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Learning to plan and planning to learn: an action learning approach to information literacy strategy. Corrall & Sen

Presented at LILAC 2010

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Learning to plan and planning to learn: an action learning approach to information literacy strategy. Corrall & Sen

  1. 1. Learning to Plan and Planning to Learn An Action Learning Approach to Information Literacy Strategy Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen Centre for Information Literacy Research
  2. 2. Learning to Plan and Planning to Learn •  Background − action learning, information literacy strategy, planning as learning •  Workshop description − content, format, intended outcomes, different cohorts •  Evaluation and feedback − methods, findings, process, benefits, lessons learned •  References © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 2
  3. 3. Action Learning •  According to Reg Revans, Learning (L) = Programmed knowledge (P) + the ability to ask insightful Questions (Q) •  Based on the premise that people learn best when they focus on a problem together •  A process of inquiry that involves working on real problems, with the focus on learning and actually implementing solutions − a form of learning by doing © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 3
  4. 4. Information Literacy Strategy •  Area of significant development in recent years as practitioners aim for institution-wide impact •  Captured in separate documents of various forms or incorporated into other institutional strategies or plans •  Limited application of strategic management concepts and techniques in information literacy strategies to date •  Research has identified potential benefits in applying tools used in corporate strategy and in library planning (Corrall, 2007; Corrall, 2008; Lorenzen, 2006) © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 4
  5. 5. Planning as Learning •  Writers on strategy often present strategic planning as a process of learning – equated with asking fundamental questions about the organisation (De Geus, 1988; Mintzberg, 1987; Mintzberg et al., 2001; Porter, 1996) •  Organisation development practitioners have identified benefits in a ‘learningful planning approach’ (Leavy, 1998; Smith & Day, 2000) •  Libraries have found strategy development workshops facilitated by experts result in significant learning, as well as substantive planning outputs (Dougherty, 2002; Kuntz et al., 2003; McClamroch et al, 2001) © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 5
  6. 6. Workshops description Workshop content, format and intended outcomes Key features and comparisons of cohorts © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 6
  7. 7. Workshops description – content •  Introduction to strategic planning •  Stakeholder analysis •  Environmental appraisal •  SWOT analysis •  Force field analysis •  Mission, purpose and mandates •  Vision, direction and goals •  Critical success factors −  group brainstorming −  individual interviews •  Portfolio analysis •  Strategic objectives and themes •  Primary and enabling strategies •  Goals, measures and targets © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 7
  8. 8. Workshops description – format •  Highly participative and actively facilitated by two leaders −  participants working in pairs, small groups and larger groups −  seated at round tables, using post-it notes and flipchart paper •  Very brief introductions to concepts and techniques −  definition, explanation, questions for discussion and instructions −  2-3 slides per topic supplemented by handouts with examples •  Emphasis on learning-by-doing through real-world tasks −  debating strategic challenges and developing service responses −  discussing big questions and producing substantive outputs •  Review and reflection built into timetable for each day © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 8
  9. 9. Intended learning + planning outcomes By the end of the workshop, participants should have: -  an understanding of key concepts and principles underpinning strategy development -  enhanced abilities in strategic thinking and in identifying and dealing with strategic issues -  practical skills in applying strategic analysis techniques to information literacy concerns -  a strategy toolkit, supporting documentation, ideas and insights to take back to the workplace -  early drafts of several elements of their IL strategies © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 9
  10. 10. Case comparison (2 cohorts) September cohort •  closed workshop •  22 participants −  from the same institution •  working in 4 groups −  one task in larger groups and some plenary tasks •  2 consecutive days + 1 −  0830-1500 each day −  day off before final session −  non-residential (in hotel) November cohort •  open workshop •  30 participants −  from 5 similar institutions •  working mainly in 6 institution-based groups −  a few plenary tasks •  2 consecutive days −  0900-1600, 0900-1530 −  residential event (in hotel) © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 10
  11. 11. Evaluation and Feedback Pre- and post-event evaluation methods Key findings and comparisons of cohorts © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 11
  12. 12. Evaluation methods •  Pre-workshop questionnaire survey administered online −  to assess prior knowledge and experience of strategic planning −  to establish participant needs and priorities for the programme •  Daily evaluations completed in final session of each day −  to measure development in understanding of the topics covered −  to explore the potential application of learning in the workplace −  to assess the value of different elements in the programme •  Overall evaluation completed in final session of last day −  to obtain feedback on the range, depth and delivery of content −  to assess our success in meeting the needs of participants •  Instruments used scaled responses and open questions © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 12
