My name is Rosemary Lynch and I now work as a Records Manager at the Parliamentary Archives, and While I was undertaking my Master's degree at the University of Liverpool from 2016 - 2017 I acted as a research assistant on the project which I will be talking about today. The project was convened by James Lowry BA MA (Hons) of the University of Liverpool and Dr Abiola Abioye BA LLB MAS of the University of Ibadan.
It aimed to assess Digital Curation Education at the Universities of Liverpool in the UK and of Ibadan in Nigeria against the benchmark in the sector.
I will begin by giving you some background about the universities with which we are concerned today which we chose because: At the University of Liverpool, the Archive Diploma in the Study of Records and Administration of Archives was established in 1947. The relevant department at the University of Ibabdan, the Library and Information Science (LIS) School, was also formed in the mid-twentieth century, in 1959.
By 1985, the Master in Archival Studies degree programme was introduced at Ibadan, while the university of Liverpool has offered a master's degree in archives and records management for a similar length of time, since 1983. This made the programmes eminently comparable. -, with support from the Fund for the International Development of Archives (FIDA) and in line with the broad aims of the International Council on Archives’ Africa Programme to support archival education.
Moving on now to the purposes and aims of the project:
This was undertaken for both archival education programmes with four main aims in mind: *measure and assess
To understand how the programmes compared with international good practice as articulated in digital curation curriculum frameworks To identify weaknesses in both programmes, which would inform the revision of curricula To identify further areas where a variety of teaching materials could be usefully shared between the universities And finally, to identify areas where new teaching materials were needed in both programmes in order to bring them up to standard.
Talk about methodology
The project team undertook a review of the digital curation literature in order to define the terms of reference for the project and establish a framework for assessing both archival education programmes. We were also advised by the ICA's Digital Records Expert Group.
The only model that suited the objectives and purposes of the project was DigCurV, a framework of digital curation knowledge which is widely accepted as the leading statement of professional skills in this area.
It was published in 2013 as the major output of the Digital Curator Vocational (DigCurV) Education Europe Project, funded by the European Commission Our project team interpreted the Framework and developed it for use as a data collection tool for measuring the skills taught in the two programmes.
*may have come across this before – for those of you who haven’t Now, to explain the specifics of the Framework itself. It covers four subject areas: Knowledge and Intellectual Abilities (KIA), including subject-specific knowledge and definitions, evaluation studies, and information and data skills. Now, what I found interesting and important was that the framework went beyond perhaps the immediate and obvious digital curation/preservation skills, The second domain of skills is Personal Qualities (PQ), including integrity, communication and advocacy skills, responsiveness to change and knowledge of regulatory requirements. Building on this, the Professional Conduct (PC) requirement included knowledge of regulatory compliance and ethics, principles and sustainability And finally, and perhaps something which is more relevant to those going into the management of digital curation and preservation, is Management and Quality Assurance (MQA), which involves knowledge of risk management, audit and certification, and resource management.
This is a very quick overview of the wide range of skills which DigCurV covers
For each individual skill requirement in these four areas, the project team assessed whether it was being covered by the programmes at Liverpool and Ibadan to a basic, intermediate or advanced level.
The first level of knowledge is ‘basic’. For example, one of the skills identified in the framework - under the 'Data Skills' subsection – is having an understanding of ‘Data Structures and Types’. The project concluded that students at the University of Ibadan were being taught an awareness of data structures and types – that is, to a basic level, while students at the University of Liverpool were not being taught this particular skill requirement at all (is there a reason why?) The second level of knowledge is intermediate. For example, staying in this subsection, the project discovered that students at the University of Liverpool understood ‘File types, applications and systems’ by the end of their course, while students at the University of Ibadan only had a basic awareness in this area. The final level of knowledge is advanced. In this subsection on Data Skills, the project team concluded that neither of the archival education programmes enabled their students to be able to put their skills into practice.
Before you start worrying about reading through the entirety of DigCurV, not everyone involved in digital curation needs to reach an advanced level in every skill requirement What the framework defines as three types of digital curation professionals - Practitioners, Managers and Executives - will in fact need to focus on different skill requirements For example, a Practitioner may be expected to have an advanced level of competency in a given skill (be able to perform the task) when an Executive may only be expected to have a basic level of competency in the same skill (be aware of). [Other skills may be more relevant to Executives: for example, in the section on Regulatory Compliance, the framework recommends that Managers and Practitioners Understand how to ‘contribute to the institutional regulatory framework in which digital repositories operate’, while Executives need to be able to carry this out]
The Liverpool & Ibadan courses are intended to prepare students for their first professional post; hence the project team hoped to find some evidence that teaching the skills were being taught to the level – which is defined in the framework, and more on this in a moment - as being appropriate to the Practitioner and/or Manager level of competency.
The project team decided early on that the programmes at Liverpool and at Ibadan had to be examined in their entirety. As should already have been made clear, the kind of skills that are outlined in DigCurV should be taught across the whole breadth of the Masters programmes, not just in digital modules.
This assessment was carried out in a 2-week working meeting at the University of Liverpool in March 2017.
I developed a matrix for the project team to use to assess the skill requirements, and how they were comparatively being fulfilled by the two programmes. I will take the example of the skill identifier in the 'PC' (Personal Conduct) domain, Adhere to principles of ethical conduct.. You can see that the framework recommends that both managers and executives are able to demonstrate this skill. (Include here a bit about what the ethical conduct actually is from DigCurV)
The project team concluded that the skill was taught to an advanced level at both universities. These conclusions for each skill identifier were reached by an analysis of the two programme’s documentation including module coursebooks and handbooks, reading lists and lecture slides.
