Day 74 Love the Library!


The College of DuPage Library is outstanding.  I have the privilege of working with our Reference Librarian Jason Ertz, who is a powerhouse of information for our students.  I take my students to the library for an orientation every semester and design an assignment with Jason for students to get to know our campus library system and all it has to offer.  My online students also have several opportunities to use our library virtually.  There is a online chat feature on the library website, electronic databases and assistive technologies for students with special needs.  I have also used Elluminate Live, a web conferencing program to teleconference with students and our reference librarians to discuss topic selection, effective key word searches and using databases for our research writing course English 1102.

I am a big advocate for utilizing our College of DuPage Library and post multiple announcements throughout the semester on the Announcement Board:

Announcement Board Post:

Greetings English 1102 online students.  As we head into Unit 5, many of you have already worked your way around online research.  But just in case you need additional assistance, our College of DuPage Reference Librarians are here to help.

In fact, I just received this recent e-mail from our College of DuPage Library:

we love ‘em! we can’t get enough of ‘em!

Here in the Library, we’re crazy about research, but we know that research often drives students crazy. They don’t get it, or they leave it until the last minute, or they think APA stands for American Pale Ale.  We have loads of Workshops and Webinars to help!

And don’t forget that we’re made of librarians who want to work with students!

Jennifer Kelley

Reference Librarian/Associate Professor

Speech and ESL/ABE/GED Liaison

College of DuPage Library

SRC 3134

630 942-2383

Announcement Board Post:

Greetings English 1102 online students.  Thank you for e-mailing me your topic choices and argumentative thesis statements this week connected to Unit 2 assignments.  We’ve been e-mailing back and forth to tweak and revise — it’s all part of the process.  Once your thesis statement is approved, jump in and start collecting sources. It’s never too early to begin researching for this course since it is a quick 8-weeks.

I wanted to pass along this information from our College of DuPage Library.  The staff run fabulous workshops every semester — they are worthwhile in navigating the rigors of research.  You are not required to attend, but if you’re in the neighborhood, I really encourage you to register (it’s free!) and go to the workshop.  – Dr. Hubbard

Are you new to the College of DuPage Library?  Looking to sharpen your research skills?  Want an introduction to great technology tools in the Library and online?  SOS Workshops and Webinars are just what you need!

SOS Workshops are face-to-face, hands-on sessions designed to provide you with the skills you need to succeed at COD. Whether the workshop focuses on the research process or useful online tools, you can be sure that you will walk away with a tip or technique that will help you with your next paper, speech or presentation.

Our Webinar series, SOS Online, provides the COD community with convenient online learning opportunities in our Adobe Connect virtual classroom. Our interactive webinars are concise introductions to a single tool or strategy and are a great way to learn something new from wherever you are– all you need is some free time and an internet connection!

All SOS Workshops and Webinars are free, non-credit, and open to everyone. The purpose of these sessions is to encourage and teach all members of the College of DuPage community to master the skills necessary to conduct research, explore resources and become independent lifelong learners.

If you can’t wait for a workshop to get help, stop by or call the Reference Desk, (630) 942-3364 or Ask A Librarian online.


Announcement Board Post:

Hello again English 1102 online students.  At this point you SHOULD KNOW what your topic and thesis are because we have “discussed” it via e-mail.  In the last unit I approved your research topic and thesis statements.  Now it’s time to move forward.

As you begin your research, I came across this link about asking Reference Librarians for assistance.  Please remember our College of DuPage Reference Librarians are available both online and in person.  They are a valuable resource as you begin this expeditious research journey.  If you have a question, they can answer it — or find someone who can answer it.  Please rely upon our librarians!

Enjoy the article:




Day 49 The Digital Divide

Digital Divide

There are a lot of assumptions that students have immediate access to the latest and greatest in technology.  However, there is a noticeable gap or digital divide, particularly among first-generation college students. Despite our best efforts to offer technology on multiple College of DuPage campuses with computer labs and help desk assistance, it is ineffective if students are unaware of its capabilities or don’t understand how to leverage the information on a website.

Currently I am part of a “COD Conversations” group sponsored by the IDEA Center and we are reading the book, Redesigning America’s Community Colleges. The book touches on the digital divide in flexible online learning:

“Although all types of community college students have a degree of difficulty in adapting to online learning, some face more challenges than others.  In particular, males, younger students, black and Hispanic students, and students with lower levels of academic preparation have much more difficulty in online courses than they do in face-to-face courses.  These demographic groups are doubly disadvantaged:  they already struggle to match their peers’ performance in face-to-face classrooms, and that performance gap widens in online courses” (94).

It’s easy to forget that not all students entering College of DuPage possess the computer skills needed to participate fully in the digital age. Our most vulnerable students do not use the Internet on a regular basis. First-generation college students who do not own a mobile device have to find other ways to connect online, relying on computers in open labs, which can become burdensome depending on their schedules and responsibilities outside of school. Not all labs are open when they want to use them.  This limits consistent connectivity and can lead to ­unpreparedness in an online course.

Many students may not have access to computers in their homes, but do have access at work. Although students tell me they have used a computer at work, it is often for data entry or retail sales, not utilizing an electronic database for performing a topic search related to an assignment in a college-level course. How can we bridge this computer literacy skills gap?  How can we begin to close the digital divide?

In “Decreasing the Digital Divide: Technology Use for College Preparation Programs,” the Center for Higher Education Policy Analysis offers five recommendations when considering technology for college preparation:

• Technology is expensive and takes time.

• Technology requires access.

• Cultural differences and learning styles are factors.

• Technology must be purposeful.

• Structure and media does matter.