Planning for Success: Developing an Instructor Resource Website

Poster Description: In our poster, we will outline the steps it took for one university to launch an instructor focused resource center. We started the project with a needs assessment, developed content for two iterations of the site, launched and marketed the site, and are planning for future maintenance and growth. We will discuss pitfalls to watch out for and make recommendations for success along the way, and share resources, including a planning guide, that others who are interested in developing a similar site can use.

Poster: View slides in Microsoft Sway

Presenter Names: Amanda Larson, Hanna Primeau, Jane Hammons, and Allison Schultz, Ohio State University

Presenter Bios: Amanda Larson (she, her, hers, Ms.) is the Affordable Learning Instructional Consultant at Ohio State University where she creates professional development opportunities around open pedagogy and open educational practices and liaises with the Affordable Learning Exchange to connect grant winners to library resources, subject specialists, and affordable materials. Email: larson.581@osu.edu

Hanna Primeau is an Instructional Designer for the Teaching & Learning department at University Libraries. She has redesigned two of the Library’s for-credit courses, Information Search, Evaluation, & Use and Academic Online Research. She regularly consults other in applying sound pedagogical methods, including incorporating emerging learning technologies. Email: primeau.8@osu.edu

Jane Hammons is the Teaching & Learning Engagement Librarian and an Assistant Professor in University Libraries. Jane’s role is to provide programming and resources to support instructor development related to information literacy. Email: hammons.73@osu.edu

Allison Schultz is the Library Liaison for the Office of Technology and Digital Innovation. She supports instructional designers and consults with instructors on information literacy and copyright in online and hybrid courses. Allison liaises with University Libraries to develop resources, templates, and professional learning opportunities for instructors and staff. Email: schultz.875@osu.edu

16 replies on “Planning for Success: Developing an Instructor Resource Website”

Did you have to re-do any of the videos you found in your inventory? Did you end up creating or adding any videos to the inventory that you found didn’t exist? If so, who was responsible for the re-dos or creating the video content?

Hi Melisa,

These are great questions, we found lots of content lingering that wasn’t quite up to date due a variety of reason, including retirements and position changes. Ultimately it was prioritized to share what fit our parameters before we took steps to update work. In particular since the original creators were spread throughout the library system and may want to be the ones to author that particular content. Any videos that have been created since then have been identified as a relatively immediate purposeful need and have usually been undertaken by those who identified the need, or occasionally the instructional designer (me!). These have been usually quick navigational videos that have a broad audience, like how to work a citation maker on a database from a mobile device, or how to find a specific popular database from the home page.

Hi, this is a pretty cool project. Did you run into any technical issues while building the site? Do you monitor the number of view/uses on the page? How much is being used now? Thanks for sharing.

Thanks Juanita!
The sites final form didn’t give us any technical hiccups, the most complicated part was trying to decide how we wanted to preview and share course modules that were housed in our LMS Canvas. We recently agreed to a solution that allows us to have an institution only open course that allows instructors to preview in a much more hands on way the course modules they may be requesting.

As for stats, we’ve been checking the end of each semester to do a brief overview, as it stands, we’ve had just over 1000 visitors since the site went live the end of October, with January and February our peaks of 256 visitors and 280 visitors, with this month moving down to 69. This matches with some of our marketing efforts, but also follows the ebb and flow of instructors looking at their courses for improvement in the early weeks to provide more support for their students. The exciting thing is most people are finding us organically more so than any other way, so even if they don’t know the site exists on the library webpage yet, they are still finding their way to the information they need!

Hi Hanna!

It’s nice to hear about this project again. I’m currently thinking about changing the way we share our library Canvas modules from the Commons, to an institution only open course. Can you share a little about your decision making around that? It sounds like you use website analytics to track your usage, which will be trickier for me right now b/c other items are linked from the same website. I am not aware of any great way to track usage analytics from Canvas once someone has embedded a module into a course. How do you handle this? It’s not a deal breaker for me b/c I would rather share the modules in a low barrier way, but the reality is we also have to submit instruction statistics.

Hi Melissa!

