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Set for success… developing researchers’ information literacy skills. Howard

Presented at LILAC 2008

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Set for success… developing researchers’ information literacy skills. Howard

  1. 1. Set for Success… developing researchers’ information literacy skills Helen Howard Information Literacy Team Leader Leeds University Library
  2. 2. University Library Set for Success… Developing researchers’ IL skills:  Our strategy  Our journey  Staff development  Future plans & challenges
  3. 3. University Library Background  Sir Gareth Roberts Set for Success Review 2002:  found a mismatch between graduate / PG skills and skills needed by employers  recommended: “at least 2 weeks dedicated training a year, principally in transferable skills”  “Roberts” money available to Faculties and Central Services  New Vice Chancellor’s vision for research at Leeds
  4. 4. University Library Research training and the Library In 2003:  Little provision of IL training for PhD students within Faculties  Literature searching skills rarely taught  No clear strategy (despite IL Strategy for UGs / taught PGs agreed in 2003)  Library’s open workshops very popular with PhD students
  5. 5. University Library “Roberts” money and the Library  Library formed links with Graduate Training and Support (GT&S) who provided:  Inside knowledge of strategic developments  Access and input to PhD student survey  Promotion of library training to students  Advice on how we might move forward  The money!  Library sought Roberts funding in 2004
  6. 6. University Library Our Strategy IL: focus on PhDs Form key partnerships Knit into / input to Uni initiatives Raise profile of IL with researchers Research and develop IL training / support for researchers Make most of existing IL provision
  7. 7. University Library Our Journey - phase 1  Research Training Officer appointed f/t 18 months  Investigate existing IL training provision for PhD students  Literature review  Best practice in other HE institutions  Research Student Needs Analysis Survey 2005  Developed PhD training course 2005  Piloted 2005-06
  8. 8. University Library Finding and managing information for your PhD: ½ day workshop  Pre-workshop assessment  Common concerns  Sources of information  Selecting keywords & building a search  Managing information  Plagiarism  Tracking academic discussions select 1 or 2 activities
  9. 9. University Library Why was the workshop designed in this way?  Based on good practice seen elsewhere  Based on needs identified in our students  Learner-focused: tailored to and driven by the user  Less formal than some of our traditional teaching  More variety in our teaching methods
  10. 10. University Library Pre-workshop assessment  Testing e.g. plagiarism, boolean, search methods  Self-assessment ratings e.g. search strategies experience, updating activities  Practical information for trainers e.g.PhD title, Endnote usage  Students think about their skills & habits  Trainers find out about their needs & abilities
  11. 11. University Library What did the pre-workshop assessment reveal? Which of the following do you think PhD students scored best at? Searching the Library catalogue Understanding of basic plagiarism Understanding how Boolean operators work How to obtain theses from other universities
  12. 12. University Library What did the pre-workshop assessment reveal?  Good results  Basic plagiarism: over 90% good understanding  Boolean operators: 75% could match correctly  Search techniques: 72% understood wildcard / phrase searching  Search engines: nearly 80% understood limitation in terms of web coverage
  13. 13. University Library What did the pre-workshop assessment reveal?  Poor results:  Theses: over 70% did not know how to obtain  Library Catalogue: 40% could not search correctly for a journal in the library catalogue  Keeping up-to-date: about 50% had no strategy  Reference Management software: 50% aware but had not used; 25% not aware of it
  14. 14. University Library How did PhD students assess themselves? How do you think students responded to this question: “Which of the following statements is most like you?” I spend a lot of time searching for info but often don’t come up with the right kind of results I find it difficult to keep track of what I have read and where I am worried that I sometimes miss essential papers when lit searching I am confident about searching for info, but could be more efficient
  15. 15. University Library How did PhD students assess themselves?  I am confident about searching for information, but know I could be more efficient: 36%  I am worried that I sometimes miss essential papers when literature searching: 31%  I find it difficult to keep track of what I have read and where: 18%  I spend a lot of time searching for info but often don’t come up with the right kind of results: 15%
  16. 16. University Library Common Anxieties Which of the following aspects of information literacy do you think most commonly worry research students? Systematic literature searching Managing information Which information sources to use Missing out key papers
