well, does it?


So, I was doing some coursework for Instructional Strategies and was digging around in a periodical database. I came across this title:

"Instruction via chat reference: does co-browse help?"

I actually took the time to read this. It has nothing to do with my topic at hand. I'm just interested in its aboutness. You see, I work at a place that used to be part of the QuestionPoint 24/7 consortium. We dropped out in favour of IM reference, but were concerned over the loss of co-browsing. Co-browsing sucks. It's a situation in which the librarian taps in and partially takes over the patron's browser. The problems were numerous: notably that it rarely worked and the patron also had partial control meaning sometimes they would click somewhere they shouldn't.

I was never a fan of co-browsing and generally cannot say enough good about opting for IM (I could however, question the viability and effectiveness of synchronous electronic reference, but I feel that's a losing battle at this stage.) So I was curious what these people found. In brief, co-browsing was well-received, but did not impact the amount of instruction offered. (I just realized that "instruction" means something specific to librarians, but I don't feel like describing it here. Just insert what you think it means, you'll be pretty close). The article fails to address the staff end of things (i.e. how do staff feel about co-browsing?). I smell a follow-up article. I have fallen so very far. I'm actually taking LIS research seriously enough to question its assertions. It's all downhill from here.

If anyone else is interested, it's from the Reference Services Review, 2006, vol. 34, no. 3, 340-357.


Petra said...

That's a rather big "if," you know.

alea said...

yes, petra, it's called a joke. If you had a sense of humour...

Ryan McIlvain said...

Still persisting in your British spellings, I see. I think I'm starting to see the logic of it: the more vowels the merrier!

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