Evaluating ‘Skills4studycampus’ as an online tool for improving learner study skills: student and lecturer perceptions.

Buckley, Colm, Mc Gonagle, Brian and McClay, Deirdre (2012) Evaluating ‘Skills4studycampus’ as an online tool for improving learner study skills: student and lecturer perceptions. In: AISHE-Conference 2012: Responding to Change: Effective Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, 30th & 31st August 2012, Dublin City University, Ireland..


This study evaluates the use of an online learning package for study skills comparing student and lecturer perceptions of its utility in an Institute of Technology (IOT). The package was trialled on a pilot basis in 2011/12 across two departments and in the access programme of the IOT, and also within three feeder secondary schools. This was implemented as a strategy to support the teaching of study skills within the IOT, and to provide an Introduction to third level study for secondary school students. The particular focus of the intervention was literacy skills, and the piloting of an e-learning development that might be useful to a diverse range of learners. During the pilot, access students (n = 120), and level 7/8 students (n = 200), used Skills4studycampus within their study skills module. Also, two cohorts of transition year students attended preparatory sessions in the IOT, and with follow-up access through schools. A further cohort of secondary school students (n = 80) were provided with a school-based session and follow-up access. The evaluation establishes the usefulness of the package as a learning tool from a student and lecturer perspective, with some reflections on the impact on pedagogy. After completion of the modules and tasks of Skills4studycampus, all student cohorts were sent an online evaluation survey. This instrument informed further questions which were used in two learner focus groups, and two lecturer interviews. Overall, feedback from participants was positive. Specific positives included ease of access to the resource through the institute’s Virtual Learning Environment, and the quality of the materials provided therein. Lecturers had mixed experiences of teaching with the package, and suggestions for future use. This study contributes to an under researched area of the usefulness of online study skills packages and the impact on pedagogy in study skills modules.

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