Designing Curriculum to Educate Digital

blessinghomoeopathAI and Robotics

Nov 30, 2013 (3 years and 11 months ago)

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Elizabeth D. Liddy

Dean, iSchool @ Syracuse University

Syracuse, New York

Designing Curriculum to Educate Digital
Library Professionals in iSchools

Recent Job Ads


1a


Research Data Specialist


Responsibilities


Key role in e
-
science, digital data curation &
supporting cyber
-
scholarship for all STEM disciplines


Staying abreast of scientific data trends, data
documentation tools & standards for data exchange,
re
-
use & interoperability


Utilizing information technology tools for metadata
manipulation & script execution


Consultation, assessment & support services to
facilitate all aspects of digital data curation.





Recent Job Ads


1b


Research Data Specialist


Qualifications


MLS or Masters degree in science


1 year research lab experience


Strong communication, inter
-
personal &
communication skills


Aptitude for & consistency in detailed work


Ability to analyze & solve problems creatively &
flexibly in a complex & rapidly changing environment


Strong service orientation & interest in users’ values &
needs





Recent Job Ads


2a


Science Data Services Librarian


Responsibilities


Work with primary research community & other
librarians to develop & sustain services for accessing &
analyzing research data with focus on bio
-
informatics
& chemo
-
informatics.


Act as liaison between campus & library initiatives and
the research community to promote, facilitate, and
support the development of services for collecting &
archiving research data.


Maintain awareness of tools & methodologies for
computationally centered, data
-
driven science.

Recent Job Ads


2b


Science Data Services Librarian


Qualifications


MLIS from ALA
-
accredited program


Excellent communication skills


Superior organizational & analytical skills


Life sciences subject background


Experience with computer & telecommunications
technologies for information management

Where do the Applicants come from?


As emphasis moves from physical to digital data, we
should be seeing major changes in curriculum of
library & information science schools


While major professional responsibilities remain same


How they are done & what they are done on changes


Digital librarians must possess:


Subject
-
matter expertise & familiarity with data types, data
sources, data sets, manipulation techniques & analytical tools
to support digital library ‘s users


High levels of technical sophistication in Information &
Communication Technologies (ICTs) to support users’ needs


How do we in iSchools adapt / extend our curriculum?

Proposed Solution


Professional Informational Technology Facilitators are
needed to work with researchers to:


Identify & utilize most effective analytical tools, data sets
& other resources to best achieve research objectives


Support all data
-
intensive activities of the researchers


Introduce library
-
based organization & access skills



Our response has been to explore the creation of
a specialized academic program for graduating
new information professionals





Cyber
-
Infrastructure Facilitators


CI Facilitators

Cyber
-
Infrastructure Facilitator


Cyber
netics
:

Interdisciplinary study of the structure
of complex systems, especially communication
processes & control mechanisms



Infrastructure

Basic services necessary for
development to take place


for example, roads,
electricity, water, education & health facilities



Cyber
-
Infrastructure

Integration of computer
hardware, data, software, networks, Web, wireless
grid, archives, tools, etc



Facilitator
: One who enables or makes easier


CI Facilitators


Cyber


Infrastructure Facilitators


Individuals who work within a research organization to enable
it to accomplish its mission


Based on their combined expertise in:


Data access, manipulation, archiving & sharing


Information & communication technologies


A specific disciplinary content area


Ability to guide & assist others in information
-
related tasks



2
-
year project for NSF’s Office of Cyber
-
Infrastructure
to develop a
model curriculum
for a new professional


For
S
cience,
T
echnology,
E
ngineering &
M
athematics labs


Why do we need these new roles?

1.
Scientific researchers spend their careers mastering the
skills, knowledge, and tools that comprise the core of
their disciplines.


2.
Most scientists do not have the time or interest in
simultaneously becoming experts in information
management, networking, distributed collaboration,
search, retrieval, archiving & all other skills of the
information professions.


3.
Advances in Cyber
-
Infrastructure have fueled a vast
proliferation of scientific information


more findings,
more datasets, new networks, huge repositories, etc.


4.
Even the most motivated of scientists struggle to keep
up with rapid pace of knowledge creation in their field.


NSF
-
Funded Project


To study requirements for producing these
professionals for active research labs


Focus on the three
i’s


Information


Infrastructure


Innovation


Goal is to provide students with skills to:


Discover the needs of STEM researchers


Adapt available technology to satisfy those needs


Acquire, manage, manipulate, archive & share data


Project Goals


Develop a demonstration project of education,
training & internships, that will provide core principles
for advancing the goals of Cyber
-
Infrastructure
throughout the STEM disciplines.



Focus on developing meta
-
cognitive skills to master
new information infrastructure as it emerges.



Guide students in learning how to become vital
members of a research team.



Share curriculum as a model for other iSchools.



Means for Accomplishing These Goals

1.
Conduct a needs analysis in existing STEM
laboratories.


2.
Design a curriculum based on new, modified,
and existing courses, + lab internships.


3.
Assess

new curriculum on a cohort of masters
students in the iSchool at Syracuse University.

