The future role of academic libraries in support of instructors and learners using traditional, blended and MOOC courses
Lim, Xiu Ru
Date of Issue2015
Wee Kim Wee School of Communication and Information
Much has been written in the last five years or so about the growing use of online learning across all levels of education. In particular, greater attention is now being paid globally, towards the use of MOOCs and blended/ hybrid courses at the tertiary level. At this time of pedagogical shifts, it is imperative that learning and teaching support stays abreast of these changes in order to provide excellence in learning and teaching (Lee, 2014). Academic libraries have long been an integral part of higher education’s core mission of research and education (American Library Association, 2007), where they provide a supportive learning, teaching and research environment (Juceviciene & Tautkeviciene, 2004). However, moving forward, academic libraries need to reassess their roles in facilitating the new technology-enabled learning process. For Singapore, there is relatively little information available on this topic and this absence is significant given Singapore’s intention to make much greater use of online collaboration at the tertiary level. For example, to facilitate the move towards MOOC learning, the 5-year roadmap of NTU as of 2015 highlighted that 50% to 100% of non-lab courses will be targeted for online conversion where blended/ hybrid learning will be used to facilitate the transition (Lee, 2014). This dissertation was therefore undertaken to examine the issue of online education at the tertiary level in Singapore and comprised 3 exploratory studies. Study 1 adopted a personal inquiry approach based upon my first-hand experience of online learning, to better understand the research topic and to provide a basic framework for discussion. Based upon insights developed in Study 1, Study 2 expanded upon the findings by focusing upon the learning experiences of a class of local university learners in Singapore. Study 3 then developed this further by examining the pedagogical interface between instructors and learners in a technology-enabled learning environment at a local polytechnic in Singapore. The findings revealed that regardless of learning mode, personal interaction was important in learning and teaching experiences. The blended/ hybrid approach appears promising, as it combines the face-to-face interaction and discussion of traditional learning with some of the convenience afforded by MOOCs. However, the effort required by both instructors and learners using the hybrid approach appeared to be the highest across all learning modes. Despite this, one tentative observation is that perhaps blended/ hybrid learning might be a viable and effective interim option for learners and instructors undergoing the transition to MOOC learning. Academic libraries need to be aware of the implications of this move from traditional to hybrid and online learning. In order to stay relevant in this new technology-enabled learning environment, they will need to address the key issues related to content provision, collaboration with stakeholders, and the process of community-building.
DRNTU::Library and information science::General::Education
Nanyang Technological University