e-learning support for LIS education in UK - Strathprints

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e-learning support for LIS education in UK - Strathprints
Chowdhury, G. and Chowdhury, S. (2006) e-learning support for LIS
education in UK. In: 7th Annual Conference of the Subject Centre for
Information and Computer Sciences, 29-31 Aug 2006, Dublin, Ireland.
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e-learning support for LIS
education in UK
Gobinda G. Chowdhury
and
Sudatta Chowdhury
Dept. of Computer and Information Sciences
University of Strathclyde, Glasgow
The eLLIS Project
 eLLIS (an investigation of the e-Learning
environments in the LIS departments in
British universities) is a project, funded by
the Higher Education Academy Subject
Network Development Fund
eLLIS: Aims



how the LIS departments in UK support elearning by providing access to information
resources and services on the intranet, and
manage courses through the intranet
how the university libraries provide support for elearning of LIS students by making information
resources and services available specifically to
the LIS courses, and
how the students perceive and use these
intranet and library services.
Data Collection




Through Department Webpages
Through the University library webpages
By contacting the department
Students survey
General findings



Fifteen UK departments now offer LIS courses
Name of the departments offering such courses
differs: while some are Information
Science/Studies/Management departments or
schools, others are Computer and Information
Sciences, Business Schools, and so on
Title of the courses varies from Information and
Library Management to Information and Library
Studies, Information Services Management,
Information Studies, Librarianship, Library and
Information Studies, etc.
General findings (2)
 Most of the LIS courses are offered at PG
level, though there are some UG (Hons.)
courses too
 LIS courses are offered in both fulltime and
part-time modes in most universities
 Some departments also offer courses in the
distance learning mode
e-learning support from the
Departments


All the concerned LIS departments have
embraced ICT for providing e-learning support
services in some form or the other
Some departments use VLEs (like WebCT) used
in their university while others use in-house
systems (such as by the department of
Computer and Information Sciences at the
university of Strathclyde and Department of
Information and Communication at Manchester
Metropolitan University) for managing online
learning environments.
e-learning support from the
Departments (2)
 The degree of support for online learning varies
from little (such as in case of the department
(SLAIS) at UCL, to moderate such as at CIS at
Strathclyde, or IS at City to very high such as at
RGU.
 Students usually get information about the course
modules, handouts, and other course related
information including timetables, etc., though in
some cases access to such services can be
obtained through central services (such as through
MUSE at Sheffield).
CIS, Strathclyde Page
Courses
 Some universities offer complete courses
online; RGU and Strathclyde are specific
examples
 Some departments provide one or more
modules online, City University is a typical
example
 Some universities have a centrally managed
e-learning service or portal that is the first
port of entry for students, e.g. MUSE at
Sheffield
Assignments and Assessment
 Some departments have gone completely
paperless in case of assignment and dissertation
submissions, and assessment; IS at City university
is an example.
 Most departments require both an electronic and
hard copy submissions, CIS at Strathclyde is an
example
 There are also departments that require only hard
copy submission, SLAIS at UCL, and Information
Services Management at London Metropolitan
University are examples.
Library Support
 Libraries provide access to a variety of electronic
resources
 Organization of resources vary from one library
website to another
 Some libraries have organized web resources to
match students’ activities, e.g., London
Metropolitan University Library categorises
information resources in the following categories:
Directories, Documents (like CILIP- Framework
of qualifications), Gateways and Search Engines
(like HERO, SOSIG), Information Skills (like LSE
guides to using online resources), etc.
LMU library LIM Guide
Information Skills Tutorial
 Information Skills Tutorial is a unique feature
offered by the university libraries.
 However, the nature of training and tutorial
facilities vary significantly
 In some libraries the modules have been
contextualized to serve the students in a
given discipline. See for example, LJMU
Help and Support
 University libraries often provide access to
digitized collections of the most frequently used
resources. For example, at LJMU the Electronic
Key Text is a digitized collection of mostly
requested journal articles and book extracts that
can be accessed on or off-campus
 Online information databases and services come
with their own help files to support the users.
However, in order to maximize electronic access,
and thus e-learning, some university libraries
provide additional help facilities. See for example,
the RGU library website
160 responses were received
Table 1: How do the students get access to Online Course Information?
University (N)
Department
website (%)
University VLE
(%)
Either of these
(%)
None of
these (%)
The Robert Gordon University (37)
8
84
8
0
Loughborough
26
45
26
3
0
100
0
0
MMU (29)
86
10
4
0
University of Sheffield (13)
23
3
31
15
University of Strathclyde (15)
93
0
7
0
University of the West of England (UWE) (4)
0
100
0
0
UCL (26)
81
0
19
0
(35)
Liverpool John Moores University
(1)
Availability of lecture notes, handouts, etc.
Every module (%)
Most of the
modules (%)
Some of the modules
(%)
None of the modules
(%)
Loughborough (35)
14
58
24
4
MMU (29)
86
10
1
3
RGU (37)
27
6
4
0
Sheffield (13)
62
31
0
7
Strathclyde (15)
8
6
1
UCL (26)
8
35
46
11
LJMU (1)
0
0
100
0
UWE (4)
25
50
25
0
University (N)
Availability of assignment/exam. guidelines etc.
Every module (%)
Most of the
modules (%)
Some of the modules
(%)
None of the modules
(%)
Loughborough (35)
49
37
11
3
MMU (29)
76
10
11
3
RGU (37)
70
14
14
2
University of Sheffield
(13)
54
23
8
15
University of Strathclyde
(15)
73
13
14
0
UCL (26)
19
35
35
11
100
0
0
25
25
0
University (N)
LJMU (1)
UWE (4)
50
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Adequate
UCL
University of
Strathclyde
University of
Sheffield
RGU
MMU
Somewhat adequate
Loughborough
% of responses
Adequacy of the materials available through the
course website
Less adequate
80
70
60
50
40
30
20
10
0
Adequate
Somewhat adequate
UCL
University of
Strathclyde
University of
Sheffield
RGU
MMU
Less adequate
Loughborough
% of responses
Adequacy of materials obtained through the
library website
Conclusion
 Despite these myriad of research and development
activities in relation to building VLEs, digital libraries,
electronic coursepacks, institutional repositories, and so
on, there are currently no systems that provide seamless
access to scholarly as well as course and module related
information, and a variety of information that are currently
hidden under several layers of institutional intranets and
web and local databases and files.
 LIS departments and the corresponding university libraries,
although are trying hard to create an environment of
technology-enhanced learning, the current level support for
e-learning is far from ideal.
Conclusion (2)
 As may be noted from some of the students’ comments,
and the discussions earlier in this report, the current levels
of services are inconsistent, and in many cases, lack
standards and uniformity.
 Concerted efforts are to be made by the departments,
university libraries, ICT and learning services to come up
with a standard and uniform practice, and guidelines for
creating a student-centred and technology-enhanced
learning environment.
 We suggest that in order to build a true managed learning
environment, we need to build a student-centred and
integrated technology.
 A managed learning environment should not only support
e-learning, but should also enrich the overall ‘student
experience’ that includes not only the learning facilities,
but the overall life and experience of a student at a
university.
Thank You
Any Questions?

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