Improving digital library experiences and support with online research guides.

Abstract: 

With a goal of improving the development and delivery of effective online information literacy resources, the purpose of this study was to look at how program level and the timing of the introduction of a Literature Review library guide within the program influenced online business student perceived value of the resource. A population of undergraduate business students (N=355) and online MBA students (N=319) were introduced to a Literature Review library guide during specific points in their programs. Students were asked to complete an online survey that included 17 closed-ended items designed to measure perceived usefulness, satisfaction and likeliness to use the guide again. The survey also included two open-ended questions asking students to discuss those elements of the guide they found most valuable and whether they wanted any additional features included in the guide. The data collection strategy required faculty post information about the Literature Review library guide and the survey in their courses at two specified times in the course. A low response rate (3.5%) may have resulted from inconsistencies in how faculty shared information about the guide and the study in their courses. Although the small sample size (n=24) limited the planned analysis, and results indicated no statistical significance between groups, descriptive findings were reported, and trends were used to revise the resource and inform future development of library research guides. Overall, students reported being satisfied with the resource and found it usable. Graduate students were more likely to report elements of the guide that supported effective search and evaluation strategies were valuable; whereas, undergraduate students tended to value the links to writing resources. Student feedback also suggested that the earlier the guide was introduced in the program, the more likely students would use the resource. Adopting a model that embeds resource guides early in academic a programs and aligns guide content with the curriculum should lead to increased use of the resource.

This publication has been peer reviewed.
Publication Type: 
Journal Article
Authors: 
Laura Brewer
Holly Rick
Karen Grondin
Year of Publication: 
2017
Journal, Book, Magazine or Other Publication Title: 
Online Learning Journal
Volume: 
22
Issue: 
3
Pages: 
135-150
Publisher: 
Online Learning Consortium
Date Published: 
Friday, September 1, 2017
Place Published: 
Online Learning Journal
Publication Language: 
English
Boyer's Domain: 

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