Category Archives: Workshops

Event review: blended learning programme design workshop

Workshop: Developing a Blended Learning Skills Programme
Venue: Alan Gilbert Learning Commons, University of Manchester
Date: Monday 15th December, 2014

This event was run by Jennie Blake and Jade Kelsall from the University of Manchester Library, home of the award-winning My Learning Essentials programme.

View the Storify from the day.

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.

My Learning Essentials
My Learning Essentials

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.

Underlying all of the materials is a process where the student voice is given centre stage. All resources are prompted by demonstrated student demand, most often by direct student request, and the focus is not on delivering what we might think students need, or even what they wished they would have had, but what they tell us they need now—for their success and progression in the moment. After the need has been identified, the learning objectives and student outputs are tested and iterated within the workshops of the open training programme, allowing us to further refine our understanding of what students need and what resources will address those needs. It also allows us to clearly deliver collaborative and creative experiences in our workshops that are supported by the online resources—freeing up valuable time in the face-to-face sessions for student exploration and interaction because information transfer can happen elsewhere.

The strong link between online and face-to-face support is, in the end, what makes the delivery of such a broad programme to such a large student body possible. Because the learning objectives for the most popular face to face sessions can be fine-tuned and then supported online, we are able to consistently deliver what students need without overstretching the resource available and while still recognising the clear differences in purpose and approach inherent in each.

We discussed the transferability of this model; the underlying processes are the major contributing factor to the success of the programme, and these can be implemented at any scale, large or small.

Examining our learning objectives
Examining our learning objectives

We then moved on to explore in more detail the processes and techniques we use to create our workshops and online resources, beginning with learning objectives which are at the core of both. Our participants began to identify learning objectives which they then used as a basis for the rest of the day’s activities. We discussed how important it was to keep returning to these learning objectives throughout the rest of the creation process, be it face-to-face or online, to ensure that the learning experience you are creating remains targeted on what you want your students to get out of it.

Most of the rest of the afternoon was spent examining the development processes for workshops and online resources. Our participants started designing their own workshop activities, focusing on making sure that they are as collaborative as possible to ensure that they are making the most of the limited time we have with our students.

Next up was online resource development; we explored the process used for the My Learning Essentials programme, and started to come up with ideas for different approaches to meet our learning objectives. These were then built into a structured skeleton plan for an online resource, and we discussed ideas for activities that would be suitable for online delivery.

Participants chose what they wanted to hear more about from a number of options
Participants chose what they wanted to hear more about from a number of options


After making our participants work so hard all afternoon, we ended with a quick round-up of some of the newer initiatives from My Learning Essentials. Participants were asked to vote for the areas they wanted to hear more about from a number of options, which prompted further interesting discussions.


We will be running this session again in London next February.

Critical literacy for school librarians: 25th November (afternoon), Manchester Metropolitan University

Sarah Mcnicol will be running a free, half day workshop, 1300-1600, at Manchester Metropolitan University, on critical literacy for school librarians.

Critical literacy has been described as a ‘new basic’. It is a set of skills, dispositions and strategies intended to enable students “to challenge text and life as we know it” (McLaughlin & DeVoogd).

This half day session will outline the ideas underpinning critical literacy, focusing on what it means for school librarians and they ways in which they support students in the evaluation of texts. It will also give you an opportunity to try out different ways of teaching critical literacy through the analysis of a variety of texts.

Although this session is aimed at school librarians, anyone with an interest in this topic is very welcome to join!

Book a place at

Free Open Educational Resources event in Cardiff

CoPILOT logoCoPILOT (Community of Practice for Information Literacy Online Teaching) are now taking bookings for a free workshop on Open Educational Resources (OERs) in Cardiff on November 24th.

Event: CoPILOT workshop on Open Educational Resources (OERs)
When: Monday, November 24th, 2014, 09:00-16:00
Where: Cardiff University , Sir Martin Evans Building, Cathays Park Campus

The aim of the day is to give the participants a practical introduction to OERs for teaching information literacy and supporting academics colleagues in finding OERs.

Rebecca Mogg (University of Cardiff) and Vashti Zarach (Bangor University) will offer some practical advice and share their experiences in supporting and creating Open Educational Resources. Debbie Baff, from the University of South Wales, will provide an overview of OER initiatives and projects that are happening in Wales, plus a preview of plans for the OER15 conference.

