Libraries Providing Learner Support: The Collaboration Connection
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This session will focus on the role that collaboration plays in supporting learners in a distance education environment. Collaboration can be found in many different guises in academe, and may involve faculty, staff and librarians. The goal of this presentation is twofold: first, to identify opportunities for collaboration that assist in providing learner support and provide examples, and second, to provide strategies that are transferable across institutions. Participants at this session will gain an understanding of the benefits of collaboration in providing support to learners. The presenter will begin by providing a brief review of the literature on collaborative efforts in the academic environment. She will then identify several examples of collaboration that the Library at Athabasca University (AU), Canada’s Open University has participated in. These examples will include the Library’s participation in the university’s seven phase course development process, the collaboratively developed Digital Reading Room, Athabasca University Library’s electronic course reserves system, the implementation of Heat, the library’s call tracking system, and the team process used in the development of research guides. Participants will also be provided with practical strategies to promote collaborative efforts within their own institutions.