Student active learning in net based education

Educational development in teaching of information literacy


  • Anna Gahnberg Swedish National Defence University
  • Sonja Fagerholm
  • Karolina Karjalainen



During 2018 the Anna Lindh Library at the Swedish Defence University (SEDU) offers all information literacy education online. The transformation to online teaching has a number of reasons and here are some: 
• The number of students is expected to grow with 30 % within the next two years. Classes will be larger and there is a scarcity of physical classrooms on the horizon. 
• Military contract education students have expressed wishes for more flexible learning.
• The Swedish University Computer Network (SUNET) provides infrastructure and software services, hence    SEDU has adequate technological environment.

As a first step in the transition to net based education, we have used the web conferencing software Adobe Connect to carry out the teaching. The teaching has been scheduled and synchronous. We have  designed it with search exercises, conducted individually or in groups to stimulate student-active learning. Synchronous design like this may also have social advantages, according to Biggs. (Biggs, 2011, p.  71).  In addition to Adobe Connect, the school's Learning Management System has been used as a synchronous communication platform with the students.

According to Hrastinski technology, if properly used, it can increase learning opportunities. (Hrastinski, 2013, p.15). We also believe that online education can be a solution when the student groups grow. It enables  remote teaching and it is in close proximity to the platforms and databases used in today's information search. 

One of the challenges of applying net based learning to information literacy instruction is that the students are not familiar to the technique yet. Another challenge is that librarians do not meet the same  students over a longer period of time, or not even when they need the instruction the most. Therefore the combination of scheduled synchronous instruction and asynchronous communication will possibly turn  out to be the most successful.

Hrastinski, S. (2013). Nätbaserad utbildning: En introduktion (2. ed.). Lund: Studentlitteratur. 
Biggs, J. & Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university: What the student does (4. rev. ed.). Maidenhead: Open University Press.
Delaney, Geraldine, & Bates, Jessica. (2018). How Can the University Library Better Meet the Information Needs of Research Students? Experiences from Ulster University. New Review of Academic  Librarianship, 24(1), 63-89.



How to Cite

Gahnberg, A., Fagerholm, S., & Karjalainen, K. (2019). Student active learning in net based education: Educational development in teaching of information literacy. Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education, 11(1).