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Distance Education and LIS Programs

JamesAndrewsThe November 2009 issue of American Libraries is running an article about distance education in the United States. They turn to Dr. James E. Andrews, director of the School of Library and Information Science at the University of South Florida in Tampa, for some insight to how library and information science programs are working with distance education tools.

Professor Andrews states that the faculty –

“generally engage their online students through the use of asynchronous tools in the learning software, such as weekly discussion boards and blogs, and other Web 2.0 tools.” He adds, “We also use audio and video in lectures, and many professors design creative projects that involve such activities as online group work, library visits, or others that go beyond merely presenting the content online. The key to the most successful use of these is sound curriculum and instruction design that goes beyond merely the gratuitous use of technology.”

The United States Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts that “employment opportunities in the library and information science job sector are projected to experience positive growth in coming years.” With the increasing sophistication of online and distance education, it’s become easier for students who don’t live next to an MLS-degree-granting institution to pursue a master’s level education.

To find out more check out the ALA’s list of accredited programs to find one near you, or check out the USF School of Library and Information Science website to learn more about our program.

-DD

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