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Sandy Buchanan "Teaching Summon Across Diverse Subjects"

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Published on Aug 27, 2013
http://summonil2013.wordpress.com/
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Sandy Buchanan from Sheffield Hallam University talks about how he uses Summon with students in this presentation. These slides are from the 2nd UK Information Literacy & Summon Day (SummonIL2013) which was held at Manchester Metropolitan University (MMU) on 25th July 2013.

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Sandy Buchanan "Teaching Summon Across Diverse Subjects"

  1. 1. The Faculty of ACES: Arts, Computing, Engineering & Science Teaching Summon Across Diverse Subjects Sandy Buchanan Sheffield Hallam University
  2. 2. ACES: The Duck-Billed Platypus of Faculties Engineering Mathematics Computing Art Design Journalism & PR Media © Urville Djasim
  3. 3. Engineering, IT & Mathematics • Well-supplied with online resources on Summon • Always had lots of ebooks & ejournals • From this summer, also BSI & ASTM standards • So vast bulk of what they want can be found on Summon • Induction class for first years • Some groups get extra classes on evaluation & referencing • Final years get more on search skills and other resources • Post-grads get both, plus help with referencing and advanced reading skills • Practical, hands-on students • Don't do that much academic research until final year • But use more esoteric material before then, eg standards, market research
  4. 4. Art & Design • Many key resources print-only • So suffer a bit on Summon • had to add journal records • Also big browsers • So can benefit more from library tours • Art search terms rather nebulous, so a lot of irrelevant results • So sometimes better off on subject-specific databases instead • But do very well on reference ebooks • Summon simple Wikipedia alternative • Inductions for all first years • Tend to see other students in one-to- ones • Also very practical students • Also not much academic research before final year • Also interested in business information • But a lot more focus on creativity and inspiration • So no set exercises: do their own thing!
  5. 5. Journalism, PR & Media • Sheer breadth of possible research means have to look outside Summon for some material • Also, some key resources don't work well on Summon • eg, newspapers via Nexis UK • Induction for first years • 4 long sessions for second years • 1 on Summon • 2 on other resources, 1 on referencing • Lots of worksheets to guide them through the different resources • Odd subject out • Much more a traditional social science • Much more academic research, much earlier on • Very broad focus: might want to research almost anything
  6. 6. Teaching Summon • Students need very little help understanding Summon • Even supposedly 'non-technical' students such as Art & Design • Spend much less time on demos • Students learn for themselves, and from each other • Avoids teaching fatigue • Makes it easier to share teaching • Don't need to be familiar with arcane subject databases or search terms
  7. 7. Journals • Dominate Summon search results – So excellent chance to introduce them – Refine Your Search also gives a chance to introduce Peer Review • However, many students won't make much use of journals for 2 or 3 years – is it the right time to introduce them? – what about discussing other resource types? • Searching for journal articles Versus searching for journals – Art & Journalism still show postgrads how to find key journals – Engineering & Computing don't- can find plenty of articles through Library Search – But need to know what to do when link resolver fails
  8. 8. Summon as launchpad
  9. 9. Summon as Launchpad • Good starting point for introducing universal search features • eg, Advanced Search, Facets, Boolean, Catalogue Records • Many students don't do much research before final year • So helps to start from a familiar place • Students won't have Summon when they leave • so emphasises search as a transferable skill that can be used elsewhere • BUT Summon sometimes also used as a contrast with other resources • And some features better elsewhere, eg citation searching or very complex search syntax
  10. 10. Summon and other information sources o All first-year inductions focus on Library Search o However, some subjects still need resources outside Library Search o But less and less the case with Engineering
  11. 11. Sausages © Timo Newton-Syms© Peter Pearson
  12. 12. "Academic Google" • Lumps all sorts of materials together – Blurs important differences between types of material – But can filter easily – And not as if other databases and catalogues don't do this • Great while it works – But can leave students at sea when links and resources fail • As conglomeration of many different resources, oddities and inconsistencies can result – eg, book and ebook editions sometimes share an entry, sometimes not – eg, British Standards currently classed as ebooks, not standards – Students need to know how the other resources work to understand how Library Search works
  13. 13. Further Information Please contact: ClaireAbson: Information Specialist email: C.Abson@shu.ac.uk Sandy Buchanan: Information Advisor email: A.Buchanan@shu.ac.uk

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