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Objective #1: Create Online Learning Community

We developed and tested an online learning community (http://ipl.ci.fsu.edu/community) with LIS educators and students, offering access to blogs, wikis, and discussion forums. This effort demonstrated how educators and students might make best use of teaching and learning features.

Blogging and wikis were particularly successful tools within the learning community. As of December 2009, a “blogging community” of 146 blogs was created primarily by students enrolled in digital reference workshop classes at Drexel University and Florida State University (http://ipl.ci.fsu.edu/community/blog.php).

Within their blogs, students reflected about their work with digital reference and technologies, engaging in cross-class and cross-university discussions among students, instructors and IPL staff. The blog usage far exceeded the expectations of the project and highlighted blogs as a desirable tool for teaching and learning.

Wikis were also created by individual students and students working in teams, including wiki projects on emerging and Web 2.0 technologies. The discussion forums were utilized by students to some extent, mostly as required by the classes.