Creating the empowered e-book user: uncovering new aspects of student behaviour to inform skills teaching

Groves, Antony (2015) Creating the empowered e-book user: uncovering new aspects of student behaviour to inform skills teaching. In: LILAC 2015, 8-10 April 2015, Newcastle University.

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The following long paper will report on a user-centered case study of e-book usage at the University of Sussex and the wider implications for IL practitioners. It will be based upon last year’s article by Groves (2014) and build upon the ‘work in progress’ poster presented at LILAC 2014.

To deliver effective skills teaching and support, an accurate understanding of user behaviour is vital. If user behaviour is not understood, appropriate content cannot be included in the sessions being delivered or the support being offered. Instead of the traditional ways of describing usage based on access counts (Nicholas et al. 2010), the data collected from this study allowed the concept of ‘usage’ to be re-framed qualitatively, putting the emphasis on the user instead of the e-book. This has led to new insights and improved support by identifying the issues that students are facing and enabling staff to address them. Central to this is the creation of the ‘empowered user’, moving beyond the quantitative ‘power user’ (Ahmad and Brogan, 2012) who views e-books for a certain amount of time.

The paper argues that the ‘empowered user’ is a student who is able to:
•Find and access the e-books that they need (through their online reading list or by using a resource discovery tool).
•Search within an e-book using inbuilt functionality (which actually means that ‘successful’ use of an e-book could take little time at all).
•Evaluate the information (making notes within the e-book if appropriate).
•Make use of the information for seminars or coursework.

Building on this, the paper will argue that it is up to us to help create these empowered users by equipping them with appropriate e-books skills; skills that align with a broader IL framework. The research takes a unique approach, assessing e-book usage through the analysis of student citations and student interviews. Reporting of this methodology will appeal to LILAC delegates who attend regularly and wish to hear about a new way of measuring e-book usage that focuses on the user. This is something that all librarians would benefit from discovering at their own institutions and learning about this new methodology will allow them to do so.

Attendees can expect to hear about the key findings of the research including the extent to which students are using e-books in their work; how students are finding e-books and the impact of this on teaching IL skills; and the spectrum of usage uncovered through student interviews. Drawing from this, an IL based e-book strategy will be presented for consideration which focuses on equipping users with the skills to find, evaluate and use e-books effectively.

Consequently the session will show attendees how they can move beyond download counts in an effort to help their students use e-books more effectively; by equipping them with the appropriate IL skills through library teaching and support.

Ahmad, P. and Brogan, M. 2012. Scholarly Use of E-Books in a Virtual Academic Environment: A Case Study. Australian Academic & Research Libraries 43(3), pp.189-213

Groves, A. 2014. What’s the use?: analysing students citations to provide new insights into e-book usage. Insights 27(2), pp.198-204.

Nicholas, D. et al. 2010. E-textbook use, information seeking behaviour and its impact: Case study business and management. Journal of Information Science 36(2), pp.263-280.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Schools and Departments: Professional Services > Library
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z0665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z0719 Libraries (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources > ZA4050 Electronic information resources
Depositing User: Antony Groves
Date Deposited: 27 Nov 2015 09:33
Last Modified: 27 Nov 2015 11:43

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