The Library Research Support team recently undertook its annual survey to capture the training needs and communication preferences of postgraduate researchers (PGRs). We got a good response rate (19.3% of PGRs available). Here are some takeaways:
Over a quarter (25.6%) had not attended any OU training whatsoever, whether run by their faculty, the Graduate School, the Library or anyone else
Email was the most common way that PGRs heard about the training they attended (75.7%). Twitter (2.7%) and Facebook (0%) were not well used in this regard
A clear majority felt Library training met their learning needs (89.2%), had clear learning outcomes (89.2%) and included sufficient interactivity (75.6%)
PGRs who attended Library sessions using flipped learning felt it improved their understanding of the topic (86.3%), led them to reflect more about the topic than they would have done otherwise (81.8%) and led to more efficient use of session time (81.8%). Although, fewer (68.2%) felt it enabled the group to discuss issues in more depth
Additional training needs were diverse and the majority were in areas outside the Library’s traditional remit – Nvivo, presentation skills and academic writing were the most requested training topics
The results will inform the planning and communication of Library Research Support training in the 2019/20 academic year as we continually develop a tailored programme in response to PGR feedback. We are also sharing findings with colleagues in relevant departments/faculties.