Library resources, student success and the distance-learning university

Nurse, Richard; Baker, Kirsty and Gambles, Anne (2018). Library resources, student success and the distance-learning university. Information and Learning Science, 119(1/2) pp. 77–86.



Purpose - Research at the Open University Library Services has been investigating the relationshipbetween access to online library resources and student success to help to understand whether there is asimilar relationship at a distance-learning university to that found in other institutions.

Design/methodology/approach - A small library data project was established to investigate this area.The study analysed online library resource data from access logs from the EZproxy and OpenAthens systems. A data set of 1.7 million online resource accesses was combined with student success data for around 90,000 undergraduate students and a series of analyses undertaken.

Findings The study found a pattern where students who are more successful are accessing more library resources. A chi-square test indicated a statistically significant association between library resource accesses and module result, while an ANOVA test suggests a medium sized effect. The study also found that 152 (76%) of 199 modules had a small, medium or large positive correlation between student success, measured by the overall assessment score, and online library resource accesses.

Originality/value - This study builds on evidence that there is a relationship between library use and student success by showing that this relationship extends to the setting of a non-traditional, innovative library service supporting part-time distance learners.

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