Dr. Kim Kastens
Earth Institute Contact: Dr. Kim Kastens
This project consists of four tasks aimed at improving the breadth, depth and quality of the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE): The first task is an assessment of the collections and is being done by systematically comparing the scope and balance of the actual DLESE Collection with the collection desired by the DLESE community, as expressed through searches on the DLESE Discovery system, in community meetings, and through the DLESE Scope statement. For the existing collection, data are being compiled on learning context (grade level), topic, type of learning resource, cost to user, geographic distribution of resources focusing on a particular locality, and temporal distribution of resources focusing on a particular slice of geologic time. For the "desired collection," data area being compiled on search and browse requests made through the Discovery System. Changes over time of both the existing collection and the desired collection are being documented and compared. The second task is building on a prior NSF award supporting a resource gathering effort in Earth and environmental science to build a starter-collection with at least a few resources of interest to a wide range of potential DLESE users. This collections gathering effort is guided by the Collections Assessment, focusing on filling identified gaps or thin spots in the collection, seeking to avoid a "lumpy" collection rich only in those areas collected by specific interest groups. The third task is the cataloging of resources and is being done by the group responsible for the GeoRef catalog of professional literature in the geosciences. The fourth task is the further development and implementation of the Community Review System. The DLESE Community Review System solicits web-based feedback from educators who have used the resource with their learners, and combines it with expert reviews to evaluate resources against a set of seven selection criteria. The scope and breadth of the Reviewed Collection is increasing and Reviewed Collection resources are being showcased. Indices based on information gathered during the review process are being shared with potential resource users, along with editor's comments and teaching tips contributed by users, via an NSDL-style "annotation service." In addition to building the DLESE Collection, this project is contributing to the broader NSDL in several areas of collection development practice and research: methodologies for collections assessment in a digital world, incorporation of collections assessment into digital library evaluation, identification of resources proven effective in challenging and learning and teaching situations, implementation of a community-based review system, and use of an annotation system to disseminate information about educational resources. Significant co-funding of this project is being provided by the Division of Earth Sciences in the NSF Directorate for Geosciences in recognition of the importance that this collection and related activities have for K-12 teachers and undergraduate faculty.
National Science Foundation