Intro – outline the session format, timing etc UK Marketing/Academic Development Outreach work Bringing kids in for Campus tours Widening participation Social inclusion UK Marketing – widening participation/ academic development First generation into higher education Education Liaison team approached us Asked us to devise a workshop
Students from all subject areas, paid roles Trained both by us and Education Liaison Nearer in age to the schoolchildren They have recent experience of higher education They can provide information about their particular subject area and about student life in general Training – covers dealing with children of that age, inclusion, difficult children or situations – the Ambassadors need to be approachable and have the ability to motivate the schoolchildren
We are not used to having contact with teenagers, had to decide on appropriate content and level Pressed for time – opted for topical subject Use of PCs in Kingston Hill library Went reasonably well However, was it challenging enough? Felt we could do better.
Back to the drawing board in order to find something that was more challenging and more fun Wanted them to enjoy themselves Wanted them to learn by doing, keeping them busy Wanted them to produce something at the end that they had created Chose Information literacy to build on school experiences using the Internet etc.
Including plagiarism Considering issues of accuracy, authority, provenance of material, reliability Sharing ideas, listening to other people’s viewpoints, entering into debate Presentation skills
Used to get them awake, engaged and thinking – electronic voting system, anonymous, allows instant feedback, easy to use. Chance to engage with pupils informally and discuss expectations. Q2-4 were written so they related to the group activity – getting them thinking about the issues.
Real icebreaker – trying to get them to use PRS and overcome stereotypes. PLUS… differences between school and university libraries, size etc.
Question predicated on assumption – that Google or wikipedia will be most popular. Whilst this held true in most cases there were a couple of exceptions. Opportunity to highlight pros/cons of each briefly
Bit more challenging. Preamble gives a few clues eg. explaining the remit of the Royal Society. Large variation in responses – the ‘how can I tell’ gives chance to explain easy ways to identify origin of sites and explain how they may all be useful… triangulation
Scenario question – bit clunky but included to raise the notion of intellectual copyright in a recognisable situation. Variable response – majority went for 2 or 3. Good discussion point.
4 us : Experienced mixed type of groups : ability, concentration, interest, levels of engagement etc. No problems with producing the posts Loved the PRS 4 the Ambassadors : good personal development, useful for CVs etc. The training received ensured they interacted very well with the children and were confident in handling any behaviour issues – which were minimal. Kingston University should be proud of them. 4 the Schoolchildren : Day out, seeing a real campus, meeting university students and staff. Activity extended work on information skills already started at school. Most had fun. 4 the teachers : favourable reaction from them but would like to get them a little more involved during the workshop. 4 the University :
Impetus for teaching group to get involved in wp came from attending Judith Stewart’s presentation at LILAC 2005. Seemed appropriate to share our experiences from last 2 years at LILAC.
Get 'em young! Active information literacy as part of the widening participation agenda. Burnett
GET ‘EM YOUNG!
Introducing schoolchildren to University
• The aim of Ambassadors in Schools
• The Library’s role in the programme
Ambassadors in Schools (AIS)
• Kingston University current students or
• University-wide participation
• Role of the Ambassadors
The 2006 Experience
• Unknown quantity
• Time factor
• World Cup
The school kids’ return
• 2007/2008 programme
• Workshop based
• Appropriate task for range of abilities
• Information literacy theme – web based
• Building on existing experience
The student experience
• Working in a university setting
• Carrying out responsible research
• Interacting within a group
• Preparing and presenting conclusions
The PRS questions
Why are there lots of librarians at University?
1. To stamp books
2. To make sure that the right books, journals,
databases are available for students
3. To help students learn how to research
4. So they can practice going “Ssshhhh!”
How are you most likely to research a class
1.Use the school library
2.Search on Google
3.Search on Wikipedia
4.Ask a friend
You’re doing a project on Britain’s policy on
global warming, which of the following links do
you think will be most useful?
4.How can I tell?
• You’ve been set a piece of group work at school
and have been discussing it with others in your
group on MSN or in a chat room. When each
group reports back to the class you notice that
one group has used the comments you posted in
their work. Is this fair?
1. Yes, they were friends who I’d invited to chat
2. No, they weren’t in my group
3. No, but I guess if they can read it I can’t
stop them from using it
4. Yes, anything on the Internet can be used by
“Information on the Internet
may be free, but it is often
out of date and downright
“Information on the Internet
is often creative, current,
reliable and allows
and a free exchange of
How woz it 4 U?
•4 the Ambassadors
•4 the schoolchildren
•4 the teachers
•4 the University
Feedback from staff
• I really enjoyed helping out with the Ambassadors in
Schools programme and would be happy to do so again
• I wasn’t sure what to expect from AIS and felt a little bit
nervous at first but I found the pupils enthusiastic and I
really enjoyed working with them.
• I would have felt more confident if I had had more time
studying the packs before the event
• My group was arguing for the Internet but they could see
both sides of the argument and wrote ‘be sensible’ on their
poster which I thought was a great thing to do
• If they (the schoolchildren) were left on their own I don’t
think the task would have been completed on time.
What did you enjoy most?
0% 10% 20% 30% 40% 50% 60% 70% 80% 90% 100%
1_Interview the ambassador
1_What am I worried about
2_Good Hair, Bad Hair
G_Working with ambassador
G_Visting uni. campus
Carshalton Girls Glenthorne SouthboroughBoys Overall
When asked whether they agreed with the
I have a better understanding of how to use the
internet for study at university.
84.5% agreed and strongly agreed
7.2% disagreed and strongly disagreed
8.3% were not sure
“This programme is innovative in that it offers students engagement with
one of the areas of a University that students from widening participation
often find scary, ‘the library’. It dispels myths and gives students the
confidence to see that libraries are wonderful resources for them, filled
with a wide variety of materials that they can use. The programme is also
innovative for while many Universities engage their current students and
academic staff in widening participation activities, working with library
staff in this way is novel and is part of a scheme at Kingston where Library
staff are seen as supporters of student learning in much of what they do.
It is a credit to our University and I am very proud of the hard work
colleagues put into the scheme.”
Mary Stuart Deputy Vice Chancellor, Kingston University, 2008
• Burhanna, K.J. (2007) ‘Instructional outreach to high schools: should you
be doing it?’ Communications in Information Literacy, 1 (2) [Online].
(Accessed: 3 March 2008)
• Frean, A. (2008) ‘White bread for young minds, says university professor’,
The Times. 14 January [Online]. Available at:
rticle3182091.ece (Accessed: 3 March 2008)
• Stewart, J. (2005) ‘Breaking down barriers to information: the Library’s
role in Widening Participation’, Librarian’s Information Literacy
Conference. Imperial College, London 4-6 April 2005