  17. 17. University Library Common Anxieties • Which information resources to use “What are our databases, i.e. business and economics” • Systematic literature searching “How can I organise my lit searching so it is clear and systematic and so I don't forget what I have looked at and what I haven't” • Missing out key papers “How can I be certain I have a comprehensive search?” • Managing information “How can I manage downloaded papers so that I can retrieve information quickly?”
  18. 18. University Library Survey of researchers’ attitudes to training  Barriers to participation:  Very focused on time needed for high quality research- thinking, analysing, investigating  Other commitments (teaching, work, family etc.)  Priorities are boosting publication record, a permanent academic post (not building generic skills)  Most likely to participate if:  Recommended by supervisor / PI / senior academics  Gaining new skills of direct relevance  Providing something to add to CV  Training is short, focused and practical
  19. 19. University Library Was the ½ day workshop the best approach? Given the comments received from researchers and in your experience, which do you is the best approach? Workshops 1 to 1s
  20. 20. University Library Benefits of this approach to research training  Practical nature of sessions appealed  Brought group of PhDs together:  peer support  overlapping PhD areas discovered  User-focus and subject divisions meant it felt more individualised  More time efficient than seeing PhDs 1 to 1  Pre-training assessment results revealed a number of common weak IL areas
  21. 21. University Library Additional IL Support for researchers  Key open workshops badged for PhDs:  Copyright  Current awareness  Dissertations and theses  Endnote  Making the most of what was already on offer  Elements therefore not included in half-day workshop
  22. 22. University Library Crossroads: where next?  Research and development phase completed  Funding beyond Sep 2006 confirmed  Research Training Officer has expertise in the area and is confident with the workshop  But should subject librarians have responsibility for research training in their areas? Subject Librarians Research Training Officer
  23. 23. University Library Our Journey – phase 2  Information Literacy Officer appointed  Sept 2006 onwards; 0.5 FTE  Allowing roll-out to all Faculties  ILO delivers UG training on behalf of Faculty Team Librarians (FTLs = subject librarians)  ILO delivers many general IL workshops  FTLs deliver training to PhDs  FTLs best placed (subject knowledge) but some need to embrace new teaching practices
  24. 24. University Library Teaching Methods: ½ day workshop  Mixed learning & teaching methods:  Presentations  Group work & discussion  Mindmapping  E-learning activities  Self-directed learning  User-driven sessions:  More flexibility  Less control
  25. 25. University Library Staff Development  FTLs involved at each stage of research and development:  Initial discussions into content of workshop  Sharing of RTO’s outputs  Small number involved in pilot phase, so influenced how workshop developed
  26. 26. University Library Staff Development  Each Faculty Team received ½ day training session with RTO:  Explain rationale behind workshop  Practical info on how to deliver the workshop  Experience of new tools / techniques
  27. 27. University Library Feedback “The plagiarism section was the most enlightening” “it gave specific advice on searching! Incredible” “Great, been a student for 7 years, and still learned stuff!” “The bit on tracing academic discussion was really good, but all of it was useful” “Makes things quicker”
  28. 28. University Library IL for Researchers: Our Strategy Revisited Form key partnerships: GT&S & Faculty Reps Researcher Round Table Knit into / input to Uni initiatives: IL is core part of PhD courses run by GT&S Raise profile of IL with researchers: aim to illustrate importance of IL Develop IL training for researchers: 800+ staff & researchers trained 06/07 Make most of existing IL provision: yes, but could do more
  29. 29. University Library What else have we achieved?  Improved understanding of research student IL needs  Courses included as part of Research Training calendar of events  Improved skills of library staff / encouraged updating of teaching practices  Highlighted ability of library staff to do high level training & to support research process
  30. 30. University Library Future Plans / Challenges  Funding:  how to sustain our efforts when half time post ends Sept 2010  consider changing our model of teaching delivery  Online delivery:  aim to create and evaluate package for researchers in the VLE  Expanding programme:  develop a follow-up course for PhDs later in their research  provide more IL training for research staff, particularly at early stage of their career  Promotion:  further targetting of existing courses  improved web pages for research support generally  encourage supervisors / PIs to recommend our courses
  31. 31. University Library IL for Researchers: collaboration How can we collaborate better to share best practice and / or develop initiatives? Publish literatureVirtual community Dedicated events Local projects
  32. 32. University Library References  Roberts, S.G. (2002). SET for Success. London, HM Treasury: 218