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It's all in the blend (updated) - Ward


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Presented at LILAC 2019

Published in: Education
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It's all in the blend (updated) - Ward

  1. 1. It’s all in the blend: Merging academic skills with information literacy, and linking the generic with the embedded Presentation by Abi Ward Subject Support Librarian, UWE Bristol LILAC 2019
  2. 2. Background • Many Universities merging their Learning Development/Academic Skills provision with Library Services (Beaumont & Thompson, 2018; Howard, 2012) • Clear areas of overlap in provision –makes sense to deliver together (Beaumont & Thompson, 2018; CILIP Information Literacy Group, 2018; SCONUL, 2015) • Offer a good opportunity for Library Services and their staff • Future proofing/ keeping it relevant
  3. 3. The Overlap: UWE Librarians’ Views I think the two areas are closely linked and the students I usually work with (first year/foundation programmes) may not see any difference between the two. The students have to master the whole gambit of skills and the distinction between 'academic' and 'information' skills is probably pretty arbitrary to them. If you have a dissertation to write, it involves many skills but it's one process and one output, so that distinction between academic and information skills feels a bit artificial.
  4. 4. Information Literacy Academic SkillsCritical thinking Paraphrasing Note taking Referencing Academic writing
  5. 5. Overlapping Skills Accurate citations and references Critical writing, balanced evidence, quality evidence, coherent argument Note taking and paraphrasing to avoid plagiarism Critical thinking, critical reading Selecting what to read/evaluating sources
  6. 6. UWE’s Academic Skills Workshops • Generic ‘mop up’ sessions • Use examples chosen to be accessible to a broad range of subject areas • All levels and subjects • International and home students • Very well received. KPIs (measured against Learning Outcomes): 97% of respondents were more confident about the Learning Outcomes at the end of the sessions • In 2018 (compared to 2017): Source: Feedback and KPI Spreadsheets, 17-18 &18-19
  7. 7. Supporting Materials Workbooks –These are mostly subject specific. For a full list, according to Faculty: acultylibraryworkbooks.aspx Project for summer 2019 is to create online workbooks for the generic ‘How to…’ workshops Reading Lists –we also provide online reading lists to support the suite of generic workshops ‘Study Skills’ web pages: aspx
  8. 8. What do UWE Librarians say? In February and March 2019 I conducted a survey of Library Staff at UWE. I had 17 respondents of a total of 20 invitations. I asked the following questions: How much of your embedded teaching combines academic skills material and library skills material in the same session? ALL: 26%, MOST 26%, ABOUT HALF: 26%, LESS THAN HALF: 13%, NONE: 0%, N/A: 6% What is your experience of delivering combined academic skills and information skills material? What are the challenges? What are the opportunities? I am using direct quotes from it throughout this presentation.
  9. 9. Challenges Often feels like information overload for the students. Not enough time. We have double the content to deliver in the same amount of time. Pitching the academic skills support at the appropriate level… can be hard to gauge… danger/fear of seeming patronising. Not knowing how to take it to a higher level. Delivering both… requires quite the skill set but I think it's important (but not easy) to accept that you can't be the expert in everything.
  10. 10. Opportunities Delivering academic skills support at the point of need. Students can see the connection between the skills and their assessments. Team teaching in these hybrid sessions is a great way to learn, and sessions can feel more cohesive It is a challenge to deliver material that is not my strong point but I see it as an opportunity to deliver more holistic, rounded teaching.
  11. 11. Tips for Success Find relevant material for the particular subject, e.g. finding articles to highlight synthesis. This can take time. Embedded academic skills makes sense, because at times the generic academic skills workshops don't fully address individual faculty needs There is so much we can teach them in a session in terms of academic skills but it's important to know what to focus on and concentrate on that one thing. Also key is knowing when is the best time for their subject assignments.
  12. 12. Case Studies Consider the following: • Could you use the materials (either as generic or embedded or both) in your work? • Pick out one item (a tip, an explanation, an activity) that you like and jot down how you might use it • Reflect on the teaching materials and the experience of UWE Librarians and add your own views and questions
  13. 13. Case Studies In small groups or pairs, you will have five minutes to look at each case study and then I will ask you to swap. Please consider the questions on the sheet and feed back to the group via the Padlet discussion.
  14. 14. Case Studies You can view the case studies discussed in the presentation here: • Case Study Materials
  15. 15. References (part 1) • Ashton, J. & Harris, A. (2011). Embedding and integrating language and academic skills: An innovative approach. Journal of Academic Language & Learning Vol. 5, No. 2, 2011. Available from: . Date accessed: 09 November 2018. • Beaumont, C. & Thompson, E. (2018). A rose by any other name would smell as sweet: Integrating Learning Development with Information Literacy. Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference. CILIP Information Literacy Group, Liverpool, April 2018. Available from: learning-development-with-information-literacy-beaumont-thompson Date accessed: 09 November 2018. • CILIP Information Literacy Group (2018). Definition of Information Literacy [online]. Available from: Date accessed: 05 November 2018.
  16. 16. References (part 2) • Haigh, J. & Mullen, (2017). Embedding interventions for better critical writing and reading: collaboration between librarians and Academic Skills tutors. Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference. CILIP Information Literacy Group, Swansea, April 2018. Available from: reading-collaboration-between-librarians-and-academic-skills-tutors-haigh-mullen Date accessed: 08 November 2018. • Howard, H. (2012). Looking to the future: Developing an academic skills strategy to ensure information literacy survives in a changing higher education world. Journal of Information Literacy, [S.l.], v. 6, n. 1, p. 72-81, May 2012. Available from:>. Date accessed: 08 November 2018. doi: • Saville, J & Sebire, L. (2018). Feeding back and feeding forward: the academic literacy professional as linchpin. ALDinHE Regional Symposium with SAILS: Embedding Academic Study Skills. ALDinHE, Swansea, May 2018. Available from: programme.pdf. Date accessed: 06 November 2018. • • SCONUL (2015). The SCONUL Seven Pillars of Information Literacy: Core Model for Higher Education [online]. Available from: Date accessed: 07 November 2018.
  17. 17. Abi Ward Subject Support Librarian UWE Bristol Email: Telephone: 0117 328 7339 Twitter: @APWSouthWest