Information and library studies on a virtual campus.
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MARCELLA, R. and BAXTER, G. 2001. Information and library studies on a virtual campus. In Ashcroft, L. (ed). Continuity, culture, competition: the future of library and information studies education?: proceedings of the 4th British-Nordic conference on library and information studies, 21-23 March 2001, Dublin, Ireland. Bradford: Emerald, pages 161-170.
In September 2000, the School of Information and Media at the Robert Gordon University (RGU) in Aberdeen began delivery of its Postgraduate Diploma (PGDip)/Master of Science (MSc) course in Information and Library Studies on an online, distance learning basis. This paper reviews briefly the literature relating to distance learning in library and information studies (LIS), before providing a critical overview of the initial months of operation of the RGU course. It includes some initial observations on the success of the distance learning approach, and on the implications of directing, and interacting with, students by remote, largely electronic means. Student response to the course materials and to the communications media utilised are discussed critically, in particular in terms of interaction, involvement and isolation; while staff attitudes to the shift to a radically different pedagogic style are reviewed. The paper also examines the nature of the status and personal circumstances of the students being attracted by the distance learning mode.