Archived Storify about Shared Thinking

Because Storify is discontinuing in May 2018, I have archived this thread, that I collated a couple of years ago.  Not as attractive as it was with images in Storify, but at least the story is still preserved!

Shared Thinking: Student Induction Event (mainly as reported by Sue House)

I am myself thinking about student engagement in library-led seminars and tutorials – it’s the focus of my PGCert project. So when I read librarian Sue House’s tweets from a Shared Thinking event at York on Tuesday 5th July, I sat up and looked, because she cites lots of useful info & references.

I hope this doesn’t look like stalking! But Sue posted so much interesting, relevant and useful detail, and I knew I’d lose it all unless the tweets were captured and kept safe. So, for future reference, here are some tweets – beginning and ending with Shared Thinking. Interestingly enough (to me), it appears Shared Thinking originated in Glasgow – where I got my PhD. Clearly, I need to investigate!

Meanwhile, here is my first attempt at taking notes on someone else’s attendance at a conference that I wish I had known about! Online notes – how very “now”! (Incidentally, I have looked up most of Sue’s references so they can be followed up later. That’s my “added value” to this Storify.)

Shared Thinking :: Home
Home of Student-Generated Induction: A Social Identity Approach.


We are at the Royal York Hotel, in York on July 5th. This is a full day event on Student-Generated Induction: A Social Identity Approach. See this link for online booking and further details. We are at Queen Mary’s University of London for Student-Generated Induction: A Social Identity Approach.

Recent feedback on ‘Student-Generated Induction’: “Very relevant in terms of getting students to engage” #highered #studentengagement

@J1ten Very welcome. Sounds a great conf. Student-Generated Induction is an inclusive pedagogy. #HERAG2016

@sharedthinking absolutely & tutors also have a role in providing space & teaching activities to help students form peer relationships

Student-Generated Induction:A Social Identity Approach Royal York Hotel tomorrow. #belonging #wideningparticipation


Should be an interesting day, looking forward to it:

Not had the opportunity to tweet but fascinating content, theoretical framework based on work of Vincent Tinto, Syracuse.

Vincent Tinto is an award winning Distinguished University Professor at Syracuse University of sociology. He is a noted theorist in the field of higher education, particularly concerning student retention and learning communities. Tinto received his Ph.D. in education and sociology from the University of Chicago after earning a Bachelor of Science in physics at Fordham University in 1963.

Search results 1-3 for ‘Author: tinto ; Title: leaving college’ | Copac

So .. Tinto’s work is into student retention and learning communities. From my point of view, the learning communities work may be more pertinent, since I’m not on the student recruitment/registry side of things.

Need to get students to share their immediate concerns and address those first.

You’ll know your induction processes are successful when your students feel they ‘belong’.

We each have lots of different social identities, it depends which one is activated at a particular time, this can affect yr cognitive load

Social capital and clarity of identity tool coming soon from the HEA (according to someone from the HEA!)

Work of Claude Steele also referenced, check out YouTube for films re: feeling stigmatised if your social identity is under threat.

Claude Steele – Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Claude Mason Steele (born January 1, 1946) is an African American social psychologist. He used to be the executive vice chancellor and provost at the University of California, Berkeley. Steele was the I. James Quillen Dean at the Stanford Graduate School of Education, and professor emeritus in psychology at Stanford.

Belonging – work by Steele, Walton, Cohen, Caciooa & Hawkley, Costa, Haslam.

Gaertner & Dovidio – common group identity / super-ordinate group.
Belonging is about social identification, can be framed from an individual to a structural level – functions as a bridge.

Groups are significant in everyones life. Induction should be based on who there is in the group. Ask them about their concerns.

And here’s a great idea both for student induction AND the kind of seminars I give about either musicological OR library/information related topics. Start by asking what the group hopes to get out of a session. (And end by asking if it has helped?!)

Different identities can be switched on and off depending on cues in the environment. There is a continuum me > we. Tajfel, Turner.

Could collect feedback from 2nd years reflecting on 1st yr experience can be valuable peer / mentor type sharing of experience.

When asked what the best part of our practice was, result was experiential learning activities (interesting activities linked to subject).

Aha! Experiential learning! I am mentioning this in a paper I’m giving at ISME in a couple of weeks’ time. I think I shall be citing this …

Conference program for @official_isme is online. #ismeglasgow2016

The opposite of ‘belonging’ is social isolation, very harmful to health and well-being.

Belonging is not just about interactions between an individual student & the uni. It’s also about peer relationships within the group.

So how do we get students to support each other? Peer learning, mentoring schemes etc.

When asked what the most positive aspect of the way we address diversity at induction – clear communication was the most imp. answer.

