November 7-11 is National Distance Learning Week. In celebration of our online and distance learners, we thought we would share some information about how the library supports this growing body of students.
DePaul University Library has been supporting our online and distance learners for almost ten years. In addition, the Association for College and Research Libraries, the main professional organization for academic librarians, includes its own Distance Learning Section. Librarians also regularly attend conferences such as the Distance Teaching & Learning Conference and the Distance Library Services Conference. DePaul librarians are also active in the newly formed Chicago Area Distance Services Librarians group and just hosted the group’s second meeting on November 4.
In addition to providing services for our distance learning students such as the ability to freely receive library books via mail, librarians routinely work closely with online courses that include a research component. As part of our programmatic research instruction, librarians embed in online and suburban sections of the School for New Learning’s Research Seminar (LL 300) and Foundations (LL 250) courses, as well as WRD 104.
Since Fall 2014, DePaul librarians have embedded in a total of 104 courses. The number of courses librarians embed in has doubled in the last 3 years. Students in these courses have access to a librarian specifically assigned to their course for asking questions and getting research assistance. In addition, librarians provide research consultations for students in these courses via our AskALibrarian chat service or via phone.
Even if you are enrolled in a course without an embedded librarian, you still have many services and self-help options available to you. Any online student can schedule a research consultation via chat or phone. Our AskALibrarian IM chat service provides an excellent opportunity to get real-time assistance. The library also has a number of tutorials, videos, and how-to guides for students who need to know how to search an article database or want to brush up on how to differentiate between scholarly and non-scholarly articles. Visit our Resources for Distance Learners page for a complete list of resources and services.
If you are an instructor teaching an online course with a research component, we are also happy to meet with you to discuss options for incorporating library services and resources into your course. Learn more on our Support for Online Services page.