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Leila Liberman March 2013 DETT611 Assignment 4

Information Literacy with Doctoral Candidates and Their Library Skills: How This Works With Distance Education
Summary In this paper, Tunon and Ramierz examined the library skills of distance education doctoral students. The institution which was reviewed by the authors was Nova Southeastern University (SNU). It was chosen for this study because it was thought to be typical of how many similar institutions approach teaching students the library skills needed to conduct their research. This institution has a large and diverse body of students in its doctoral program. Two thirds of the students do not reside on the campus and take their course work online or field based (Tunon and Ramierz, 2010). NSU provided a support course to its students during the first year of classes. The problem with that was that the timing of this training did not coincide with the students greatest need for effective research. The skills they had learned years earlier were insufficient to their needs today. (Tunon and Ramierz, 2010). It was thought that this would be a self-resolving issue since doctoral students were considered to be self-directed learners. However, this seemed to be a less than accurate assessment when it came to completing their dissertations (ABD) since a lack of current library skills were a contributing factor to these online students not completing their dissertations. NSU decided the one-shot approach in a students first year was inadequate. NSU decided another avenue was needed to help these students and developed a 2-day optional workshop that was held all around the world (Tunon and Ramierz, 2010). Interestingly, not only did the doctoral candidates attend these sessions but current students did as well (Tunon

and Ramierz, 2010).

My Comments From this article, I applaud NSU for developing a program to help its doctoral candidates complete their dissertations in a less stressful way. The graduate students taking the initial course on research during year one is a necessary revelation for them. When the skill is really needed, having another option to re-learn the knowledge is a positive. NSU was very proactive and their willingness to send librarians all around the world to meet face-to-face with its distance education students is outstanding. This will also help to motivate the student to finish the dissertation. This course sounds similar to the UMUC 611 course that is mandatory for all graduate students during their first year. The course was a definite education for me, as I was a returning student who had been out for 20 years, working full time and with a family life I may have become frustrated with what the instructors of my courses were requiring from me on assignments. I am not sure if UMUC has the means to meet face-to-face around the world with librarians but I can say that ask a librarian and the 24/7 chat that is available to students is a huge benefit and is very functional, thus reaching its distance education students.

Reference Tunon, J., & Ramirez, L. (2010). ABD or EdD? A model of library training for distance doctoral students. Journal of Library Administration, 50(7/8), 989-996. doi:10.1080/01930826.2010.489004