This type of group work activity has been used successfully in induction at Glasgow by Dr Nicholas Bowskill @sharedthinking this is his work

There’s an embargo on Bowskill’s thesis, only completed in 2013. However, you can look at the abstract via the University Library catalogue.

A social identity approach to learning with classroom technologies
Bowskill, Nicholas William David (2013) A social identity approach to learning with classroom technologies. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow. Due to Embargo and/or Third Party Copyright restrictions, this thesis is not available in this service. This inter-disciplinary study develops a group level approach to learning design and practice in the classroom

And here’s a shorter book published by Bowskill in 2013:-
Item 1 of 4 for ‘Author: Bowskill, nicholas’ | Copac

Luckily the book is also available on Amazon. Note to self – must get this for @whittakerlib!

Student-Generated Induction: A Social Identity Approach: A Staff Development Guide by Nicholas Bowskill (ISBN: 9781480113299) from Amazon

When asked about concerns about group work most important answer was enabling the group to see the relevance (why are we doing this?)

Threshold concepts (Ryland’s?) were used to measure the success of student-led induction.

Sue House
Method can be used with returning students to compare their first year answers and show how far they’ve come.

Dweck – things may be difficult / uncomfortable now, but that may change over time.

Lots to think about re: student-led induction!

Thanks to everyone at Student-Generated Induction,York today. Hope you enjoyed it. #inclusion #wideningparticipation

Looks like a great day at #connectmore16 Student-Generated Induction was born at Uni of Glasgow.

I’m currently on holiday, but I’ve emailed my work-self details about these workshops, so I can share the information with colleagues when I get back to my desk in a couple of weeks’ time!


Pixis and his Hommage to Clementi

johann_peter_pixis_by_august_kneiselDuring the reign of King George IV, Johann Peter Pixis wrote his Hommage a Clementi, a set of piano variations on ‘God Save the King’, op.101.  Published in 1828 by S. Chappell, and also distributed by Henry Lemoine, copies went to all the copyright libraries.  As I’m transcribing each item on the two Advocates’ Library music sales lists, I’m looking to see where copies survived, and it’s rare to trace such near-complete coverage as I did with this piece.   Playing my game of ‘Happy Families’ with the list dated March 8th, 1830, I checked off an almost complete set still extant, in Aberdeen, St Andrews, Glasgow, Oxford, Cambridge and the British Library.  Clearly, variations on ‘God Save the King’ were generally considered worth keeping.  Indeed, St Andrews and Cambridge each hold two copies.  The popularity of the tune is corroborated in a recent book, Taking it to the Bridge: Music as performance, edited by Nicholas Cook and Richard Pettengill, p.114. 

Of course, the Advocates were selling theirs, and who knows what happened to the copy that presumably also went to the University of Edinburgh (aka ‘Edinburgh College’).  As for Sion College – I haven’t started investigating what happened to their music, yet.  I hope to visit my counterparts in Lambeth Palace soon, but my travel plans are a bit up in the air at the moment …

After several hours of transcribing grey, enlarged camera photos, I thought it might be fun to play this apparently desirable score.  It’s lucky I’m visiting Glasgow University Library soon, because a quick search online didn’t turn up a digitised copy.  Admittedly, I didn’t look very hard.  However, I did find a review of the piece in The Harmonicon of 1828, the music magazine which was enormously popular with library users in St Andrews!  Two of Pixis’ sets of variations are reviewed.  Do I really want to bother with something fit only for ‘crazy amateurs of Vienna’,  or nimble-fingered pianists with no judgement?  Maybe the Edinburgh advocates knew something …

Pixis Variations op.101
“Difficult and devoid of interest”


Graduating: Postgraduate Certificate in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education

Technically, this post finally completes the purpose of the blog.  It began when I started the distance-learning Teaching Artist short course with my own employers, the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.  And I continued it when I took my studies to the next level for the PGCert in Learning and Teaching in Higher Arts Education.

Next week, I graduate with my Postgraduate Certificate, which qualifies me as a teacher and will also make me a Fellow of the Higher Education Academy – kind of ironic, for the scholar who in 1984 took refuge in librarianship because she couldn’t imagine herself standing in front of a class.  Ironic too, because my parents were both teachers – and I was sure I would never be one.

1984-5 were pivotal years for me.  I did a Graduate traineeship in a university library, followed by a Postgraduate Diploma in Librarianship, got a Distinction, got a job, then another job, then achieved chartership with my professional association, and conceded that I’d never finish the PhD that I had begun with such hope.  I couldn’t see myself as an academic, had had no opportunities to try, and was assured by everyone that there weren’t any jobs out there anyway.  Then finally burned my boats by abandoning the PhD.  If someone had sat me down and asked why, or tried to persuade me otherwise, would I have listened?  Who knows.

