Clough, Helen and Gray, Stephen
A new model for information literacy provision: how to balance cost and quality in an economic downturn.
In: Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC 2011), 18-20 April 2011, London, UK.
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In this time of swingeing cuts in higher education, the Open University Library has focused creative energy on making efficiency savings while still providing a top quality e-service. The Open University’s quarter of a million part-time students are distance learners whose information literacy skills are developed and progressed as an integral part of teaching materials delivered within a VLE.
This paper will focus on one of the Library’s contributions to the Open University’s strategic aims: to continue the process of transferring traditional information skills to the end-user by developing a range of new and re-usable generic tools and resources, in this example by creating a repository of core re-usable information literacy learning activities to cover each skill as set out in the Library’s information literacy framework.
The Library’s Information Literacy (LIL) site provides short chunks of learning to be used in modules and degree courses in a flexible way. The pedagogy is aligned to the level of study, i.e. increasing independence in searching for, finding, evaluating and managing information, progressing from undergraduate to Masters level.
The paper will outline the process costing of writing and re-versioning learning activities, how we measured the savings made in production costs of new modules, and the impact of the drive to produce less OU academic authored bespoke material by integrating either core generic IL activities or re-versioning generic material for re-use within particular subject contexts.
Finally, the paper will set out how the benefits of providing students with a consistent IL experience, and making cost savings were ‘sold’ by our team of librarians to faculties of academics largely intent on writing all their own teaching materials from scratch for every module.
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