Dispelling the Myth of the APA Monster: Information Services in a Digital Environment

Your Name and Title: Sara Stambaugh, Campus Librarian

Library, School, or Organization Name: Rasmussen College

Co-Presenter Name(s): BethMarie Gooding, Suzanne Schriefer, Jeneen LaSee-Willemssen

Area of the World from Which You Will Present: North America, United States

Language in Which You Will Present: English

Target Audience(s): Librarians and administrators managing information services in a digital environment


Short Session Description (one line): Rasmussen College is transitioning from a commercially produced APA guide to a set of institutionally produced, online APA resources in order to increase student performance and reduce costs; we will discuss how we are implementing the change and monitoring usage to inform future development.


Full Session Description (as long as you would like):

As the price of college goes up and the digital world expands, Rasmussen is looking to both reduce costs and provide information in an easily accessible way. As a result, the college is moving to electronic formats to disseminate information about APA style related to writing, citing, and research resources. Foregoing commercially published guides to the Publication Manual of the American Psychological Association, Rasmussen librarians have created a collection of online tools for students to utilize instead. Utilizing Springshare software, Rasmussen librarians have built a database of frequently asked questions and an online guide that will help students learn APA.  In the database, students can enter keywords or a question about APA (and many other topics) in a search box and be immediately directed to an answer that pertains to the subject matter. In the guide there are PDFs of library handouts, video tutorials about formatting APA papers and reference pages, information about how to cite certain sources, as well as a webinar archives tab that has links to recorded webinars that discuss certain aspects of APA. Utilizing all of these institutionally-developed resources rather than relying on a commercially produced handbook not only saves Rasmussen money, but also benefits the students. Changes and adjustments based on student feedback can be made instantly. In addition, these online resources can be fully integrated into courseware. We also hope that utilization of such resources will have a beneficial impact on information literacy instruction. We have begun to measure the success of this move through feedback surveys and research course outcomes. Come hear more about how this change impacts our instruction and our students, how we are measuring outcomes, and discuss with us options for our digital move that are yet to be pursued.



Websites / URLs Associated with Your Session:


http://rasmussen.libanswers.com/browse.php?tid=10800 – Answers APA

http://guides.rasmussen.edu/apa - APA LibGuide

http://guides.rasmussen.edu/llcwebinarseries - Video Tutorials

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This looks pretty interesting. Our own experience at Western Washington University is that our APA questions and answers in LibAnswers are by for the most popular: http://askus.library.wwu.edu/browse.php?iid=92&tid=11679&o=...

A few years ago I suggested to Springshare that they allow institutions collaborate on topics that would populate to multiple school's instances of LibAnswers. I think that would be an idea worth revisiting, especially with APA and other citation styles. 

What do you think?



Our findings were very interesting. Digital content is generally embraced by students at Rasmussen. I think that a collaborative effort to align information about citation styles would not be a bad idea. It seems that a lot of the questions we get in our Answers database and posted on our LibGuides are the same ones over and over. I sometimes think that it is due to the ever changing dynamics of our student population. We run on a quarter system, and new students are admitted on a twice-quarterly basis.

Although the downside to a collaborative effort in LibAnswers is that not every school does things exactly the same. We may all adhere to APA, but actual answers to how to do one particular citation or format may differ slightly. Something to think about though.


Very Nice Thanks For Sharing



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