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Wood - Collaboration and partnership: developing the Academic Skills Centre at the University of Birmingham


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Wood - Collaboration and partnership: developing the Academic Skills Centre at the University of Birmingham

  1. 1. Collaboration and partnership: developing the Academic Skills Centre at the University of BirminghamRachel Wood, Academic Skills CentreMarch 2013
  2. 2.  Background Benchmarking – Internal – External What we did based on the benchmarking How we collaborated How we see the future
  3. 3. Background Pro-Vice Chancellor for Education review of academic support for UGs University-wide project (team included librarian) – Implemented in March 2012 Centre was introduced in September 2012 – Supports mathematics, general academic skills and writing.
  4. 4. Benchmarking: key questions What does an ASC look like? What are we already doing at UoB? Where is the best practice elsewhere? What do we need to do?
  5. 5. Benchmarking – Internal Questioned 2 groups: – Academics – Central support services including library Subject Advisors Key question: what academic skills do you provide?
  6. 6. Benchmarking – Internal academics Varied, depending on subject Overall, very good Challenges: large class sizes, physical and time resources Good practice: embedding study skills into curriculum, use of peer feedback
  7. 7. Benchmarking – Internal centralservices Central provision varied All use blended approach Challenges: academic buy-in, embedding into curriculum Good practice: IL in Dentistry
  8. 8. Benchmarking – Central services
  9. 9. Benchmarking - External Survey of other UK universities: – Focussed on good practice in a variety of other institutions – Sample comprised of 17 institutions (Russell Group and non-Russell Group)
  10. 10. Benchmarking - External Survey was piloted with two Russell Group institutions (big thanks to Leeds and Oxford!) Used Survey Monkey ® software In April and May 2012 a tailored e-mail was sent to library or academic skills contacts
  11. 11. Benchmarking - External 8 non-Russell Group universities and 6 Russell Group universities responded. The survey was followed up with six semi structured telephone interviews.
  12. 12. Benchmarking - External Embedding skills is key Located with library service Good provision of skills through websites Scalability Ownership – central vs. academic Providers – academics, librarians Resources Evaluation of skills support
  13. 13. What we did next: organisation Used results to draw up organisation Advisory boards New division to work alongside librarians Academic Skills Centre Skills Development Manager Rachel Wood Academic Skills Team Projects Officer (Skills) Michael Stanford Writing Skills Advisor Helen Cooper Learning Skills Advisors Stephen Griffin (p/t) Beverley Maynard (p/t) Michael Shoolbred (p/t)
  14. 14. What we did: identity ASC became part of Library Services Located in Main Library New website with course bookings and online resources
  15. 15. What we did Developed curriculum based on external/internal best practice Introduced generic workshops for 1st years: learning in HE, writing, note taking and critical reading Collaborate with library staff to run joint activities
  16. 16. What we didn’t expect to do! Supported lots of 2nd and 3rd years Re-wrote our administrative systems
  17. 17. Collaboration Developed joined-up approach with: – Librarians and other library staff re Transition Review – Academics to run sessions on our behalf (academic writing) and their behalf (group work) – Joint Librarian/ASC sessions
  18. 18. Collaboration Promote via various networks embedding Information Literacy and Academic Skills for enhancement – ie support/ development for all.
  19. 19. Future Review first year Joint development of teaching resources with librarians Work with students for peer to peer learning Embed in the curriculum Focus on online delivery
  20. 20. Further information Rachel Wood