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

Biography

After finishing her PhD in English Literature and teaching in Modern Languages Departments at UK Universities, Ute Manecke did an MA in Librarianship at Sheffield University in 2008-09. After qualifying, she worked as a clinical librarian for a few years before returning to the academic environment and working in academic librarianship posts. Her position as Information Skills Adviser at London South Bank University, where she worked between 2014 and 2018, built on her previous teaching experience and developed her skills in responding to student enquiries and face-to-face teaching in groups of varying sizes and skills levels as well as in providing one-to-one support. During this time, she gained her FHEA. Since starting work as a Learning and Teaching Librarian at the Open University in January 2018, Ute has been involved in teaching and advising students and staff on aspects of information literacy in a distance learning context. A large part of her role consists in ensuring that academic staff strategically integrate digital information literacy into the curriculum by including appropriate information resources and activities that develop digital information skills. Her favourite aspect of distance librarianship is advising and teaching students in synchronous learning environments by making use of platforms such as Adobe Connect for training sessions and using webchat as part of the OU’s Enquiries service. Ute enjoys the challenge of continuously seeking new ways of reaching and engaging learners and improving their information literacy in the distance learning setting.

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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.