Since 2010, the library at the Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT Dublin) in South County Dublin, Republic of Ireland, has been developing a suite of interactive online information literacy tutorials covering research, referencing, plagiarism and core academic skills. These open educational resources (OERs) provide users with a vibrant, challenging learning environment and facilitate flexible, 24/7, independent learning. The learning objects are accessible via multiple delivery platforms and are available for reuse under Creative Commons licence via national and international teaching and learning repositories.
This paper outlines the development of these OERs and how the creation of these learning tools has provided students with a distinctive learning experience at ITT Dublin, facilitating their transition to higher education (HE) and advancing information literacy skills. The OERs promote excellence in teaching, learning and assessment, meet the needs of a variety of learning styles and facilitate active student engagement through a range of learning activities, interactions and quizzes. The paper will focus on the pedagogical foundations of these resources and will discuss how the digital tools have been integrated into a range of academic modules across all disciplines and levels of study, helping to embed information literacy into the curriculum. The learning objects have had significant usage (over 5000 completions to date) and the author will discuss how the resources have contributed to improved academic performance and created an environment that supports student centred lifelong learning. The paper will outline how the OERs have been extensively reviewed using a range of evaluative techniques, with feedback being used to inform the ongoing development of the resources. The paper will highlight the range of challenges and lessons learned during the design phase and will discuss plans for future development which include the availability of the resources in different languages and via new platforms.
The paper will detail how the creation of these resources has enhanced local collaboration at ITT Dublin and contributed to the development of expert groups and communities of practice. The paper will also highlight how these innovative resources have added significant value to the global educational community; the OERs created are sustainable, SCORM compliant resources, which and have been shared, disseminated and reused nationally and internationally via repositories such as the NDLR in Ireland (http://www.ndlr.ie/), JORUM in the UK (http://www.jorum.ac.uk/), and PRIMO in the USA (http://www.ala.org/CFApps/Primo/public/search2.cfm). The OERs have been viewed or downloaded in over 25 different countries and are an example of best practice teaching and learning resources.