Bringing Learning Closer to the Workplace: An Online Course for Librarians in Developing Countries
Face-to-face training workshops are frequently used in a capacity development context. However, the workshop approach has its limitations as the application of learning in practice can only happen once the learners are back at their workplaces. Unfortunately, once back at work, participants are often pulled into day-to-day responsibilities and rarely get immediate opportunities to apply their learning, and knowledge gained from the training is lost as the time passes. Therefore, we decided to redesign a workshop on Monitoring and Evaluation of Electronic Resource Use (MEERU) – an important topic for university libraries and librarians – from a face-toface workshop into a fully online course. Our goal was twofold: to train more librarians in INASP’s partner countries in the developing world, and to support an immediate application of learning in the workplace. We used a learning design approach to put the learners’ needs and experience at the heart of course development. We situated the learning in the librarians’ work context through a careful combination of interactive ‘guided readings’, activities for discussion and reflection, and a course assignment structured in parts so that the learning from each unit could be immediately applied in practice. The course was piloted for eight weeks in May to June 2016 with 23 librarians from five developing countries. Here we present the approach to the course design, the evaluation outcomes, and lessons learnt. // Paper ID 535
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