LAS Training and Instruction Librarian’s Group - Practical prep for practice
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LAS Training and Instruction Librarian’s Group - Practical prep for practice

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PechaKucha presentation by Charlotte Gill (Head, Law Library and Research Librarian, Singapore Management University) at Information Literacy Seminar in Li Ka Shing Library, SMU on July 20, 2012

PechaKucha presentation by Charlotte Gill (Head, Law Library and Research Librarian, Singapore Management University) at Information Literacy Seminar in Li Ka Shing Library, SMU on July 20, 2012

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  • The challenge is making sure the students don’t look like clowns in the office. We want SUPER interns! We want individuals who know their way around a law library (print and e) not just the photocopy machine, who can adapt, individuals who work systematically, efficiently, exhaust all resources, know their boolean and can analyse, syntheize and present.
  • Part of the problem is students are dropped into a harsh and unfamiliar environment. There may be tough conditions, no cushy office, no computer, no library, no internet….No directions given or tools to navigate the surroundings, left to work independently and find their own way. Thirsty for the wealth of resources they once had in their university library. Believing Google was their oasis only to find it was a mirage. Racing against time to find a solution. Worst of all…there was no brilliant law librarian to save them.
  • They needed help with reviewing and practising what they had learnt in earlier research classes. They needed new skills for this new “real world” environment. They needed help bridging the gap from academic research to practice type research, and applying theory to real world situations. To learn to be resourceful and adapt to new situations. The solution: An Internship Prep Workshop
  • Law students start with a basic skills training for legal research as part of their first year foundation. This is followed by compulsory Legal research training for the first 5 weeks of their legal research and writing course. This is a core course that all law students must take in their first year. The problem was they were rusty by the time they finished second year and up to this point, the research training skills focused on academic research rather than practice. The solution: An Internship Prep Workshop
  • It would be anintensive 2 hour workshop held at the Supreme Court Library. We offered 5 classes limited to 16 participants each to maximise interaction.. The idea was to simulate the law firm office experience they would encounter. They had to orientate and adapt quickly to work. It simulated the same formal work environment. Office attire dress code was enforced and punctuality was required. There was limited internet access, different library systems, different layout, different collection, different everything.
  • In this controlled environment where we could test and observe their behaviour. The students were divided intogroups and each group was assigned a different research task. The aim was to design each question such that it covered practice type tasks on topics they knew little or nothing about. It required them to use of print and e-resources, paid and free resources. All the research tasks could not been done with Wikipedia and Google alone.
  • Started with briefrefresher on research strategy and processGroups were then assigned their research topic.60 mins to complete theirresearch and document their work on a flip chart.5 mins to presentFeedback and comments from the floorSuggested solutions and observations from the facilitatiorsKey take aways
  • They were required to present the process not produce the final product.For instance in a will drafting task, they were required to explain how they approached researching for the information they needed in order to complete the task not actually draft a will. So they had to present their strategy, the resources they used, why they used them, how they used them, if they were useful or not and questions they may have needed to ask. Reflections on positive and negative experiences of the exercise.
  • The librarians acted as facilitators, providing guidance during the exercise and observing the students. They were evaluated on their research approach, their ability to identify issues and concepts, to plan their research, to communicate and work as a team, to work efficiently by dividing up work, time management and their presentation.
  • Overall they did well although they needed guidance. They embraced the activity and were very engaged. Some came up with very creative and resourceful ways of tackling the research problems. Despite the refresher they were overly dependent on Google or online databases. They were fixated with using their computers. Adverse to print. Shy to ask questions. Didn’t instinctively explore the resources in the Supreme Court Library available to them. Felt like I had to poke them with a cattle iron to get them to move sometimes.
  • Research guidesSlidesEmailsFacebook and Twitter
  • Students allowed to bring their laptops but Library also provided each group with an iPad.These were loaded with law specific apps. Found the apps not so useful.However groups did use the iPad browser to access resources. They enjoyed the mobility of being able to carry the iPad with them between floors in the Library while they did their research.
  • We received excellent ratings for the workshop. This is the second year we have run the programme at the Supreme Court Library. 00% thought is was excellent or good. And this went up from last year. Similarly when students were asked if they felt they benefited from the session. The large majority strongly agreed they benefited from the session.
  • Practical hands-on session does help us know what we don't knowVery informative about existing research guides available. The comment/feedback session after each presentation. It offered a varied pool of possible research sources. Hands on practice on solving and research on a legalGreat that the legal problems are from unfamiliar areas of law. Forces us to be flexible.Didn’t like: Too long Too shortSmall tablePoor internet accessNeed toilet breakCannot drink waterI felt quite intrusive when using the library and perhaps an after-hours session, like weekend/evening slot might be better. problem.
  • How we saved lives!When faced with a seemingly impossible situation and research area they know nothing about we taught them to remember:Don’t panic!GO back to basics and follow the research processBe resourceful and you will live to see another day.
  • Let them fail. During the facilitation, we answered their questions with guiding questions rather than give them the answer. We did not correct them if they went down the wrong path. This way they really got the message that Google is not the answer to everything. Make it hands on , interactive and engaging Simulate the real world environment as much as possible. Teach them to ask questions. Keep calm and carry on.
  • New challenges. Collaborate with industry to find out where the gaps are in terms of their skills. Develop more ways of accessing impactPre & post surveyThink about how to improve the overall Curriculum so we produce skilled professionals at the end of 4 years not just skilled students.

LAS Training and Instruction Librarian’s Group - Practical prep for practice LAS Training and Instruction Librarian’s Group - Practical prep for practice Presentation Transcript

  • Practical Prep for Practice Equipping law students with the research skills to survive in the wild. Charlotte Gill Head, Law Library and Research Librarian Li Ka Shing Library Singapore Management University 20th July 2012© Copyright 2012 Singapore Management University, Li Ka Shing Library. All Rights Reserved
  • The Goal© Copyright 2011 Singapore Management University, Li Ka Shing Library. All Rights Reserved
  • The Challenge
  • Search & Rescue
  • Learning Pyramid Research Individual/ Small Group Consultations Facilitation Subject or Topic Related Research Librarian InitiatedThematic Sessions Internship Prep Workshop Course Related Research Librarian and FacultyIn-Class Sessions Collaboration Legal Research & Writing Library Overview (Compulsory)Library Orientation Library Initiated Intro to basic legal research
  • Survival Skills Boot Camp
  • Learning Lab
  • Practice Drill
  • Process© Copyright 2011 Singapore Management University, Li Ka Shing Library. All Rights Reserved
  • Assessment
  • Observations
  • ToolsLegal Internship Research Toolkit
  • iPads & apps© Copyright 2011 Singapore Management University, Li Ka Shing Library. All Rights Reserved
  • Our challengesThis is a file from the Wikimedia Commons. Information from its description page
  • Feedback Overall, how would you rate this session?80.00%70.00% 69%60.00%50.00%40.00% 2011 201230.00% 31%20.00%10.00% 0 00.00% Excellent Good Average Poor © Copyright 2011 Singapore Management University, Li Ka Shing Library. All Rights Reserved
  • What they loved…
  • Saving Lives
  • Let them fail
  • Taking itto the next level!
  • Couldn’t have done it without… Joseph Kennedy Rajen Munoo Yuyun Wirawati Ishak Priyanka Sharma Janelle Chin Cheryl Ng Supreme Court Library SMU School of Law You can find me at: charlotteg@smu.edu.sg