Library Services for Distance Learning: Sixth Bibliography

UNDER CONSTRUCTION ACRL Distance Learning Section

Chapter 11: Case Studies

Aramide, K. A., & Bolarinwa, O. M. (2010, June). Availability and use of audiovisual and electronic resources by distance learning students in Nigerian universities: A case study of National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN), Ibadan Study Centre. Library Philosophy and Practice. Retrieved from
The National Open University of Nigeria (NOUN) is an umbrella university to coordinate and determine standards in distance education. This study used undergraduate students from NOUN at the Ibadan Study Center in the 200 and 300 level courses. The objectives of the study were to: identify the range of audiovisual and electronic resources available for distance education; determine the frequency of use of audiovisual and electronic resources; ascertain the competence of students in the use of audiovisual and electronic resources; and identify the major inhibitors to audiovisual and electronic resources by the students of NOUN. The research data was presented by schools and departments of the students who participated in the study and comparisons of use made between the schools. Tables of the data analysis and interpretation are included. The findings of the study show that, generally, distance learning students at the NOUN Ibadan Study Center regularly use the audiovisual and electronic resources, although use varies by school. Also, constraints to use of the resources are poor power supply, poor electronic resources, lack of adequate skill, high cost and unavailability, corroborating Adeyemi’s 2004 findings. Recommendations as a result of the study are included. R. Ulrey

Edwards, Mary E. & Black, Erik W. Contemporary instructor-librarian collaboration: A case study of an online embedded librarian implementation. Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning, 6(3-4), 284-311. doi: 10.1080/1533290X.2012.705690
Edwards and Black describe the implementation and assessment of an embedded librarian project in an online graduate course. Students were health care professionals seeking Master of Education degrees. The embedded librarian created a variety of learning objects for the course after working with the instructor to determine likely student needs. While the librarian also participated in course discussions, students mostly relied on the learning objects. The project was evaluated through pre- and post-course tests of students’ self-efficacy and skills, citation analysis of final projects, a post-course instructor interview, and librarian observations. The authors include recommendations and resources for librarians new to embedding in online courses. K. Conerton

Germek, G. (2012). Empowered library eLearning: Capturing assessment and reporting with ease, efficiency, and effectiveness. Reference Services Review, 40(1), 90 – 102. doi:10.1108/00907321211203658
This article illustrates how Monmouth University Library coupled Adobe Connect web conferencing software with their online plagiarism tutorial (created using Adobe Captivate) to capture immediate online assessment and use Connect to function as a library-based, library-accessible in-house learning management system (LMS).  The description of the setup process is detailed with screenshots.  The library was able to effectively capture assessment and get reports quickly using this alternative method instead of having to rely on the complicated LMS used in courses. R. Ulrey

Hay, L., & Pymm, B. (2010/2011). Real learning in a virtual world: A case study of the School of Information Studies’ Learning Centre in Second Life. Education for Information, 28, 187–202. doi:10.3233/EFI-2010-0901
The School of Information Studies in Wagga, Wagga, New South Wales, Australia, has specialized in undergraduate and postgraduate LIS programs for nearly forty years. By the time it became part of the new Charles Sturt University in 1989, these studies were available solely through distance mode. A 2008 faculty restructure and 2009 focus group study brought on the adoption of social networking platforms. This led to the creation of a CSU-SIS Learning Centre in Second Life. Following the first year of use, an investigation was undertaken to judge its effectiveness for students and faculty and to uncover any needed improvements. Questions asked of faculty involved preparation time, communication and engagement, immersive learning experiences, and scalability in terms of class size. Students were asked to comment upon sense of presence and belonging, technology issues, and enhanced access to faculty and subject matter experts. The investigators found that the Second Life experience was more successful than expected based upon the favorable comments of students and faculty and despite the somewhat steep learning curve for those without Second Life experience. J. Wilson

Iwala, C. (2011). Case study: Network system ID conversion for a connected campus. Codex: The Journal of the Louisiana Chapter of the ACRL, 1(3), 10-20. Retrieved from
This case study discusses how Grambling State University implemented a campus network ID and management system for their students, faculty and staff. The campus moved from using social security numbers to creating a 9-digit university ID for identity privacy protection. Also discussed in the case study are the challenges the Grambling State University Library faced, including adapting their current ID card reading equipment in order to recognize the new 9-digit campus ID number. Tips for implementing a new campus ID number in an academic library are also included in this article. L. M. Williams

