Helping Librarians and Academic Faculty Work Together to Achieve Optimal Student Outcomes
In a recent article in Against the Grain, Liz Mason, Gale’s Vice President of Product, addresses a big issue in 21st century education. She discusses a 2015 survey that showed there was a disconnect between academic librarians and faculty. The results revealed that a significant number of faculty members saw no need to consult with librarians and only half used librarians as a resource on matters of curricula when planning courses.
Mason explains that Gale can help bridge this gap by creating, curating, and supporting content and technologies that connect the library to the classroom. In the process, libraries raise their profile on campus while optimizing student learning experiences. Students want this. Mason notes that 80 percent of higher education students want online library resources to be easily accessible through their course materials (Outsell/Against the Grain End User Survey, 2014).
Gale products foster better collaboration between librarians and faculty through content enrichment, such as superior metadata and indexing, and product integration with G Suite for Education and Microsoft tools. Gale Researcher is a particularly effective platform for librarians and educators to work in partnership as it allows instructors to select content for classes that can be directly linked to a course and easily integrated into students’ workflow.
Guided by a respected editorial board, Gale Researcher offers a core content collection already informed by the scope and sequence of commonly taught introductory courses and research topics. Arranged by area of study, students will be able to quickly jump to the subject area they need such as, Political Science, Psychology, Economics, US History, and American Literature to name a few. Students not only have access to content for the classroom, but improve both knowledge acquisition and information literacy in the process.
Bruce Gilbert, Director of Library Instruction at Drake University, calls this product, “A good beginning spot for instructional design and student resources.” Megan Kickbush, the circulation supervisor of Bob Jones University’s Mack Library sees Gale Researcher as “a great tool for librarians in teaching faculty and students information literacy skills, as well as taking some of the fear from some survey courses.”
“Gale Researcher is a tool that can be used to teach/support students information literacy skills, helping them to easily retrieve background information on their topic and find information they would need to support them in their coursework/assignments.”
Taysha Gateau-Barrera, Reference/Instruction Librarian, Raritan Valley Community College
Gale Researcher‘s technology further supports collaboration between librarians, faculty, and students. The content accessed through Gale Researcher can be fully customized, and librarians and faculty can work together to ensure it fits the educator’s specific teaching goals and learning purposes. Resources accessed through Gale Researcher can be easily molded by adding links to articles, essays, and videos, including Open Educational Resources (OER). Librarians like Emilie Buckley, adjunct librarian of Hillsborough Community College, value this adaptability, stating “I really like how it is customizable and allows librarians to create pages for students. I can see this being a big help!”
Mason summarizes the key role that Gale and products like Gale Researcher can play in bringing librarians and educators together. She explains, “…we know there are opportunities to partner with libraries to find new ways to leverage library content, to strengthen the collaboration between faculty and librarians, and most importantly, help libraries empower a better overall learning experience.”