Next week sees the launch of the LIHNN Introduction to Literature Searching MOOC, created by Michelle Maden. For anyone who is new to this type of format, a MOOC is a Massive Open Online Course, which is free to all participants and utilises a virtual learning environment to bring all the content together. This particular MOOC is hosted in Blackboard Coursesites and offers an excellent variety of activities to keep participants busy, including quizzes and videos. Michelle and her collaborator Gil Young, spent months surveying library staff to find out exactly what skills and training they felt they needed and have come up a package that combines all of this collective knowledge.
The MOOC is six weeks long, with a week’s break, and is broken into 6 themes:
Each theme aims to build on the last, so participant’s start by learning to as the right questions of their clinicians, then to scope the resources, conduct and refine a search, then finally summarise the findings and evaluate their work. The MOOC flows really well and in the six weeks, even the most experienced literature searcher will find they learn a thing or two, particularly around evaluating the impact of their service. However, where the MOOC really comes into its own is for new or more junior members of library staff, who are trying to learn these skills for the first time. Many new starts really only get some basic training and then develop their skills using their initiative. These learning tools give the novice literature searcher a great insight into both building a search and a service. The nature of the MOOC means that it is a training resource that can be revisited at any time.
One of the great things about the MOOC is that it only takes around 1.5 – 2.5 hours a week to complete – even the time poor amongst us can afford that – and you can dip in and out and come back to things again. There are further resources available on the wiki, with real life examples to back up theory and articles to read, which I would highly recommend. These really supplement Michelle’s teaching style. There are also discussion boards and participants are encouraged to really use these to share their knowledge and experiences to enrich the overall experience for everyone.
The MOOC uses NICE’s Evidence Search platform to illustrate many points around searching, so if you are outside NHS England, you won’t have access to this, but all of this works in PubMed or the native interface of databases too, so you can still join in and get a lot from this MOOC.
The course starts on the 5th October and registration is now open at: www.coursesites.com/s/_LIHNNMOOCLS