The workshop format will be a mix of presentations and practical group work/discussions. You will learn how to make your materials openly available and receive advise on some key areas for consideration, such as choose appropriate licenses. The day will also include a session from Jorum,  the UK’s largest OER repository, and a chance to have hands-on experience of finding and evaluating OERs for use in your own teaching.

Places are limited so it is recommended that you book early to reserve a place.

The workshop is being funded by the CILIP Information Literacy Group and priority for bookings will be given to members of the group. This is just one of many benefits provided by IL Group membership.

Refreshments will be provided free of charge. If you are subsequently unable to attend the event, please cancel your ticket at the earliest opportunity as a waiting list will be in place. Please note that a charge of £30 will be made for non-attendance.

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Staffordshire University to host free Digital Literacy event

Staffordshire University is to host a free Library TeachMeet event, sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group, with the aim of sharing how to incorporate digital literacy into teaching and learning.

Event: Staffordshire University Digital Literacy Library TeachMeet – Sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group
Alfred Bolton Room, Thompson Library, Staffordshire University, College Road, Stoke-on-Trent, Staffs, ST4 2DE.
When: Tuesday, November 25th, 2014, 1.15pm-4pm.

It is hoped that speakers will report on a range of activities to support and assess learners towards digital fluency and investigate what makes a digitally fluent learner.

Attendees are invited to have the floor for 10 minutes to present (via PowerPoint / Prezi / talk / bingo / drawing / anything) to colleagues some creative and inspiring suggestions. Enthusiastic non-presenting audience members are also welcome!

Example topics might include: staff development and promotion, incorporating digital literacy ideas into the curriculum, highlighting digital literacy as a Graduate Attribute, etc. Anyone can share great ideas they’ve used in their library, ask important questions or simply sign up to take part in learning conversations.

How does it work?

The event organisers would like attendees to consider delivering a presentation, of up to 10 minutes maximum, on an innovative topic in line with the theme. The number of speakers will be limited, so please get your application in early if you would like to do this. The organisers also want an audience who are happy to discuss, share ideas and develop learning opportunities.

When is it?

1.15pm–4pm on Tuesday, November 25th, 2014. Arrival from 1.15pm onwards (for lunch and networking) and refreshments will be served throughout the event.

How do I book a place?

Full details and booking information can be found on the Eventbrite page.

Cost: FREE – includes lunch and refreshments

If you have any queries about the event, please contact Eleanor by email:

Free information literacy event for School and FE librarians

CILIP Information Literacy Group logo

The CILIP Information Literacy Group is to provide a free training event for the sharing of good information and digital literacy practice for librarians and information professionals working in school and Further Education settings.

Event: Active IL in the classroom: Info Lit workshop and TeachMeet for schools and FE
Where: Library of Birmingham
When: Monday, December 8th, 2014, 10am – 4pm

The day will start with a practical workshop: Tell them and they’ll forget: using interactivity to ensure engagement in your sessions, delivered by Emily Shields (MMU) and Rosie Jones (University of Manchester) – experienced IL practitioners who will share a wealth of tips and techniques for incorporating interactivity into your IL interventions with students, providing you with plenty of examples to make your own teaching fun and engaging.

The afternoon will take the form of a TeachMeet, which will allow for the sharing of good practice in an informal setting. We’re inviting you to present for ten minutes, sharing your ideas and experiences with others working in the sector. This can be in the form of a basic talk, it can include a PowerPoint or Prezi, hands-on activity, handouts, or all of these elements!  Examples could include inspiring session content, use of  learning technologies, engagement strategies used with teachers – anything related to information literacy is welcome! If you are interested in sharing and presenting for 10 minutes, please book as a speaker rather than an attendee; the speaker ticket still entitles you to attend for the full day.

The event will take place at the Library of Birmingham, 10am-4pm, on Monday, December 8th, 2014. Lunch and refreshments will be provided.

This is a free event. Book now to avoid disappointment!

If you have any questions, or would like additional information about any part of this event, please contact the IL Group Training Officer, Catherine McManamon:

Please note that cancellations less than a week in advance, or non-attendance on the day, may affect your ability to book onto future free events from the IL Group.