ON COURSE FOR YOUR MASTERS: AN EVALUATION OF AN OPEN ONLINE LEARNING PROGRAMME IN INFORMATION SKILLS USED BY POSTGRADUATE STUDENTS AT A LARGE AND COMPREHENSIVE UK UNIVERSITY
University of Nottingham (UNITED KINGDOM)
About this paper:
Conference name: 11th International Conference on Education and New Learning Technologies
Dates: 1-3 July, 2019
Location: Palma, Spain
Abstract:A large and comprehensive UK university that has multiple UK campuses as well as campuses in China and Malaysia, designed an online course for all of its postgraduate students with a focus on information skills development. The flexible nature of the course, On Course for your Masters, meant that it would enable a diverse group of students, in different continents and time zones, to participate. A multi-disciplinary team of academics, librarians and learning technologists developed and produced the online resources. The course consisted of seven units, which included transition to Masters-level study, resource discovery, searching, critical appraisal, referencing, and career development. This paper is an evaluation of the first year using routine anonymised data collected from the virtual learning platform, a post-course self-completed survey (n=51) and a focus group with one cohort of postgraduate taught health students (n=14). Results from a quantitative analysis of access data revealed that 1155 participants registered, with completion rates decreasing with unit sequence. Peak activity was in October and November 2015, with activities and videos having the highest usage. Results from both the focus groups and online survey established that the benefits of the course for students related to convenience, flexibility, ease of understanding and accessibility. Following the evaluation recommendations were made for changes and further development of the course which will be reflected in the paper. Recruitment to the course has continued to be good and additional data from alumni has confirmed the value that students place on information skills development for both their studies and for employment.
Keywords: Massive open online course, MOOC, postgraduate taught students, evaluation, information literacy.