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Skills for Success: Library involvement in the Liverpool Scholars Programme


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Paper given by
Lisa Hawksworth, Faculty Librarian, University of Liverpool
at the ALISS 2013 xmas event.

Published in: Education
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Skills for Success: Library involvement in the Liverpool Scholars Programme

  1. 1. University of Liverpool and Widening Participation  One of the most successful Russell Group institutions for WP in degree level education  1st in Russell Group for proportion of students from low participation neighbourhoods; 8.5% against a benchmark of 7.3% (  More than 300 students entered the University through supported admissions  Scholars Programme running since 2007; first graduates in 2012
  2. 2. The Liverpool Scholars Programme  Aims to support talented students from traditionally underrepresented backgrounds with their applications and entry into the University of Liverpool  “Most able, least likely” to go to a Russell Group institution  Range of workshops and lectures to help students develop key skills and ease transition to HE  Produce a portfolio of work and an assignment supported by an academic tutor (member of academic staff or PGR at UoL)  Successful students receive a guaranteed conditional offer reduced by the equivalent of 40 UCAS points  Non-repayable bursary to help with tuition fees and expenses  Now runs in conjunction with the Realising Opportunities Group
  3. 3. Programme participants  Year 12 students studying a 2 year, level 3 qualification  Have at least 8 A*- C grades at GCSE (or equivalent)  Neither parent has attended university in the UK or abroad  Are from low income backgrounds or have had experience of living in public care  Commit to attend a compulsory programme of events during February halfterm and Easter vacations  Produce a portfolio of work and an assignment demonstrating knowledge and skills  Academic assignment  Essay/report of not more than 1500 words  Linked to current studies and area of interest  Access to Library resources for duration of their A levels
  4. 4. Programme content  Application  Interview  Welcome Days  2 days in February  ID card and registration  Project overview  Campus tour  Library tour  Academic Skills sessions  2 days in April  Lectures and seminars         „Subject‟ lecture Time management Note taking Presentation skills Academic writing Critical Thinking Referencing Research skills
  5. 5. The Library contribution  2009  2013  75 mins, 60 students, 2 libraries  75 mins, 120 students, no libraries!  Presentation plus handson, based on UG teaching  Recognising items on their reading lists  Using the catalogue and Metalib to find items  Evaluating what you find for quality and relevance  Handouts on referencing and plagiarism  3 groups PC centres outside of the library  Tour as part of Welcome Day  Shorter presentation  Focus on hands-on  Used Xerte to create an online workbook  One Day Summer School
  6. 6. Xerte: example screens Drag and drop
  7. 7. Xerte: example screens
  8. 8. Xerte: example screens
  9. 9. Xerte: example screens
  10. 10. The Library contribution: evolution  Numbers  Library unsuitable as a venue  Use of University PC Centres  Content  Too much; shorter presentation, focus on hands-on  Overlap between sessions  Materials  Need for consistency  Online tools
  11. 11. The Library contribution: evolution  Timings  We wanted longer; sessions always run late!  Temporary logins  Time of year  Involve staff from other sections of the library  Student Advocates were helpful  Communication  Little feedback; don‟t know who else is contributing or what the students found useful
  12. 12. Ending on a positive note! “An aim of the programme is to equip students with knowledge and skills which will aid their transition from Further to Higher Education. In this regard, activities which engage Scholars students with our libraries are essential. From basic tours of the libraries and the archives and facilities they house, through to interactive sessions on how to use the libraries to research effectively, the Scholars programme works in partnership with library staff to deliver valuable sessions each year. These activities not only help students feel welcome and provide introductions to how the libraries work but also serve to start our engagement with them early in terms of fostering a positive student experience. As the Scholars programme is academic in nature, with an assignment to pass, an introduction to our libraries is essential to providing a basis for student success.” Michael Mohebbi, Educational Opportunities Officer, University of Liverpool