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e-learning does not have to be boring!

Subject Line: Amigos Online Class: Instructional Design 101 for the Busy Librarian

Amigos has partnered with Fearless Future, a consulting firm with experience supporting libraries, to offer a course covering the fundamentals of designing and developing a self-paced tutorial. The course is scheduled in the Amigos online classroom Wednesdays March 30 –May 5, 2011.

Instructional Design 101 for the Busy Librarian
Dates and Time: March 30, April 6, 13, 20, 27, and May 4, 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. Central Time each day
This course consists of six 2-hour sessions.

Known for creating engaging and practical workshops, online classes, and presentations, Fearless Future instructors Mary Evangeliste and Yvonne Mery will guide you through the steps of creating effective and engaging tutorials for staff development, patron training, or library instruction. Participants will get hands-on experience in the development of a tutorial as they work with different rapid e-learning authoring tools. This comprehensive course is easy to access and will help you quickly master the skills of developing or presenting training

Yvonne Mery

Yvonne Mery

Yvonne Mery is currently an instructional design librarian at the University of Arizona Libraries. Before becoming a librarian Yvonne taught English as a Second Language abroad and in the US. Yvonne’s most recent work has concentrated on best practices in online teaching, information literacy online instruction, and assessment. Yvonne has given several workshops and presentations on these themes including presentations at LOEX of the West, the Annual Conference on Distance Teaching and Learning, the Technology, Colleges, and Community Online Conference, and the Arizona Library Association. Yvonne recently co-authored a chapter in the book “Best Practices for Credit-Bearing Information Literacy Course” that chronicles the development and implementation of an online information literacy course. In addition to her MLS, Yvonne also holds an MA in Applied Linguistics and a BA in English Literature.

Mary Evangeliste

Mary Evangeliste

Mary Evangeliste is the owner of “Fearless Future: Consulting for things that matter.” She has written and presented widely over the past five years on change management and non-profit marketing. Mary is the co-author of the best-selling book “Bite Sized Marketing: Realistic Solutions for the Overworked Librarian.” Some of the local and national groups Mary has taught with include the State Department, Maryland School of Art and Design, Prince George’s Community College, University of Pittsburgh, Amigos, and Lyrasis. She holds a B.A. in Art History from Allegheny College and an M.L.I.S. from the University of Pittsburgh. Before Mary worked in museums and libraries she had her own dog walking business, was an art consultant, and managed an alt-rock band.

Read the full course description and register today:

Amigos is an IACET authorized continuing education provider.

For the most up-to-date training schedule, a complete list of courses, descriptions, and a convenient online registration form, visit or contact Chris Brown at Amigos, 1-800-843-8482, ext. 2829, or
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Amigos Library Services | 14400 Midway Road | Dallas, TX 75244-3509

First Online Workshop

This past month, Mary and I taught our first fully online synchronous workshop through Amigos Library Services.  Although, I have developed and taught online courses in asynchronous formats, both Mary and I learned a lot about the dynamics of teaching synchronously.

Transforming our in-person workshop to the online format took a considerable amount of time because we wanted to avoid the common pitfall of believing that what works in the classroom will work online. So, much of our time was spent in creative designing and brainstorming.  Our face-to-face workshops are fun, lively, and collaborative events where participants are constantly talking and bouncing ideas off each other. To replicate this online, when we  designed the online version of the workshop we stuck to the following:

  • Short lectures:  We didn’t want to bore participants with long lectures, so we kept them short and sweet (we hope).
  • Visuals:  Even short lectures can be boring, so we added life to our PowerPoint slides with engaging and thought-provoking images of the marketing campaigns to which we referred.
  • Student interactions: We peppered our hourly workshops with multiple opportunities for students to chime in and show examples of their own work.

The result?  A great experience for instructors and participants alike.  Participants came up with the beginnings of some great campaigns.  I loved Kelly’s idea of promoting her Southfield Public Library’s homework help service by offering parents the reward of more quality supper time with the family.  Lanee’s idea of “Professor Approved” databases for University of Arkansas students also stands out as a favorite.  Frances from the University of Washington came up with some great ideas of images for her Veterinary Medicine students. And finally, Sarah from Yuma Public Library came up with some great ideas for getting parents to use the summer reading online sign-up service.

Mary and I learned a whole lot about delivering classes synchronously. I am not sure I will ever get accustomed to lecturing online, telling a joke, and then just silence; it can make one quite self-conscious.