Researching smarter: five years of online self-paced information skills learning with Health Sciences students.
Introduction: ResearchSmart is a modular, self-directed and self-paced online course originally designed by Health Sciences Library subject librarians for second year medical students (25% of whom enter the course with graduate qualifications) at the University of Otago. Content is developed to assist students attain the University’s Graduate Attributes for Information Literacy. Aim: The course replaced in-class information skills tutorials and was piloted with the medical student cohort in 2012. Since 2012, ResearchSmart has been implemented in professional courses in Physiotherapy, Pharmacy, Dentistry, Oral Health and Medical Laboratory Science as well as Medicine, and in a general science 2nd year Anatomy cohort, either as an assessed or as a required (non-assessed) component. Over 900 professional and non-professional students were exposed to the online modules in 2016. Method: The content comprises a series of topics, tasks and quizzes built in Adobe Captivate and delivered within the Learning Management System (Moodle or Blackboard). There are four ‘core’ modules common to all programmes (though with examples personalised to each course), but academic conveners are able to select other topics that meet their students’ needs which are built as required (e.g. hierarchies of evidence). Results: We now report on five years’ quantitative and qualitative evaluation data, including what the students believed were the most valuable and least valuable aspects of the course. The majority of students who completed the course reported an increase in knowledge, and understanding, about the topics covered and positively evaluated the value of the programme. This presentation will also report on the evolution of ResearchSmart in response to feedback, from staff as well as students. Conclusion: ResearchSmart has been demonstrated to be an effective way of delivering information skills training to professional and non-professional health sciences students. It has proved popular with academic staff and efficient, as well as skill-enhancing, for Library staff.
Conference: ICML + EAHIL 2017
Research Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Abstract)