Another bright sunny day in Exeter began with a talk on student experiences of the Library by the University of Exeter Student Union Education Officer, Taffy Morris. Prior to his speech he had surveyed 100 academic representatives on their views of the Library – his findings demonstrated that in most cases students thought that the Library held enough books and that students tended to use a mixed approach of e-resources and paper resources. The majority questioned indicated that they had problems locating and accessing e-journals. He stressed the importance of information skills integrated within modules with the timing targeted several weeks before essay deadlines. As in other sessions the idea of Libraries speaking to their users was stressed to find out what their needs are – one way Exeter have addressed this is by running a mid year survey and responding to the answers through a “You said, We did” response.
Workshop 3: Information literacy on a shoestring: bridging the gap between HE and FE
Sally Ward and Dawn Grundy presented an interesting session on information literacy at the University of Bolton. This included looking at a self assessment questionnaire that they get their students to complete at the start of a session and how they worked in partnership with local FE providers to support information literacy. This session promoted a lot of group discussion and it was interesting to hear how the concerns of FE librarians were very similar to HE librarians, including the issue that users do not remember inductions and potential challenges embedding information literacy into the curriculum. One approach by the University of Bolton has been to promote the information skills sessions for academic staff so that they can build on their skills and promote information skills either by embedding the training into their curriculum or to signpost users to the Library.
Workshop 4: The ROLe of ReLO: How the University of Birmingham is using Reusable Learning Objects
This session was led by Catherine Robertson and Nancy Graham from the University of Birmingham. The workshop focused on the potential of reusable objects and introduced a variety of resources that looked really useful. The University of Birmingham Library run a scheme where librarians can share materials and inspiration from each other through the use of a (Re)Logbook. This enables Librarians to track learning objects throughout their lifespan – capturing changes made to that object, how the object has been shared and promotion of good practice through technology and pedagogical skills.
The presenters advocated the benefits of sharing resources, the need for good metadata records and how these objects could be added to a repository for people to access. The session then took a more hands on focus where we were given information skills challenges and in pairs encouraged to find reusable objects to support these needs. The different resources we looked at included the following:
- IL RLO Sharing Wiki – really useful tools and tips with links to rlo repositories.
- GLO Maker – a tool to create learning resources.
- University of Worcester “Creatively Using Learning Technologies” – Centre that promotes the use of different learning technologies in developing reusable resources at the University of Worcester.
- The Brumproject blog – documenting the rlo project being undertaken at Birmingham.
- Jorum – repository of reusable learning and teaching resources
- Merlot – links to reusable learning resources
Workshop 5: Framing research and researchers: maximizing the value of library and information services in research support
Jo Webb provided an interesting session on how the Library can support researchers. The session began with a historical overview of research support and how in recent times there has been a move towards providing support catering for the different types of researcher. Through group work we were able to share ideas about what sort of training we should be offering to support the different level of researchers. Working in small groups we were given a scenario from different researchers from early career to an eminent researcher and we discussed what sort of support could be provided. The results of the session have been captured in Jo’s presentation slides.