New Jersey Library Association Annual Conference, 2016

This is a guest post from Jessica Hadley, a member of Cohort 2 of the Design for Learning program, reporting back from the conference she attended as one of our scholarship recipients.

On May 17-18, 2016, I had the privilege of attending the New Jersey Library Association (NJLA) Annual Conference in Atlantic City, NJ.  NJLA is the largest library organization in the state and supports public, school and college/university libraries.  I have been active with the organization since library school and always love meeting with other librarians to get new ideas and network.  The event always has many workshops, poster presentations and round tables about various library topics.  This year’s theme was “All Together Now” and focused on collaboration.

I was able to scope out many presentations and workshops that are relevant to online learning and our work with D4L.  I am going to highlight two of them in this article.  An interesting presentation that I attended was by Dan O’Connor and GuOn Kim of Rutgers University titled Will Librarians be Ready When Professors and Students Move from Print Research Papers to Multimedia Presentations?  The biggest takeaway of the presentation is the new trend in research at colleges and universities: colleges are moving away from research papers and more towards digital research presentations using embedded multimedia.  I know most students would LOVE to do a presentation over a paper, but it’s more than just slapping together pictures and text on slides.  Students need to know how to embed links, videos, sound clips etc.  They also need to know how to determine the credibility of online sources, like YouTube videos, as well as how to cite these sources. Students will now be evaluated on their instructional design skills as well as their online research skills, and as librarians we need to teach them both!

Kaitlyn Curtis and Susan Wengler from Felician University presented their research on an Online Information Literacy Course and Creating an Instructional Video.  The presentation completely overlapped with our current D4L assignment on creating tutorials as well as our advocacy for online learning. Some suggestions that they have to ease any fears about online learning are to have a student thread with concerns about online learning and to offer the opportunity to meet face to face with any questions.  They also recommend having weekly discussions to ensure that students do not procrastinate- which we know from our discussion in D4L can be an issue with online coursework.

They also provide suggestions for creating instructional videos.  For example, they recommend preparing by creating objectives, writing a script and selecting software first.  They recommend recording audio and visual separately, which I found interesting, as I plan on doing both simultaneously.  Some excellent suggestions they had were to monitor bandwidth and track video views.

As a School Library Media Specialist at a high school, I am very interested in learning about the trends in colleges.  I know that online learning is a huge part of the shift in education and I now know that online instruction will be the key to preparing students for when they reach that step.  I feel enlightened to have had the opportunity to listen to multiple colleges speak about their online instruction and research.

About Arden Kirkland

Arden Kirkland is an independent digital librarian, providing consulting services for digital collections and online learning. Her years of work in higher education have included a focus on students’ active participation in the construction of multimedia digital collections. Other recent projects include,, and work on the Capability Maturity Model for Research Data Management. Find out more about her work at
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