eLearning Practices in Libraries: The Global Scene
Copyright (c) 2019 Library Technology Conclave
Abstract: Libraries in many global regions and contexts have increasingly become in activities in support of eLearning. Libraries naturally provide materials, technology and expertise in support of educational institutions as they deliver teaching and learning activities to students in distance programs or through other virtual environments. Education at all levels increasingly is delivered outside the physical classroom and it is important for libraries to shape their services accordingly. Libraries not only need to acquire content appropriate for virtual learning but can also engage with technologies that integrate resources selected by instructors into virtual learning environments in ways that mitigates costs to the institution and to the students while respecting copyrights and leveraging library subscriptions and open access materials. Librarians are also increasingly involved in direct e-learning to students and community members. Contexts include bibliographic or technology instruction in support of academic programs as well as the library’s own educational activities.
The cost of educational content has continued to increase from commercial providers. The need for lower cost high-quality teaching materials has led to interest in Open Educational Resources, or OERs. Rather than high-cost subscriptions to proprietary textbooks, many institutions have become involved in the creation, dissemination, and use of OERs. Libraries likewise can play an important role in the OER community. These units of educational content need to be incorporated into library-provided repositories and discovery environments. Libraries can also contribute through advice and advocacy for the creation and use of OERs within their educational organizations.
Massive open online courses, or MOOCs have made an impact on educational institutions. The scale of these courses presents challenges to libraries to provide resources and other aspects of bibliographic support. While MOOCs have not necessarily resulted in the transformation of education as once was envisioned, they continue to be offered by many institutions and benefit from library involvement.
As education continues to expand the bounds of the physical classroom, libraries face challenges to provide support via high-quality electronic resources, bibliographic instruction, and technology solutions. eLearning represents one of the key opportunities for libraries across the globe.
Breeding will give on overview and examples of eLearning practices that have been carried out in different types of libraries in differing global regions. University, school, public, and special libraries each have unique opportunities to deliver educational and scholarly resources to their clientele as they engage in virtual learning activities.