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Selecting information products and services to embed in a virtual learning environment to support engineering undergraduates in a blended learning context

Lesego Makhafola (Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)
Martie J. Van Deventer (Department of Information Science, University of Pretoria, Pretoria, South Africa)

Library Management

ISSN: 0143-5124

Article publication date: 30 June 2020

Issue publication date: 10 August 2020

Abstract

Purpose

The purpose of this study was to understand what role undergraduate third- and fourth-year students expect librarians to play in an online learning environment and to determine what information products, training and other services the students expected librarians to embed.

Design/methodology/approach

This case study used a convergent parallel mixed methods design. Data were collected from both students and lecturers. An online questionnaire was used to collect mainly quantitative data from the undergraduates while a semi-structured interview schedule was used for in-depth discussions with lecturers.

Findings

Contrary to what was expected, engineering students regarded access to an embedded librarian as important. Lecturers prefer that a separate, mandatory module is created and embedded in the learning environment. Product and service expectations were not surprising, but there are gaps to fill when it comes to training needs.

Research limitations/implications

The research sample was small and therefore generalizations are not advisable.

Originality/value

The research holds value to stakeholders involved in the teaching and learning of engineering subjects. Librarians embarking on the process of embedding their services online should also find the results useful.

Keywords

Citation

Makhafola, L. and Van Deventer, M.J. (2020), "Selecting information products and services to embed in a virtual learning environment to support engineering undergraduates in a blended learning context", Library Management, Vol. 41 No. 6/7, pp. 579-591. https://doi.org/10.1108/LM-04-2020-0061

Publisher

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Emerald Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited