The Library at Salford University has over 100 staff based across three library sites. The programme was initiated shortly after the deconversion of the former ILS library and IT service. 107 staff across different library units were registered for the programme in two cohorts.At the stage the programme was initiated, Social Media and Web 2.0 was already beginning to impact the service. Many students make use of these technologies, particularly those around social networking, for personal activities. Some academic staff and service departments across the university had begun to tap into this and had developed an online presence in those same social networking environments to allow students to engage outside of traditional university systems. As a service the Library is continually developing and adapting to change. Some individuals within the library were already becoming familiar with social media technologies and it was felt that there were many potential opportunities to exploit in order to provide new and accessible avenues of communication and support.
Learning 2.0 is a programme originally developed at McMaster University and taken on by others. LJMU gave the programme team access to their course materials and these formed the framework of planning our own Learning 2.0 at Salford course. Thanks go to McMAster and John Moores for their contribution to this.Having taken the basic outline and level of content and detail, the programme team built a new and updated version within the Blackboard VLE system. New technologies such as Cloud Computing and Media Creation were added to the existing list, and the team search for relevant examples of the use and application of each technology to include with the teaching content.Alongside the learning content, the programme team saw group work and collaboration as key to the success of the course and had several aims in putting together the course.
For each cohort learners were allocated to groups of approximately 10 people, deliberately pulled from different service areas so they would have the opportunity to work with individuals they did not necessarily collaborate with in their day job. Teams also consisted of staff from different levels which allowed different perspectives on service delivery to come into group discussion.The content was delivered through the Blackboard interface, however each week learners would access relevant tools online, often signing up to or creating content in web 2.0 environments. Initially the first 2 weeks were run in classroom environments to allow learners to meet one another and gain familiarity with the process before they proceeded to learn online. The programme began with broad introductions to concepts around web 2.0 and ended with the opportunity for both individual reflection and the production of a group project to demonstrate what they had learned. These were later disseminated to the whole library service via newsletters so that everyone could see potential application of technologies within the service.
An example of 1 weeks content in BBThey all began with a common craft video to introduce the topic and then folders with further information and learning appeared, followed by a structured activity which generally involved going out to access or investigate one of the potential tools within that technology. Each week participants were also expected to complete a brief entry in their reflective diary which used the Blackboard blog tool. These were open for the whole cohort so they could see and comment on each others diaries.
Overall programme statistics show a lower completion in cohort 2 than 1 but overall approximately 60% completed the full programme, and the majority of the remained completed several sections.The final projects showed a variety of tools and approaches Some content areas were more popular than others. These were the ones that learners could easily see direct application to their work or personal lives, whereas areas such as media creation and cloud computing had lower completion rates as many could not see how they could make use of these in their own job.
Feedback and evaluation came from many sources. Throughout both cohorts the programme team received informal feedback from learners, and gained insights from reading the reflective diaries.Completion of the programme was measured by involvement in the majority of learning weeks, one way this was measured was by participants completing an entry in their reflective diary or joining in with group discussions on the blackboard discussion boards.Cohort 1 undertook a pre and post course survey to measure how their use of individual technologies changed as a result of their learning. Overall every area saw an increase in use, however the level of impact varied from one technology to another.
In November 2010, a member of staff in the library conducted a survey on web 2.0 within the library service at Salford University as part of data collection for an Masters thesis. One question in this survey directly addressed the Learning 2.0 programme and provides some follow-up evaluation. 45 people responded to the question, with 53% saying they had benefitted from the course. Other questions in the survey gave an indication that the majority of library staff felt that web 2.0 did have an impact on our service and that they used these technologies in communication with staff, students and colleagues.
Feedback from users via team leaders, direct to the programme team or in their reflective diaries showed common themes of opinion.Many content areas were very positively received and people reported being interested in learning and being glad they knew about them. These tended to be in the areas where they could most easily see a personal or work application, like blogs, microblogs, wikis and RSS feeds.They liked all the links to real examples and felt these put the learning into context, they were encouraged to contribute their own examples and many did add new links to a wiki.Face to face contact time was positively received and helped some individuals stay on track and motivated to complete online elementsSome issues raised were around issues of information overload, not being able to keep track of all the passwords they had created or the places they had visited. Some felt the programme lasted too long and this meant they were lost along the way.Some structural issues arose, the team leader role did not work effectively and blackboard was not considered a suitable vehicle as it appeared clumsy and out of date compared to some of the tools being promoted in the course.
The programme team had their own reflections following delivery to two cohorts and felt that changes were needed to structure and content to improve the course. However reviewing the feedback and statistics the team felt that it had been a valuable exercise and that staff had ultimately achieve the initial aims of Engage staff with new technologiescross team working using social media tools
Within the last year, many Learning 2.0 participants have gone on to create or become involved in web 2.0 technologies for the library service. These range from internal communication processes, for example wikis and blogs for projects and team working to new ways of communicating with users, including subject librarian blogs, a training twitter feed and the use of Meebo for instant messaging with the enquiry desk team.
