Virtual Reading Room Research Support at a Caribbean University

Piloting Innovation in Supervising TVET Graduate Students

Authors

  • Debra Ferdinand-James The University of the West Indies, Mona
  • Karlene Nelson The University of the West Indies, Mona
  • Beverly Burte The University of the West Indies, Western Jamaica Campus
  • Yolanda Tugwell The University of the West Indies, Mona

Keywords:

Virtual Reading Room, graduate research support, convergent parallel mixed methods

Abstract

This research describes the piloting of a Virtual Reading Room (VRR) at a Caribbean university library to support students’ graduate research. In keeping with its Liaison Library Programme, the students’ research supervisor collaborated with librarians for the creation of the VRR with library instruction, which served the supervisor’s ten research supervisees enrolled in Leadership in Technical and Vocational Education and Training (TVET) and Workforce Development (WFD) graduate programmes. These supervisees are referred to as TVET graduate students in the current study. A mixed methods convergent parallel study design was used in collecting and analysing quantitative data on usage statistics for graduate students’ TVET/WFD Library Guides (LibGuides) and qualitative data via a feedback questionnaire on their reactions to VRR use for supporting their graduate supervision. The study results indicated that the LibGuide Homepage followed by the Thesis Preparation, Databases/E-Journals, and Research Methodology webpages were the most used by graduate students. Graduate students’ overall VRR feedback was that these virtual resources were very necessary and useful for sustaining their graduate research. These results can contribute to the scholarly Caribbean literature on virtual reading room use and inform local policy and practice for TVET graduate supervision.

Author Biographies

  • Debra Ferdinand-James, The University of the West Indies, Mona

    Senior Lecturer and Coordinator of the Master’s in Leadership in TVET and Workforce Development at the School of Education

  • Karlene Nelson, The University of the West Indies, Mona

    Cataloguing and metadata Librarian at the Library of The University of the West Indies, Mona

  • Beverly Burte, The University of the West Indies, Western Jamaica Campus

    Reference and instructional librarian at The University of the West Indies, Western Jamaica Campus

  • Yolanda Tugwell, The University of the West Indies, Mona

    Librarian at the Library of The University of the West Indies, Mona

Downloads

Published

2023-12-07