Teaching with HyperCard in Place of a Textbook

Article excerpt

Editors note: A version of this paper was presented at the Computers in Libraries conference, March 7, 1992, in Washington, DC.

This article is the first in a new series devoted to computerized bibliographic instruction. Potential contributors may send queries and manuscripts to Valerie Jackson Feinman, Coordinator of Library Instruction, Swirbul Library, Adelphi University, Garden City, NY 11530 (516-877-3579 or fax 516-877-3592). She may be reached via the internet at Feinman [at] panther.adelphi.edu.

At Duane G. Meyer Library, Southwest Missouri State University, bibliographic instruction programs include general library orientation tours, lectures to individual classes, and a one-credit course, LIS 101, Introduction to the Library.

Participation in these programs and classes is elective, but in recent years, the demand for tours and lectures and the enrollment in the LIS 101 classes have increased at a rate greater than staffing for them has. The tours and classes are conducted by various instructors, but are based on common goals and objectives.

In an attempt to alleviate the labor intensity of the tours and classes and to standardize instruction in core basic library skills, computer-assisted methods for instruction were explored during the fall of 1989. At that time, Macintosh computers were used in the library for personal computing, for delivery of CD-ROM databases ERIC and PsycLit, and to equip a library-based Macintosh lab for student use. The potential for creating interesting and interactive programs using Macintosh computers and HyperCard led to the development of two HyperCard programs, a Library Science 101 computerized text and a library orientation tour.

The Library Science 101 computerized text was completed in the spring of 1990, and the orientation tour in the fall 1990. The computerized text was used in teaching one section of LIS 101 in the summer of 1990, and was used in teaching four sections of class in the fall of 1990. The orientation tour is available on the public service Macintoshes.

LIS 101 Computerized Text

The Library Science 101 computerized text is a HyperCard-based, interactive library instruction program that runs on Apple Macintosh SEs with 20-megabyte hard drives and 4 megabytes of RAM. It is designed to duplicate in content the paper workbook developed by several instructors of LIS 101 classes. The technical consultant and programmer for the project was Dr. Liang Lin.

The program includes instructions for each subject unit of LIS 101 along with interactive practice exercises, sound, motion, and scanned-in photographs. The program begins with an opening screen that instructs students to "click" to begin.

The program "Index" reveals the contents. The contents include nine sections: "About Library Science 101," which describes the program and instructs in how to use it; "Library of Congress Subject Heading," "General Information Sources," including units in encyclopedias, dictionaries, abstracts, bibliographies, periodical articles, maps, book reviews, newspapers, facts, figures, and so on; "Library Catalogs"; "SMSU Libraries," which includes information about the library and library locations; "General Search Strategy" with flow charts and instruction in research strategy; "Experts say," which provides tips on how to be effective users of any library; a "Glossary" of terms and "Practices."

The glossary of terms is available at all points in the program. Students can click on "Glossary" any time they wish and can locate terms by reading through the glossary or by typing in a term they wish explained.

The practice sections of the program allow for an interactive approach and immediate feedback to learning. The "Call Number" practice consists of simulated shelving exercises. A cart of books needs to be shelved. Only by clicking on the books in the correct order will they "move up" to their proper place on the shelf. …