The Low-Down on High-Tech Tutorials
CCLI's Summer 2000 Program


    Between trips to LOEX, LOEX-West, and ALA, where TILT received the 2000 Instruction Section's Innovation in Instruction award, Beth Dupuis made a stop in Riverside where she presented CCLI's Spring Program:  The Low-Down on High-Tech Tutorials, a one-day workshop that shared her experience and expertise gained in developing the Texas Information Literacy Tutorial (TILT).  Nearly 70 Southern California  instruction librarians attended the June 16th program at the Science Library of the University of California, Riverside.

    The morning session addressed the issues of web design, instructional design and interactivity.  Beth began by spelling out the distinctions between web design--the technical aspects of navigation, templates and hyperlinks--and graphic design--the "look" of the tutorial, including font, physical arrangement, use of color, graphics, etc.  She also gave examples of instances in which aspects of both are critical to an effective, credible tutorial.  She emphasized the importance of developing a schematic, or flowchart, that helps keep the big picture in focus as well as the details. 

    This discussion segued to the topic of instructional design which included a brief overview of learning theories, the instructional design process,  important instructional design principles, objectives and outcomes.  Again, Beth stressed the importance of keeping the big picture in focus; using all of these concepts in concert to achieve the desired result.

    Before taking a lunch break, we tackled the issue of interactivity, beginning with a quote from Multimedia Myths (1995):  "interactive has to mean more than point and click--it should be involving and personal."  Beth discussed the different types of interactions tutorials can create (reactive, proactive, coactive) and the characteristics of effective feedback that those interactions can generate.  Attendees engaged in a group exercise to "create an interaction," for which the winning team won some Texas-style Barbeque Sauce!

    The afternoon session explored project planning and management beginning with what Beth listed as the six elements of project planning:  scope, audience, goals, budget, team, timeline.  She also outlined the management issues that arise and must be kept in mind and addressed throughout the project:  process, communication, technology, partners, evaluation and support.  These are not the exciting, sexy elements of building online tutorials, in fact they can be the most troublesome. Nevertheless Beth was able to communicate their importance with good humor and an infectious enthusiasm.  By way of conclusion, they provided a golden thread that wove its way through the morning and afternoon sessions of the workshop.

    Our program evaluations included phrases such as:  "very captivating speaker", "exceptional program!",  "... good things to get us thinking about this, possibly in a different way",  "excellent blend of theory and practice", "her handouts were wonderful",  "... a fine program in the  CCLI tradition".  Kudos to Linda McCann and Judy Lee for organizing and executing this very worthwhile program for Southern California instruction librarians.

--Nancy Getty

Food, drink, and networking

Victoria Williamson, Linda McCann, Judy Lee, Brent Simpson, Beth Dupuis