Our session is to share our efforts to improve our support during student induction - how we've approached induction in the past and then show & tell you what we did this year, and why.
Background: University of Sunderland is a new University in the north east
- 2013/14 we had 20,887 students
For 2014/15 intake: - 3700 were on campus Undergrads - 975 were on campus post grads - 676 were at a local partner college
Our TNE (transnational education) and distance learners can register at multiple points of the year.
Between Sept -Jan 2014-15: - 2508 new students studying at overseas partner colleges - 693 new students studying via independent learning - what you might call distance learning
There are two frameworks that inform our activities at Sunderland. The first is our Quality Model.
Our quality model campaigns are the result of four years of work and service change involving all library staff.
It is centred on outcome rather than output – we stopped focusing on how much our services were used – we still need to collect that data for the Sconul return but it does not drive our service. We wanted to focus on the difference our service makes to our patrons.
The quality model guides staff effort and is central to planning our library campaigns and customer conversations - it helps us define our service aims and objectives. There are 9 promises that we make to students, and these help us structure our activities throughout the year.
Customer care and customer support are the focus in September – this incorporates induction – which we call library welcome, induction is supported through roving support, library stands, promotional material such as bags, posters, guides and plasma screens.
Planning induction, needs to align with other campaigns running throughout the year. To make this work we follow our own 7 step marketing plan.
The second framework is our own marketing strategy.
The induction group used the marketing plan to develop the induction activities for academic year 2014/15.
Steps 1 & 2 - identify strategic direction - SWOT your service offers We know our strategic direction is to promote the benefits of the library to students, and to initiate conversations while delivering on our 9 promises. We reviewed induction from previous years, took on board feedback from students and liaison librarians.
Steps 3 & 5: Profile customers into segments Match offers to segments Transform offers into benefits We identified the different needs of students rather than different levels of students, for example a visual approach works well with art students but not so well with business students. The induction group worked closely with the quality and marketing team to identify the services we offer and to transform these services into benefits.
Steps 6 & 7: Translate benefits into messages Plan your campaigns We incorporated benefit centred messages into our induction campaign and decided to develop an induction toolkit for our liaison team.
The University of Sunderland library follows a quality model that is based on 9 promises. Since the implementation of our quality model and the development of the 7 step marketing plan we’ve tried a number of approaches that have recognised that our different customers may need different things from the library.
Prior to academic year 2011/12 we - made a tailored presentation for each borrower type they may emphasise different parts of the service, the benefit to the - student may be worded differently.
Feedback from students and from liaison librarians delivering the inductions was that we were telling the students too much at once. We hadn’t quite got it right.
Academic year 2011/12 was a turning point in that we launched our quality model to the public. Our campaigns were closely aligned to the quality model and often incorporated a theme devised by our Quality and marketing team. The last couple of years we’ve centred our customer care and support campaigns around student welcome and a central theme, or visual concept and used prezi as the means of delivering induction.
- 2012/13 our theme was ‘Getting Started’ - 2013/14 our theme was ‘Your Flying Start’
terminology on the prezi matched the library guide and posters which were structured in a way to just tell students the key things they needed to get started. The prezi enabled the liaison librarian to elaborate on each topic. It also included links to videos and guides so that it could be a standalone tool for students.
Liaison librarians could make a copy of the prezi and edit the path of the prezi to make it more relevant for their students or to emphasise a certain point, so the path of the prezi may vary depending on whether you were talking to a postgraduate student on campus or a local partner foundation level student.
We’ve tried a number of ways of obtaining feedback ranging from asking fun and informal - students ‘how warm was our welcome?’, where they could choose between a pink and blue ball to quizzes testing students knowledge with a quick quiz.
Some Liaison librarians had received feedback from their students that they didn’t feel that they had been told enough. In trying to respond to earlier feedback, we went too far in the other direction.
Our Quality & Marketing manager came up with the shapes theme after being inspired by an origami bag on holiday. Our welcome publicity including the library guide, cards, posters, bag & induction presentations all used this theme.
