Beyond the Beginning: The Global Digital Library

Previous Page Next Page



Interim Executive Director, Coalition for Networked Information, USA


This paper is not a full report; it is a brief notification of a programme recently initiated by CNI.


In March 1997, the Coalition for Networked Information (CNI) launched a new project titled Assessing the Academic Networked Environment. Eight academic institutions from the USA and one from the UK are involved, namely Brown University, Dartmouth College, Gettysburg College, Johns Hopkins University, King’s College London, Mary Washington College, University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill, University of Washington, and Virginia Tech.


The assessment project’s goal is to implement a field-test of the CNI-published Assessing the Academic Networked Environment: Strategies and Options [59] by Charles McClure and Cynthia Lopata. This seminal study provides key research and tools for the higher education community focusing on the assessment of networked information resources, and the impact of these resources on teaching and learning, the provision of information, and the creation of shared knowledge.


To accomplish the project’s goal, the nine institutions participating in the project will engage in a co-ordinated field test of assessment measures outlined in the McClure/Lopata study. Each institution will be represented by an interdisciplinary assessment team comprised of individuals from departments such as the library, computing centre, media centre, and faculty. Each team will design and implement its assessment program for one chosen area. These teams will be used to promote and support future collaborations through such methods as electronic discussion lists, Websites, and more formally, project reports that will be widely disseminated. CNI intends to publish the results, on paper and electronically.

Another of the project’s main objectives is to allow teams to develop skills that will assist them in working as an institutional team. After developing familiarity with other teams, the project aims to encourage continued collaboration.

The nine teams held their first working meeting April 2 and 3 in conjunction with CNI’s Spring Task Force Meeting. The meeting, which was an orientation for members of institutional teams who will be working on the Assessment project in the coming months, was filled with lively discussion and an enthusiastic question and answer session. The teams began to plan campus assessments of the networked aspects of such areas as:

Early results are expected around December 1997 or January 1998. They will be announced on the CNI-announce listserv.


Christopher Peebles, Dean of Academic Computing and Acting Associate Vice President, Office of Information Technologies, Indiana University, is a Visiting Fellow with CNI and is one of the project co-ordinators. Charles McClure, Distinguished Professor, Syracuse University, is serving as an advisor to the project. Gerry Bernbom, Visiting Program Officer, CNI and Associate Director in the Office of Information Technologies at Indiana University, is the project facilitator. Finally, Joan K. Lippincott, Interim Executive Director, CNI, is also a project co-ordinator.

[58] This account was prepared by the Marc Fresko Consultancy for this report. It is based on a CNI press release, supplemented by notes taken during the presentation.

[59] See url

Previous Page Next Page