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A look back on the 2014-2015 academic library trends

School’s out for the summer! Now that many students have left for their internships, study abroad programs or volunteer trips, you’re left with a handful of students taking summer school or working on campus. In the midst of the quiet, it’s time to reflect on the past school year. What successes did your library have? Where can you improve? What programs had the highest attendance? Did you make your library a destination?

We’re looking back at the top academic library trends from the 2014-2015 year . These following innovative resources and styles of learning are helping students across the nation engage with content in new ways. Whether your library has already implemented these or hasn’t heard of them yet, let’s take a look at how academic libraries are staying on the cutting-edge.

Game-Based Learning

According to reports by the ALA, game-based learning has taken over in academic libraries these past few months. Game-based learning applies certain gaming principles to real-life settings in order to engage users. Yes, games are fun, but this trend is also about designing learning activities for students that introduce new concepts, simulate real-life experiences and create a fresh way for them to engage with content. To keep up with the trend, many librarians are using game-based learning as a way to incentivize library use. For example, if a student checks out a book or looks up an article, they collect points and compete with each other, creating some friendly rivalries across campus.

Collaborative Learning

Another ALA report for winter 2015 showed collaborative learning became increasingly popular in academic libraries. This style of learning focuses on interaction, working in groups and using structured approaches to developing solutions to real-world problems. Collaborative learning promotes critical thinking and reflection, while also enabling a sense of community. Academic libraries are supporting this style of learning by providing collaboration tools, as well as assistance in using them. Some of these tools include online project management tools, databases, video chat resources and audio recording devices. The library’s ability to loan out and give instruction on these collaborative tools gives students the resources for success in their coursework.

Online Presentation Tools

Online presentation tools in the classroom became more popular in the 2014-2015 academic year. Students and professors alike are moving to web-based presentation tools for easy access and storage space. Compared to the traditional Microsoft Powerpoint, most of these online tools have more design features, are more user-friendly and allow for collaboration with others. Librarians are using them for promoting the library, as well as assisting students in their projects. For example, one librarian at University of Kentucky used PowToon to create a narrated, engaging introduction to the library for new students on campus.

Has your library implemented these trends into your offerings? If not, this summer is the time to get your library up to speed and on the cutting-edge.

Looking for more ways to bring innovation to your library? Download our list of 9 Innovations Shaping Today’s Academic Libraries.

academic checklistDownload Here

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