1. Needs Analysis in STEM Laboratories*


University Research Labs


Biology, engineering, astronomy, physics, computer science,
archaeology, experimental psychology


110 targeted research faculty responded to web survey


31% response rate


Attitudes, practices & experience with research data



Inquired as to data management practices


Data production


Access to data


Utilization / manipulation


Archiving


Sharing



*D’Ignazio & Qin (2008)

Findings from Needs Analysis *


Researchers
(on average across disciplines)


81% considered themselves frequent data producers


72% found metadata helpful for locating external data


71% entered metadata on their own data


66% aware of external data important to their research


62% brought in external data for use



Specific data management activities:



-

Producing


-

Calculating



-

Accessing


-

Merging



-

Tagging


-

Visualizing



-

Cleaning


-

Archiving



-

Converting


-

Sharing



*D’Ignazio & Qin (2008)

Further Findings from Needs Analysis *


Terminology had to be negotiated based on pilot
testing of survey


Science researchers’ definitions & usage of terms differed
from library scientists



Expressed concern that current practices for managing
data in their field were limiting advances in knowledge



Many STEM faculty researchers currently use graduate
research assistants as day
-
to
-
day handlers of data


But are eager to hire full
-
time, trained, professional staff
for data management


Saw the benefit & need for professional CI
-
Facilitators


Immediately offered paid internships for current cohort students



*D’Ignazio & Qin (2008)

2. Design CI
-
Facilitator Curriculum


Currently in midst of developing curriculum


Based on our survey results &


Literature review of 3 studies of needs of eScience /
eResearch / Cyber
-
Infrastructure



US


NSF report,
Cyberinfrastructure Vision for 21st
Century Discovery



United Kingdom


recent consultancy report by
UKOLN


Australia & Asia


eResearch Australasia 2007
questionnaire asked,
‘What skills are necessary in
your lab to support the rapid uptake of eResearch?’*


Identified 140 separate skills / capabilities

*Henley, 2008

CI
-
Facilitator Curriculum


Technical skills


related to high
-
performance
computing & the access grid; database management;
data curation; information engineering; information
modeling; software development; distributed
processing; remote communications; portal design;
database integration; visualization; programming.



Informatics skills


storage, retrieval, sharing and use
of scientific data & processes.



Communication skills


understanding end
-
to
-
end lab
workflows, ability to think like, work, & communicate
with researchers to develop / support data repository.

Status of CI
-
Facilitator Curriculum


Will be a 24 credit hour graduate specialization within
the Masters of Library & Information Science degree



5 MLIS students admitted last fall as 1
st

cohort



New
Science Data Literacy Course


Covers fundamentals of scientific data, data management, and use
of a range of scientific data manipulation tools


All topics include case studies


Offered this spring semester


Taught by doctoral student with intensive training & experience in
the scientific method



Doing summer
-
long internships in a science,
technology, engineering, or mathematics research
facility

Existing Digital Library Courses in Curriculum


IST 676: Digital Libraries

Overview of digital library projects and issues including
representation of information in digital libraries;
mechanisms for retrieval; digital intermediation, and the
sociopolitical environment for digital libraries.


IST 677: Creating, Managing & Preserving Digital Assets

Issues & trends involved in transferring analog collections
into digital collections, including project management,
digitization, delivery systems, digital assets management,
metadata, digital rights & digital permanence.


IST 759: Planning and Designing Digital Library Services

Development, design & planning of digital library services.
Intensive hands
-
on Internet information services
development & management.

3. Evaluate New Curriculum


Have established 11 program outcomes focused on
various stakeholders


Students, faculty, internship sponsors, employers


Both formative & summative assessment data


Provides for iterative, continuous evaluation


Vital because it is so new a program


Metrics / rubrics will cover


STEM Subject Matter


CI Subject Matter


Tool / infrastructure competency


Research expertise


Meta
-
cognitive skills


Creativity / improvisation


User Focus

Summary


Just getting started, but some results to
-
date


All cohort members were offered paying summer jobs in
research labs


Preliminary, cursory review of evaluations of new course
are both positive and informative


Long
-
term impacts will lie in contributions made by
graduates of CI
-
Facilitator program


Increasing productivity & success of research labs


CI
-
Facilitator offers a new professional career path for
MLIS students with a science / technology bent


Cyberinfrastructure
--

U of Carlos III Madrid 2008

23

http://it.nees.org/


Network for Earthquake
Engineering Simulation




The NEES includes15
laboratories, collaborative tools,
one centralized data repository,
and a series of earthquake
simulation software



connected through high
performance computing
network



provide collaboration means
for advanced simulation research
and experiments



simulations include the real
performance of buildings,
bridges, public facilities, and
coastal areas during earthquakes

Opportunities

24

http://www.nbirn.net/


Opportunities

11/30/2013

Cyberinfrastructure
--

U of Carlos III Madrid 2008

25

http://www.nanohub.org/


11/30/2013

Cyberinfrastructure
--

U of Carlos III Madrid 2008

26

Conclusion


CI Facilitator’s Role

Researchers as Disciplinary Experts


Problem 1: Researchers do not have the
capacity to simultaneously become experts
in information management.




Problem 2: It is difficult for them to keep
up with the rapid pace of knowledge creation
in their field.



Problem 3: It is difficult for them to keep up
with the rapid pace of development of
information infrastructure

LIS Professionals
as Facilitators


Information professionals are experts in information
management, networking, virtual or distributed
collaboration, search and retrieval, archiving, user
interface development, etc.



Information professionals are dedicated experts in
describing, representing, organizing, and provide
access to knowledge and.



Information professionals are dedicated experts in
building and developing information infrastructure
(hardware, software, network, communication)

27