Eleanor Johnston, Academic Skills Librarian at Staffordshire University, has written the following post about last month’s Teachmeet, which was sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group.
On 25th November 2014, Staffordshire University hosted a Library Teachmeet in the Thompson Library, Stoke-on-Trent. This was the latest in a series of Teachmeets that have been running for just over one year. This most recent event had the theme of ‘Digital Literacy’ and was sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group, who generously provided the lunch. There was no charge to attend this event.
We had a full house of attendees and our speakers represented the University (Julie Adams and Dr Barbara Emadi-Coffin) as well as educational institutions from as far afield as Hertfordshire and Teeside. Our speakers gave us a wide ranging mix of talks, and their work in the areas they spoke on is extensive, detailed and illuminating. We are fortunate to be able to share with you their presentations, links to learning materials and handouts on our libguide. This will enable you to take a bit of time to see a more detailed picture of their work.
We started with an overview of how the My Learning Essentials programme works, focusing on how the online and face-to-face elements work together.
At its core, My Learning Essentials is a self-selecting blended learning skills support programme. Our online and face-to-face elements work in tandem to deliver support to students at the point of need. Whether they are working on a literature review at two in the morning or planning ahead for a presentation or exam, the students can access the support they need at the time they need it. In order to deliver this programme to the more than 40,000 students attending The University of Manchester, the flexible and clear process and structure is paramount. Everything run on the programme is closely assessed for impact on our participants in order to inform its future direction. These quality assurance, monitoring and development processes ensure that we are providing our students with the right thing at the right time.
By Richard Hopkins, Learning & Skills Librarian, University of Wolverhampton
Our first Teachmeet was entitled ‘Information literacy skills and the new student. What is innovative information literacy and skills practice? And how best do we promote it?’ and was an attempt to encourage conversation on issues that were of interest to the Skills for Learning team at the University of Wolverhampton and hopefully sector wide. This was our first attempt at organising such an event and there was a certain amount of trepidation as we uploaded it onto Eventbrite, I won’t deny there were some triumphant cheers as we watched places (both presenter and attendee) book quickly up. After a month or two of careful organisation the day was upon us and after warm welcomes from Trish Fouracres, assistant director (Learning and Information Services), and Lisa Thompson, learning and skills development manager, the room was packed and ready for our presenters to take the floor. Continue reading “Information Literacy skills and the new student” TeachMeet→
By Lisa Flint, Information Manager, University of Hertfordshire On Wednesday 25th June over 45 delegates including many Career and Information Professionals from academic institutions across the country were welcomed to the University of Hertfordshire (UH), De Havilland campus for an afternoon Library Teach Meet entitled ‘Information Literacy meets …Employability and Graduate Skills’. The event was sponsored by the Information Literacy Group of the Chartered Institute of Library and Information Professionals. Before the Teach Meet began many of the delegates had a tour around the campus including the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) as well as a sneaky look in the University’s full-scale Courtroom with a public gallery. The event was introduced by Helen Barefoot and Sarah Flynn from UH who spoke about the successful implementation of the University’s Graduate Attributes. Sarah highlighted the background perspective and emphasised on the longevity of graduate attributes liking it to the children TV character Morph and a stick of rock! Helen went on speak from the student perspective, detailing how students had got involved creating artefacts and installations to represent the attributes in a University wide competition. Averil Robertson brought a practical example of how she had worked with the careers service at the University of Bedfordshire to embed careers and information skills in to the curriculum for psychology students. Using blended learning approaches the outcomes were favourable, improving grades and raising awareness of the importance of these skills for lifelong learning and employment. Nathan Rush from De Montfort University also undertook information Literacy sessions with students in the context of employability. His messages included the importance of collaboration amongst the relevant departments, he spoke about respecting professional boundaries, articulating the message – be aware of the language you use, make it relevant for students. He also spoke about the timing of such sessions suggesting that the third year was not ideal. He highlighted the issue of sustainability of such projects, bearing in mind potential numbers of students. Definitely food for thought! After a few questions Stephane Goldstein from the Research Info Network (RIN) spoke of initial findings from a consultation with about 20 