Development of a web-based self-training package for information retrieval using the distance education approach

Chutima Sacchanand

School of Liberal Arts, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Bangkok, Thailand, and

Vipa Jaroenpuntaruk

School of Science and Technology, Sukhothai Thammathirat Open University, Bangkok,  Thailand

 

Abstract

Purpose – The purpose of this project was to develop a web-based self-training package for information retrieval using the distance education approach.

Design/methodology/approach – The package was developed using the distance education approach with STOU Plan, STOU Plan 2000 and GMS-VU applied. The distance education model for the web-based self-training package was composed of five stages: identifying the learners, design of the package, production of the package, establishing the delivery system, and evaluation. The system development methodology was based on the system development life cycle (SDLC) with a combination of waterfall, phased and prototyping approaches. There are several phase in SDLC to carry out: problem and objective identification, requirement determination, requirement analysis, package design, package implementation, delivery system and evaluation. Evaluation of the package was conducted in two phases: formative evaluation and summative evaluation using the focus group discussion method. Formative evaluation was conducted during the package development by experts in the field prior to the summative evaluation. The summative evaluation was conducted after the package development had been completed as a pilot study for field trial by target users, consisting of junior library staff and library users. All comments were reviewed and refined in terms of instructional content, design, overall opinion and learning progress before put on production.

Findings – The package consists of three main components: About the project, Study modules, References and further readings. Study modules, which is the most important component, consists of ten instructional modules focusing on information retrieval, and self-assessment through pre-test and post-test. The package includes multimedia such as images and sound to attract learners during their learning session. The delivery mode for the self-training package offers both online and off-line modes. Online mode is offered when there is network facility and internet connection available, while offline mode is offered through CD-ROM without requiring network and internet connection. The features and functions of both modes are identical. Moreover, print materials are also included as supplementary media.

Originality/value – Since the module is a self-directed learning or self-training tool in information retrieval it can be employed for junior library staff and library users; it provides a training tool for librarians to train library users and supports human resource and development to narrow digital divides and support the right to access information.

 

Keywords

E-learning, Computer based learning, Information retrieval, Distance learning.

 

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