Challenges for international students in using electronic resources in the Learning Centre : a case study of Oslo University College

Author(s)

Publication date

2011

Publisher

Høgskolen i Oslo. Avdeling for journalistikk, bibliotek- og informasjonsvitenskap

Document type

Description

Joint Master Degree in Digital Library Learning (DILL)

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to find out the challenges facing by international students in using electronic resources in the OUC learning center. This research has used a qualitative approach and purposive, a non-probability techniques used for sampling of this study. A semi-structured face-to-face interviews method is used for the collection of data. The interview questions were open ended and the discourse analysis method has been used for analysing data. In the data analysis section the researcher has chosen to quote the most significant utterances in unedited form and other utterances have been included in edited form as supporting evidence. The study identified a number of the challenges faced by international students in using electronic resources in the OUC learning center. It also discovered some general problems in relation to international students’ use of the libraries in general for instance, different classification system; different library location; closed shelves; no experience using automated library before; problems related to login and using FRONTER. These barriers were problematic to the informants for a while, but through asking for help from the library staff or their friends, they resolved them. So, these were not serious problems that need any intervention from the learning center. But of course some substantial problems which were particularly problematic to international students in connection with using the electronic resources in the OUC learning center, including: Cultural differences; Language barrier; Lack of training; Problems in user Interface; Unfamiliar teaching or learning style. These are the problems uncovered, demand intervention from the learning center. Furthermore, in this study it is found that students from countries closely culturally related to Norway are more familiar or apt with library environment and teaching style than students from countries culturally distant from Norway. It is significant that library anxiety or barriers with staff, judging from the results of the interviews, were absent. The students overwhelmingly confirmed that they were happy with the assistance of library staff and that they were comfortable with using the 24/7 computer availability, printing and drop box facilities for return the borrowed items. Suggestions for actions to increase the usefulness of the library resources for international students, include: to arrange cultural diversity workshops; both Norwegian and English compatible web page; to make available all kind of forms are in English; to arrange web based training program; to provide online instruction for searching e-resources; to arrange practical training; to provide training program for 2/3 times; to replace the icon “book” with a suitable link like “library”; online chat with a librarian 24/7. It is recommended that the learning center needs to be proactive in addressing the problems of these students in order to provide the learning center support required for them to successfully pursue their studies.

Keywords

Permanent URL (for citation purposes)

  • http://hdl.handle.net/10642/989