Through the different elements of the toolkit we hope you’ll see how we’ve communicated our services offers and benefits. The toolkit comprises a short video, a virtual reading list, a prezi, a one shot lesson plan template and an origami scavenger hunt/competition
https://youtu.be/HDQMFhAwGI8 The video
A PowToon video was produced to showcase the Library offer. Powtoon is an online presentation software package that allows users to create animated presentations and short videos. The final video was four minutes long and broadly covers the main service offers of Learning Spaces, Technologies, Resources, Skills Sessions and our online presence.
The video was designed to be used as a general introduction to the range of services and because of that it conveys a lot of information in 4 minutes without going into too much detail. It could be used as a standalone introduction in a large lecture theatre environment or played to a smaller group as part of a ‘One shot’ skills session.
Because it had to cater for our various customer sets 3 different versions were made; A standard version, a version with commentary (for distance learners and sight impaired users) and a post grad version (which details 25 rather than undergrad 15 resources). The videos were posted to the UniOfSunLib YouTube channel and also saved in mp4 format so they would play in a media player in the event of an out of date browser or lack of internet access.
Liaison Librarians were then able to add whichever version of the video they felt was most appropriate to their particular audience at the time of delivery. The video was embedded on the Library web page so that it was available for anybody who had missed or not had a Library induction or who just wanted to know more about our services.
When we were looking at our service offers – we came up with loads – buildings across 2 campuses, open all the time, lots of types of study spaces, computers, laptops, wifi, printing/copying/scanning – books, journals, online resources, reading lists, helpdesks, skills for learning, workshops, social media etc.
We didn’t want to fall into the trap of just telling students a list of what we can offer – so we grouped them into 4 themes – Spaces, Technolgy, Resources, Help & support – so under the umbrella of resources for example we can highlight that we’ve got books and online journals etc for their core reading list, for first year undergrads that may be enough but if we were playing this video for post grads or top up students – the librarian may follow up with more info about wider reading. The messages are broadly the same but what the librarian chooses to emphasize is tailored.
My Module Resources was introduced in summer 2013 and provides an interactive, online area where students can follow direct links to resource details, online information including ebooks, journal articles, web pages and scanned extracts all in one place. My Module Resources can be viewed directly at the library web page or from within a Sunspace module area, the latter route helping to make recommended library resources accessible alongside module teaching and learning materials.
Module Resources allows for flexibility in list construction, reflecting individual teaching styles, module structures (for example, general and directed reading) and skills development (for example, Level 4 lists may include direct access to all individual online journal articles whereas Level 6 lists may give a generic link to the Discover search tool with students expected to search and retrieve the article themselves). Additional functionality allowing creation of notes and tags gives further opportunities to enrich and improve students’ experience of using and accessing resources.
A ‘Libwelcome’ list was created specifically for Liaison Librarians to include in induction sessions or for any member of the team to demonstrate how MMR works in practice.
The list is tagged so that students with different needs can easily find resources
A prezi that could be used along with or instead of the video was created. Librarians are able to edit the path of the Prezi – it incorporates activities from the one shot lesson plan but they can be included or omitted from the path as required.
Keeping to the shapes theme we decided to use origami as a tool within a library induction activity. The activity took the form of an A4 sheet, there were four different designs and each one incorporated our key library offers laid out in a six step scavenger hunt of activities for students to work through and get a feel for the services and how they work. To ensure that our offer didn’t exclude off campus students the scavenger hunt sheets, including an accessible version were also available to download/print from the Library website.
There were four different origami designs with the same questions on each. Librarians used the sheets in inductions, skills sessions and even the odd board meeting. Library assistants were asked to encourage students to take part in the scavenger hunt and help with any queries – LA’s were briefed to direct students to relevant resources if needed, rather than providing students with the answers. We wanted to provide opportunities for independent learning whilst also taking the opportunity to promote our resources.
Once the student completed the ‘hunt’ they then folded the sheet into an origami shape and had the opportunity to peg the shape onto the welcome table learning trees. All shapes were included in a competition to win one of four £10 Amazon vouchers. Again we made sure our off-campus learners had the chance to join in by downloading and printing the shape then posting a photo of the completed origami to the library facebook, twitter or email.
‘All the shapes your learning takes’: the development of a Library Welcome Toolkit - Leanne Young & Klaire Purvis
Grieves, Kay (2010) 'How do you like your eggs in the morning?': A simple 7 step toolkit for creating strategic marketing
plans that really work http://sure.sunderland.ac.uk/id/eprint/3069