer-review process too repetitive? Where should I put this content other than this tutorial so students can refer back to it?

Has anyone else been using LibWizard? Have you had good experiences? What are your pro tips? You can see my creation here: https://washjeff.libwizard.com/f/PSY101.

Image by GraphicMama-team from Pixabay

5 Comments leave one →
  1. JHasse permalink
    September 24, 2020 7:22 pm

    I have not tried this tool, but it sounds promising! Thank goodness you didn’t have to make a 70 minute video – sounds painful for everyone involved!

  2. jlwinpa permalink
    September 24, 2020 8:08 pm

    Gettysburg College librarians waded deeper into LibWizard this past summer for the same reason as you. This presentation might be helpful? https://cupola.gettysburg.edu/librarypubs/141/

    • smartin592 permalink
      September 28, 2020 3:18 pm

      Thanks for sharing this! What a great presentation.

  3. Christina J. Steffy permalink
    September 27, 2020 8:11 pm

    We love LibWizard at PA College of Health Sciences. We started using it last year as a way to help out a staff that was stretched thin. Using it allowed us to have library modules in courses without a librarian having to do sessions. It also allowed us to better facilitate flipped sessions. It was front loaded with work, of course, but it worked out well for us in the long run. Updating the items is easy. And we can copy items to create new tutorials and quizzes. COVID forced some of the faculty who were not willing to try it to give it a whirl and it’s been great. It also allowed us to get our foot in the door of some courses we weren’t in before.

    • smartin592 permalink
      September 28, 2020 3:21 pm

      Christina – I agree that the work is definitely front loaded. But I do like that each slide is it’s own thing so it’s easy to edit and keep current and I’ve already started reusing some of my stuff.

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