Since the completion of the first two cohorts, the programme team have been examining the feedback and making plans to take the Learning 2.0 concept forward.A new content structure has been developed, grouping technologies into activity areas to help make sense of the raft of new technologies and to reduce the length of time it takes to complete the programme. The organisation of the programme has also been altered, with the removal of the team leader role which will in future be replaced by a member of the programme team acting as mentor to learners.After consideration of a number of options it was decided to re-house the content in a wiki, which is more in keeping with the overall feel of the programme and allows the team flexibility in the future to maintain a closed environment with only registered learners able to access the content, or to make the entire programme fully open for others to access and make use of.The team are also in the early stages of decisions around creating an accredited version of the programme.
The process of creating, delivering and evaluating the programme to two cohorts has given us the opportunity to learn a great deal.The team have completed the process feeling very positive about the usefulness of such a course within the library environment and although some issues with how the programme was delivered have been identified it is clear that overall learners have benefitted, and that some have gone on to apply their learning in order to create new ways of delivering the service.For anyone else considering running a similar programme, there are some key recommendationsStaff need time to access and complete the learning so there needs to be a buy-in from management to allow thisContent needs to be relevant – there are many good relevant examples of how social media technologies are being used already and this really helps learners understand how they could be applied to their own service or roleOnce people have engaged they need the opportunity to apply their – management teams need to encourage this enthusiasm and allow creativity.
Engaging and involving staff with social media
ENGAGING AND INVOLVINGSTAFF WITH SOCIAL MEDIARachel Adams, Natasha Lucas, Jenny McNallyThe LibraryUniversity of Salford
THE LIBRARY @ SALFORD UNIVERSITY Based across 3 library sites 107 staff undertook programmeIMPACT OF SOCIAL MEDIA Students engaging for personal activity Academics beginning to engage for teaching Library always considering new methods of providing help and support
LEARNING 2.0 Framework from LJMU programme, based upon the McMaster University original Examines key areas around web 2.0 and social media Opportunity for group work and collaboration PROGRAMME TEAM AIMS Engage staff with new technologies Provide opportunity for cross team working Encourage development of new communication and support processes using social media tools
LEARNING 2.0 @ SALFORD Learners in groups with a team leader 12 week programme via Blackboard: Blackboard overview Cloud computing Introduction to Web 2.0 Social Networking Wikis Media Sharing Blogs and Microblogs Media Creation RSS feeds Reflection Social bookmarking Final Task Weekly content & structured activities Opportunity for group discussions Individual reflective diaries Final group projects presented to library service Individual contribution winners
COHORT 1 COHORT 2 January – April 2010 April - July 2010 67% completed 53% completed programme programme Final projects included: Final projects included: Netvibes page with links to Blog incorporating subject support resources slideshare, videos & flickr Blog reviewing the team’s Prezi presentation learning across the course You Tube videos of library Wiki with twitter feed service demonstrating team learning Blog with video content Slideshare presentationMost popular topics: • Wikis Blogs & Microblogs RSS feedsLeast popular topics: • Media creation Cloud computing
FEEDBACK AND EVALUATION Learner feedback from: Reflective diary entries Comments to team leaders / programme team Discussions during face-to-face sessions A team final project that surveyed other learners Statistics from: Pre and post course survey results Use of reflective diaries / discussion boards
PRE AND POST COURSE SURVEY17% had never used a blog. Everyone had used a blog after the course30% had written blogs 44% now write blogs
PRE AND POST COURSE SURVEY59% had never used microblogging 5% have still not usedprior to the course. microblogging.19% had written microblogs 49% have written microblogs
PRE AND POST COURSE SURVEY68% had never seen social 5% had not used social bookmarkingbookmarking prior to the course after the course16% had used social bookmarking for 39% used social bookmarking for workwork
LONGER TERM IMPACT Do you believe you have benefitted from completing the Learning 2.0 @ Salford training programme? 60 50 Yes 40 30 No 20 Not attended 10 0 Donohue, N. (2011) An investigation into the use of web 2.0 in a higher education library environment. Unpublished thesis, Liverpool John Moores University.
LEARNER FEEDBACKPositive comments Issues raised Liked certain content Information overload areas where Team leaders role application was problematic obvious Too long Enjoyed ‘real world’ Password / account examples creation and monitoring Face to face contact Blackboard Worth doing Would recommend it
PROGRAMME TEAM REFLECTIONS Some changes to content required less repetitive in structure Team leader role doesnt work Possibly reduce time to lower attrition Blackboard not a good vehicle for delivery Learner awareness and use increased Examples appearing of application within the service Overall learners felt they had ‘benefitted’
IMPACT OF LEARNING 2.0 @ SALFORD Health Infoskills blog Training team twitter
LOOKING FORWARD Programme team have re-written course clearer structure, grouping technologies together around activity reduced programme length Created a wiki to house new content Examining opportunities for accreditation
RECOMMENDATIONS TO OTHERS Valuable activity for library staff Many variations freely available online Provide time off and structure to encourage staff to participate Ensure content is relevant Allow staff to use technologies where as appropriate Keep the enthusiasm going