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Sunderland Repository records the research produced by the University of Sunderland including practice-based research and theses.

A Room Without Walls: using problem based learning in a collaborative real-time virtual space to develop critical research skills in an FE college

Stevenson, Christine and Young, Leanne (2013) A Room Without Walls: using problem based learning in a collaborative real-time virtual space to develop critical research skills in an FE college. In: Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) 2013, 25 - 27 Mar 2013, University of Manchester. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


The student profile at the University of Sunderland is highly diverse and is noted for its widening participation activity amongst the UK Higher Education community.
In the 2011/2 student cohort of 19200, 35% students study off campus both in the UK and overseas and of these, 1600 study locally in FE colleges.

Many of our students studying at local partner colleges are unable to use the library in person due to distance and work or family commitments, relying on the library’s electronic resources, although not always successfully.
Traditionally, library staff visit our partners to provide induction or one-shot sessions, but many of our partners are at a distance from the University and this can be time consuming and impractical for staff.

In 2011 Sunderland University Library began experimenting with digital real-time collaborative tools, including Vyew, to support overseas distance learners. Following positive feedback from students and academic staff, we saw an opportunity to replicate this model of delivery to our local partner colleges.

In this paper we will outline:
- how we used the online collaborative tool, Vyew, to deliver skills for learning workshops to a cohort of partner college students, building upon the initial one-shot session.
- how we incorporated problem based learning using collaborative tools available in Vyew, encouraging students to think critically by analysing and solving complex problems in real life situations.
- how we measured the outcomes and planned for the future.

The collaborative work of librarians and FE college lecturers led to a sense of ‘connectedness’ enabling the activation of ideas, both inside and outside of the university. This connectedness had helped to enable students to make their own intellectual links between the content of the subject they were studying and the skills they would need to acquire to be active and successful learners.

LILAC2013-room-without-walls.pdf - Presentation

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Uncontrolled Keywords: e-learning, information literacy, further education, synchronous, web based learning
Depositing User: Leanne Young


Item ID: 3885

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Catalogue record

Date Deposited: 01 May 2013 11:09
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 13:16


Author: Christine Stevenson
Author: Leanne Young

University Divisions

Services > Library & Study Skills


Education > Further Education
Education > Higher Education
Education > Learning Technology
Librarianship > Librarianship

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