employers to review the place of information or digital literacy in their policies and practices. One of the key messages was that the term ‘Information Literacy’ was not easily recognised by these employers, but once explained the importance of how students handled information was recognised. The onus on the students was also placed so that they learn how to apply such skills into a work setting and use these sorts of skills to their own advantage. It is hoped that the RIN report will be published in the next few weeks. Emma Coonan (University of East Anglia, UEA) finished the first half of the afternoon with a thought provoking piece on employability and identity. She took a slightly more philosophical approach on the topic noting the complexities of employability and graduate attributes across the university involving the library, careers and admin departments. We had a whistle-stop tour of the some of the current thinking and concluded that we need to focus on the student as an individual. Some much needed cake, refreshments and time to network were needed before the last two speakers. Carolyn Smith, Information Manager at UH spoke about recent work ‘badging’ the i-Spy information skills tutorials with the Graduate Attributes as well as evidence received from employers and placement students on the value of information management skills in the workplace. And lastly Neville Kemp, a Careers & Employability Adviser from the University for the Creative Arts highlighted a few online resources in his talk which can be used to deliver current employability-related information effectively with students and graduates. After more questions all delegates were asked to do a couple of tasks,
first we asked them to vote for their favourite speaker (gold stars were provided!). Secondly we asked everyone to write on post it notes reflecting what they are currently doing in their own institutions and what they are going to take away from the meeting. The last few slices of cake and biscuits were snapped up and some more bite sized networking ensued. Many themes ran through the afternoon, but those of partnerships with employers and collaboration within different teams both stood out as key messages. Also putting the student first and recognising the skills acquired by students still need to pertinent to the world of work. Getting employers to contribute to the conversation is a valuable step forward. For many of the delegates this was a new area of their work and several are in the process of developing sessions and programmes for students. To me it seems an exciting area to explore especially with today’s agendas on employability for students. Collaborating with colleagues can bring a variety of new and fresh ideas to the drawing board and from a librarians perspective we can use this opportunity to enhance our own presence in our institutions. The feedback from delegates was really positive; many praised the range and variety of speakers and format of the afternoon. One delegate said that they most liked “The great balance of formal presenting with informal and professional networking and discussions”. Another commented “Very welcoming and open exchange of practice – great opportunity to network!” The subject seemed very timely as several delegates would have liked a longer session or day meeting, as there were lots of issues that were barely touched upon, so that may be an idea for sometime in the future. There was plenty of enthusiastic chat, everyone keen to get ideas to take back to their own institutions. Warm congratulations were passed onto Emma Coonan who won the star speaker prize and received the gift vouchers of her choice! A resume of the slides can be found at http://www.slideshare.net/LisaKFlint/university-of-hertfordshire-resume-of-slides-from-uh-teachmeet-june-2014
Ffion Bell (@bibliotekaargh) has kindly provided a report on the free LibTeachMeet event that took place at Aberystwyth University earlier this month.
On Wednesday 4th June 2014, a LibTeachMeet was held here at Aberystwyth University – and it went very well! In this blog post I will describe how it came about, and what actually happened on the day.
As a Graduate Trainee at the university, part of my time has been spent with the Academic Services team. Teaching is a major part of their work; providing training on specific resources as well as research skill courses and inductions to the library service. When the opportunity offered by the CILIP Information Literacy Group of funding to host an event came up, it sounded perfect. In the past year I had been able to attend a few different events, such as unconferences and LibraryCamps, and had really enjoyed the experience. I would always return from the day feeling inspired and with a new energy – I also liked that the informal atmosphere (and low costs) allowed a very wide range of people to participate and explore the library field.
I was tasked to find out more, and put an application together. After checking out some previous LibTeachMeet events around the country, I did a quick presentation to my colleagues in the team – and luckily they agreed it would be a good thing to do. Aberystwyth struck me as a brilliant place to host an event like this – with the large university library, National Library of Wales, and lots of other institutions all in a relatively small town. And though Y Gwyll (‘Hinterland’) would have you believe we’re all murdering each other and/or driving around incredibly bleak landscapes in total silence, people really are very friendly!