Developing Health Sciences students’ information skills through online self-paced learning


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Initial feedback on a cross cohort evaluation of an online self-paced information skills programme in three second year health sciences programmes at the Unviersity of Otago: Medicine, Pharmacy and Physiotherapy. Presented at Spotlight on Teaching 2013, University of Otago.

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  • Some of you may be familiar with the HSFY StudySmart resources. This is not the same. This is a course specifically designed for specific cohorts of 2nd year students within the Health Sciences.First discussed at CSC in 2011 -
  • While not compulsory, it is strongly recommendedWe REPLACED rather than added to the curriculumMention Mark Brauntons – enormity quantity of informationRuth Napper’s– teaching our students to learn how to learn
  • For this study we’ve used 3 cohorts only.
  • The course consists of four core topics (butwe currently have 7 topics in our pool of resources.)Within each topic there’s a series of tasks, and a quiz at the end of the topic that relates to the task content. The number of topics and tasks are chosen in collaboration with the course convenor to tailor the content to best fit within their programme. We are able to create Topics and tasks depending on requirements.Four core topics are:Topic 1:The Library and how it can help youTopic 2:The basics of finding informationTopic 3: How to find quality sources of informationTopic 4:Developing good search techniques and learning about databasesAlsoEndnoteNote taking and essay wirintg
  • Each task comprises brief instructions, something to watch or interact with, and something to do to reinforce what has been observedREUSING content in a new context! RLO OERsAt the end of each topic is a short quiz - you need to get at least 80% to passYou can resit the quiz as often as you likeYou must pass the quiz in order to access the next topic. Immediate feedback – need to work on this howeverTopic 3: In this module, you’ll be looking at how to evaluate information. As part of this we’ll also be looking at how to use information in an ethical way by learning about plagiarism, copyright and referencing.Task 1: The difference between databases and search enginesTask 2: evaluating informationTask 3: CopyrightTask 4: PlagiarismTask 5: Citation styles
  • Results of likert scale from end of course evaluation : question about perceived increase in knowledge and understanding of Topic 4Topic 4: Asked students to construct a search strategy and to find out about the difference between keywords and subject headings, and how to search databases effectively.Our results are fairly recent so we haven’t had a chance to analyse them in depth but…..We can see that the PHTY and PHCY students had a greater gain in knowledge and understanding that the Medical students. Possible reason for this is that the Medical students had a search strategy exercise earlier in the year in one of their integrated cases.
  • This graph shows an analysis of the qualitative feedback we received from all three cohorts.We sorted the most valuable and least valuable comments into themes and then coded these themes from 1-8. From the graph we can see that students identified the tasks about research skills as the most valuable 47% (121). This was followed by specific content (eg hierarchies of evidence or referencing) 30% (49), and Library resources and services 12% (31).From the graph we can see that the least valuable aspects of the tasks were to do with specific content (eg where is the medical library), prior knowledge, and format of the course. Very few students found no value in the research skills, which is heartening!The following slides show examples of some of the qualitative comments from students – both positive and negative.We still need to compare most v least across cohorts too NOTESMost valuable n-257, least valuable n=2731 = Content2 = Format3 = Library resources & Services4 = Research Skills5 = Time6 = prior knowledge7 = no response8 = positive / negative
  • Developing Health Sciences students’ information skills through online self-paced learning

