ACE Library Director ‘Zooms’ in on Distance Learning Tool at Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference

News | November 17, 2017

Jaleesa Jones
Social Media Coordinator

This year, Dr. Sandra Quiatkowski, library director at American College of Education, stepped into her new role as vice chair of Indiana Library Federation’s Distance Learning Division. And for this first time since she was appointed to her new designation, she presented at the Indiana Library Federation Annual Conference, which took place on Wednesday at Indianapolis Marriott East.

Quiatkowski, who is also a doctoral and specialty program faculty member at ACE, joined Indiana University Outreach and Engagement Librarian Michael Courtney, Johnson County Public Library Branch Manager Davin Kolderup, Ivy Tech Community College Statewide Library Technical Assistant Program Chair Dr. Susan Mannan, and Ball State University Head of Literacy Programs Jennifer Sebai to present “Connect & Engage Distance Learning Students,” which explored how to improve student engagement and learning outcomes through distance learning tools.

Quiatkowski’s segment of the panel discussion focused on Zoom, a video communications platform that simplifies video conferencing and group messaging for a streamlined, crystal-clear session.  

Quiatkowski explained that many libraries host formal classes on how to conduct research and assess the validity and reliability of web and database findings. And while many higher education institutions, including ACE, provide pre-recorded tutorials on these topics, Quiatkowski maintained that distance learning students thrive with live help.

“This really clarifies things for them because I can actually show them what I’m doing on my computer, and then I can stop sharing and they can show me what they had been doing or vice versa,” she said. “You know, they can show me what they were doing and I can say, ‘OK, no, you should be doing this instead. Use these kind of terms when you’re searching.’”

Quiatkowski also showed panel-goers how seamlessly the program integrated with Microsoft Outlook and the Canvas learning management system, which ACE uses, walking them through the steps to set up a Zoom meeting through those applications.

“It’s just so simple to use,” Quiatkowski said, “and my students–when I had my last class in April–the students really loved it when they had a group meeting. They could all see each other, and I was showing them the APA Style manual, and we were going through different pages and I was explaining things whenever someone had a question, and the students loved it more than when we had used similar applications like Google Hangout.”

Quiatkowski was one of the first three faculty members at ACE to test out Zoom, and said the shift toward the platform is a reflection of the steady, strategic pace ACE has taken in adopting new technology since she joined the college in 2011.

“At my previous job, it was about 75 percent electronic or online, and we did have a pretty good-sized physical library, but I would always lean more toward digital,” said Quiatkowski, who served as director of the health sciences library at King Fahad Medical City in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia following positions at King Faisal Specialist Hospital, Kingdom SchoolsRiyadh Schools, Aljazirah Schools, Marian University Indianapolis and the now-defunct Lockyear College.

“It was just amazing when I started at ACE, what all we had.”

Addressing how working exclusively with digital materials affects student learning, Quiatkowski shared: “I think that we have so much more available to students since we are online, and I think we work harder because we are.”

“I know I’m always on the phone with students. I’m always doing these Zoom meetings with them. Sometimes if we don’t have time to meet, I’ll make an individual tutorial for them. I think ACE excels at meeting the students’ needs because we are an online college, and we give them more options to help them succeed.”