This paper examines IL from a policy and strategy perspective and reports the selected findings of the research project that was carried out within open and distance learning universities in Europe. The research problem for this study focused on the need to know how information-related competencies (IRC) were developed in European higher open and distance learning (ODL) institutions. The general research strategy in this study was a mixed method strategy, using both qualitative and quantitative methodologies, built into a two-stage research design. A survey provided a broad picture of a phenomenon, and case studies covered a more limited area of the same ground but in more depth.
The first stage was a small-scale questionnaire survey, with a structured questionnaire using a purposive sample, which was analysed using statistical techniques. The objectives of the questionnaire were to determine the extent and the ways to which IRC were developed within European higher ODL institutions, to investigate the role of libraries within the development of IRC and to identify examples of ‘good practice' in the field of IRC in European higher ODL institutions. The second stage of the study involved a multiple case study in six European ODL institutions. In this part of the study the researcher was trying to discover what people actually did in practice to develop IRC, how they experienced those processes and made sense of it.
The research results will contribute to the development of ODL courses with library and information literacy support, that would improve students' IRC, and also to the Bologna aims of competence development and professional development in a context of lifelong learning.
Copyright (c) 2012 Sirje Virkus
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