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Skills@library at the university of leeds


Presentation for the academic skills support event at Leeds Metropolitan University June 2012, outlining why and how Skills@Library evolved and looking at the services we provide.

Presentation for the academic skills support event at Leeds Metropolitan University June 2012, outlining why and how Skills@Library evolved and looking at the services we provide.

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  • In a survey of over 700 of our students, areas needing most support were: writing skills, preparing for exams, presentation skills and time management


  • 1. Skills@Library at theUniversity of LeedsHelen
  • 2. Skills@Library...integrating IL and Academic Skills Next? Why? How? What? Who?
  • 3. Why? - Blending Academic and Information Literacies• Universities reacting to fees agenda, employer concerns, changing student attitudes: – skills acquisition and employability taking a higher priority – definition of graduate attributes “Employers need graduates who are equipped with a range of core work skills as well as academic ability…these competencies…make graduates employable” Association of Graduate Recruiters 2010, p.5
  • 4. Why? - Blending Academic and Information Literacies• Universities reacting to fees agenda, employer concerns, changing student attitudes: – curricula reviews to make them fit for purpose and unique: • innovative, global, broad “the teaching and assessment of student literacies requires greater prioritisation within the curriculum” King’s-Warwick Project 2010, p.9
  • 5. Why? - Blending Academic and Information Literacies• IL is not a discreet set of skills: transferability is vital• Skills development is continuous and ongoing• Close links and overlaps in content• Student-centred with focus on changing needs, esp. in digital environment “the sheer act of just getting started on research assignments and defining a research inquiry was overwhelming for students”Head and Eisenberg 2010, p.2.
  • 6. Why? - Blending Academic and Information Literacies• Embedding of both is critical (working with Faculties)• Division can be confusing to staff and students in practical terms “This blended model allows intelligent connections across the planning, resourcing and implementation of student-facing support, and places the onus for service and support sensemaking on the institution rather than the student.”Peacock 2011, p.2
  • 7. Curriculum review at Leeds UniversityCore of all Core threads in Providing wider Bringingprogrammes: the curriculum: opportunities together Leeds• Research- • Employability within the experience, curriculum: including extra- based • Global & curricula: learning cultural • 10 insight broadening • 19 Leeds for • Ethics & strands Life skills responsibility
  • 8. Changes at Leeds University LibraryAcademic Skills, including Maths,transferred into the Library in 2006• IL Team already existed in Library, as well as Faculty Teams Bring skills strategy and delivery together and address overlaps • Strategy – Structure - Delivery
  • 9. Strategy, Structure & DeliveryStrategy: for Academic Skills, to replace the IL StrategyStructure: teams and rolesDelivery: changes needed to deliver the strategy
  • 10. Academic Skills Strategy “The aim is that by 2015 all Faculty Team Librarians will be able to deliver the full range of academic skills, with the exception of Maths support. The Skills@Library Team will provide strategic direction and a high level of support to both Faculty Team Librarians and academic staff for this, particularly in the area of learning technologies”Leeds University Library 2010 Academic Skills Strategy
  • 11. What? Academic Skills Strategy• Central team leads AS activities• FTLs deliver AS in curriculum• Work with academic staff and provide support for them• IL is part of a broader set of academic skills: “Academic skills are those generic and transferable skills which underpin the learning development of undergraduate and taught postgraduate students in higher education, enabling them to be confident, independent critical thinkers and reflective learners.”
  • 12. Why this approach? • Integrated IL / AS support • Student-centred service • Developmental, positive approach • Embedded, subject-specific • Collaborative: our teams with academic schools • Retains a single point of contact for schools • Fits into University curriculum initiatives
  • 13. Who? - Structure Learning & Research Support Faculty Team Faculty Team Faculty Team - CustomerSkills Team – Arts & Social – Science & Health Services Sciences Engineering Skills@LibraryLeeds University Library Organisational Chart
  • 14. Skills@LibraryWho? - Structure Skills Team : Faculty Teams: generic subject support support In-curriculum Workshops teaching Website & Subject- specific e- e-learning learning 1 to 1 support 1 to 1 support
  • 15. How? – Service delivery: initial steps Involving staff: Involving students: - Consultation re in- - Expand e-learning curriculum teaching tutorials - Improved support through - Retain generic workshop Lecturer webpages, ULTA programme & staff workshops - Survey of needs
  • 16. How? – Service delivery case studies1. Using or adapting generic online resources to support / replace face-to-face teaching2. Working closely with academic staff to develop a package of support which they help deliver3. Providing support for staff to deliver academic skills themselves
  • 17. Using generic online resources• Library Guide has replaced long face-to-face induction sessions: used nearly 3,000 times in 2 weeks• Harvard tutorial used over 10,000 in 5 months!
  • 18. Adapting generic online resources Rethinking support for distance-learners and final year projects / dissertations
  • 19. In-curriculumteaching Academic Skills Academic Officer Staff in a School Faculty Team Librarian Face-to-face teaching & online support via VLE provided jointly. AS Officer inputs initially then hands-over to FTL and academic staff.
  • 20. Support for academic staff• Lecturer webpages: generic teaching materials (lesson plans, powerpoints, activities) – Used by librarians and academics• Workshops – ULTA (University Teaching Award) – Generic: open to any staff member
  • 21. What next?Define clearly skills / competencies supported at different levelsContinue to identify gaps in our provisionDevise measures to monitor progressReview subject librarian role
  • 22. Questions / comments Helen Howard Skills@Library University of Leeds 0113 3434983 @helhoward
  • 23. References• Association of Graduate Recruiters. 2010. Talent, opportunity, prosperity. A manifesto for graduate recruitment :• Head, A. J. and Eisenberg, M.B. 2010. Truth be told: how college students evaluate and use information in the digital age. Project information literacy progress report:• Howard, H. 2012. Looking to the future: Developing an academic skills strategy to ensure information literacy thrives in a changing higher education world. Journal of information literacy, 6(1), pp. 72-81.• King’s-Warwick Project. 2010. Creating a 21st century curriculum: %20Creating%20a%2021st%20Century%20Curriculum%20-%20summary%20report.pdf• Peacock, Judith A. (2011) Integrated literacies : every online player wins a prize. In Proceedings of 15th Australian Library and Information Association (ALIA) Information Online Conference, ALIA, Sydney Convention and Exhibition Centre, Sydney, NSW.• Thornes, S. L. 2012. Creating an online tutorial to support information literacy and academic skills development. Journal of information literacy, 6(1), pp. 82-95.