New online resources for information skills – Workshop
Ella Mitchell and Erica Plowman – University of East London
Ella and Erica were discussing the development and use of UEL’s infoskills site. Observant readers might remember that I saw Ella present this site at the CoFHE LASEC Teach Meet last month.)
The library team worked in partnership with the university’s learning technology team. They started off by identifying information skills websites that they saw as examples of best practice.
What they liked out there:
Staffordshire Assignment Survival Kit - http://www.staffs.ac.uk/ask/
Cardiff Information Literacy Resource Bank - https://ilrb.cf.ac.uk/index.html
Leeds Skills @ Library - http://skills.library.leeds.ac.uk/
OU Safari - http://www.open.ac.uk/safari/
Having looked at these resources and consulted widely they agreed on some basic principles for their project.
- An open clear structure that allows students to jump to the aspects that they are interested in. This was intended to make the site relevant to ‘strategic’ (last minute) learners.
- Openly accessible. They felt that students were resistant to having to log in and they wanted to remove any possible barriers to use. This also allows the wider academic community to use the resources.
- Information skills advice from a range of sources including teaching staff and very importantly other students. Peer advice was seen as a very effective way of getting the message across.
The actual production process involved bringing together a lot of expertise from within the university and from outside.
The completed website features information skills tutorials, info skills tests (surprisingly popular apparently), videos of useful advice, demonstrations and various other resources. It is an excellent site. Have a look.
Note on copyright. The UEL site is creative commons so their resources can be used for educational purposes as long as they are properly credited. The Cardiff Information Literacy Resource Bank and the Leeds Skills @ Library site are also creative commons.
Hard Times – Plenary session
Lloyd Ellis - CILIP Cymru
Llloyd is the head of CILIPin Wales / CILIP Cymru. His talk started off with a library closed sign, a map of library closures across the country and the promise that the end of the talk would be more cheerful. I’m not quite sure he delivered on that promise. He concluded that partnership and cooperation were the solution. That’s reasonable enough but the overall tone of his talk still struck me as being pretty downbeat. I’m not sure we got the promised happy ending.
CofHe and the UC&R group are going to be replaced by a new CILIP group for college and university librarians. This is part of CILIP’s strategy to save money by streamlining itself. The current committee are working hard to ensure that FE and HE will still both be catered for.
The evening – Conference dinner and a disco
Dinner was very nice. In fact I can recommend the food generally.
The head of library services at Glyndwr University Paul Jeorrett gave an after dinner speech which used poetry and audience participation to put a more cheerful spin on the conference theme.
We won’t talk about the disco. (It was fun really.)