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Last week I was busy, presenting on Friday at the Society for Research in Higher Education event. I was running a workshop with Moira Bent, on behalf of the RIDLs coalition. This was the second event where we ran a workshop on digital and information literacies, the RDF and the concept of the ‘Informed Researcher’ for groups outside the library sector. Many of those attending on Friday were educational researchers, educational developers, postgraduate researchers and lecturers. When we asked the groups to break into discussions on what they thought digital and information literacies were, what it meant to be an informed researcher and how they were supporting researchers in their own institution to develop in this area, I have never known such as noisy round of discussions! I think we gave them plenty to think about, but also I hope that people took away that there is a lot that librarians can offer in the way of expertise in this field. We had a great debate on what the term information literacy meant – what is information? And what is literacy? Was digital literacy a broader or narrow term? But most importantly what should we be doing in this area to ensure everyone has these capabilities.
Last Thursday I attended (and presented) at the CILIP eCopyright briefing, chaired by Naomi Korm with a wide range of speakers who updated us on aspects of copyright law and copyright practices. The day was opened by Heather Caven, Head of Collection Management and Planning at the V&A, who gave us an inspiring talk about copyright at her own institution, where copyright could in the past be seen as a barrier. In a climate where we are all trying to do more with less, Heather urged us to consider what should be given away for free and what should be paid for. In terms of the V&A, the image service has been running since 2009, making over 1.1 million images available for free, under CC licences with no impact on profits. The commitment to opening up the collection and working with Wikimedia was inspiring. But Heather urged us to gather metrics to really understand how people are using your collections and your website and to understand how if you give away something for free then that can translate into people spending money on your site.
Today I attended a workshop in the Changing the Learning Landscapes series. The event was held at the University of Leeds and several familiar faces from HEA projects and from last year’s SEDA Summer School were facilitating the day. The first session was by Lawrie Phipps, from JISC who spoke at the Summer School last year. He made some good points about, when we speak to students, which students do we hear from? Who are representing students, on committees and in surveys? He asked us to collect our thoughts about what digital literacies students need to be effective learner. They are online and he also made the distinction between scholarly practices, information and media processes and socio-technical processes were are evolving at different rates. Lawrie also recognised that a lot of digital literacy work builds on the work librarians have done for many years around information literacy. He asked us about some of the barriers to change and inevitably the reward structure in HE came up. He also urged against putting digital at the start of things as it focuses the mind on the technology, which is not what we want to do. It’s about underlying practices. JISC have a lot of resources coming out of the Digital Literacies Design Studio, including an audit tool and various models such as the pyramid from Beetham and Sharpe.
This week my head is swimming with copyright due to running two training events at other universities. Tomorrow (weather permitting) I’m going to York St John to do a session for library staff. Then on Friday I’m going to Cardiff to run a full day course on behalf of CILIP. I usually run an hour and a half session for staff at LSE so I wondered if I would have enough to fill a whole day. But in fact there is so much to say I’m cutting some out! I’ve been trying to think of fun activities related to copyright. Now that is a challenge! I’ll see how I get on but there is so much to think about and so many potential issues people might want to know about. The focus is copyright and e-learning so come to think about it I know a good book on that topic!
It’s the time of the year when I seem to be frantically preparing teaching materials between delivering classes and workshops. In the last few weeks I have taught two workshops as part of LSE’s PGCert on Learning Technologies. This term I am teaching with Claudine Provencher from the Teaching and Learning Centre and LSE’s Department of Social Psychology. We made some changes to the workshop, and were both really pleased with how the session went. For once I also felt that many of the students did realise that technology was not something to think about after you’ve planned your teaching. We also had a greater number of students who had taken online courses or used technology for their own learning.
Last week I was teaching ‘Developing you web presence’ and today I ran a session on using Web 2.0 tools in teaching. Again it seems that many people attending these sessions don’t need convincing these tools are helpful for learning, they just need advice about the best way of using them. Tomorrow I’ll be teaching a session on Managing Information with colleague from the Library as part of the MY592 programme. And then at lunchtime I am teaching second year PGCert students about using technology for assessment and feedback. Then on Thursday I’ll be in Aberystwyth for my annual trip to the Department of Information Studies, to give a guest lecture for students. Wish me luck! Don’t forget many of the resources for these sessions are available as open educational resources in LSE Learning Resources Online.
As previously mentioned a few weeks ago I was running a workshop at the IFLA Satellite Meeting in Tampere (http://iflasatellitetampere2012.wordpress.com/) with Maria Bell from LSE and Katy Wrathall from York St John University. Our workshop described our current project at LSE to investigate how we support undergraduate students in terms of a broad curriculum of information literacy, known as ANCIL, which I developed with Emma Coonan when I was at University of Cambridge last year. We interviewed staff across LSE to find out how joined up our provision is, with services such as TLC, Careers and Language Centre and with what is embedded into academic programmes We also carried out focus groups with students to find out what they want from the Library in terms of learning support. The workshop gave people a chance to try mapping their own provision in their institution. Our presentation is on Slideshare at: http://www.slideshare.net/seckerj/ifla2012final
The IFLA conference was a great opportunity to meet librarians from all around the world, including Scandinavia, United States, South Africa, Uganda, Namibia, Australia, Singapore and others. . Keynotes for the conference were given by Kirsti Lonka who is Professor of Educational Psychology at the University of Helsinki who spoke about designing engaging learning environments for the future and the value of physical spaces (and libraries) to support learning (see my previous post). The second keynote was from Carol Kuhlthau, who is Professor of Information Science at Rutgers University and has written widely in the field of information seeking behaviour.
