11 Association of Research Libraries Research Library Issues 298 2019 campus community, especially by the graduate students who comprise the majority of workshop attendees. Between fall 2018 and spring 2019, Ameet and Jay held 21 introductory or intermediate-level R workshops with approximately 450 total attendees. A post-workshop assessment indicates that 40% learned “a great deal” and 35% learned “a lot” by attending the R workshops.9 With 74% of attendees indicating they had a positive learning experience, the data suggest that attendees benefit from this new instructional offering by the library. Drawing from 54 qualitative comments, Ameet and Jay observe that students are eager for the library to offer additional advanced and intermediate- level R workshops, training with more tools and techniques (Python, MatLab, text mining), as well as more emphasis on the syntax of R commands. Many students remarked that the 90-minute session “flew by,” so a longer workshop may also be better aligned with graduate student needs. R has become an increasingly prominent tool for data analysis across academic disciplines and within industry. Because it is open source software, the barrier to entry (cost and availability) is low, but many users still find an in-person introductory workshop helpful for building proficiency. The library has proactively recognized this trend and created a value-added service that reflects well upon the breadth of librarian capabilities, while also evolving the brand of the research library as crucial to academic and research success at Georgia Tech. Alison Valk, whose specialty is teaching multimedia tools and techniques, believes that no matter the subject material or discipline, the ability to effectively communicate one’s research to a broad audience is vital. A skill set including multimedia-based hardware and software to enhance communication skills is no longer optional, but imperative, and interest in this kind of training has grown over the last six years. Multimedia includes video editing, visual or graphic design, audio editing, and website development. The manner in which information is transmitted and the communication channels used have the potential
Previous Page Next Page