Skills to succeed?
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Academic skills support at Loughborough University. Stephanie McKeating, Academic Services Manager.

Academic skills support at Loughborough University. Stephanie McKeating, Academic Services Manager.



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  • Delivered by ALs3 x 2 hour sessions on Wed afternoon trialled 2007/8 with mixed success
  • Fewer repeats of some topics based on last year’s attendance stats e.g. RefWorks
  • Converting Get-the-Know-How module to flex pages possible merger with Academic Practice
  • Survey of students who had booked on workshops this year – whether they booked on not150 responses – 70% who had been Positive feedback on courses atended85% happy with venueAsked what time they would prefer to attend courses43% Early evening Mon – Fri, 32% Wed afternoons 25% Lunchtimes Mon – FriComment“really helpful, you would pay a fortune for them fi they were not run through the university”

Skills to succeed? Skills to succeed? Presentation Transcript

  • Skills to succeed?Academic skills support atLoughborough University Stephanie McKeating Academic Services Manager
  • Outline of the session How the Library came to be teaching academic skills What we offer Challenges Future plans
  • Academic skills and the Library  Historically study skills support offered by Learning & Teaching Centre  Change of focus to supporting academic staff  Library took on study skills in 2005  Advice sheets  1-hour workshops  Roberts funding for FT academic librarian  Increased generic support  Offered embedded support  Online tutorial development
  • Generic workshops 2005/6 – 2007/8 Originally two separate generic streams  Lunchtime in the Library – traditional information skills  Study Skills – new skills courses (14 in first year) Initially all sessions 50 mins held over lunchtime Booking via Careers booking system Target audience - undergraduates
  • Study skills topics Time management  Revision & exam skills Reading & note-  PDP (introduced in taking 2007/8) Oral presentations  Working in groups Essay writing (dropped due to lack of Report writing demand)
  • Get the Know-How: Skills to succeed 2008/9 - two streams merged and branded as  Get the Know-How: skills to succeed Complete revision of courses  Names e.g. Oral presentations became Speaking your mind  Some courses split into two e.g. reading & note-taking  Focus on increasing interactivity 2009/10 & 2010/11 no booking, drop in sessions
  • Get the Know-How 2011/12 Reintroduced booking via VLE (Moodle) Trialled new times and venues  Nearly 40% courses outside lunchtime period  3 early evening sessions (6 pm)  One third courses outside Library Offered tailored sessions  e.g. Presentation skills for Science & Engineering
  • E EE E = Evening session
  • Attendance trends  Average attendance risen 2011/12  Problems with “no-shows”  Evening sessions popular Sessions Attendance Average 2009/10 40 516 12.9 2010/11 44 566 12.86 2011/12 36 549 15.25
  • Departmental skills sessions Fewer sessions but bigger reach Sessions Attendance 2009/10 16 438 Many embedded in curriculum 2010/11 15 537 Some additional topics 2011/12 20 825 Sessions Sessions Sessions Topic 2009/10 2010/11 2011/12 Intro to study skills/ learning 6 5 4 Group work 3 4 3 Note-taking 0 0 1 PDP 1 0 1 Poster design 1 1 2 Presentation skills 0 2 3 Reading 0 0 1 Revision & exam skills 1 0 0 Time management 2 1 2 Writing skills 3 4 6 Total 17 17 23
  • Skills resources Web pages  Topics  Advice sheets  Planning sheets VLE  Get the Know-How module  Online tutorials
  • Advice sheets Written by other services New titles  Available in print and as PDFs  Considering adding additional citation styles
  • Planning sheets To support time management sessions Generic planners  Daily  Weekly  Task sheets Tailored  Module  Semester
  • Online tutorials InfoTrail & StudyTrail Available on VLE Merged and redeveloped as Academic Practice Ten units on academic skills
  • Skills support issues Up-skilling the teachers Proliferation of skills support providers Lack of student awareness Academic buy-in
  • Up-skilling the teachers Academic Librarians no previous experience of teaching study skills Lack of confidence No suitable external courses Strategies:  Observation and team teaching  “Teaching a topic from scratch” session  HEA pathway  Group brainstorming course content
  • 10. Support, and recognition, should beavailable for those who provide support tostudents“There are many people who provide support tostudents, from central student services, academicsand library staff to students themselves Institutionsshould give these people time and resources todevelop their skills as a mentor, and should givethem the space to discuss the challenges theyface….” NUS Charter on Academic Support (Jan 2012)
  • Collaboration Skills Forum  Student Hub Employability Award  Workshop attendance  Academic Practice tutorial English Language Support Service  Courses on coherent writing, grammar & punctuation
  • Lack of student awareness Not aware of the generic workshops Confusion about the difference between Get the Know-How and Academic Practice modules on VLE Don’t perceive skills support as something they need Difficulty in branding study skills
  • Academic buy-in Perceptions  Students already have academic skills  Library not seen as the natural providers of academic skills support  No time in existing module programmes for embedding academic skills sessions Strategies  “Transferable skills in the curriculum” course  Liaison and marketing
  • Future plans Review of relationship between workshop VLE presence, online tutorial and web pages Additional generic workshop on systematic review Review of workshop programme based on feedback Marketing  Information Science students’ presentations  What’s in a name?
  • Survey feedback Survey of students who booked on workshops 150 responses - 70% had attended 43% preferred early evening “really helpful, you would pay a fortune for them if they were not run through the university”
  • Contact details Stephanie McKeating Academic Services Manager 01509 222342