Event Title

Personas and Panels and Podcasts, Oh My! Using the student voice to shape online teaching provision to Open University (UK) distance learners

Session Format

Presentation

Conference Tracks

Library Instruction and Instruction Design

Short Description

Most of the Open University’s 170,000 students will never visit the university campus. Faced with this challenge, the OU Library’s Live Engagement team use a variety of methods to find out the best timings, topics and methods of delivery for teaching information literacy skills to our distance learners.

This presentation will describe how we use a panel of students and student personas to design a programme of engaging online information literacy teaching, at a time and in the format students want, including early morning and late night Adobe Connect sessions and a podcast.

Long Description

Most of the Open University’s 170,000 students will never visit the university campus. So how does the OU Library create student-centred teaching which reaches and meets the needs of our distance learners?

On top of the real-time online information literacy (IL) sessions embedded into the curriculum, which are designed in partnership with OU academics, the Library’s dedicated Live Engagement team also run a programme of IL teaching sessions via Adobe Connect which are open to all staff and students (http://www.open.ac.uk/library/training-and-events).

To find out the best timings, topics and methods of delivery for teaching IL skills, we routinely use post-session surveys. We also proactively seek feedback from students who have not participated in order to identify reasons for non-engagement, learning needs and potential future innovations. As a result of research with our Library Student Panel (http://www.open.ac.uk/library/library-information/library-services-student-panel), we implemented changes to our Adobe Connect programme which increased attendance by 500%.

OU research shows that our students’ principle time for study is weekday evenings, so this is when we deliver the majority of our Adobe Connect sessions. In 2018 the OU developed new evidence-based student personas to ensure that the university delivers learning experiences that students really want and value. The team noticed that the majority of personas had study hours that were early morning or late evening, so they piloted delivering sessions after 9pm and before 7am. The attendance figures for the late evening sessions were high enough to justify rolling out these sessions and the feedback from students was appreciative.

The team also noticed that some of the OU student personas expressed a desire to have material to listen to in ‘dead’ time, such as commuting. They set up a series of short podcasts on engaging topics and promoted them to the whole OU community (https://oulibrary.podbean.com/).

Learning Objectives

By the end of this presentation, participants will:

  • Understand the importance of the student voice in designing a real-time online teaching programme.
  • Have considered how the student voice could be incorporated into their instructional design

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I've submitted this twice because I forgot to upload the document the first time and I couldn't get back into the system due to deleting myself as author. Many apologies.

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Personas and Panels and Podcasts, Oh My! Using the student voice to shape online teaching provision to Open University (UK) distance learners

Most of the Open University’s 170,000 students will never visit the university campus. Faced with this challenge, the OU Library’s Live Engagement team use a variety of methods to find out the best timings, topics and methods of delivery for teaching information literacy skills to our distance learners.

This presentation will describe how we use a panel of students and student personas to design a programme of engaging online information literacy teaching, at a time and in the format students want, including early morning and late night Adobe Connect sessions and a podcast.