Grant Award: Improving Student Learning of Advanced Digital Technologies in an Online Laboratory

The University of Arizona's School of Information Resources and Library Science has been awarded a $539,686 grant (matching: $327,615) by the Institute of Museum and Library Services to fund its three-year "Improving Student Learning of Advanced Digital Technologies in an Online Laboratory: A Research Approach" project.

Here's an excerpt from "Library Students to Get 'Leading-Edge' Training Thanks to Federal Grant":

The UA school's partners are the UA Libraries, UA University Information and Technology Services, the Harvard University Herbaria and the Missouri Botanical Gardens.

Each of the partner institutions will provide SIRLS with information that then will be recorded and catalogued, then developed into databases—with SIRLS students responsible for these tasks. So, instead of simply having Web sites that simulate the work they would be doing as professionals, the students will have the actual software and other tools to perform more complex work.

SIRLS will use VMWare Lab Manager software—which is quite popular in industry—as the program’s platform to build a virtual online laboratory. "This grant gives us the infrastructure we need to really let us create practical and realistic exercises for students," said Botticelli, also the co-principal investigator on the grant.