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How to...

Introduction

This guide describes the process the Springfield Technical Community College (STCC) Library uses to create DLOs, or Digital Learning Objects. DLO's are brief, specific, how-to videos aimed at a particular learning goal such as searching a database, formatting a paper, or navigating a website. 

STCC librarians began their DLO project in August 2018 and to date have made over 70 instructional videos for students and faculty. We've learned a lot along the way and want to share our process, tools, successes and lessons learned. Hopefully, this will help your library if you embark on a similar project. See the guide below for more details.

Please don't hesitate to contact us if you have any questions! You can reach the reference librarians at 413-755-4549 or email stcclibrary@stcc.edu.  

First Steps

Before beginning your project, these are some useful things to consider:

Assemble a DLO Team

At STCC, we have a small staff of 7 librarians, which includes two part time librarians as well as our Dean of Library Services. Five of those seven librarians comprise our DLO team, and each team member has a different focus- either primarily writing and editing scripts, recording audio, screencasting video, or handling the hosting and analytics side of things. You will likely want to have at least two people trained on each step to avoid a bottleneck in the process of creating a video. You will also likely want multiple librarians assigned to the task of periodically checking videos each month for maintenance, as this can take a lot of time.

Who you include on your DLO Team will depend on your staff size and how tasks are typically delegated in your library.

Identify Your Goals

It is important that every member of your DLO team understands what your primary goals are for creating DLOs. Think about the learning needs of your student population and the instructional goals of your faculty and the library staff. Outline the content and topics you wish to cover beginning with the most frequently asked questions you receive or instructional sessions you provide. Your goals for this project may evolve over time, so make sure to periodically assess goals as a team and document this process.

Consult With Other Departments

You may wish to consult with individuals outside of the library, such as faculty, instructional designers, and system administrators. Faculty can suggest the library skills their students most need. Instructional designers can offer guidance on best practice, accessibility considerations and technical information. Your learning management system administrator can help with integrating library resources and instructional videos into course modules for interested faculty.

Identify Necessary Technology

To create instructional videos, you will need a microphone, and audio recording and screencasting software These are practical and financial decisions which you will need to make at your institution. In addition, you'll need to have a shared location to save all working project files and documentation, a plan for publishing, distributing and promoting your videos as well as a process for workflow documentation and communication among team members.