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Escaping the traditional - Hill


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Presented at LILAC 2019

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Escaping the traditional - Hill

  1. 1. Escaping the traditional: Transformations of the library welcome and orientation activities at the University of Surrey Adam Hill
  2. 2. The keynote teach meet? The keynote.. • Surrey Library welcome and orientation activities 2015 – now • Escape room 2017/18 • Welcome Fair 2018/19 The teach meet.. • What you do at your institutions • Discussion in groups • “Teach meet” presentations
  3. 3. Timeline • Transition, staff re-structure • Decision to move away from the more traditional ‘subject librarian’ delivery of welcome • Aware of potential student information overload 2015/16 • General LLSS welcome presentation introduced • Inclusion of student voice • Initial session mapping • Professional services welcome • Steve the stag video 2016/17 • Building on previous year format • New Escape room • More focus on orientation 2017/18
  4. 4. • Building on escape room legacy • LLSS Building refurb • Welcome Fair • Returners welcome 2018 /19 • To be confirmed.. • ??? 2019/20
  5. 5. 2016-17
  6. 6. Why? The University of Surrey Library and Learning Support Services recognised an increasing need to transform its ‘Welcome’, ‘Induction’ and ‘Orientation’ activities for students. Feedback from students at Surrey and evidence from educational literature suggest that traditional approaches in the form of lectures, often result in Library Anxiety amongst students. This can prevent them from taking advantage of help available to them when they need it which in turn can effect their grades. How? Informed by the work of Walsh (2017), a small team of colleagues across the different departments of the University library, created an Escape Room Game. This activity invited students to solve a series of themed puzzles in the Escape Room, introducing them to library services and information literacy skills to support their studies. Testing, testing, testing! • Staff members from across the University were asked to complete a timed run-through of the game • Three groups of 6-10 • Adjustments were made after each occurrence based on the findings. Results • Qualitative feedback showed an overwhelmingly positive response from students of the Escape Room, particularly that they found it fun, challenging and unique to their other experiences of university. • The comments showed evidence of bonding with each other • There were many requests for further events which displayed an absence of Library Anxiety and instead the start of a bond between the student and the Library • Students from across all years took part and found out about the event through their friends • Time intensive for the staff planning and running the event; however, it increased team collegiality and allowed staff to think creatively outside of their normal roles Design • 30 minute timed game with scoreboard at the end • Linear game design • Run across the first teaching week • Booking in advance • Introductory video shown at beginning to explain the game • Two staff members acting as facilitators during each game Escape the Welcome Cliché Introducing students to the Academic Library through an immersive Escape Room Game By the University of Surrey Library and Learning Support Services Laura Barnett, Adam Hill, Julie Lowe, Hannah Wise Recommendations • Allocate and dedicate enough staff time to allow for planning, testing and running the game • Test and test again. Even on the day of the event – one last run through wont hurt • Consider publicity and timing – will you have enough time to make the students aware its running and allow enough time for word of mouth to spread • Create a robust booking system and allow for no shows, late shows and double shows! • Reinforce what students learnt – create a takeaway leaflet with major points or schedule a quiz to test knowledge later • Give it a go – the results are well worth the effort! 2017-18
  7. 7. Escape room impact & outcomes • LLSS has been able to disseminate good practice, advise and mentor others, ensuring the educational escape room could be used for wider internal teaching practice. E.g. Surrey Excites symposium, generating interest from a number of academic departments • Popularity as a teaching model is apparent in the positive student feedback • University of Surrey’s Department of Higher Education (DHE), learnt from our experiences to offer educational escape rooms as a model for other academics to adopt in their students teaching and learning. Investing in specific equipment for future creation of escape games and producing a guide for academics to create their own escape rooms for educational purposes • DHE organised an event exploring the model further ‘Escape The Classroom’ - Learning Lunch - with Liz Cable • The LLSS escape game has had impact externally to the University of Surrey, Including being contacted by teaching and learning librarian at Run Run Shaw Library, City University of Hong Kong and Liz Cable at Leeds who is pursuing a PhD in escape rooms (as of Jan 2019) • At least 1 department per faculty, as well as in several WPO Outreach events are using the Escape room model e.g. in the Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, involving a series of puzzles and tasks for students to complete replicating a scenario of working in a hospital ward. • LLSS Academic Skills and Development team members delivering CPD sessions on escape rooms, in partnership with Surrey STARS students • Quiz elements taken forward into the LLSS 2018/19 Welcome fair e.g. answers hidden clues on AV screens on the website and physical building
  8. 8. 2018-19
  9. 9. Welcome & Orientation format in summary • University welcome ‘Get Set for Surrey’ (welcome week) • Library specific welcome - LLSS presentation to department cohorts (welcome week) • LLSS Welcome (flagship event) e.g. Welcome Fair, tea coffee and quiz (week one & two) • Library Essentials (Talks) (week one & two) • Student ambassadors (week one & two)
  10. 10. Observations • Extending activities beyond welcome week allows students greater chance to find out information about the service in formal and informal settings • New format of delivery are breaking down and removing barriers • Different events and methods of delivery suit different learning styles and personalities • Changing attitudes of students towards staff and the learning environment • Greater library staff visibility and inter-team involvement welcoming new students • Greater student engagement, interest in library services and feeling of inclusion and inclusivity Q&A
  11. 11. What’s next..? ???
  12. 12. What do you do at your institution? Discuss in small groups your own Welcome and Orientation activities: • Good practice you've delivered over the past couple of years And/or • A product or innovation that has enhanced the welcome experience Write them down and be prepared to share your ideas… 
  13. 13. Teach meet presentations Volunteers! Provide a ‘short presentation’ sharing your own experiences or tell us about a great innovation you’ve just learnt about in your group: • Tell us about the welcome event/s at your institution • Share any innovative, creative, engaging events and their impact • Consider how your own projects might now evolve and what might be prioritised
  14. 14. Surrey publications: • Hannah Wise, Adam Hill, Julie Lowe, Laura Barnett, Charlotte Barton; "Escape the welcome cliché" Journal of Information Literacy, Volume 12, Number 1 (4 June 2018) • Adam Hill, Hannah Wise, Julie Lowe, Laura Barnett; Escaping the welcome cliches (poster). LILAC Conference, Liverpool (4-6 April 2018), Available online: wise
  15. 15. Adam Hill Faculty Engagement Librarian, University of Surrey Email: Telephone: +44 (0) 1483 682 896