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Beyond the library: i-Skills for university administration. Conroy


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Presented at LILAC 2007

Published in: Education
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Beyond the library: i-Skills for university administration. Conroy

  1. 1. 1 Beyond the Library: i-Skills for University Administration © Netskills, Quality Internet Training, Newcastle University Partly funded by the Helen Conroy
  2. 2. 2 Outline i-Skills programme  Background  Research  Workshop programme The self-assessment tool  Development  Key features Future plans
  3. 3. 3 What are i-Skills? "The ability to identify, assess, retrieve, evaluate, adapt, organise and communicate information within an iterative context of review and reflection"
  4. 4. 4 i-Skills for Administration 2006 Netskills  Research, workshops and self-evaluation tool Leeds and Loughborough Universities  Exemplifying the i-Skills model in specific job roles  Exploring implications for staff development 2007 Netskills funded to  Prepare self-evaluation for online conversion  Run a series of workshops for staff development
  5. 5. 5 Survey & Interviews Liaison with AUA (Association of University Administrators) Online survey of information use  Jan/Feb 2006, 290 responses  From 75 HE institutions  65% had a management role 20 telephone / face-to-face interviews  From junior accounts assistant to a Registrar
  6. 6. 6 Quotes  There's too much of it, and it gets filed 'just in case'. I spend too much time 'sifting' electronic information.  Keeping up with innovation in the light of speed of change and development.  Volume of inappropriate emails, being included on email circulation which is totally unrelated to my area.  Not always knowing the correct terms relating to the information I am searching for. Some papers- especially academic ones- will use words I am not familiar with.  Over use of complicated language.  Colleagues' use of e-mail rather than voice communication  Colleagues failing to (a) name and file electronic files appropriately, (b) put proper filenames on documents, (c) share files fully (by using shared folders) and (d) do regular 'house- keeping' (deleting files no longer needed)  Not enough shared knowledge and expertise
  7. 7. 7 Key Findings  Sources of information used  Most used - internal documentation, statistics, professional literature  Least used – institution's library  People a frequently used source of information  Assessment of skills  Most confident in summarising information, file formats, managing electronic files and email  Least confident in legal issues, search skills, awareness of sources, managing paper files  Biggest frustrations  Poor quality information  Volume of information, email, lack of time  "Other people"
  8. 8. 8 Workshop Programme Needed to cater for diverse needs of university 'administrators' "Making Information Work for You: Skills and Strategies for the Information Age" 21 workshops training over 270 people from over 100 institutions  April – July 2006  Free places offered  Initial programme doubled due to demand Self-assessment a core part of the workshop
  9. 9. 9 How did it go? High level of interest  Workshops well received  Especially relating to information overload and lack of knowledge sharing key issues Attendees welcomed time for reflection  Familiar with thinking about their IT skills  Resources for development popular Terminology  Few attendees were familiar with any terms relating to these skills
  10. 10. 10 Key Issues for Staff Development  Skills gaps  Few staff demonstrate the skills and confidence to use information to best advantage  Defining i-Skills  Confusion between IT and information skills  Lack of recognition of importance  i-Skills not adequately addressed in staff development  Most current activity focuses on the academic needs of students  i-Skills seen as a 'library thing'  Lack of strategic framework for i-Skills development  Fragmented provision & poor take-up  Needs to be focused on the individual  Leeds / Loughborough projects identified related 'gateways' to enhance i-Skills model  Time management, networking and team building
  11. 11. 11 The Self-Evaluation Tool Initially to be used as part of the workshop  Then made available to institutions  Potential to be tailored by institutions Individualised, reflective and developmental  To be used individually and strategically Trialling  Initial piloting  Trialling during workshop programme  Volunteers
  12. 12. 12 Issues for the Self-Evaluation Meeting individual needs  Varied use of information in different roles  Needs to be usable, practical and relevant Priorities  Whose priority? For job or for personal development? Everything is high priority! Self-rating  Difficulty to rate a skill where little is known Institutional context
  13. 13. 13
  14. 14. 14 2007 Projects Development of online self-evaluation tool  User testing event  Netskills enhancing content  Improved profiling / diagnostics  Case studies  Guides for managers Dissemination programme for staff development  A series of workshops to help embed i-Skills in staff development processes within institutions  8 workshops around the UK
  15. 15. 15 What Now?  Self-evaluation tool  Available Summer 2007  Future developments?  Further refinement by job role  Web 2.0 technologies  AUA  Continue to build links  Annual conference  Article in journal Perspectives  Workshop programme  "Staff Information Skills: Are you doing enough?"  Ends May 2007 - places still available!
  16. 16. 16 References  Netskills information skills projects  JISC i-Skills publications pub_sissdocs.aspx  AUA Perspectives article: H. Conroy, 2007, "Skills for the Information Age" Vol.11, No.1.  e-Staff Development project case study (Select Project Outputs > Case Studies)  Big Blue & Big Blue connect