Canvas allows for public, institutional or course only courses, and after speaking with our team in charge of our LMS, they said they had no issues with an institutional for this use case. Our reasoning to implement this lies in the ability to show more effectively what our library modules looks like, so when requests come in instructors aren’t casting a giant net because they are uncertain as to what they will receive. In theory it will create less work for us, with a bit of extra up front! The only way we are able to track continued use of the modules are by the initial request through Microsoft forms, which creates a lovely spreadsheet for us to reference back. University of Michigan uses trackers in transparent block M’s embeded into shared modules to track usage, and we are currently investigating if this is a viable method for us to track continued usage. Check back with us in 6 months to see where that’s at! 🙂

As for general site usage, because we are a subpage of the library website, we can use google analytics that are already set up to gain acquisition and hits data.

Hi All and Amanda,
Thanks for this poster – a deeper dive than we got at BIg Ten Elearn. I was wondering – is your maintenance plan people specific or how do you account for the inevitable turnover in the project?
Torrie

Hi Torrie,
We are continuing to work on that issue. For example, we are starting the process of moving the files for activities linked on the site into a shared folder with standard file naming conventions so that things will still be accessible even if those on the project end up changing. We haven’t worked out all of the details yet, but it is definitely on our minds.

Hi Torrie!

When doing the initial implementation of the site I also emphasized the need for all our member to “own” the pages. There was initially the thought that one person would be in charge of the actual page editing and I was adamant for the reasons you mentioned that all of us were. This paired with the naming conventions Jane mentioned as well as ensuring all files are publicly located, so if one person leaves their files won’t, was important.

I’ve worked hard to make sure this was “people proof” so to speak. The goal is once this year is over there will be a planning document that will allow anyone to step into this project, and for it to easily sustain itself. If we’ve managed this correctly, it will be just a touchpoint each semester, with any newly submitted resources being reviewed asynchronously by members, meeting once to ensure that resources and links are up-to-date with new ones added in the same go, and then outreach to marketing.

Hi Torrie!

In addition to what Hanna and Jane have shared, we’re also looking to automate as much of it as possible, so creating a form for reviewing resources. In theory a person would be able to step in and just use the form with the checklist and rubric we’ve made to start assessing new content without having to reinvent the wheel to do so!

Topic adjacent: I’m loving digging through your resource. As a new academic librarian I’m discovering information that is helpful for *me* Do you know if non-university affiliated people can take any of the Teaching Endorsement courses? I think I would benefit greatly from the Digital Humanities Pedagogy course. Thanks!!

Hi Sara,
We are so glad you are finding the resources and information helpful.
I think that this answer is dependent on the specific endorsement and how it is set up. Because the Digital Humanities Pedagogy endorsement does include components that are located in the university learning management system, it might not be possible for someone outside of the university to participate. However, I would recommend checking with our colleague Leigh Bonds (bonds.19@osu.edu) who is the facilitator for the endorsement. She should be able to tell you more about participation requirements. Thanks so much for your question.

I may have missed this but who contributes and who uploads to/maintains the repository? I know you are tracking visits … do you have anecdotal info on usage? This sounds like it was a huge undertaking – kudos!

Hi Joy,
Thanks for your comment.
So far, it has only been the project team that has identified/contributed resources to the site. However, we are expecting that others from the Libraries, and perhaps also from other units, might have contributions they would like to see added. We have developed some guidelines for making decisions about which resources we will accept and are now in the process of putting them in a form that we can share with potential collaborators.
We are definitely aware that some folks are using the site, as we have had requests for resources, such as the Canvas modules, that are linked on the site.

Thanks for sharing your process on this! How are you assessing if your site is being used or what additional features to add during maintenance and upkeep? Are you doing a survey of your instructors or just relying on page clicks?

Hi Mary-Michelle,

It’s a bit of a two part process to track use, for general site usage, because we are a subpage of the library website, we can use google analytics that are already set up to gain acquisition and click data. For instructors requesting modules, we get that data from the request form, but only know what they’ve requested not what they actually end up implementing in their courses.

As for maintenance and upkeep, three times a year we will be putting out requests for new materials to our library, evaluate any submitted with a rubric, while evaluating the content on the site for being recent and relevant still. We started this project with a general UX survey and short interviews with a couple of our subject librarians, and intend on doing the same at a later date, but our audience being instructors external to libraries makes this group a little more difficult to survey!

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