Introductions? (if necessary)Looking at Art & Design students and how we approached information literacy skills workshops for students
Specifically looking at issues to do with art and design based students Some of these factors may well be relevant to other students in other disciplines
Students are obviously very visual Don’t respond well to ‘librarianly’ approach Short attention span if content seems not to be relevant – but able to sustain concentration if it does Often have a real curiosity and desire to investigate if inspired especially by ‘things’ and primary materials Varying level of ability in library skills – some direct entry/ mature students who may have had more experience using libs some very little
Browsing for inspiration and ideas and even “grazing” but students are expected to research properly and provide a provenance to their information gathering Briefs are often set so students personally interpret an idea and develop it in their own way Students don’t respond to a “librarianly” approach High proportion of dyslexic students in creative subjects who are not good at working in the abstractNeed “hands on” experience and testing things out especially again with primary material Often used (or will get used) to a “crit” based way of working, discussing and scrutinizing
In the last few years students had moved from a specialist Art & Design campus and library to a multi-subject one Needed to feel ownership of the environment and facilities Needed to belongMore recently product design students have moved from a campus where their library resources were lost within a collection primarily concerned with education and performing artsTherefore library usage low – reluctant to leave their studiosHeavily reliant on internetNeed to make library at Hendon relevant to them, especially all the wonderful art & design resources already here.
Sheppard Library was originally set up as a text-based library Teaching rooms were good for “hands on” searching practice on PCs but sterile and uninspiring for art and design students Needed to make students aware of our special collections & resources and how they could be useful Although we used objects from the Special Colls in teaching & brought students down to the old Materials Room at the end of the sessions it was too brief and disconnected
Following activity I’m going to talk to you about how I designed workshops for 1st year UG studio-based (some direct entries) with these issues in mindWhat do the students really need to learn at this stage? The library extremely useful and relevant and can make a difference Full of interesting things Welcoming, accessible and easy to use with lots of self-service Staff friendly and approachable Where to find more information when they need itBEFORE I talk to you in detail about what I did – we’re going to have a break to do an activity.You’ve got a box of objects each and a sheet with instructions on. You’ve got about 15 mins and then you’re going to show something from each box to the rest of the group
All new students have to have the basic 15 min induction which their Liaison Lib giveswe need to follow this up with subject specificworkshops
You’re probably wondering how the box activity fits in here and I’m going to come on to thatFirst of all this roomWe noticed bringing students down to Mat Room they visibly relaxed and became enthusedThis space was refurbished last summer to allow teaching to take place as it was much more inspiring to offer teaching sessions in hereFull of interesting stuff so centre learning around the collections instead of talking bits & pieces out of room Good promotion of collections from start of course AV equipment installed Stools provided temporary stackable seating for different sized groups
Talk to tutors about initial briefs students working on to tie skills in with project to make useful & relevant Students would not be learning skills in the abstract but find useful items for project in session Timing is crucial – when they need to actually gather material & do the research usually first or 2nd week term (Alex Illustration student)
Describe workshop plan for 1st year studio-based art & design undergrads (make be some direct entry) Usually one or two weeks after Induction in Induction week so will have seen me already Students come into the room and work in small groups of three or four Start off by asking groups to discuss for a few minutes have they been in library much, one thing they’ve found out about the library (link with Induction), and one thing they don’t know (prior learning) (peer learning) asking students to explain things they’ve found out. Note things on board - students pay attention to each other Get one student to describe brief they have and ask where they all are with the project what type of information/material they need etc. Ask briefly about how they usually start researching Some may mention using libraries – mention Lib Cat Discuss brain-storming different search terms for the brief and put some of these on flip chart Obviously one problem with the room is no computers for “hands on”
Keeping the interactive element was really important Want to have a go and test out themselves not listen to & watch us (just watch tutors in a class to see this!) Show students on demo My UniHub and explain how to get to Library Catalogue Navigate themselves and use their own ways of searching rather than doing a demo Groups use ipads to find lib cat and search for at least one relevant book or item Ask two students who find something quickly to go into library and bring back one book & then explain what they did, field any questions and answer enquiries & demo any problems etc. So following through identifying item on cat to finding it on shelf
Next part of induction is related to exercise you didGroups given boxes of varied objects Intriguing items from special collsJournal from their subject areaGroups are asked to look at objects relevant again to project where this is possible– think what they are (in some instances) how they might be useful to students Be prepared to show at least one object to the rest of the class & talk about it for a momentStudents are then suggesting ideas themselves rather than me telling them, learning from each otherCreates an immediate awareness of the range we haveQuickly demo My UniHub & Library Subject Guide for further infoGo back to board to check off everything, follow up any questions by going into library ieSelf serviceMobile shelvingLocation of printingLocation of journals
Over the last few years have been changing the way I run workshops for PD studentsTraditional methods didn’t workHave worked closely with academic staff to redesign workshopsAcademic staff always attend workshopsMade some substantial changes following Sharon Markless workshop at CILIP in 2010 eg.allowing students to investigate the library and resources themselvesDeciding how they can use the library/how it will be usefulNot didactic, no instructionFurther inspired last summer when attended an ARLIS workshopPresentation by Alan Turner (Librarian for various arts subjects at Arts Uni Bournemouth)He has worked with academic staff on a project called ‘The Ideas Factory’ – all about making students curiousHave used some of his ideas to revamp my workshops for PD studentsWill now briefly describe what I’ve done......
