At the end of 2011, the UCLA Library decided that it would no longer be able to maintain the Road to Research tutorial. The
tutorial will be continued for now, on an experimental basis, as a crowdsourced tool to aid undergraduates
with information researching and critical thinking. Procedures for crowdsourcing the tutorial will be
developed under the auspices of UCLA Social Sciences Computing and volunteers. See below
for a history of the development of this tutorial. Contact Mike Franks if you have any questions, or want to help.
What is it?
The "Road to Research is an "information literacy" tutorial, designed to help students improve their information research skills.
Information literacy is the ability to identify an information need, locate information efficiently, evaluate information, and use information effectively and ethically." (From a resolution adopted by the statewide University of California's Academic Council, September 24, 2003.) The tutorial has been designed in keeping with the ACRL "Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education," and the ACRL Instruction Section's "Information Literacy Objectives for Academic Librarians." The ultimate goal of this tutorial is to help people learn how to learn.
How did it get started and who supplied funding for it?
Esther Grassian (Information Literacy Outreach Coordinator, UCLA College Library) first proposed this tutorial in 1998/99 to Eleanor Mitchell, Head of UCLA College Library, and then to Applied Linguistics/TESL faculty. She worked with a UCLA Information Studies (IS) Department Intern, Michael Kirby, to present this idea to them in Spring 2000. In 2000/2001, she worked with Pauline Swartz, another IS Intern, with CDH, and with Linda Jensen, a TESL Lecturer, to develop an OID IIP grant proposal for about $29,000 to develop an IL tutorial for ESL undergraduates. The intent was to develop a tutorial that would be simple and clear, yet non-condescending. We hoped that this sort of tutorial would also be useful for most UCLA undergraduates, as well. As the tutorial took so long to develop, many changes had to be made along the way to accommodate changes in the technological environment at UCLA and at the University of California's California Digital Library (CDL). Both CDL and UCLA decided to replace their online catalogs, and each selected a different vendor. The UCLA Library also released a new home page, with different navigation. As time went on, both CDL and UCLA have made wording and other changes to their catalogs and home pages. This meant that Esther needed to revise content and suggested search strategies, as well as redo many image captures, and swap out images.
Originally, we planned to design a basic tutorial, as a template, with some modular elements. We hoped that librarians and faculty would work together to come up with examples related to a variety of topics and be able to modify the tutorial to suit the needs of their students and courses. We have not yet reached that last goal, as it has taken an enormous amount of time and effort on the part of many different people just to develop the basic tutorial. If funding and release time are available in the future, we may consider working toward this goal at that time.
The proposal was funded for 2001/2002 at $7500, a generous amount, for which we were extremely grateful, considering the competition for these grant funds, but nevertheless, at less than one-third the amount proposed. Unfortunately, CDH was unable to hire a programmer to work on the tutorial until Spring 2002, and as it turned out, the programmer's skills lay in more technical programming, rather than in web site design and development. Although two other librarians in College Library, Pauline Swartz and Diane Mizrachi spent many hours working on various aspects of the tutorial content, and there was some student help, as well as some additional funding support from the UCLA Library and the Librarians Association of the University of California, due to lack of release time for librarians to work on this project, as well as many other pressing responsibilities, there were extensive delays in completing and editing its various segments.
I'd like more details about the tutorial.
See the list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) and the How To sections under the Help menu above.
Who has worked on the tutorial?
UCLA College Library librarians, Esther Grassian, Pauline Swartz, and Diane Mizrachi, are primarily responsibile for the original tutorial content. Esther Grassian has further developed the tutorial and supervised an Information Studies Department Intern and two students in further development, since December 2003. The UCLA Center for Digital Humanities (CDH) did some initial programming and tutorial planning, supported by a UCLA Office of Instructional Development (OID), Instructional Improvement Program (IIP) grant, and some additional funding from the UCLA Library. The UCLA Social Sciences Computing Network (SSCNet) took on responsibility for tutorial programming in December 2003, with some support from the Librarians Association of University of California's President's Fund. The UCLA Library provided additional funding for a student web designer in summer 2004, to get the tutorial ready for full use at the beginning of UCLA's Fall 2004 Quarter. We are grateful to many people and groups for their contributions to the tutorial. Following is an alphabetical list of those who have worked on this tutorial, from the time it was first proposed, along with notes about their contributions.
