Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Learning in Second Life

It seems the 3D virtual world of Second Life is becoming more popular recently. Regarding my personal interest to distance learning in general and to e-learning in particular, I think SL can provide both teachers and learners with great opportunities to enhance their learning activities. Also, I heard that librarians are among the active groups in SL. I read somewhere that even a virtual reference desk in SL is staffed by a group of real life volunteer librarians for several hours per week. They also hold some workshops out there to assist other librarians and educators to learn more about SL.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007


In one of the postgraduate modules that I teach in this semester I am trying to explore the concept of e-learning from different perspectives. I would like to consider various ways in which we can use e-learning to enhance the process of learning. E-learning, virtual learning, computer-based learning and similar terms refer to all teaching and learning activities which use computer facilities in general and online media in particular to smooth the progress of learning. In the future posts I will write more about my experience of e-learning and what I consider in my teaching about this issue. Now I just wanted to add a new category in my weblog about e-learning. That is for now.

Thursday, October 11, 2007

GT in Psychology

Today morning I delivered a speech in a meeting held by the Iranian Psychology Association. My speech was about the implications and implementations of Grounded Theory (GT) in social science research. Almost all of the participants in the meeting were academic staff and postgraduate students form different psychology departments. I firstly introduced GT and briefly mentioned its history. Then I illustrated the meaning of GT as an inductive and exploratory approach in research and its values as a systematic research methodology to explore little understood phenomena. I also explained my own experience of using GT in my PhD research and what I have learned by implementation of this methodology. Moreover, I referred to the possible ways which enable researchers to enhance the credibility of their findings based on GT method. The participants' comments on my presentation were very useful for me to hear the ideas of a number of researchers who mainly came from quantitative camp. This is always enlightening to look at something from the others' perspective and I had this chance today to look at GT from the perspectives of quantitative-oriented researchers. Although, after four years of reading, writing and using GT I believe this is a powerful methodology which enables us to conduct exploratory research, I would never underestimate the value of quantitative approaches in conducting vigorous studies. I believe we need a combination of inductive and deductive approaches in one hand and also a combination of qualitative and quantitative methods to reach credible results.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


DIKW stands for "Data Information Knowledge and Wisdom" which is called Knowledge Hierarchy, Knowledge Pyramid, Information Hierarchy or Information Pyramid. To learn more about this issue, you can have a look at this site or this one. However, I would recommend you to read this paper: Rowley, J. (2006). 'Where is the wisdom that we have lost in knowledge?' Journal of Documentation 62 (2), pp. 251-270. This paper provides you with a profound vision about the real meaning of wisdom which is rarely discussed in KM literature.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

70 Types of Libraries

In some resources I have seen some people make a distinction between digital, electronic and virtual libraries. Although I am not sure how these three terms exactly differ, if I add them to my recent list of 67+1 kinds of libraries then we will have precisely 70 sorts of libraries.

Top-Ten Teaching and Learning Issues, 2007

The EDUCAUSE Advisory Committee for Teaching and Learning (ACTL) has identified the key technology-related teaching and learning issues in higher education for 2007 as follows: Establishing and supporting a culture of evidence, Demonstrating improvement of learning, Translating learning research into practice, Selecting appropriate models and strategies for e-learning, Providing tools to meet growing student expectations, Providing professional development and support to new audiences, Sharing content, applications, and application development
Protecting institutional data, Addressing emerging ethical challenges and Understanding the evolving role of academic technologists. To see the whole story please have a look at this site.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Knowledge Sharing in Interdisciplinary Fields

Recently, I have become so interested to the area of Knowledge Management and have reviewed a number of books and papers in this topic. Some of these papers were very informative and enlightening and opened new horizons to my mind. Among different aspects of KM I found the process of Knowledge Sharing and Knowledge Networks so fascinating. In particular when I can see the links between these aspects of KM and learning procedures I can see many potential topics for further research. Moreover, I like to learn more about the process of leaning and knowledge sharing in the interdisciplinary subjects and for interdisciplinary people. As I have had always an interdisciplinary view during my education years, I'd like to learn more about what happens to interdisciplinary people when they interact with fellow researchers from other subjects. I like the interdisciplinary nature of my subject (Information Science) as the most attractive feature of this field. The subjects that I consider in my interdisciplinary perspective are psychology, sociology, management, computer science and education.

67+1 Types of Libraries

After a review of a number of sources I have identified 67 types of libraries. I would like to add "Future Libraries" as the 68th item in the list. Therefore, I have called the list as 67+1. Of course, these groups of libraries can be re-categorized into some broader categories. The criteria which might be considered to regroup these libraries are: size of the collection, type and format of resources, level of specificity in the collected materials, resource development policy, potential and actual users, geographical features, mission statement, and library service policy in each category. However, in this post I'd like to only name all of these types as follows which have been sorted alphabetically:

Academic & University Libraries, Affiliated Libraries, Agricultural Science Libraries, Ancient and Medieval Libraries, Art Libraries, Audio-visual Libraries,
Blind People Libraries, Box Libraries, Branch Libraries, Caravan Libraries,
Central & Main Libraries, Chained Libraries, Children Libraries, Circulating Libraries, Class Libraries, College Libraries, Copyright Libraries, County Libraries, Cybermobile Libraries, Departmental Libraries, Depository Libraries,
Digital Libraries, Disabled People Libraries, Document Depository Libraries,
Esperanto Libraries, Floating Libraries, General Libraries, General Research Libraries, Governmental Libraries, Health Science Libraries, Hospital Libraries,
Hybrid Libraries, Important People's Libraries or Libraries about important people, Industrial Libraries, Institutional Libraries, International Libraries, Libraries for Special Users, Mobile Libraries, Mosque Libraries, Municipal Libraries, Museum Libraries, Music Libraries, National Libraries, Parliamentary Libraries, Patent Libraries, Prison Libraries, Private Libraries, Public Libraries, Reference Libraries, Regional Libraries, Religious Libraries, Rental Libraries, Repository Libraries, Research Libraries, Royal Libraries, Rural Libraries, School Libraries, Sister Libraries, Special Libraries, State Libraries, Students' Libraries, Subscription Libraries, Technical Libraries, Teenage Libraries, Toy Libraries, Traveling Libraries, Urban Libraries, and finally Future Libraries. In LIS research we can do a variety of studies based on the types of libraries. The possibilities are almost endless. I'll mention some of them in the future posts.