  13. 13. © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 13 Pre-workshop survey
  14. 14. Pre-workshop survey •  In both cohorts most respondents assessed their current competence at Novice or Beginner level, with only a few scores at Practitioner or Experienced level •  Scores for the different tools were generally similar, but more respondents were familiar with mission and vision •  Some respondents were not familiar with the terms used and one respondent described the survey as ‘scary’ •  Respondents appreciated being contacted by the workshop leaders before the event © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 14
  15. 15. © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 15 Daily evaluation
  16. 16. © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 16 Overall evaluation
  17. 17. Areas where learning increased most Three-day course •  Stakeholder analysis •  Mission and vision •  Critical success factors Two-day course •  Stakeholder analysis •  Critical success factors •  Vision •  SWOT © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 17 Areas where practical application identified •  Mission and vision •  Critical success factors •  Performance indicators •  Stakeholder analysis •  Mission •  Portfolio analysis
  18. 18. Most valuable elements of the programme Three-day course •  Mission and vision •  SWOT •  Force field analysis Two-day course •  Critical success factors •  Stakeholder analysis •  SWOT •  Vision © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 18 Elements on which more time wanted •  Introduction to strategy •  SWOT •  Force field analysis •  Portfolio analysis •  Force field analysis •  Performance indicators
  19. 19. Evaluation process •  Daily evaluation was arguably too much, but participants appreciated why it was being done •  Responses were typed up and analysed at the end of each day, so that sessions on the following day could be tailored to specific needs •  Thematic analysis of participant comments using a word cloud can quickly illustrate group reaction to training and pinpoint key issues…
  20. 20. Can you see ways to implement what you have learnt today in your workplace?
  21. 21. Can you see ways to implement what you have learnt today in your workplace?
  22. 22. What elements have been most valuable?
  23. 23. Feedback process •  Feedback from each day was used to inform content and delivery on the next day − adding explanations of key points highlighted to slides for the review session at the start of the day − adjusting the timing of handout distribution and facilitator interventions •  Feedback from the first cohort was used to refine the approach for the second workshop − providing a pre-workshop briefing document offering an introduction to key concepts, tools and resources
  24. 24. Benefits of evaluation strategy For participants •  Encouraged a feeling of openness and ownership of the sessions •  Ensured key issues were identified and addressed •  Enabled better value for money as feedback was analysed and acted on throughout the workshop – rather than afterwards For trainers/facilitators •  Highlighted quickly when things were not quite right and could be improved •  Allowed training to be personalised to the needs of the participants •  Supported a customer- oriented approach to training and development © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 24
  25. 25. Lessons Learned •  Despite the steep learning curve, our experience proved the effectiveness of the workshop format in generating high quality contributions to strategies and plans •  The workshops demonstrated the value of applying strategic analysis tools to information literacy strategies •  Three days of planning/learning spread over four days worked well, but two days was not enough time for the specified concepts and tools to be explained and used •  Our understanding of professional practice was enriched through working with practitioners in another country © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 25
  26. 26. References Corrall, S. (2007). Benchmarking strategic engagement with information literacy in higher education: towards a working model. Information Research, 12 (4). http://InformationRnet/ir/12-4/ paper328.html Corrall, S. (2008) Information literacy strategy development in higher education: an exploratory study. International Journal of Information Management, 28 (1), 26-37. De Geus, A.P. (1988) 'Planning as learning', Harvard Business Review, 66 (2), 70-74. Dougherty, R.M. (2002) ‘Planning for new library futures’, Library Journal, 127 (9), 38-41.Kuntz, J.J. et al. (2003) ‘Staff-driven strategic planning: learning from the past, embracing the future’, Journal of the Medical Library Association, 91 (1), 79-83. Leavy, B. (1998) ‘The concept of learning in the strategy field: review and outlook’, Management Learning, 29 (4), 447-466. © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 26
  27. 27. References Lorenzen, M. (2006) ‘Strategic planning for academic library instructional programming: an overview’, Illinois Libraries, 86 (2), 22-29. McClamroch, J. et al. (2001) ‘Strategic planning: politics, leadership, and learning’, Journal of Academic Librarianship, 27 (5), 372-378. Mintzberg, H. (1987) ‘Crafting strategy’, Harvard Business Review, 65 (4), 66-75. Mintzberg, H., Ahlstrand, B. and Lampel. J.(2001) Strategy Safari: The Complete Guide through the Wilds of Strategic Management. Harlow: Financial Times Prentice Hall. Porter, M. (1996) ‘What is strategy?’, Harvard Business Review, 74 (6), 61-78. Smith, P.A.C. and Day, A. (2000) ‘Strategic planning as action learning’, Organisations & People, 7 (1). © Sheila Corrall and Barbara Sen 2010 Slide 27