CEC Theses and Dissertations

Title

A Model for the Delivery and Evaluation of Asynchronous and Interactive Synchronous Library Services at Southern Adventist University

Date of Award

2001

Document Type

Dissertation

Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy in Information Systems (DISS)

Department

Graduate School of Computer and Information Sciences

Advisor

Steven D. Zink

Committee Member

Marlyn Kemper Littman

Committee Member

Laurie Dringus

Abstract

As learners gravitate to institutions that provide distance education over the Internet, libraries should respond with 21" century technology that delivers optimal support. Currently, there exists no coherent and succinct work to assist a library manager in developing and evaluating an efficient method to deliver electronic library resources and services to an electronic distance education CEDE) global market. The goal of this study was to propose a model that appropriated technology in a seamless and easy manner to provide library support to off-campus users.

A variation of the Quality Functional Deployment (QFD) methodology was used to administer surveys to students and faculty of Southern Adventist University, Collegedale, Tennessee. Based on the results of the survey, the author developed a graphical interface that integrates both asynchronous and interactive synchronous library support via the Internet. Usability principles of human computer interaction (HCI) were used to design the graphical interface, or homepage. The main menu and toolbar of each online course contained hyperlinks to the homepage. This flexible arrangement provides for user convenience as it prevents users from having to exit their course work and be reauthorized to access library support.

The QFD methodology was preserved in the development of learners' interim-and-post course evaluation tools, and is the means that fosters the continuation of QFD for improvement during the lifetime of the university's distance education program. The tools attempt to measure the quality of the method of delivery and the quality of performance and instruction provided by the library. The results of the evaluations may serve as documentation for accrediting bodies to review when assessing equivalency of off-campus library support to on-campus library support, as stipulated by the current guidelines of Association of Colleges and Research Libraries (ACRL).

The author developed a concise practitioner's manual in conjunction with the library model. The manual is a blend of theory and practicality. Each step of the developmental phase of the electronic model can be easily understood by novice librarians who may be endeavoring to launch electronic service or by librarians who wish to update an existing service by integrating 21" century technology. It may be improvised to fit the missions of libraries and their respective parent organizations' strategic planning. The information will assist eager librarians to design a workable strategy when the task to deliver global electronic library support is imminent and limited time is a factor.

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