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Escaping the Welcome Cliches - Wise

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Presented at LILAC 2018

Published in: Education
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Escaping the Welcome Cliches - Wise

  1. 1. 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!

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