Jessica Baumwoll (UCLA SSCNet student programmer, 2004)
Did much of the conversion of HTML pages from CDH's server to SSCNet's server. Organized and renamed a huge number of files, and provided Esther with consistently patient, clear, and helpful HTML and ftp training and advice.
Jenne Bergstrom (UCLA Information Studies Department, Graduate Student Researcher, Spring 2002)
Did some initial content development regarding the Find It: Connectors and Find It: Books sections of the tutorial. Funded through the OID IIP grant.
Zoe Borovsky (UCLA Center for Digital Humanities, Spring 2002-2003)
Worked hard to lead a team of several CDH staff in initial efforts to develop a structure for the tutorial, as well as a navigation bar, web pages, and other features. We really appreciated her efforts to identify software and hardware that would be helpful in developing the tutorial.
Christina Hazelo Breitbach (UCLA Information Studies Department Intern, 2006/2007)
Worked hard to learn Camtasia Studio. Then did an excellent job of redoing the Periodicals Camtasia video, as well as audio, and inserted captions throughout.
Mike Franks (PHP Programmer, UCLA Social Sciences Computing Network, 2003+ )
We owe special thanks to Mike Franks, SSCNet's very talented PHP programmer, for his invaluable and highly creative work on this tutorial, as he has been instrumental in bringing it to fruition. He worked very hard to create the tutorial structure and php "include" files which comprise the header and footer of each page of the tutorial. By using these "include" files, Mike was able to set up the tutorial structure so that librarians would be able to revise and ftp the content of tutorial pages, while leaving the header and footer of each page untouched. He and Esther Grassian discussed and developed the current structure of the tutorial, as well as the navigation bar, and menu items for the header and footer. Mike also worked with student programmers at SSCNet to add authentication programming. Mike also redid the SQL database of questions and answers for the pretests and quizzes, originally created by CDH.
Esther Grassian (Information Literacy Outreach Coordinator, UCLA College Library, 1999+ )
Served as Co-Principal Investigator for the OID IIP grant proposal, as well as overall tutorial editor, and primary content designer for the Find It and Road Etiquette sections of the tutorial, and the Judge for Yourself books, and articles sections, for the original tutorial. Since December 2003, she has continued to work on all sections of the tutorial in order to improve it. Also contributed questions to the SQL database of pretest and quiz questions, interviewed, hired and supervised various UCLA information Studies (IS) Department Interns, as well as graduate and undergraduate students working on this project. Esther has also spent many hours working with programmers and students from CDH and SSCNet on various aspects of the tutorial, and has learned some HTML coding, as well as the use of various types of software, in order to complete the project, including: Dreamweaver, Filezilla (secure FTP), Fireworks, and Camtasia, and the use of CSS (Cascading Style Sheets). She also designed and conducted three usability studies of the Find It module of the tutorial conducted in Spring 2004, and has worked on developing and conducting usability studies for the other modules of this tutorial, as well. The latest set of "think aloud" usability studies is being conducted in Fall 2005.
Amy Guy (UCLA Graduate School of Education & Information Studies, Department of Information Studies, Intern, 2007-2008)
Along with Esther Grassian, developed and narrated the Find It! Books video, using Camtasia Studio.
Eugene Hamai (UCLA Center for Digital Humanities, Programmer, Spring 2000-2002)
Participated in numerous joint planning meetings with the librarians and Linda Jensen, providing valuable advice and insights during the initial stages of tutorial development.
Linda Jensen (UCLA Applied Linguistics/TESL, Lecturer, 2000-2003)
Served as Principal Investigator for the OID IIP grant proposal, and spent many hours in joint planning meetings with the librarians and CDH programmers, providing valuable feedback and recommendations from a faculty member's point of view.
Mikyung Kang (Korean Studies Librarian, UCLA Library)
Translated the audio scripts into Korean for two movies, Find It! Books and Find It! Periodicals, and also did the audio narration for both of these movies in Korean in Spring 2005.
