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Talis Aspire

5 Ways the library can support online learning

Alison Rooney

If the last 12 months has taught us anything, it is that online learning is here to stay and needs to improve. Whilst libraries may not be directly delivering the teaching, they are (or should be) pivotal to the user experience, delivering value to students, faculty, and the wider institution. For some time now libraries have been about so much more than the building(s) and it’s contents, the rapid switch to online learning and delivery gives a fresh opportunity to ensure your library, its collections, and expertise are front and centre to the learning experience.

  1. Ensure learning resources are at the heart of the learning experience: Your collections are key to student success, make sure that they are easily accessible and discoverable where students are learning (e.g. the LMS)
  2. Make learning affordable: Library collections have been carefully curated over many years to ensure that the relevant resources are available to support research and teaching. Making this, along with other online resources such as webpages, open access articles, and copyright cleared available in a single curated list delivered at the point of need, means that students have less need to buy expensive resources.
  3. Provide learning guidance: Most institutions offer some form of resource list tool, be that a physical printed list, access to e-reserves or course reserves lists, but how many of those provide context and additional guidance for student users? Use lists to guide your users. For example,  What’s the relative ‘importance’ of a resource? Which bit of the resource is really useful? What should you read before a teaching session or tutorial?
  4. Provide tools that help students manage their time: Lists of resources to read and study are all well and good, but students also need tools which improve the efficiency and effectiveness of their study time. To achieve this, lists that provide structure really help students to navigate them properly and plan their study time effectively, even better if you can embed these into their (LMS) learning environment. Students also benefit from creating their own study notes and to tagging resources to help them find what they want when they need it.
  5. Promote library resources and expertise to faculty: The acceleration of online learning is new for everyone, and academics will be looking (and, in some cases, scrambling) for ways to improve student engagement and success. This is an ideal time to be promoting the library, its resources and your expertise to increase your profile and relevance across the institution.

Talis Aspire is our resource list management tool (think of it as a really modern and efficient course reserves/e-reserves/reserves list, but with a whole lot of added value, usability, accessibility, structure, and integration to make it fit for these challenging times and the future). The current COVID driven situation is concentrating everybody’s minds on finding value-added solutions, and we can be sure that we won’t ever be going back to the old ‘normal’. 

We would love to hear about your challenges and to show you how our services can compliment your library to be part of the solution, delivering quality and value for your students and institution

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