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Out of the Database, Into the Classroom
Appendix A: Interview Summary

We talked to faculty in these departments:

USC: Classics, Art History, English, History
UCB: Anthropology; Art, Technology and Culture; Art History
Stanford: History, Center for Teaching & Learning

Faculty: Image use

  • Faculty issues with licensed image resources
    — Not aware of the resources (communication issue)
    — May find the resources not relevant, particularly in early phases (content issue)
  • Faculty find or create their own images
    — Digital camera: take snapshots
    — Scan images from books
    — Google Image Search (despite low resolution)
    • Pro: Reliability; what they want is there
    • Con: Low resolution/fidelity
  • Faculty gather images to build their own resources
    — Personal: folder structure on a hardisk
    — Departmental: pool of shared images (Filemaker DB)
    — Campuswide: pool of shared images (more robust db)
  • Faculty use PowerPoint & Web pages
    — PowerPoint for presentations
    • express strong dislike
    — Web pages for preparing / collaborative authoring)
  • Faculty would like
    — One-stop shopping: Centralized resource with rights-cleared high quality images pertinent to their field
    • Unlikely to look in various different licensed resources for class preparation
    • Search across all licensed resource and the Web (Google Image Search) at the same time
    — The ability to splice in or add their own images
    — Access to image and descriptive metadata
    • Descriptive metadata useful mostly for local reaggregation
    • Faculty are their own descriptive metadata!
    — No log-in barriers

Faculty - librarians: Models of image reuse

  • Immediate reuse by faculty
    Faculty harvest images for PowerPoint, Flash, etc.
  • Reaggregation
    Faculty harvest images for their own archive (directory structures, CDs)
    Faculty harvest images for departmental image pool (image database)
    Campus harvests images for dedicated instructional images database (teaching tool)

Preliminary conclusions: Export mechanism (highly speculative!)

  • Union databases have to both integrate the materials and allow their unraveling
  • Transport image and descriptive metadata
  • Image Specs: multiple levels of transfer
    — High resolution tiff (many faculty post-process)
    — Low resolution jpeg sized at screen resolution (600x800 or 1024x768)
  • Images and Descriptive Metadata: multiple levels of transfer
    — Image and Descriptive Metadata separate: CSV
    • Re-aggregation in local database by faculty itself
    • Reformatting of descriptive metadata for slide lists
    — Descriptive Metadata internal to the Digital Image: e.g. Adobe XMP
    • Self-describing image
    — Image and Descriptive Metadata bundled: XML Package
    • Re-aggregation by campus staff for dedicated instructional technology database
    • Possibility to transfer complex objects (all 12 images of a Chinese album)

Interview summary out-takes

Where do they come from?

— "Anywhere on the Web that I can get them"
— Google mentioned frequently
— Digital or analog camera
— Scan from books or analog images—a few get undergraduate and graduate students to assist with scanning, some have help from the slide library, others get mini grants to send out to service bureaus
— Has own elaborate and professional sounding copystand for use with a digital camera
— Specific resources mentioned: American Memory, Blake Archive, SPIRO, AMICO, Perseus, JSTOR, OED
— Existing personal collections
— Purchase CD collections (the most extreme example of this was "I went to Costco and bought the National Geographic collection")
— "Licensed resources don't fill my needs—too many 'greatest hits' images"

Where do you put them?

— Windows file server
— Bookmarks, complimented with Excel file for metadata
— iViewMultimedia
— Image Gallery (??)
— Extensis Portfolio
— Filemaker
— PowerPoint
— "I don't put them anywhere—I used Google images in the classroom, to be spontaneous"
— Course Web pages
— Uses Flash "to get those Ken Burns effects"
— CDs
— Zip drives (but notes that "Best Buy doesn't sell these anymore")
— Slide library database
— "What about those USB cards?"
— Can share with others from collection of CDs—they aren’t indexed, but knows where in the box to look

What metadata?

— Artist, title is enough to prompt memory and date
— Puts minimal info in PowerPoint, except for crediting others if not own image
— "I don't need the metadata myself"
— "I find metadata is either not what I need, or wrong"
— Students need artist, title, museum site, date, dimensions
— Place, original caption, title, date
— Technical metadata gets imported from digital camera
— Cataloging plus my comments
— "I like the metadata from the New York Times images"

File formats? Size?

— "I take what I can get"
— "I always take analog backups, because projecting is not always an option … Projection is not the only way"
— jpeg 800 x 600 is good; gif only suitable for the Web, tiff is too big
— "I don't need any more than 72 dpi"
— "Resolution needs to be high enough for a class of 300 students"
— jpeg 300 dpi (although 150 or 200 fine for projection)
— "I'd want to store as tiffs, use jpeg for presentation"
— "The problem with Google is that it gives too low resolution images"
— "There’s a real lack of standards in this area; you need different images for different settings"
— Likes the ability to get images via "right click" [from the Web] for the immediacy of putting together a lecture, but wants to have high-resolution images also

How do you use them inside the classroom?

— Google images projected on a screen (with a live internet connection)
— "I don't—the classrooms aren't equipped for it"
— PowerPoint
— PowerPoint presentations converted to Flash or pdf
— Data projector, folder set up in Windows with images to be used for the day
— Classroom computers and projector—if the data connection is good, then use the university server, if not then resort to CD or zip drives
— "I may cancel lecture if the network is not available"
— "Buildings are not wired except for large lecture halls"

Outside the classroom?

— Course Web sites ("Stored on a campus server—hard to confirm it's actually there")
— Uses "private Web site" (feels courseware is awful)
— Course Web site has links to everything shown in class


— Would be nice if there was a link to a page that explained permitted used clearly (not a long page that we all click "agree" to)
— Copyright is intellectually stifling
— I don't object to paying or registering, but registration stops the flow of work
— "I worry about putting too much on my Web site"—worries about fair use
— Worries about copying images for fear of getting sued, but knows about freedom-of-access issues for teaching—okay if they are behind a password
— "An ideal would be something close to Google Images, but would have a way to manage fair use"


— Hate authentication process—"I'm lazy"
— Classroom setups sound awkward (one describes "Rube Goldberg-ish setup" with keyboard balanced on A/V cart, sound level difficult to control)
— Preference for local access (customization)
— Preference for remote servers (access anywhere)
— Wants everything on Google images, licensed resources, and personal resources together
— "Personal light table" for sorting and presenting
— Side by side comparison important
— Fears about "live links" disappearing—"access is ephemeral for licensing and technology reasons"
— Dump images / drag and drop directly into your application
— Data embedded in an image
— If you click on an image, it would take you back to where it came from
— Enter user name and password once and be authenticated for everything
— There would be enough institutional staff to help out with this stuff
— Images that are "pushed" foster serendipity
— I need to learn more about licensed resources
— "What’s going on in industry is geared to organizing personal collections, not so much collections that are organized to share with other people"; lack of a tool for searching is frustrating
— The problem with PowerPoint is that it fixes your relationship with the image (no opportunity to work with the image, ask to see details, etc.)
— Likes Luna Insight, but there’s "no interface for a faculty-driven operation"—seems designed from a stable-collection perspective