Michael Kirby (UCLA Information Studies Department, Intern, 1999-2000)
Helped Esther Grassian develop and present a Spring 2000 session to Applied Linguistics/TESL faculty, to help them see the need for an information literacy (IL)tutorial for ESL students. Michael studied a number of IL tutorials available at the time and created a clear and simple two-page handout describing four different IL tutorials on one side, and a set of IL-related questions on the other, to stimulate discussion.
Lucy Lu (Programmer, UCLA Center for Digital Humanities, Spring 2002-2003)
First programmer to work on the tutorial. Developed initial navigation bar, first SQL database of questions and answers for pretests and quizzes, as well as a number of web pages.
Diane Mizrachi (Digital Services/Information Literacy Librarian, UCLA College Library, 2002-2003)
Primarily responsible for the Starting Points section of the tutorial. Diane also worked with Esther Grassian and Pauline Swartz as an editing team, reviewing many of the tutorial pages, until around December 2003.
Billy Pashaie (UCLA Information Studies Department Intern, 2004/2005)
Translated audio scripts into Farsi for seven movies, Find It! Books, Find It! Periodicals, and five Find It! Articles movies, and also did the audio narrations in Farsi, in Spring 2005.
"I did the translation using print and online dictionaries, or sometimes... just asked my dad how to say certain words."
Hao Phan (Librarian for Southeast Asian Studies, UCLA Collections, Research and Instructional Services)
Translated audio scripts into Vietnamese for seven movies, Find It! Books, Find It! Periodicals, and five Find It! Articles movies, and also did the audio narrations for several of these movies in Vietnamese, in Spring 2005.
Sue Phares ( (Instructional Designer, Teaching Enhancement Center, UCLA Office of Instructional Development, 2004+) )
Sue Phares also deserves special thanks, as she has also been instrumental in improving this tutorial by providing highly useful feedback on a number of areas needing improvement. She has also provided cheerful, intensive training to Esther Grassian, Judy Zhang and Arjun Saroya, in the use of various software, particularly, Camtasia Studio and Fireworks, as well as Dreamweaver. Her continued advice and help have been invaluable.
Brady Pierzchalski (Web Designer, UCLA Social Sciences Computing Network, 2004)
SSCNet's creative and skilled web designer, came up with the road image header, and also provided Photoshop advice and assistance to Mike Franks and his student programmers.
Arjun Saroya (UCLA Undergraduate, Web Designer, Summer 2004)
Designed the Welcome page of the tutorial, created and implemented CSS (Cascading Style Sheets) to improve consistency, and improved graphics throughout the tutorial. Also suggested a model for allowing users to move around among pages within each module. Under Mike Franks' direction, he also created the tutorial's sitemap.
Socrates Silva (UCLA Information Studies Department, Intern, Winter 2005)
Translated audio scripts into Spanish for seven movies, Find It! Books, Find It! Periodicals, and five Find It! Articles movies, and did the audio narrations in Spanish, as well, for all of these movies, in Spring 2005.
Pauline Swartz (UCLA Information Studies Department, Intern & Graduate Student Researcher, 2000-2002; Digital Services/Information Literacy Librarian, UCLA College Library, 2002-2003)
Primarily responsible for the original web pages for the Judge for Yourself: Tools and Judge for Yourself: Websites sections of the tutorial. Pauline also worked with Esther Grassian on the OID IIP grant proposal, on developing goals and objectives for each segment of the tutorial, and on the editing team, with Esther and Diane Mizrachi, reviewing many of the tutorial pages, until December 2003 .
Songxin (Joey) Wu (UCLA Undergraduate, Computer Science major, Spring 2005)
Translated audio scripts into Cantonese for seven movies,
Find It! Books, Find It! Periodicals, and five Find It! Articles movies, and will do the audio narrations in Cantonese, as well.
Judy Zhang (UCLA Department of Information Studies, Intern, Summer 2004 and Spring 2005)
Worked hard to complete conversion of Word documents to web pages, to improve the look and operation of various interactive exercises, and make other improvements throughout the tutorial, based on prior usability study results and other feedback. Primarily responsible for the How To pages in the Help menu, and also contributed many other ideas and suggestions for improvement. Designed draft usability tests for several modules. Also translated audio scripts into Mandarin for seven movies, Find It! Books, Find It! Periodicals, and five Find It! Articles movies, and did the audio narrations in Mandarin, as well, in 2004/2005.