Ella Mitchell from the University of East London gave a lightening talk on an award winning project at UEL. Info skills is a site that guides students through the initial stages of their assignment research, using a variety of media and resources.
Erica 10 mins:Run through the key stages of the development process very quickly.Getting funding – from Academic Practice and Student ExperienceSetting up project team - Team of 5 (Associate director, 2x Subject Librarians, e-learning designer, project manager (learning technologist) Consultations – sessions with students and Subject Librarian teamHigh level design – linkContent map – linkPrototype – created a very small rough working site, showing hownavigation would work and links to a few pages and key resourcesDetailed design – using feedback from prototype evaluationContent collection from SMEs – Subject Librarians asked to complete pro-formas with text, key points, links, example resources etc for each section. Variety of approaches, some gave almost finished content, others outline of areas to cover but was all vital part of the process.Intensive development (web design – video production – guides – demonstrations – quizzes - writing pages) – all these activities proceeding concurrently with regular communication between all partiesUploading content – able to do this ourselves as the web design company gave us the ‘empty’ site with the CMS tool to populate itSummative evaluations – Mainly Library staff, unable to get students or academics due to timing but ideally would have got their feedback at this point prior to final version alsoFinal version and launch – incorporating changes from evaluation, added Creative Commons licenseMarketing – range of actions and material, ongoingNext step - Evaluation follow-up planned Sem A with wider group of academics and students, esp the Level 1 target groupThe really key things in the process that underpinned success were:CollaborationThe collaborative nature of the whole project –different skills on the team very important , Library staff acting as SMEs for information skills and the library tools and student needs, e-learning staff for design/development of the resource and project managing the process, some crossover as well.Involving the wider Library team (and some other UEL professionals eg head of academic integrity, student liaison officer) to provide the raw content, appear in the videos and create some of the resources was as important for buy-in as it was for the actual content. Iterative process – continual review and evaluationLooking back it’s never as tidy or step-by-step as this, often several things going on at once and continual review and discussion within the team leading to many iterations of everything – the structure, the graphic design, individual resources and pages. Good communication and project management with regular meetings and reviews allow it to be a flexible process but kept on track within an overall milestone timeline.
Prompt questions for discussion if needed:What do you think of it overall?How does it compare to your resources?Plus pointsMinus pointsAnything missing?Any improvementsHow might you use it?How far do you think it might meet the needs of students in transition from FE?
We have had a soft launch of the project already in Sem B 2011. But are ramping up for a full launch in Sept..If funding becomes available then we would very much like to look into designing more compatible quizzes with mobile devices.The site has been signed off and we now have access to the site and CMS. It is not designed to be a static site. We are thinking about ways to enhance and develop the site in future. We are interested in developing more content for the site. We are very interested to hear from students and users of the site about what they like/don’t like about the site. We are looking to conduct further evaluation and ways to encourage feedback on the site.Already the site is attracting a lot of interest in the university and there is a project group working to develop a similar tool with a wider academic skills remit in line with the new skills curriculum that is being developed in the university.
UEL Info skills
ALRGInfo skills @ UELElla Mitchell9th May 2012 www.uel.ac.uk/infoskills
Info skills…. Info skills is an award winning online resource which guides undergraduates through researching their first assignment, with emphasis on identifying, finding and evaluating information and referencing
The origins:• At UEL a resource developed by Employability Unit: „Get that Job‟• Established a precedent• Brand• Open
Why the Library felt a need for theresource:• What we had was good but cumbersome to find• Wanted highlight key information for students tackling their first assignment in an easy to navigate structure• A resource to suit different learning needs of our students and students that are not always on campus• We wanted a refresher for students• Available 24/7 to match many of our services and to meet students‟ expectations• A resource that was not too dictatorial: to suit our „strategic learners‟
Why this approach?• Focus on level one learners due to cost and time restrictions• Information skills and academic integrity the priority• Making information skills relevant to the student / assignment-focussed• Students sometimes respond better to their fellow students- different media and use of different voices on the resource• Professional-looking resource, students have higher expectations• Student choice about where, when and how they access help and support: “dark recesses of their bedroom” www.uel.ac.uk/infoskills
Inspiration….• Staffordshire Assignment Survival Kit• Cardiff Information Literacy Resource Bank• Leeds Skills@Library• OU Safari There are many other examples of good practice in this area. www.uel.ac.uk/infoskills
How we did it• Getting funding• Setting up project team• Consultations• High level design• Content map• Prototype• Detailed design• Content collection from SMEs• Intensive development – web design – video production – guides – demonstrations – quizzes - writing pages• Uploading content• Summative evaluations• Final version and launch• Copyright• Marketing www.uel.ac.uk/infoskills
Creative commons • This is an Open Access Educational Resource. • Videos on Youtube: can link to, embed etc. • PDFs downloadable • It is openly available on the internet. =Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlikehttp://creativecommons.org/licenses/ [accessed 30th March]
What do users think?• “Found Info skills very useful – great idea to put it all together” D. Patel UEL student• “It makes me feel like you care about my education” UEL Student• “I have had another look at your Info skills pages and they are very impressive” K. Virdee, Academic Liaison Librarian• “p.s. I only discovered the eBook thanks to the InfoSkills website - very useful!” An e-mail from a student support officer, at one of our collaborative partnership institutions.• „UEL‟s new information literacy site looks good. Does what it says on the tin.‟ Tweet• “Some of the questions on plagiarism [quiz] for example really got the students talking and debating - particularly self-plagiarism” Module leader for VT1013 Study Skills• Library staff have been using the site and there has been some good feedback from students in information skills sessions. Lecturers have also been using the site and noting the resource in course materials. www.uel.ac.uk/infoskills
What do users think: Would you Which sections of the site did you recommend Info skills find most useful? to a friend? 18 1630 1425 12 1020 8 615 410 2 0 5 Identifying Finding Evaluating Referencing information information information information 0 Yes No How would you rate this site? 16 14 12 10 8 6 4 2 0 Excellent Good Satisfactory Poor Very poor
Visitor Overview 3000 2500 2000 1500 1000 Number of visits 500 Number of absolute 0 unique visitorsSource: Usage statistics from Google analytics collated by UEL LLS
Impact:• The usage figures seem to be consistently high with peak around assignment time.• Info skills has been integrated by many of the skills module leaders at UEL.• Business, Health and Bioscience, Psychology, Arts and Digital Industries and Architecture, Computing and Engineering all use Info skills in the level one skills module.
Looking to the future:• The site has been running since Sept 2011• The usage statistics are strong, however need continued marketing to promote use.• Develop more multimedia content- currently the subject team are working to produce quizzes• Continuing collaboration with UEL Connect• Conduct further evaluation- possibly looking into the wider use of Info skills- more focused on academics use• Study skills branding at UEL: next project Write it right…. www.uel.ac.uk/infoskills
Info skills @ UELThank you!Ella Mitchell: firstname.lastname@example.org www.uel.ac.uk/infoskills