According to the U.S. Department of Education (1998- 1999), 78% of all four-year public institutions offer distance education courses. According to the same survey, 67% of all students at these institutions have enrolled in one of these courses. Are university libraries keeping up with the trend of distance education? What programs and policies are in place to ensure access to library services for Web-based learning students? Must services to distance learners be equal to services provided to traditional students? This article is structured as follows: First we discuss the strategy of building a creative learning environment based on the learning orientation model before prescribing some guidelines for personalized learning in a Web-based environment. Next we outline the basis for library distance education services, and describe two case studies of libraries that are ensuring that distance education students are receiving equal access to library materials.
Learning Orientation Model
Online education is a unique feature that helps students to continue their education. Online education has become a new culture in this era of globalization. The potential for the distance education market is much more than the potential for resident instruction.
The learning orientation model helps us understand the fundamental difference between cognitive learning abilities of our students and encompasses four learning styles. Martinez and Bunderson, (2000) use three construct factors to describe how learners—following beliefs, values, emotions, and intentions—self-motivate themselves to learn: (a) conative (i.e., desires, intentions)/affective (i.e., emotions, feelings) factor, contribute efforts; (b) strategic planning and committed effort factor; and (c) learning autonomy factor. The profiles for learning orientations are illustrated in Table 1 (Martinez & Bunderson, 2000).Table 1.
Learning orientation model
|Orientation|| Conative (i.e., desires, intentions) /Affective (i.e., emotions, feelings) Aspects|| Strategic Planning and Committed Learning Effort|| Learning Autonomy|
| Strong passions and intentions on learning. Be an assertive, expert, highly self-motivated learner. Exploratory learning to transform using personal standards.|| Set and accomplish personal short- and long-term challenging goals that may or may not align with goals set by others.|| Assume learning responsibility and self-manage goals, learning, progress, and outcomes.|
| PERFORMING LEARNER|
| Focus on emotions on learning selectively or situationally. Self-motivated, focused learner when the content appeals. || Set and achieve short-term, task-oriented goals that meet average-to-high standards; situationally minimize efforts and standards to reach assigned or negotiated standards.||Prefer coaching and interaction for achieving goals.|
| Focus intentions and emotions cautiously and routinely as directed. Low-risk, modestly effective, extrinsically motivated learner.|| Commit careful, measured effort to accept and reproduce knowledge to meet external requirements.|| Assume little responsibility, manage learning as little as possible, be compliant, want continual guidance, and expect reinforcement for achieving short-term goals.|
| RESISTANT LEARNER|
| Focus on not cooperating.|
Be an actively or passively resistant learner.
|Chronically avoid learning (apathetic, frustrated, discouraged, or disobedient).|| Assume responsibility for not meeting goals set by others, and set personal goals that avoid meeting formal learning requirements or expectations.|
|Situational Performance or Resistance: Learners may situationally improve, perform or resist in reaction to positive or negative learning conditions or situations|
Key Terms in this Chapter
Consortial Agreements: Allow students to access library resources at a library that is closer to their home, but one that is not affiliated with their college or university that they are attending.
Transforming Learners: Learners who deliberately use personal strengths, deep desires, strong emotions, persistent and assertive effort, and sophisticated, abstract, or holistic thinking ability and strategies to self-manage learning successfully.
Virtual Facilities: Conceptual representation of an actual commercial or business site.
Performing Learners: Lower-risk, semi-skilled to skilled learners that rationally, systematically, and capably use psychological processes, strategies, preferences, and self-regulated learning skills to achieve learning objectives and tasks.
Interlibrary Loan: The process by which a library requests material from, or supplies material to, another library.
Conative/Affective Aspects: The aspects of mental processes or behavior directed toward action or change and including impulse, desire, volition, and striving.
Distance Education: Takes place when a teacher and student(s) are separated by physical distance; technology (i.e., voice, video, data, and print) is used to bridge the instructional gap.
Conforming Learners: Complying learners who prefer to more passively accept knowledge, store it, and reproduce it to conform; follow simple steps to complete assigned tasks; and please others.