Video Tutorials as a Mode for Teaching Metadata and Its Ethical Complications




Lim, T

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Texas Digital Library


This presentation explores a project in the Fall 2023 semester of creating a video series providing UT Austin researchers with an understanding of metadata, how they appear across materials, the situationally problematic nature of descriptive metadata, and their utility for purposeful academic information-seeking. This project is unique in that most library video tutorials focus on practical, step-by-step instruction for searching databases, whereas this series was more conceptual. Demonstrations of problematic descriptive metadata were accomplished by examining ‘Detail’ sections of entries in UT Austin’s OPAC. Problematic metadata was identified in two forms: as outdated or exclusive language, and as the absence of subject headings, abstracts and/or book descriptions. Examining this project also attends to the task and challenge of providing instruction in a digital-asynchronous format. Balancing conceptual informativity, practical relevance, and succinctness drove much of the decision-making behind how many videos would comprise the tutorial, how long they could be, the included metadata examples, and the explanation of how researchers could make metadata useful for themselves. Tutorials were created using UT Austin’s instance of Panopto, a video creation tool used by many universities because of its easy integration with learning management systems like Canvas. Recommendations for future iterations of this tutorial include: defining metadata more thoroughly, screencasting a navigation of the OPAC to provide more immersive demonstration, and considering how subject headings facilitate resource collocation to support information-seeking.