Collaboration and partnership:         developing the Academic         Skills Centre at the University         of Birmingh...
 Background Benchmarking  – Internal  – External What we did based on the benchmarking How we collaborated How we see...
Background   Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education review of    academic support for UGs   University-wide project (team inc...
Benchmarking: key questions What does an ASC  look like? What are we already  doing at UoB? Where is the best  practice...
Benchmarking – Internal   Questioned 2 groups:    – Academics    – Central support services including library      Subjec...
Benchmarking – Internal academics Varied, depending on subject Overall, very good Challenges: large class sizes, physic...
Benchmarking – Internal centralservices Central provision varied All use blended approach Challenges: academic buy-in, ...
Benchmarking – Central services
Benchmarking - External   Survey of other UK universities:    – Focussed on good practice in a variety of      other inst...
Benchmarking - External   Survey was piloted with two Russell Group    institutions (big thanks to Leeds and Oxford!)   ...
Benchmarking - External   8 non-Russell Group universities and 6    Russell Group universities responded.   The survey w...
Benchmarking - External Embedding skills is key Located with library service Good provision of skills through websites...
What we did next: organisation Used results to draw up organisation Advisory boards New division to work alongside libr...
What we did: identity ASC  became part of  Library Services Located in Main  Library New website with  course bookings ...
What we did   Developed curriculum based on    external/internal best practice   Introduced generic workshops for 1st ye...
What we didn’t expect to do!   Supported lots of 2nd and 3rd years   Re-wrote our administrative systems
Collaboration   Developed joined-up approach with:    – Librarians and other library staff re      Transition Review    –...
Collaboration   Promote via various networks embedding    Information Literacy and Academic Skills for    enhancement – i...
Future Review first year Joint development of teaching resources with  librarians Work with students for peer to peer l...
Further information   https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/libraryservices/asc   Rachel Wood r.wood@bham.ac.uk
Wood - Collaboration and partnership: developing the Academic Skills Centre at the University of Birmingham
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  • PVC recognised importance of locating ASC in library from first meeting .
  • Into curriculum is preferable (even though this approach is widely acknowledged to be more challenging) to an add-on service. More common for academics to include study skills in subject content in non-Russell Group institutions, with exception of Professional Skills Buy-in from academic departments was key in both Groups for pragmatic and financial reasons. Matching demand to central resources was problematic. No institution has successfully managed the gap between resources and demand; therefore provision continually reviewed. High quality web materials for self-directed learning have potential to be crucial mitigating factor.
  • Transition Review was a process by which ALL 1 st years met with their personal tutor to discuss how they have made the transition from 6 th form to HE.
  • Wood - Collaboration and partnership: developing the Academic Skills Centre at the University of Birmingham

    1. 1. Collaboration and partnership: developing the Academic Skills Centre at the University of BirminghamRachel Wood, Academic Skills CentreMarch 2013
    2. 2.  Background Benchmarking – Internal – External What we did based on the benchmarking How we collaborated How we see the future
    3. 3. Background Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education review of academic support for UGs University-wide project (team included librarian) – Implemented in March 2012 Centre was introduced in September 2012 – Supports mathematics, general academic skills and writing.
    4. 4. Benchmarking: key questions What does an ASC look like? What are we already doing at UoB? Where is the best practice elsewhere? What do we need to do?
    5. 5. Benchmarking – Internal Questioned 2 groups: – Academics – Central support services including library Subject Advisors Key question: what academic skills do you provide?
    6. 6. Benchmarking – Internal academics Varied, depending on subject Overall, very good Challenges: large class sizes, physical and time resources Good practice: embedding study skills into curriculum, use of peer feedback
    7. 7. Benchmarking – Internal centralservices Central provision varied All use blended approach Challenges: academic buy-in, embedding into curriculum Good practice: IL in Dentistry
    8. 8. Benchmarking – Central services
    9. 9. Benchmarking - External Survey of other UK universities: – Focussed on good practice in a variety of other institutions – Sample comprised of 17 institutions (Russell Group and non-Russell Group)
    10. 10. Benchmarking - External Survey was piloted with two Russell Group institutions (big thanks to Leeds and Oxford!) Used Survey Monkey ® software In April and May 2012 a tailored e-mail was sent to library or academic skills contacts
    11. 11. Benchmarking - External 8 non-Russell Group universities and 6 Russell Group universities responded. The survey was followed up with six semi structured telephone interviews.
    12. 12. Benchmarking - External Embedding skills is key Located with library service Good provision of skills through websites Scalability Ownership – central vs. academic Providers – academics, librarians Resources Evaluation of skills support
    13. 13. What we did next: organisation Used results to draw up organisation Advisory boards New division to work alongside librarians Academic Skills Centre Skills Development Manager Rachel Wood Academic Skills Team Projects Officer (Skills) Michael Stanford Writing Skills Advisor Helen Cooper Learning Skills Advisors Stephen Griffin (p/t) Beverley Maynard (p/t) Michael Shoolbred (p/t)
    14. 14. What we did: identity ASC became part of Library Services Located in Main Library New website with course bookings and online resources
    15. 15. What we did Developed curriculum based on external/internal best practice Introduced generic workshops for 1st years: learning in HE, writing, note taking and critical reading Collaborate with library staff to run joint activities
    16. 16. What we didn’t expect to do! Supported lots of 2nd and 3rd years Re-wrote our administrative systems
    17. 17. Collaboration Developed joined-up approach with: – Librarians and other library staff re Transition Review – Academics to run sessions on our behalf (academic writing) and their behalf (group work) – Joint Librarian/ASC sessions
    18. 18. Collaboration Promote via various networks embedding Information Literacy and Academic Skills for enhancement – ie support/ development for all.
    19. 19. Future Review first year Joint development of teaching resources with librarians Work with students for peer to peer learning Embed in the curriculum Focus on online delivery
    20. 20. Further information https://intranet.birmingham.ac.uk/as/libraryservices/asc Rachel Wood r.wood@bham.ac.uk
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