Studying distance students: Methods, findings, actions

  • Wahl D
  • Avery B
  • Henry L
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Abstract

University of North Texas (UNT) Libraries began studying the library needs of distance learners in 2009 using a variety of approaches to explore and confirm these needs as well as obtain input into how to meet them. Approaches used to date include analysis of both quantitative and qualitative responses by online students to the LibQUAL+® surveys over time, focus groups, observations and interviews. The Libraries administered the LibQUAL+® survey and conducted focus groups. The Libraries then worked with two graduate level qualitative analysis classes, one on campus and one online, to do further study that included additional focus groups, observations, and interviews. The effectiveness, strengths and problems encountered with each method, as well as with the technology used in executing them, are covered. Triangulation of the results of the various methods to confirm findings is discussed as are the actions that are being taken to address the findings. ABSTRACT FROM PUBLISHER]; Copyright of Journal of Library & Information Services in Distance Learning is the property of Taylor & Francis Ltd and its content may not be copied or emailed to multiple sites or posted to a listserv without the copyright holder's express written permission. However, users may print, download, or email articles for individual use. This abstract may be abridged. No warranty is given about the accuracy of the copy. Users should refer to the original published version of the material for the full abstract. (Copyright applies to all Abstracts.)

Author-supplied keywords

  • Distance learning
  • Ethnographic methods
  • Focus groups
  • LibQUAL+®
  • Online library services
  • Qualitative methods
  • Triangulation

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Authors

  • Diane Wahl

  • Beth Avery

  • Lisa Henry

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