Highlights of the conference included a valuable session on seemless delivery of learning support services from Vicki McDonald at Queensland University of Technology, who spoke about joining up information literacy with academic skills. Courtney Bruch and Carroll Wilkinson from the US spoke about organisational culture, change agency and emotional intelligence: research findings for fostering librarian ownership of IL Programs. They have also written a book on this subject. Sharon Favaro from Seton Hall University, New Jersey spoke about teaching IL to first year students through knowledge management tools and there were lots of overlaps in her findings and our work at LSE. I also attended an excellent session from Portsmouth University about developing an information literacy framework for library staff to enable them to better support students.
Tampere was a fabulous city on the banks of two lakes, with a rich industrial heritage and many former factories and mills. Known as the Manchester of Finland, it was great to have an evening reception in the town hall and see some of the city on an afternoon tour. We also had a chance to visit the ‘Moomin Museum’ for those of you old enough to remember the strange hippo like creatures created by Tove Jansson.
My feet don’t have time to touch the ground at the moment, I am preparing presentations left right and centre. Tomorrow I am running a workshop with a colleague at Kings College London, Dr Stylianos Hatzipagos, who is also a fellow at the Centre for Distance Eduction like me. We are doing a lunchtime session on Finding and Evaluating Open Educational Resources. On Monday this week I was up in York – visiting the University of York and also York St John University. It was a great two days and as well as getting a chance to wander about the beautiful city of York in the sunshine, Maria and I also presented a lunchtime seminar about the work we are doing on the ANCIL audit at LSE. We also visited colleagues at YSJ to talk information literacy and get a tour of their learning centre, which has some great features such as a feedback wall! Another highlight was a visit to the King’s Manor library at York University, set in a Tudor building, which is just amazing and holds the collection for Archaeology, Medieval Studies and Eighteenth Century Studies.
Next week is going to be equally busy as I am attending the ALDinHE conference in Leeds, which is the learning developers conference. Again I will be presenting about ANCIL and of course the week after that is LILAC, when as well as being on the organising committee, I will be presenting a workshop. It’s going to be a busy start to April, but hopefully a lot of fun!
This week is Open Education Week and its fitting that our Learning Resources Online collection got a make-over on Monday. I was really pleased to see the new banner we have added to brand the collection in a similar way to LSE’s two other repositories. It’s also worth highlighting a free workshop that I am running in a couple of weeks time, which still has a few places on it. Details are below and do contact the CDE if you wish to come along.
CDE workshop: Finding and Evaluating Open Educational Resources
Thursday 29 March 2012, 12pm-2pm.
Room G37, Senate House, University of London
Hosted by: Dr Jane Secker (Learning Technology Librarian, London School of Economics) and Dr Stylianos Hatzipanagos (Lecturer in Higher Education/Head of eLearning, King’s College London) .
This is a reminder that spaces are still available for this workshop – a chance to find out more about open educational resources (OERs). CDE Fellows from London School of Economics (LSE), King’s College London (KCL) and the University of London will discuss recent work they have undertaken to develop and release OERs, including a CDE funded project at KCL and a JISC/HEA project at the LSE. The workshop will provide an overview of the challenges and issues of developing OERs, from scratch as well as converting/repurposing existing materials using the CORRE framework.
It will also be a chance to explore a range of OERs that might be useful in your teaching and discuss the challenges and opportunities that they present. A large part of the seminar will be hands-on activities with laptops to explore Jorum and other places to find OERs in your own subject area and to evaluate these with a set of criteria.
To book a place at this free event please contact the CDE by email email@example.com or phone 0207 8628404. Lunch will be provided.
I have two further blogs that I am contributing to now, so it’s a wonder I find to do anything! Emma and I have recently set up a blog to collate information about the research we did over the summer term while I was in Cambridge. Our New Curriculum blog brings together the resources we did have on a wiki. We are also going to try and keep it up to date with details of the dissemination events we have lined up over the next few months. The first of which is tomorrow in York – we’re attending a JISC Regional Support Centre for Yorkshire and Humberside conference on empowering digital natives. I’ll be seeing Scott and Kevin again as I’ve presented at the learning resources conference a few times before.
I also set up a blog yesterday for the LSE Roof Gardens, which is a project I have been involved in for about 18 months. There are gardens on the roof of a couple of LSE’s buildings where we are growing mainly vegetables. I’ve offered to run a blogging session for the gardeners as I’m hoping quite a few of them will contribute stories and photos.
I’m well over half way through my time in Cambridge now and next week we have organised an expert consultation workshop where Emma and I will present a draft of our findings and an outline curriculum to a group. It includes some Cambridge people as well as other information literacy experts from around the UK. We also hope to put the material onto our wiki we’ve been using, so we can gather feedback more widely. It’s a busy time of year (despite being the end of term) and several people can’t attend our workshop as they are at the I3 conference. However, we do have a good bunch of people coming along and we’ve order them a nice lunch (and wine!) and the opportunity to visit Wolfson College.
Our methodology has been to use what we are calling ‘modified Delphi’ approach, meaning we are consulting with experts to help us predict the future and develop a revolutionary information literacy curriculum. The first phase involved carrying out interviews either via e-mail over the phone or in many cases face to face. I forgot how much I disliked transcribing though – but I find it so hard to just make notes from an interview and the full transcript gives us the opportunity to use some of the really nice quotes from people. We’ve been busy coding the data and devised an elaborate coding scheme which is working really well.
I’m nervous about next week’s workshop, but also looking forward to it. We also have a seminar at 6pm the same day given by the four Press Fellows who are at Wolfson at the same time as me. And then we’ll all attend the Formal Hall in the evening to celebrate what we hope will be a successful day! It will be a chance to catch up with friends and colleagues who have agreed to come along and I’m really pleased that John Naughton has agreed to be there all day. Wish us luck!