At work we are moving toward adding more library instruction resources online. One of our librarians has created a few sessions using the university’s Panopto studio. This allows for a video of the instructor coupled with the ability to add slides and screen captures. It could be an effective tool for instruction to our growing distance offerings and extension sites.
We are exploring some other options for creating and hosting the material that we are planning on generating. A couple tools we saw this summer at a conference are Screenr and Prezi. They could both be useful in certain situations, but probably not as our main tool. In a graduate student internship I used Camtasia (from TechSmith) and Captivate (from Adobe) to create short screen capture videos with voice over. I’ve used Jing a little bit (a lighter capture tool from TechSmith), but I think it could be better for on the fly screen captures like one might want to do in an email/chat reference situation. While I was working as a graduate assistant I scripted some short tutorials for a librarian to record, so I hope to draw on some of that experience as well. We still need to see where we want to host the material — perhaps YouTube, Screencast, some other video site, or hosting on our sytems. I’m in favor of whatever we do being able to be embedded in our website so that users don’t have to travel to another interface/website just to view the tutorial.
We probably will also need a process in place for when to review and update material on a systematic basis. I don’t think we’ll want to leave that to a later moment, because it will be too easy to lose track of time and forget that it was actually two years ago, not ‘a few months ago’ that we recorded that nifty section on a now obsolete service. How to assess the utility and effectiveness of the various ways we experiment with presentation and tools, along with content of course, will also be a very important component of this process. We are without a Reference and Instruction Librarian this year, but we are still trying to push ahead with some of the offerings we’d been anticipating a new hire to be able to implement and champion (such as chat reference, more robust in class and online instruction, and a greater attention to assessment).