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An Evaluation of Students' Experiences of Using Virtual Study Spaces

Tapping, L; (2021) An Evaluation of Students' Experiences of Using Virtual Study Spaces. UCL (University College London): London, UK. Green open access

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Abstract

This report was commissioned to evaluate the effectiveness of the virtual spaces piloted across UCL by central Library Services, faculties and departments, after the closure of campus in 2020. A Research Assistant was engaged on a two-month assignment to evaluate students’ experiences of using the virtual spaces. These included virtual common rooms and revision workshops and the Virtual Learning Spaces for Students (“Zoom rooms”). The latter were piloted during May and June by Library Services, with Information Services Division (ISD), the departments which sponsored the research with the support of Interaction Design – Department of Computer Science. Tools in scope included Zoom, MS Teams, Gather.Town and VirBELA virtual campus. Before campus closed students had generally studied at the library with friends to motivate themselves to get started and remove distractions. Most students had little experience of virtual learning or study although some did have informal study groups in place or had tried online, open access study rooms aimed at school and university students found on the internet that feature music or timed study. Students said they has been “really surprised by the idea of VLS at first” but that using them provided with “a sense of belonging that we are studying in the University”. Most students surveyed saw a benefit to having the virtual learning and study spaces available as a permanent feature in complement to the library and Student Centre as part of a blended on-campus and virtual environment. They thought they would make use of them in particular circumstances, including out-of-hours; during exam season when on-campus library space is at a premium; to save commuting time; as alternative spaces for group work that enable file-sharing and as a “add on” for example to enable visiting non-UK lecturers.

Type: Report
Title: An Evaluation of Students' Experiences of Using Virtual Study Spaces
Open access status: An open access version is available from UCL Discovery
Publisher version: https://www.ucl.ac.uk/library/libraries-and-study-...
Language: English
Keywords: Digital education, Virtual library
UCL classification: UCL
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: Research
UCL > Provost and Vice Provost Offices > VP: Research > Library Services
URI: https://discovery.ucl.ac.uk/id/eprint/10132327
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