Dani Guzman, Ex Libris
In our last blog on the topic of library-centric course resource lists, we discussed how dynamic technologies are making the creation and management of course resource lists much easier for instructors and facilitating their collaboration with academic librarians. But what does this mean for the relationship between institutions of higher education, their students, and the general public?
Colleges and universities have several concerns regarding providing the needed resources for reading lists. The common theme among them is the issue of adequately meeting student expectations. For example, without a coherent resource list process, students experience inconsistency across their various course reading lists and libraries cannot ensure the provision of needed course materials. As a result, students may find it difficult to access materials and stay on top of class requirements, resulting in added anxiety.
To address this ‘customer satisfaction’ issue, universities need to provide a guaranteed level of service in support of their students’ course resource needs.
As the July 2018 Higher Education Library Technology briefing, “The Rise of Library Centric Reading List Systems,” puts it: “In the increasingly marketised world of higher education, students take on the characteristics of consumers.”
To address this “customer satisfaction” issue, universities need to provide a guaranteed level of service in support of their students’ course resource needs. This means meeting expectations of consistency and convenience across all types of resource lists and academic disciplines, ensuring that students have easy access to the resources they need to complete their course requirements.
A good reading list tool directs students to the resources they need more efficiently and quickly, via traditional, mobile and online platforms. Integration with learning management systems will make it easier for students to directly access whatever resource they need through a single interface. As a result, students are free to explore resources at their own pace and librarians can spend more time interacting with staff and students, rather than tracking down reading list assets for them.
Furthermore, collaboration features allow for direct communication between and among lecturers and students, while embedded analytics provide instructors and libraries with constant feedback on the usage of the course resource lists and student engagement with course resources.
As a result, reading list tools are becoming a key component of strategic institutional initiatives to improve teaching and learning outcomes. In large part, this is because these tools are becoming more and more central to improving access to, and engagement with, educational resources. And that is where learning meets customer satisfaction.
For more on the “rise of library centric reading list systems,” read the full July 2018 briefing by the Higher Education Library Technology (HELibTech) organization, produced by Ken Chad Consulting.
August 27, 2018