Investigation of the digital non-text-based use and requirements of a group of academic staff in a South African open distance learning institution


Publication date



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

Document type


Joint Master Degree in Digital Library Learning (DILL)


The main purpose of this study was to investigate whether academic staff members in an ODL institution use digital non-text-based resources (e.g, graphs, photographs and video clips) in research and teaching practice and what their future requirements for such resources would be. Though many studies exist on the use of textual resources, the subject area of digital non-text-based resources has not been widely studied, especially in the field of distance learning and this thesis will add knowledge to an emerging field and can assist in collection development decisions. A survey to collect data was conducted in April & May 2009 under a sample of academic staff at the University of South Africa, an open-distance learning institution. The data was descriptively analysed. The study found that just more than 50% of academic staff surveyed do use digital non-text-based resources and would like to have access to more resources of this kind. It also found that many do not know of resources in their field. The study concluded that barriers in utilising resources exist, as a large percentage of academic staff would like to receive training in search, accessing and using digital non-text-based. It is recommended that the existing digital non-text-based resources should be advertised in a more focussed way and that subject-specific training should include training in finding, accessing and using digital non-text-based resources.


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