Memmott, S., & deVries, S. (2010). Tracking the elusive student: Opportunities for connection and assessment. Journal of Library Administration, 50, 798–807. doi:10.1080/01930826.2010.488974
This article discusses the challenges Eastern Michigan University’s library faced in organizing information relating to library services and resources for Extended Programs students (off-campus and online students). Previously, information about library services and resources was available on several library and University websites. An Integrated Library Services Task Force was formed to review the services available to the Extended Programs students in order to merge the information onto one website. The authors provide information on how they used Google Analytics to assess data collected on student use of the revised website for the Extended Programs students. L. M. Williams

Rebmann, K. (2012). Connecting distance learning communities to research via virtual collaboratories: A case study from library and information science. Open Learning, 27(3), 273-282. doi:10.1080/02680513.2012.716658
Based on the collaboratory concept developed by William Wulf in the late 1980s, the author conducted a design-based research project to investigate whether an online distributed academic community for the San Jose State University’s Library and Information Science program would support student learning and research. Essential questions included an inquiry into the types of topics members of the online community would engage in; whether the students would engage more in synchronous or asynchronous activities; and whether collaboratory environments would contribute to the research projects of the university’s faculty, alumni or graduate/doctoral students. Data was collected by video screen-capture of synchronous meetings, statistics of viewings of recorded sessions, transcripts of meeting minutes, and samples of resulting research and writing exercises. Overall, 56 topics and activities were recorded during the 16 week session, 38 of which focused on scholarly research and writing. At a more granular level, these discussions focused on collaboration, discussing and sharing scholarly literature, strategies for conference presentations and journal publications, research methods, and grant writing. The remaining 18 topics were related to academic advising, including: potential thesis topics, e-portfolio development, editing papers, class recommendations, and general discussion of class work. Ultimately this study provides a basic background and good starting point for examining how student learning at the graduate level in distributed, virtual classrooms might be evaluated. A. Weiss

Stagg, A., & Kimmins, L. (2012). Research skills development through collaborative virtual learning environments. Reference Services Review, 40(1), 61-74.  doi: 10.1108/00907321211203630
Stagg and Kimmins (2012) developed short video tutorials to help first-year Business students develop confidence in their research skills and learn about support resources.  The videos were developed and hosted through the Learning Management System. These videos were designed for Business students, contextualizing the research skills to a specific discipline. The researchers utilized a design-based research approach, allowing for continual gathering of feedback from students and faculty and updating of content based on those findings. All videos were designed using dual coding theory.  Video content also aimed to not just demonstrate the technology, but also incorporate higher order thinking related to research. The research findings indicate highest usage of the videos occurs before assignments are due, as a “just-in-time” resolution to questions. Over a quarter of students were return visitors to the site. Web analytics also identified a wide distribution of users among Business majors. Future directions for evaluation of this project include investigating impact of these videos beyond the first-year. C. Schubert

Tumbleson, B. E., & Burke, J. J. (2010). When life hands you lemons: Overcoming obstacles to expand services in an embedded librarian program. Journal of Library Administration, 50(7-8), 972-988. doi:10.1080/01930826.2010.489002
In the spring semester 2009, three librarians at the Gardner-Harvey Library, a regional campus of Miami University Middletown, Ohio, launched a pilot Blackboard embedded librarian program that included 10 faculty teaching 13 different courses with 272 students. During summer 2009, the librarians reviewed faculty and student assessments, developed online research guides, and invited more faculty participation. In fall semester 2009, embedded librarians collaborated with 11 faculty teaching 11 different courses with 265 students. However, new economic factors, including layoffs, budget cuts, and ongoing administrative reorganization, created campus uncertainty. Based on recent national research on how students seek information, the two remaining embedded librarians concluded that customized content and links to essential library resources in Blackboard would better meet student information needs and resolved to carry the program forward in the 2009-2010 academic year. The second web-based survey of faculty participants and a separate web-based survey of participating students yielded responses from 6 of 11 faculty, but only 15 of the 265 students. Faculty indicated students needed more help evaluating websites, more timely updates regarding technological issues, and more guidance on citing sources. Students used the embedded librarian page in their Blackboard classroom to discover new databases or websites, but few of the students attempted to contact the embedded librarian. They preferred email communication and liked library links placed directly alongside class assignments. Committed to the future and success of this program, the embedded librarians identified eight activities essential for its growth, including regular assessment, expanded collaboration with other libraries, faculty, and other campus units, persistent marketing to students, and offering expanded library services for distance learners. J. Wood


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