Intute Virtual Training Suite: LILAC 2009
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Intute Virtual Training Suite: LILAC 2009



Presentation given at the LILAC 2009 conference:

Presentation given at the LILAC 2009 conference:



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Intute Virtual Training Suite: LILAC 2009 Intute Virtual Training Suite: LILAC 2009 Presentation Transcript

  • Teaching Internet research skills New directions for the Intute: Virtual Training Suite
    • Emma Place, Intute
    • ILRT, University of Bristol
    • LILAC Conference, April 2009
    • What’s new with VTS?
    • Why we decided to change
    • Sneak preview of the changes
    • Discussion
  • You are the first to know ….
    • The Intute: Virtual Training Suite
    • is launching
    • 30 new Internet tutorials
    • this July
  • New tutorial titles …
    • Arts and Humanities
    • Archaeologist
    • Historians
    • Philosopher
    • Religious Studies
    • Modern Languages
    • Photography
    • Performing Arts
    • Health & Life Sciences
    • Agriculture
    • Microbiology
    • Health & Social Care
    • Medicine
    • Midwifery
    • Biodiversity
    • Nursing
    • Veterinary Medicine
    • Science & Engineering
    • Aeronautical Engineering
    • Civil Engineering
    • Chemical Engineering
    • ICT
    • Physics
    • Chemistry
    • Environment
    • Social Sciences
    • Business & Management
    • Economics
    • Education
    • Lawyers
    • Psychology
    • Social Work
    • Government & Politics
    • Social Research Methods
  • So what’s new?
    • We update the service in light of:
    • Internet developments
    • User feedback
  • Internet developments
    • Intute editors have been following:
    • Web 2.0 developments
    • blogs, podcasts, videos, social networks
    • Academic Web trends
    • Changes in online academic publishing, library services, eBooks, eJournals, eLearning objects, Google scholar etc.
  • User feedback
    • 1. Internal review of the VTS
    • Intute user-surveys
    • External market research
  • Research questions
    • Is there a proven need/demand for VTS?
    • How do users want to see VTS develop?
  • Methods
    • Analysis of User-Feedback Forms: qualitative and quantitative analysis of the c5,000 online feedback forms received from VTS users over the last 5 years
    • Analysis of Web Statistics: focusing on statistics compiled during the year 1 st Jan – 31 st Dec 2007, but also making use of statistics from the previous 5 years.
    • Locating Examples of Use of VTS in Higher Education: examining university and library websites that link to VTS and a sample of feedback data collected via email
    • Online Survey of over 100 VTS Authors and Intute Staff: to gather internal views on the way forward for VTS
    • Tutorial Technology Review: comparison of different technologies available for offering online training tutorials
    • Literature Review: recent evidence in the academic literature about Internet research skills in higher education
  • Results
    • There is a growing recognition of the need to teach Internet research skills to university students:
    • 100% of VTS survey respondents agreed
    • 66% of Intute user-survey respondents felt that a national training service like VTS was needed
    • Literature review reveals that Internet research skills are now increasingly mainstream for undergraduate degrees (eg. explosion of text books in this subject)
  • Is there a proven demand for VTS?
    • Analysis of Web statistics reveal an upward trend in use of the service from 2 million page views in 2002 to 12 million for 2007
    • Market research revealed that VTS is one of the most highly used parts of the Intute service as a whole
    • Peaks in use match university terms dates, suggesting the service is being used by the target audience (and 67% of our online feedback forms come from university students)
  • Is there evidence of VTS being used in HE courses?
    • Online feedback forms from students state that they were guided to the tutorial by their lecturer/course materials
    • Referrral data from the Web stats revelas 1/3 of users are coming to VTS from websites, and access via search engines in low
    • Backlinks reveal many library websites now link to VTS tutorials, as do some course materials
  • Which tutorials are most popular?
    • Web stats enabled us to rank tutorials from most to least used.
    • Market research suggests we should focus more on HE degree subjects – with limited resources focus on those subjects with the highest student populations
  • What do users like/dislike about VTS? Feedback forms from students suggested they:
    • Like
    • Collection of links
    • Links basket
    • Easy to use
    • Clarity and simplicity
    • quizzes
    • Dislike
    • Length of the tutorials
    • Reading lots of text on screen
    • Technical problems
  • Feedback forms from staff :
    • Revealed some strong views that Web 2.0 actually increases the imperative for teaching students to Internet research skills.
    • That significant changes to VTS would be unpopular, now that it was built into websites/courses
    • 70% of respondents to the online survey thought VTS would be missed if it were gone
  • What works well, what would they change?
    • Works well
    • Use of experts from the community to update tutorials
    • Tutorial approach / tone (“friendly expert”)
    • Not just spoon-feeding links but teaching search and evaluation skills
    • Would change
    • More focus on academic Internet resources
    • Help students understand the process of academic research
    • More on the difference between academic publishing and Web 2.0 user-generated content
    • More community engagement
  • Change in approach
    • Target audience is now students in higher education (not staff)
    • Subject coverage VTS will not grow in size but tutorial titles will be based on most popular university courses
  • Changes to content
    • Written for HE students
    • To help with coursework & assignments
    • Focus on academic sources online
    • Includes Web 2.0 but in academic context
    • Much more about libraries!
  • Changes in design
    • Brand new web design
    • Easier to read online
    • Shorter
    • More graphics
    • No technical hitches!
  • Questions
    • Would you use a VTS online community area?
    • Would you like VTS to offer a place to share methods for teaching Internet research skills in HE?
    • Would you be willing to share how you teach these skills / use VTS?