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Best Practices for Engaging Users in a Web Conferencing Environment

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Information Tools and Techniques for Engineering Education

Tagged Division

Engineering Libraries

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.243.1 - 23.243.14



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Paper Authors


Giovanna Badia McGill University

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Giovanna Badia is a Liaison Librarian at McGill University's Schulich Library of Science & Engineering for the departments of Chemical Engineering, Earth & Planetary Sciences, and Mining & Materials Engineering. Her responsibilities include answering reference questions, providing instructional services, and collection development. She holds B.A. and M.L.I.S. degrees from McGill University.

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April Colosimo McGill University

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April Colosimo is Coordinator and Liaison Librarian at McGill University's Schulich Library of Science & Engineering. She holds an MLIS and a M.Sc. degree in Microbiology & Infectious Diseases.

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Best Practices for Engaging Users in a Web Conferencing EnvironmentAs users move to the virtual environment, the goal is to imagine new services as well as makeservices available that are analogous to what they would encounter in person. The Library firstused the web conferencing software, Adobe Connect, to provide librarian office hours forstudents in a large undergraduate engineering course. This opened up possibilities of helpingmore students at peak assignment times with their research, including those less likely to visit theLibrary in person. The Library also used Adobe Connect to design webinars for graduatestudents and faculty members in science and engineering, who are known to have busy schedulesand other professional development opportunities competing for their time. For example,librarians built on their experience providing information literacy sessions face-to-face andproducing online instruction videos for asynchronous learning to create a three-part webinarseries on impact measurements.Whereas the literature focuses on best practices for using the various web conferencing softwareoptions, this paper will report on best practices for engaging library users and translating activelearning techniques and exercises to synchronous online learning. It will describe thedevelopment and delivery of information literacy webinars that attempt to create and maintain anengaging environment using Adobe Connect, rather than relying on lectures and discussions,typical components of webinars transferred over from the traditional classroom.This paper will also examine additional ways in which web conferencing software can be used tooffer library services, including current approaches of public and academic libraries, along withthe professional development of librarians in using web conferencing software to engage users.

Badia, G., & Colosimo, A. (2013, June), Best Practices for Engaging Users in a Web Conferencing Environment Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19257

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