Presentation on theme: "Use of blended learning environments in developing digital library skills of ESL Students Garry Hall Supervisor, Library Dubai Womens College United Arab."— Presentation transcript:
Use of blended learning environments in developing digital library skills of ESL Students Garry Hall Supervisor, Library Dubai Womens College United Arab Emirates
Presentation Context –Country –Education system –College –Students Bachelor Courses and Research Skills
Context Country –Rapid change in 30 years 2003 Sheikh Zayed Road 1992
Context Education system –Poor quality of secondary schooling –Rote learning, memorisation, no critical thinking –Taught in Arabic –Very limited exposure to technology –Limited exposure to libraries –Does not encourage reading or independent learning
Context College One of 11 in the Higher Colleges of Technology 2200 students in range of programs Introduced laptops in 2001 – now all students own their personal laptop Instruction is in English New learning model adopted – outcomes based
Context Students Wide variety depending upon school attended, wealth of parents, degree to which parents are educated and/or progressive Major determinant of student entry to programs is English language proficiency Many have illiterate mothers, have learned through rote learning
Context Home life – Islam pervasive Limited rights for women Marriage and childbearing a major responsibility Prayer times strictly observed Schooling segregated Women cover – Abeya and Shayla
Bachelor Courses and Research Skills Need for improved research skills at bachelor level (and on to Masters) –Exposure to range of resources –Online searching –Write literature review ITEC 415 in 2002; HLTH 420 introduced in 2003
Bachelor Courses and Research Skills Moved course online in WebCT Used blended (hybrid) model Graduate students; many working; part- time study Managing expectations vital –High grades previously do not necessarily mean high grades at Bachelor level.
Case Study – Applied Research Skills Two elements investigated –Curriculum and level of information literacy –Student reaction and academic performance in a blended learning course
Presentation Case Study – Applied Research Skills –Digital library skills –PBL –WebCT –Blended learning –Student Performance and perceptions Discussion and Conclusions
Advanced research skills Discipline areas covered –Health Sciences (Medical Imaging, Pharmacy) –Information Technology Resources – secondary research –Library catalogue, online databases, e-books, Internet resources Products –Research log –Reflective log –Literature Review
Reaction to PBL approach Frustration initially – Internet sources served to confuse (scientific research through to genealogy) Reiterated increased in complexity in moving to Bachelor level studies Exposed the limitations of the Internet as their primary resource at Bachelor level. Proved ideal introduction to remainder of course (increasingly online)
Blended Learning Students generally enthusiastic Full-time; travel and flexibility issues Impact of Ramadan Same contact hours for the two course – HLTH ran over 8 weeks; ITEC 415 over 20 weeks.
Student Performance and Perceptions of the course Data available –Grades (formative and summative) –WebCT logs and management information –Student survey results –Comments from reflective logs Grades –Balance of group and individual work –Online performance significant
WebCT discussion board On topic postingsTutorStudents Questions513 Statements1432 Response : Answer7122 Response : Additional Question126 Response : Answer and Additional Question-- Response : Statement358 Off topic postings-6 TOTAL25257
WebCT discussion board TutorStudentsRatio of Postings Oliver and Shaw ITEC
WebCT Management Information Tracks –Number of times a student posts –Number of pages read –Number of hits on the site Quantitative data available to students, available for self assessments. Especially useful for verifying Attendance
Student Survey results Anonymous survey conducted, based on questions previously used for evaluation of laptop pilot project. Topics chosen –Tutor enthusiasm and encouragement –WebCT environment and student learning –Perceived benefits – now and future
Results Overwhelmingly supportive –Agreement or strong agreement = positive reaction to an element of the course
Reflective Logs Again overwhelming endorsement Liked –Flexibility –Increased access to class mates, instructor and materials –Opportunity to be responsible for their own learning Some teething problems
Blended vs Face-to-face Suited these students – relational learners who work or perform well in groups Results mirror HD1 laptop project – better motivation, produced extra work. Initiative demonstrated – students supported one another exceptionally well. Contrasted sharply to previous year – minimum requirements met for both literature review and reflective logs.
Blended vs Face-to-face Varied opinions Two factors in encouraging participation in online courses –Involvement of the tutor –Use of assessment Importance of tutor involvement borne out by all ITEC415 students agreeing or strongly agreeing with the statement the teacher demonstrated his own enthusiasm for the subject.
In conclusion, the blended learning environment has been shown to suit these students in their journey down the Information superhighway. May this be more successful that much of the driving exhibited in Dubai itself!