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Número: 71
Año: 2002
Autor: Johann Van Reenen, Editor
Título: Digital Libraries and Virtual Workplaces. Important Initiatives for Latin America in the Information Age

5. Training the trainers

      For ETD programs to spread to every graduate student, a vast expansion of NDLTD and the efforts of its many partner groups is required. At this point, a broad program of training those who can train others is needed.

Motivating universities to participate

      Though there are many excellent reasons for ETDs for both students and universities as shown above, awareness of this situation has not been spread widely. Many universities are unaware of the notion, or have incomplete or inaccurate knowledge. Further, since launching an ETD effort typically requires participation of a number of stakeholders on a campus, the first step in spreading the idea to a university usually involves assembling a sufficiently large group of interested parties and decision-makers, explaining about NDLTD, and clarifying the many misunderstandings that may exist. Once there is understanding, a number of stakeholders are usually motivated to proceed, and if there is suitable leadership and resolve, an ETD program will emerge.

Tool kits for trainers

      Trainers require tools to carry out their work. They should have knowledge and experience from involvement in an ETD program, so they may refer to their own knowledge and have examples at hand to explain concepts and practices. They should study the many resources available through NDLTD Web sites, and use PowerPoint slide shows, papers, news releases, and other materials as needed. They may wish to load a handy set of tools and files onto a laptop computer that they bring to training sessions. If they will be explaining PDF, they should have Acrobat software and may wish to demonstrate not only accessing a notable ETD, but also may show how to go from a word processing form to PDF. If they are explaining XML, they should have a notable ETD developed using XML, an XML editor, an XML parser, and a tool to render that builds upon XML and XSL. They should have an XML DTD to show, and style files that work with XSL. If they are showing conversion from word processor to XML, they should show the original files with styles, the intermediate (e.g., rtf) file that results, and the output from conversion to XML.

      To help address questions and concerns, trainers should develop a set of question-answer pairs, as can be found in Frequently Asked Question (FAQ) files. They may refer to these, and also encourage interested parties to consult them online. Part of that collection may be a set of policies and procedures to follow. Most important among these are those related to access options and standards. Forms developed at Virginia Tech and other locations to summarize the access options are very helpful for students and faculty to examine, and for policy makers to review and adapt, to account for local needs and attitudes. Similarly, lists of standards to follow, that determine what is supported for preservation and what is covered in training, are very important.

Teamwork, cooperation, and collaboration

      For trainers to be effective, they must leverage their efforts. On a particular campus this means that a local team must be developed. An effective team will have people who reinforce each other, represent campus constituencies, and involve all key stakeholders. There must be effective leadership, and a positive attitude backed with sufficient energy/enthusiasm to ensure progress. The different groups involved must be willing to co-operate, solve problems, adapt solutions, and assuage concerns. As needed, they should draw on others to help, including seeking advice from others involved in NDLTD.

      Three schemes exist for providing assistance. First, there is an annual ETD conference at which time hundreds of interested parties share their solutions and learn about advances in technology, training, tools, and techniques. Second, there are sites that have established ETD efforts and offer assistance. Those leading national programs, for example, may serve as centers of excellence, and can be visited or may send representatives to help with onsite training. Finally, there are numerous electronic services that afford assistance. Web sites (e.g., run by NDLTD), listservs (e.g., etd-l@listserv.vt.edu for general discussion, or special lists for particular committee or focus efforts), email, and other mechanisms can be consulted. All in all, cooperation and collaboration allow groups to benefit from the accomplishments and knowledge of others.