This Week in LIS - 24 August 2012

Weekly news and updates from Luther College Information Technology Services. To receive email updates, please sign up here.

Headline of the Week: Role of Student Motivation (Part II)

Last week the challenge was to think about ways that in our work and interactions with students we can help them embrace and increase their essential, active role in their learning process. What might we do to encourage students to find and tap into their passions and intrinsic motivations so they can get the most of their Luther experience? What might we do to contribute to creating a positive reinforcing cycle of encouragement for high expectation on engagement and learning?

An interesting article surfaced this week by Mark David Milliron. It is in the form of an open letter to students and it too encourages them to be active in the process of their educational transformation. It is worth reading. It is in part a response to a free online book called Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies. Although I’m only partway through, the book so far is an extraordinary collection of articles about how education and technology relate.

Engaging with students is an extraordinary opportunity. Each encounter provides an opportunity to encourage them or to build relationship that will lead to permission to encourage them. Last weekend I enjoyed a morning of cycling with some first year students on their immersion experience. Tuesday and Wednesday, groups associated with the Diversity Center were hosted in the library focused on building relationships with the librarians. This weekend we will work with many, many new students to help them get onto the Luther network as part of move-in weekend. We will re-establish our student advisory council. We have student representation on the LIS Academic Advisory Council. Within LIS we have north of 50 student workers across our functions and have been training them to support LIS services. A rich set of events is being planned in the library for the Luther community. There will be many skills training sessions made available for which all Luther students will have opportunity to engage. We engage with all first year students as part of Paideia. This is fantastic engagement and offers opportunities for relationship that can lead to opportunities to encourage students in their learning journey.

One of the differentiators at Luther College is community. It is both deep and rich which some suggest is in part due to the nature of our environment. For sure it is due to the nature of the faculty and staff and the culture that has developed here over 150 years. The Luther community is of significance for our students and creates opportunities for all of us to encourage the students to embrace their essential role in their learning journey.

Suggested Reading:

An Open Letter to Students: You’re the Game Changer in Next-Generation Learning by Mark David Milliron

Game Changers: Education and Information Technologies, e-book (Louisville, Colo.: EDUCAUSE, 2012), Diana G. Oblinger, Editor

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LIS Blog Highlights from the Week

The following articles are sampled from those available on the LIS Blog:

Notes from LIS Council

LIS Council is the leadership team within LIS. Among the topics discussed this past week were:

  • LIS Operational Agenda
    • Council members will be reporting on LIS operational views (metrics for processes and status of projects) regularly at LIS Council meetings. This week’s reports included the following:
    • Library
      • Ryan presented and we discussed the distribution, nature and volume of library research help questions from over the summer. Over time we hope to be able to compare current research help question volume to like time of year from the analogous time from the previous year to see how it is trending and what impact various outreach activities are having.
      • Ryan also presented some information from Google Analytics of the LIS website helping us to build a mental model of the site usage. This will be interesting as the school year spins up and may be useful to help us think about site design.
    • Software Development
      • Marcia led a discussion on the electronic door access project. Special focus was on the process of problem routing and also resolution responsibility between Residence Life, Facilities, Campus Security and LIS. This is captured in a recent blog post, ID Card Access to Residence Halls.
      • A substantial update to Reason went online 8/23.
      • Looking out on the calendar, a new Admissions website is planned to go live next week.
  • New Items
    • Direction Note to LIS Team on Annual Report
      • The council confirmed details for the message Paul will send out to all of LIS on next steps. Notes on progress that were captured last January are included for reference and will be subsumed into the final results written in full sentences.
      • Ryan will add a Table of Contents.
      • Our Google search makes .pdf files, including the final version of the annual report, searchable.
    • Discussion on Agenda for LIS General for 9/5 9:15
      • We discussed the upcoming LIS General and potential agenda items of general interest. We want to include some small group discussion based on feedback from our first Strategy Day held this past summer.

Upcoming LIS Training, Instruction, and Professional Development Opportunities

Training and instruction is provided to the Luther Community through Faculty Development Sessions, Library Instruction Sessions, Product Demonstrations, Skills Training, Workshops, 1-on-1 Sessions, and Online Materials.

To schedule a session, contact the LIS Technology Help Desk at x1000 or enter your request online at

This Week in LIS is published most Fridays by Paul Mattson, Executive Director of LIS at Luther College in Decorah, Iowa.

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