Missing Link: Making the connection between information literacy and the student experience

My primary role at the confence was to tweet during the day about the talks I attended, @davidclay kindly created a storify of the day.
It was interesting to attend a conference on information literacy as its been a few years since I’ve done any training with staff & students. The morning started with a couple of case studies, the first was ‘Preparing Health and Social Care students for university – why this approach?’ by Neil Donohue and Monica Casey from Salford University. They described their approach to reviewing & redesigning the pre-induction session to provide a more holistic approach in collaboration with the department. They recognised a shift in focus from IT sessions to sessions on ‘learning’, students wanted to find out more about reading lists & referencing. For many health students the pre-induction session was one of the first in a series of training sessions from the library so was an ideal opportunity for students to become more familiar with the services provided. It was also interesting to hear about how they tied the information literacy sessions in with the Royal College of Nursing’s literacies competences and made me wonder what other professional organisations had such frameworks. This also raised the issue of greater success in some faculties than others with regards to information literacy.

Feedback from the day was collected demonstrating impact and value which is a definately trend I have noticed across HE. The general feedback was positive with request for more information on logins & passwords in order to see the resources’ more information on bursaries etc. They are keen to provide some of the information literacy session information online, not behind the VLE in order that it is more accessible.

The second case study ‘Creating a reusable, online information literacy tutorial for researchers: A collaborative approach by Chris Bark (Coventry University) and Liz Martin (De Montfort University)’ described their approach in designing a module for researchers. The four institutions, within the East Midlands Research Support Group raised funds for the project to allow them to survey a number of researchers and employed staff to help create the content. As with the case study from Salford the key users were consulted and engaged with in designing the module. The presentation highlighted the benefits and challenges of collaboration, with reference to resources, support, friendship, time, politics etc, between 4 different HE making me think about the current climate and the continued trend for shared services. I am looking forward to trying out this module, Dissemination of your Research, which I hope will be a great resource for many.

Next came the parallel sessions and I was sorry not to be able to attend them all.

I went to ‘I did it my way or did I? Developing an interactive information literacy framework’ led by Greta Friggens (University of Portsmouth). She began the session by providing us all with postcards for us to note down our ideas which she will post back to us, this gentle encouragement and inspiration to turn our ideas into reality was a key focus of the talk for me. Greta talked of her own experience in the involvement of the Learning Change programme at her institution which provided an opportunity to build on an idea she had regarding information literacy framework. The outcome of the project was UPLift, Library Information Tips. In reflecting on the project Greta was able to share some valuable lessons, such as being clear about the benefits and values of your idea, tying these with strategic aims in order to get the buy in, being clear about the resource required etc.

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Lunch time

After lunch I went to ‘University of Roehampton and Cengage Learning e–Book Project’ by Anne Pietsch and Robert Manderson (Roehampton University). This was related much more to my area and I think is a great start to what I hope will be a very interesting and exciting conversation. We heard about some initial findings from a survey by Roehampton and Cengage on use of ebooks and I am very much looking forward to reading the report when available, hopefully this summer. They noted that key routes of access to ebooks for student was the library catalogue and Moodle. They also asked students to narrate their actions when looking for ebooks, this proved to be a useful exercise in providing feedback to suppliers on the lack of usability for a platform. One of the most interesting points raised was the importance of getting lectures to drive the content for ebooks in particular having the opportunity to test them out to see how they would fit into their learning and curriculum design which in turn re-iterated the importance of librarians being involved in those discussions to help advise on resources. With the trend towards more investment in ebooks this type of research is invaluable in helping identify and exploit both benefits & challenges in ebooks. I am also hopeful in seeing ebook platforms mature in providing more flexibility, customisation & openness.

The day ended with, ‘Collaboration between Centre for Enhancement of Learning and Teaching (CELT) and Library and Learning Resources to improve the Student Experience by Christiana Titahmboh and Jenny Eland (Birmingham City University). They told their stories about their involvement in the teaching and learning at the university. This session I think was a useful recap of the key theme of the day which is the impact on the student experience of information literacy training. Jenny talked about her role helping build bridges & links between librarians, skills tutors and academic staff to ensure the students have opportunities to equip themselves with all the necessary skills, including employability & information literacy. Christiania talked about the impact of completing the PGCert in Learning & Teaching in providing the confidence to engage with lecturers, deal with student groups and introduced active based and problem based learning. In relating how her sessions have an impact on the students learning outcome & subsequent grades proved a valuable method of engaging with the student.

The Learning & Teaching team organised an interesting and thought provoking day and I was very pleased to have the opportunity to attend. While it was clear that information literacy impacted on the students learning experience I was also encouraged to see the users being key to the design of modules & evidence to illustrate value & impact of these modules/skills being collected.

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One thought on “Missing Link: Making the connection between information literacy and the student experience

  1. Pingback: Missing Link: Making the connection between information literacy and the student experience | School Libraries HCDSB | Scoop.it

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