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The LIS Faculty Perspective: The Evolving Digital Age at Drexel University

October 1, 2008

The LIS Faculty Perspective: The Evolving Digital Age at Drexel University

Steven Bell gave the last presentation of the day, providing a different perspective on transitioning to electronic resources by drawing from his experience teaching in Drexel’s iSchool. He spoke about the raison d’etre for electronic resources — the students — and how their use of them has changed from the 1990s.

Currently 70% of the students at Drexel’s iSchool are totally online students. For them, e-journals are essential. Students are coming out of library school having had a vastly different experience with electronic resources than most librarians have had in their LIS education.

Steven surveyed three classes (2 face-to-face and and 1 online class) about the amount of readings they had in electronic format. The greatest number of students (approximately half) reported that 81-99% of their readings were online, and slightly more than one-quarter reported that 61-80% of their readings were online. Most students reported that they had not had much experience using electronic resources as undergraduates.

Students said that the positive impact of electronic resources on the LIS experience were that it:

  • makes earning a degree possible for those who are employed or otherwise unable to attend face-to-face classes
  • enabled them to save money on gas!

Some of the negative factors:

  • Students said that they should be forced to the library to experience print and know how to find stuff in the library
  • They did not like the experience of reading e-books online
  • They felt they needed to print out all their readings because they would lose access to them after the course ended

So how are the faculty using electronic resources? Steven referred to a 2006 Ithaka study, titled “Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education” published in August 2008 and available here. Highly recommended reading.

Steven’s parting thoughts:

  • traditional students find value in e-resources; we should facilitate faculty efforts to support students use of e-resources
  • this goes double for online students!
  • LIS students live in an e-resource world
  • the Humanities/Social Science faculty may need more of a push to use e-resources

Steven’s PowerPoint is available here.

One Comment leave one →
  1. October 3, 2008 8:47 pm

    “Ithaka’s 2006 Studies of Key Stakeholders in the Digital Transformation in Higher Education” can be found on their publications page:

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