Group learning facilitation: a group-centric study conducted at the library Open University of Sri Lanka with a female learner perspective
Objectives of present study were to explore; potential of the library in facilitating a group learning environment; advantages derived by female students using group learning spaces provided by the library and to investigate the barriers experienced by the female students when learning in groups. Its not a practice accommodating group learners inside the reading rooms and the students have a restricted attitude towards the library. However there were continuous requests especially from female students to provide group learning facilities within the library. Hence there was a necessity to investigate the potential of the library for the purpose and to study group dynamics of students. Population considered was the group learners visited the library during 2012. Research method used was survey method and instrument used was semi-structured interview. Student group was the unit of analysis. Multivariate analysis reveals, in majority, groups have unisex composition and female groups highly preferred library due to the obstacles they face when grouping outside the library. Specific learning tasks carried out by the groups within the library and advantages derived by students (analysed by gender and by faculty) when using the library in groups and facilities expected by the learners (especially by female students) other than the existing facilities provided by the library were also examined. It was revealed that service attitudes of frontline library staff towards group behaviour is not encouraging. The study recommends that the library has to upgrade some physical facilities,resources, rules and standards to accommodate group learners and emphasizes the need to train the library staff to adjust with the modern learning behaviour. // Paper ID: 91
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