E-mbedding, E-nhancing, E-valuating - Students' perspectives on the use of a learning to develop study/information literacy skills

S. Graves, Julie Bostock, R. Wilson

Research output: Contribution to conferencePaper


Developing competent study/information literacy skills is a key component in the concept of supporting student learning in Higher Education and generic modules to support this development are often 28 offered alongside academic modules in universities. However, for mature part-time students who may have considerable professional and life experience, traditional study/information literacy skills programmes designed for 18 year-old school leavers may not be appropriate. Furthermore, for students on vocational programmes the link between academic study and practical application in the workplace may need, at least initially, to be made explicit. This study centres on the experiences of students on a Foundation Degree in Professional Development (FDA PD) designed as continuing professional development for support staff in schools studying part time at a university in the North West of England. This programme has developed an embedded e-learning approach which locates the development of academic skills within the curriculum contextualised within subject modules with explicit links to practice. The university’s discrete study skills programme, Springboard, has been adapted for use on the degree. Students are directed to activities to support their taught sessions using on-line material on the university VLE (WebCT) designed to link academic theory with practice (Carr, 1987). This also introduces students to the concept of e learning and by means of a skills audit allows identification of need at an early stage in their academic career. This type of e delivery has been shown to improve learning and deliver enhanced learning outcomes for students (Oliver, 2001). There is also the opportunity for self-regulated learning (Perry et al, 2006), for the student to move from dependence to independence (Bach et al, 2007) for participation to develop self-confidence, relieve anxiety and self-doubt which is often present in mature non-traditional learners (Richardson, 1994, Grow 1991) and for competency based feedback at an individual level which can help students understand their unique bundles of competencies (Dooley & Lindner 2002). The paper focuses on initial findings from the first cohort of students on the FDA PD and reports from their perspective in terms of the usefulness of Springboard in developing their academic study skills. Experiences are reported using questionnaires, assignment evidence and e-learning measurements. Data has been gathered using qualitative methods and the experience of these learners is reported in terms of the following key questions: Keywords: Part-time, mature-student, e-learning, study-skills, self-regulated learning
Original languageEnglish
Publication statusPublished - 2008
Event7th European Conference on e-Learning - Ayia Napa, Cyprus
Duration: 6 Nov 20087 Nov 2008


Conference7th European Conference on e-Learning
CityAyia Napa


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