Open Educational Resources
As part of our commitment to accessible materials, we work closely with faculty to identify open and affordable content for use in courses. Some examples include open textbooks, lesson plans, and multimedia. We provide one-on-one consultations and partner with external initiatives such as the Open Textbook Network and OERu. We also help identify affordable library resources and work with the Unizin Consortium to offer discounted publisher content. We support faculty authors of open content by providing guidance on:
- Creative commons licensing
- Project Management
- Publishing platforms
- Connecting with other University units for assistance
Contact: Amanda Larson
For More Information: Open Educational Resources website
In order to expand our online learning environment, the learning portal project addresses the organization and presentation of online learning objects. The learning portal will provide an immersive learning space for students, a support center for faculty, and a control panel for librarians looking for instructional content. It also will serve as a hub for librarians to access and create online instructional tools.
Contact: Rebecca Miller Waltz
Teaching and Learning Repositories
As part of our goal to provide teaching and learning expertise to the University Libraries and Penn State communities, we have developed online repositories of teaching activities for librarians and library lesson plans for course instructors. The teaching activities are mapped to student learning outcomes and are intended for use during information literacy instruction. The lesson plans for instructors include complete instructions for lessons on topics such as evaluating website credibility and creating research questions. The activities and lesson plans are designed to support engaged teaching and learning. We are continuing to develop these repositories and welcome suggestions from librarians and teaching faculty.
Contact: Anne Behler
Digital Badges and Microcredentials
Digital badges, also known as microcredentials, are virtual representations of a specific skill, ability, accomplishment or competency. Being information literate in today’s world is critical to being successful. Our digital badges were created in order to address the information literacy skills that today’s college graduates need in order to successfully enter the workplace. They draw upon ALA’s Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education, the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, original research conducted with employers, and other learning theories such as connectivism.
We are experimenting with using digital badges in different ways such as serving as a compliment to, or a substitute for, face-to-face library instruction in courses, and as a way to offer a virtual library orientation for online students. Visit Information Literacy Digital Badges at Penn State for detailed information.
As a department, we lead the implementation of learning and innovative technologies in the Libraries’ spaces, both virtual and physical, to inspire teaching, learning, partnerships, and research. Within our physical spaces, we are strongly committed to creating welcoming environments that facilitate learning for all. To enhance learning in virtual spaces, we are working to seamlessly integrate library resources into Canvas, Penn State’s Learning Management System, and to link instructors with our embedded librarians who participate in courses through Canvas.
Accessibility, diversity, and inclusion are a driving forces behind our vision. Library Learning Services is currently developing learning spaces that enable active learning and leverage technology in novel but pragmatic ways in order to catalyze learning and knowledge creation.
Student Engagement and Outreach
Student engagement and outreach activities are some of the most interesting and dynamic projects we’re involved in as a department. The opportunity to connect with the University and State College communities can take on many forms: providing a tour or scavenger hunt of the Libraries’ facilities, attending numerous resource fairs across campus, or hosting DeStress Fest at the end of the fall and spring semesters. Coordinating larger projects like the annual Open House and The Human Library give us the opportunity to partner across all library departments, as well as with other University areas, as we work to support students and carry out University Libraries' strategic goals.
As a department, the involvement and success of University students is one of our top priorities. As we move forward, we will continue to develop the programs necessary to support students throughout their undergraduate careers.