    1. 1. Developing Health Sciences students’ information skills through online self-paced learning Sarah Gallagher & Trish Leishman University of Otago Health Sciences Library
    2. 2. What is it? • StudySmart is an online information skills course designed by the Health Sciences Library staff embedded in a LMS • It is designed to orient students’ to resources and services available through the Health Sciences Library
    3. 3. Why is it relevant? • Timed to help students develop skills required for their assignments • Designed to help students develop skills for lifelong learning • Meets Information literacy requirements of the University’s Graduate Attributes
    4. 4. Background • Replaced a series of 4 x 2hr labs in ELM2 from 2012 • Replaced a series of 4 x 2hr labs in PHCY & PHTY in 2013 • DENT = new collaboration • Reasons for moving online: –increase in student numbers –Library teaching was asynchronous with curriculum
    5. 5. How we did it • Approached course convenors, relevant lecturers/academics • Presented to undergraduate committees for 2nd year students • Results of 2012 pilot provided evidential basis • Chose appropriate course topics in collaboration with the lecturers from a pool of resources we had developed • Discussed assessment and terms requirements
    6. 6. How does it work? • Course is open for an agreed period of time • Students do it in self-directed learning time • (4-6) topics • (4-6) quizzes –Pass the quizzes by 80% to progress to next topic (you can attempt the quiz as often as you like) –Complete the evaluation
    7. 7. EXAMPLE: Topic (Moodle)
    8. 8. EXAMPLE: Task (Blackboard) Instructions & resources Video
    9. 9. Publicity • StudySmart introduced to classes early in Semester 1 as part of a shared lecture • Announcements on Moodle/Blackboard • Promoted via plasma screens, posters Subject Guides, lecturers • Email students who haven’t completed to remind them about ‘terms requirement’
    10. 10. Evaluation • Students were asked to complete an online evaluation form • Likert Scale to measure the student’s perceived increase in knowledge and understanding of the topic • General feedback identifying the most valuable and least valuable aspects of the course
    11. 11. Cohort Assessment N students partial completion N students completion % students completion N students evaluation % students evaluation 2013 ELM2 Terms requirement n=285/28 6 n=273/286 95 n=86/286 30 2013 PHCY Workshop n=5/155 n=145/155 93 n=93/155 60 2013 PHTY Terms requirement n= 0/105 n=97/105 92 n=70/105 66 Table: mode of assessment, numbers of students completion rate of the course, and numbers of students completion of the evaluation Cohorts evaluated
    12. 12. Graph: Students’ own perceived increase in knowledge and understanding of the topic 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% 1 2 3 4 5 Responses "Scale: 1= no gain 5= great gain" Combined responses across Topic 4 PHTY PHCY ELM2
    13. 13. 0% 5% 10% 15% 20% 25% 30% 35% 40% 45% 50% Content Format Library Resources & Services Research skills Time Prior knowledge No Theme Negative / Positive Numberofrespondentsacrossthreecohorts Thematic analysis of qualitative feedback Most valuable Least valuable
    14. 14. Source: Tulane Public Relations Some thoughts about StudySmart “Showing us how to use the databases is a VERY good idea I believe as this is an important skill, especially for the lifelong learning in medicine and being able to access respected journals readily.”
    15. 15. Source: University of Otago Some thoughts about StudySmart “It was easy to follow, didn't take too long to do, exposed me to different search strategies that I wasn't aware of through the library website.”
    16. 16. Source: University of Otago “I have never had to cite anything in a research sense, and was not fully aware of copyright laws. This was really helpful to show me why and when I need to cite and then how also to do this.” Some thoughts about StudySmart
    17. 17. Source: University of Otago “Very well organised, covers everything, makes you feel welcomed to ask for help if need be, medical library is a cosy library, was nice to have so much time to complete studysmart.” Some thoughts about StudySmart
    18. 18. Some thoughts about StudySmart “Already had previous experience using the library so didn’t find that this tool was useful for myself however if I had never used the library I believe that it would be of great assistance.”
    19. 19. Source: University of Otago Some thoughts about StudySmart “How long the videos were. Couldn't pay attention.”
    20. 20. Source: University of Nottingham Some thoughts about StudySmart “Being an online, compulsory course made the StudySmart program feel like a chore. I think the information you were trying to get across is valuable, but this was not a constructive way to teach it.”
    21. 21. Some thoughts about StudySmart “I didn't really find the hierarchies of evidence to be as useful as the other topics.”
    22. 22. Critical factors • Academic support for compulsory / terms requirement to ensure student buy-in • Cohorts need examples that are relevant to them in the tasks • Needs to be relevant and tied to in course assessment (eg essay / report) • Recognition that some students have prior knowledge & the course may be a refresher only for some
    23. 23. 2014+ • Make adjustments to the course based on student and staff feedback • Continue with current cohorts • Introduce StudySmart to the remaining health science courses eg Oral Health • Approach biomedical sciences (non- professional courses) • Alternate content types eg summary document • More analysis! PG v HSFY, cohort v cohort, pilot v ELM2
    24. 24. Thank you! Sarah Gallagher Trish Leishman We’d like to acknowledge our colleagues: Richard German, Sue Weddell, Judy Fisher, Dr Phil Blyth & Dr Tony Barrett