Fast-forward to 2009.  I got a PhD the hard way, part-time, on a different subject which I found totally absorbing.

And fast-forward again to today.  After years of delivering user education in the library, lectures about bibliography and electronic resources and papers about a wide variety of research topics, I’ve proved to myself that I can do it, and next week I’ll have a PGCert as my reminder!

I’m not going to close down this blog, though I may only add to it infrequently.  I’ve read a massive amount of literature about educational matters, and it would be shame to lose all that commentary.  But I’d also like to leave this post with an admonition for those who have followed it:

Don’t say you can’t do something until you’ve tried.  Don’t abandon ambitions because they seem too high.

I have seven years until I can claim my pension – meanwhile, I have a lot of catching up to do!

(If you’ve enjoyed following me on this blog, you might be interested see what I’m up to now – visit– it’s the research network that I’ve recently founded, studying British early legal deposit music.)

Did I Mention GIFs?

Buffer kindly shared a useful article yesterday, which might answer the question I wrestled with in my recent PGCert project:-

The Ultimate Guide to GIFs: How to Create Them, When to Use Them and Why They’re Essential for Every Marketer

So, if students request animation and video in our instructional materials, then I could make GIFs from Screencast-o-Matic videos.  This does need a little thought, however, since I’d be producing them as part of my employed work, rather than as a student in my own time at home.  Nonetheless, I feel a little more optimistic having read this article, so I’ll do a bit of exploration back at work!

There’s also a quick videoclip outlining one approach.  I need to investigate three websites!

  • Canva
  • EZGif

Now, don’t laugh, please! I made my first GIF.  It took literally hours, and has no artistic merit.  However, it IS a giphy gif – my firstborn.  I made a gif describing the legal deposit “lifecyle”of early 19th century music.  How arcane is that?!  And I can get it into Twitter as well!



One of the most constructive articles about creativity in the educational context that I’ve seen in a long time, this came to my attention in a recent email.  First published in 2011, the edited article article appeared online three years ago.  Into my bibliography it goes, whether or not the PGCert portfolio is complete – professional development is continual, after all!

Veronica Harris, ‘So you want to be creative‘, in the Australian online magazine, Teacher. (14 June 2014)

Three roles – or is it four?

Four days a week, I’m an academic librarian.  One day, I’m a postdoctoral researcher.  In August, the emphasis will shift slightly to three and a half days and one and a half, for the duration of my AHRC network funding grant.

A couple of days ago I realised my SCONUL Focus article was now in print, describing how my three roles in librarianship, research and pedagogy serve one another.  I find it quite easy writing about process, and I’ve often been asked to write or speak about this kind of thing.   In fact, my PGCert project also had a focus on process: I was contemplating the best ways to support distance learners in their information needs and skills development, and although the project gave me insight into how social scientists conduct educational research, and conducting the survey and interviews was an unexpected eye-opener, at the end of the day I was writing not only about my research findings, but about process, ie, the best ways to support learners.

However, it’s more challenging and perhaps more satisfying to write engagingly and accessibly about my musicological research, because it goes deeper into my specialism.  I have several pieces of writing submitted and awaiting publication at the moment, but what’s missing is something actually on the drawing-board, being written right now.  That’s largely because I was completing the PGCert portfolio.  Librarianship happens four days a week, research a fifth, and the PGCert had to fit around family life and my spare time.   Which didn’t, to be truthful, leave any spare time for writing!

However, I remembered the other day that I gave a paper earlier this year for which I have not yet sought a published home.   Maybe, just maybe I ought to dig it out and see what needs to be done to turn it into a proper paper for submission.

Librarianship, research, pedagogy … and author.  Well, after my annual leave, anyway!


Blending Librarianship With Research and Pedagogy (SCONUL Focus 69, 56-59)

SCONUL is the Standing Conference of National and University Librarians.  SCONUL Focus online is an open access publication.  Vol.69 is dedicated to articles by librarians engaged in various aspects of research.  My line-manager suggested I should contribute something – this is it.
Karen McAulay, ‘Blending Librarianship with Research and Pedagogy‘, SCONUL 69, 56-59 (July 2017)
ABSTRACT: I contend that the combination of librarianship with research is beneficial both on a personal level and to the library and institution, but that the addition of a third element – pedagogy – brings even stronger benefits.

I'm a musicologist disguised as a librarian. I've been writing this blog as part of my PG Certificate in Teaching and Learning in Higher Arts Education, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.