However, during the preparation for the project, the team realised that analysis could be deepened and extended even further by examining whether these skills were also 'practiced' by students on both programmes - by examining lecture slides and lesson plans for evidence of in-class, participatory activities as well as exercise documentation and formal assessment requirements.
Finally, to assess whether each skill requirement was being 'tested' on the programmes, the project team reviewed the module handbooks for evidence of group work, projects, etc where feedback to students would be expected, and we reviewed the formal assessment requirements of modules.
As you can see, in this particular skill identifier, the University of Liverpool taught and practiced adherence to principles of ethical conduct while the programme at the University of Ibadan went further and included formal assessment of this skill in their programme.
Now, I’ve given you a few examples of the details of the different skill requirements that were assessed by the project team, and I can move onto the more general conclusions that were drawn at the end of the project.
KIA1.13 ‘Digital curation and preservation terminology’ is taught, practiced and tested at Liverpool to the extent that students are expected to be ‘able to’ use terminology appropriately. This is not taught at Ibadan and the recommendation is to share HIST566 and elements of HIST575 and HIST577.
One clear outcome was to identify clear areas where teaching materials could be shared between the universities.
Do a slide on each of these??
Material developed at Ibadan could usefully be shared with Liverpool, particularly relating to the assessment of students regarding ethical conduct, and also of teaching in the area of data skills as I mentioned previously.
There is also a range of material developed for the Liverpool course that could be shared with Ibadan, including knowledge of metadata standards and their application, and aligning digital curation workflows with compliance requirements. Other areas, for example in teaching international standards, will need to be rethought for Ibadan, where it may not always be possible to obtain copies of the standards due to the expense of purchasing from the International Standards Organisation…
Secondly, areas of skill and knowledge were identified where new materials are needed for both universities, and will hopefully be developed in partnership. These undertaught, future areas of digital curation knowledge will also provide a useful focus for an ICA training programme that is now in development.
These included, for example, evaluation studies, the ability to translate current digital curation knowledge into new services and tools, and future concerns about the study of the Energy consumption and carbon footprint of digital curation activity. One of the most important areas in which that baseline knowledge needed to be improved on both programmes was in basic computer science definitions and skills - this is not being inculcated in students on the Liverpool and Ibadan courses, and Both programmes need to work to increase student understanding in this key area.
A key broad outcome to consider from this project was around leadership – we were, after all, not only considering the education of the next generation of digital curation practitioners but also future managers and leaders. Other archival education programmes may also benefit from asking, ‘what are the leadership expectations for new graduates in the archives and record-keeping field in our respective countries, and how can our programmes best encourage the development of leadership traits in students?’
As a result of this curriculum review, a set of recommendations were drawn up for universities as well as for the ICA’s Africa Programme Steering Committee, which is involved with a number of activities relevant to digital curation teaching and curriculum review, and in a position to positively implement these recommendations.
The specific findings of this project are of particular relevance to the two universities involved, but the methodology, and in particular the data collection matrix, could be of value to other digital curation educators who wish to use a focused method to align their programmes with the knowledge and skill requirements of practice. Apart from identifying gaps in curricula, the matrix allows users to ensure that educational programmes are delivering at the right level of skill or knowledge for the level of practice or management expected of graduates. For the digital curation educator, the matrix encourages reflection about the alignment of teaching with assessment through the ‘taught, practiced, tested’ elements.
It will be shared on the ICA's website to facilitate this outcome.
It is worth noting that the methodology and matrix may also be useful to practitioners who wish to audit their own skills and knowledge.
If you would like to know more about the project, please contact any of the project team. I'll leave those up on the screen for a few moments as I wrap up.
The Liverpool and Ibadan courses have continued to evolve since they were both established in the mid-20th century. It is clear from this exercise in benchmarking that they will both need to continue to evolve in order to meet the skill and knowledge requirements of digital curation. The Ibadan / Liverpool Digital Curation Curriculum Review Project was a useful way for plotting the next steps in the course of that evolution.
Thank you for listening.
Rosemary Lynch: the DigCurv Curriculum Framework
BENCHMARKING USING THE DIGCURV
Education at the
• Comparing with international good practice
• Identifying weaknesses
• Identifying areas in which materials can be shared
• Identifying areas in which new material needs to be
METHODOLOGY: THE DIGCURV
LEVELS OF DIGITAL CURATION
• Basic – is aware of
• Intermediate – Understands
• Advanced – Is Able To
METHODOLOGY: THE DIGCURV
METHODOLOGY: ASSESSING THE
PC: Professional Conduct University of Liverpool University of Ibadan
Identifier Skill Basic Intermediate Advanced Basic Intermediate Advanced
METHODOLOGY: ASSESSING THE
KIA: Knowledge and Intellectual
University of Liverpool University of Ibadan
Basic Intermediate Advanced Basic Intermediate Advanced
KIA 1.13 Digital
PQ: Personal Qualities University of Liverpool University of Ibadan
Basic Intermediate Advanced Basic Intermediate Advanced
PQ 2.3 Articulate
value of collections to
peers, other staff and
METHODOLOGY: ASSESSING THE
• SHARING KNOWLEDGE
• IMPROVING BOTH CURRICULA
• THINKING MORE WIDELY
ABOUT SKILLS NEEDED BY NEW
OUTCOMES: FUTURE USES AND
• Aligning archival education programmes with
knowledge and skills requirements
• Reflecting on the alignment of teaching with
• For practitioners: auditing their own skills and
James Lowry J.Lowry@liverpool.ac.uk
Dr Abiola Abioye email@example.com
Rosemary Lynch firstname.lastname@example.org