LASSIE’s last hurrah?

The Steering Group for the LASSIE project met last week one final time to evaluate the project in terms of how it had met it’s aims and objectives, comment on material for the final report (to be submitted to the Centre for Distance Education) and consider where LASSIE goes from here.

We had a great meeting which was really productive (no doubt we were all stimulated by the wonderful surroundings of Wallace Space and continuous food and drinks!) While none of us want to see LASSIE put out to grass, we are aware that funding for the project has now finished and we have achieved our aims and objectives with the various reports that are available. I’ve agreed to continue writing the blog for the time being, partly because I enjoy it, but also because no doubt we will be speaking about LASSIE for a while still. Gwyneth and I will be attending the Networked Learning Conference in May for example.
Our final report for CDE is really not intended for public consumption, so we are going to try and write a short summary of LASSIE’s key findings and make that available from the project website. You should also check out the list of publications on the website which has recently been updated if you’ve not seen it for a while.

In terms of where we go from here, the team really feel that one of the key findings from LASSIE was that distance learners need more information literacy support. Distance learners, perhaps more than campus-based students, really do struggle finding and using library resources. Social software can provide some additional support, but really in terms of the University of London external programme, we feel as library practitioners, we need to develop online information literacy support for these students. Primarily we think we’ll do this using Moodle, the VLE now being used by the external programme. The fact that Moodle integrates nicely with various social software tools and technologies ties in well.
In terms of further research in the social software arena, we are keeping our eyes open. JISC have recently launched a call for projects focusing on institutional responses to emergent technologies but nothing obvious springs to mind at the moment. I’ll do a round up of some news in a separate blog posting, so do keeping reading. LASSIE is still alive and kicking, just posting perhaps a little less frequently to to demands from the day job!

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