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Synchronous and Asynchronous Engagement in Virtual Library Services as Learning Support Systems from the Perspectives of Post-Graduate Students: A Case Study-Graduate Students: A Case Study  

Alenzuela, Reysa (Nazarbayev University)
Kamilova, Yelizaveta (Nazarbayev University)
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Journal of Information Science Theory and Practice / v.6, no.1, 2018 , pp. 45-64 More about this Journal
The global information economy is transforming the way people connect with each other, learn new things, and contribute to the knowledge society. With the online platform, library services have also expanded beyond face to face interaction. Although studies of virtual reference services have been made in different parts of the world, a case study discussing various forms of online reference engagement in Kazakhstan has not been written. While most of the theories on connectivism emphasize the context of instruction, the researchers of this paper discussed the tenets as they relate to online engagement. Applying the theory of connectivism, this paper explores through a mixed method the use of various online platforms to enhance engagement connecting library users to information. Findings revealed that differences in patterns of interactions as to platforms, types of queries, and users reveal that students, faculty, and other members of the academic community served by the library have various preferences for communication. The case study further showed that respondents have not maximized the use of VLS but interest in using both synchronous and asynchronous services is clear. Finding connections between sources of information, creating useful information patterns, is essential in learning. Amplifying awareness on the use of VLS giving emphasis to the unique features of each service is useful in order to enable students to see how this platform facilitates learning.
virtual library services; mediated communication; connectivism; online engagement;
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