1st session: Get students thinking about the range of resources available to them in the library:What we have: the range of resources that we have in the library to support art and design studentsWhy we have them: thinking about how our resources can inspire you and support your studiesWhat to use and when: understanding the value of resources in an academic context, and when to use different resourcesSession involves:Thinking about resources card game (Similar to what you saw this morning)Box of objects exercise – similar to what you have just done, but with extra questions to get them to identify the most interesting object and think about how they could find out more.This leads on to session 2.......
Session 2:Being curious: the need for research as a designerKeywords: how you are going to find the informationSearch tips: concentrating on how to search the internet effectivelySession includes:Discussion about the importance of researchKeyword exercise (we did this exercise this morning)Overview of search tips that can be used on internet and also in our resourcesThen ‘image exercise’ inspired by Alan Turner........
Students work in groupsEach group given a worksheet with one of these images. Asked to consider:What is it? Words you can use to describe it....think big, detail etcAlternative words/spellingsRelated subjectsStudents then research the image on the Internet, using search tipsNeed to feedback 5 interesting or surprising facts and explain how the processThis is followed by a real project . This year students given an eco-system to research eg. desert, tundra, rain forest etc. Have to identify and animal who lives there, identify a need, and meet this need through design.This is done in my workshop, so able to assist with keywords, searching, resources etc.
Session 3:Searching for information for your project (based on real student project) – let them investigate Summon and other resourcesEvaluating information – similar to what you saw this morning, but PD version
Collaborative projectFor 180 first year Fashion Directorate students visual culture (theoretical part of course)came about for various reasons Studio staff/visual culture staff were concerned about student research text-based and visual, quality, provenance of material Lots of re-hashing of poor quality internet research Exercise was linked to some key seminar readings on object analysis such as Valerie Steele Had collaborative meeting about project
Exploit and promote university’s special collections such as MoDA and library to the new studentsBoth have an online presence which means students could follow up their research
I’d created an image database for Fashion Collection with a database consortium
Materials Room – Prepared 6 objects from Fashion Collection (same at MoDA) students had to visit both Library/MoDA staff & tutors present Set them out with numbers as reference(no labels) Students given forms (each) in advance In groups students had 20 minutes to analyse one of the objects from a selected sample by completing section 1 (Description) of the form. Only allowed to take 1 photo at end, but could DRAWStaff could advise about the activity but not provide object information. Students were provided with (HAVE ONE OBJECT, GLOVES, TAPE)What happened after the visits? Fill in deduction & speculation parts laterAssessed piece of work using similar research approach to write a review of 800 words of a current exhibition from a selection of six focusing on 2 items or aspects of the exhibition, in the style of Fashion Theory journalLinks from studio practice to theoretical studies, from material to abstract How to move from research to academic writing improve skills of analysis and critical observation and start to place objects in historial context
Peter showed how he had completed the form
Went in to lecture with my colleague Peter Thomas
I gave a short presentation about how to find out more quality information about objects from authoritative sources
One of Peter’s slides to show how he described an object
Students were asked to complete sections 2&3 (Deduction & Speculation) of the form The final ‘Deduction’ question made me aware of myself as a presence in my researchIt drew my attention to the thoughts/associations that were shaping my answers and questions
‘Speculative text’ based on my notes and comparison with other hats on the fashion database- I didn’t read any written sources, so it’s still a pretty ‘me’ focused bit of writing- I admitted I was embarrassed to show it...it’s not ready for a reader yet It’s evidence of an interim stage in the writing process
Writing can be seen as a process of going publicProducing internal-facing thoughts/texts, working on them/trying them out, then presenting them to a external readerMy speculative text is from the second stage...it’s an attempt to shape some initial thoughtsI need to go back to the green stage to read now before making the text ready for a readerI will look for answers to the stuff I’m unsure about (quite a lot!!)
To support students in their writing – offered small workshops with Peter to find out how students were getting on with assessed writingInformal looking at where they were at, analysed exhibition review from Fashion TheoryTalked to them about where they could get more information.Eg one wanted info on the artist’s point of view- showed how to find interviews with artist on database there and then & printed them out Compared different exhibition reviews such as those in Time Out & Fashion Theory & tabloid/Guardian
Now it’s over to you!Group discussion: (chaired by Adam)?? Thought it would be useful to exchange ideas at this stage You may have some examples of successful workshops with students or where you have made positive changes or collaborations May also have ideas about adapting some of these ideas for other subject areas?
Library Special Collections
•Introduced to collections
•Improving writing skills
•Start with concrete and move to abstract
•Developing from personal to public
•Encourage analysis and observation
3400mm (h) x 5100mm (dia)
Red (cherry), fresh, bright red
70mm brim surrounding a round crown
Front edge of brim pulled up (65mm)
attached to crown - flat front
Tapered dart in middle (folded flat -
inverted triangle 20mm wide)
Some folds around brim look like rose petals/leaves
What other questions do you have about the object?
Was it a one-off, part of a small batch production, or mass
Where was it made...are there distinctive national/regional
What kind of hat is it...what style? Is it a ‘cloche’?
What are the different parts of it called?
Was it a popular style?
What do you think your deductions are based upon? Why do you
view this object in these particular way/s?
Thinking about my grandmother, (a buyer at Bourne and
Hollingsworth in 1910s-30s) the clothes she had, the attitudes
she had, and salary she earned, etc...wondering what she
might say about all my guesses.
It seems likely that the red hat was
designed in the 1930s, although it is
hard to decide. Hat styles appear to
get recycled quite readily, especially
more conventional, classic designs.
It draws on a playfulness of some
1920s designs, like the cloche, but
introduces some interesting formal
Comparing it with designs from
later, the red hat seems gentler than
strident and deliberately provocative
designs of the 40s, 50s and 60s.