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In real time or in your own time? Delivering tailored skills support to distance learners

Young, Leanne (2018) In real time or in your own time? Delivering tailored skills support to distance learners. In: Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference (LILAC) 2018, 4 - 6 Apr 2018, University of Liverpool. (Unpublished)

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)


During the academic year 2015/16, 35% of students at the University of Sunderland studied off campus, either via a local college partner, an independent learning programme, or through a transnational partner (University of Sunderland, 2017). The latter two modes are used as the definition of distance learning in terms of the University Library & Study Skills (UL&SS) offer.

This paper outlines the continued development of the study skills offer to distance learning students at the University of Sunderland, from our first synchronous online sessions via Skype in 2010, to being embedded in virtual learning environments and delivering tailored skills interventions both synchronously and asynchronously in the present day.

Most online skills support at Sunderland is led by the Distance Services Librarian who faces a number of challenges in supporting distance learners in the development of information literacy skills, including time zone differences, reliability and accessibility of technology and tools, local connectivity to the internet, and finding active learning methods that engage students in an online environment. Through advocacy and sharing our experiences with academic colleagues, UL&SS have forged successful collaborations with academic staff, enabling us to begin to identify key study skills needs and provide tailored support. We’ll share how we develop interactivity into online skills sessions to address these skills needs and encourage student participation.

Each year UL&SS reflected upon what went well and what did not; and each year the service has been developed a bit further. By reflecting on experiences so far, and what developments may be needed in the future - such as expanding the delivery of online skills to the wider liaison team - it is hoped the Sunderland model of online information literacy may be of interest to other institutions with off campus students.

Young,L. In real time or in your own time LILAC2018.pdf - Accepted Version
Available under License Creative Commons Attribution.

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Depositing User: Leanne Young


Item ID: 9702
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Date Deposited: 29 Jun 2018 15:32
Last Modified: 20 May 2019 12:15


Author: Leanne Young

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Services > Library & Study Skills


Education > Higher Education
Librarianship > Librarianship

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