Project Reading, and ResearchGate

Ah, the weekend! I sit in a chaotic dining room (which doubles up as my office), while things sit in relocated heaps because three different parts of the house are being decorated!  It’s hard to concentrate on anything (and my PGCert is just one of the things I should be concentrating on this weekend), but I can just about manage to blog, and read in between interruptions.  It’s either that or the ironing!

Credit-Bearing Instruction

So, checking my emails I discover that a librarian from Canada has responded to my ResearchGate conversation about user education.  William Badke is at Trinity Western University Canada, and he is in  favour of credit-bearing instruction.  Now, when I did my own PhD at the University of Glasgow, we all had to pass a library/IT module, but it wasn’t exactly credit-bearing. Satisfactory completion was just essential.  I was exempt from much of it, being a subject librarian myself at another institution.

Graduate Attributes: What should a Graduate “Look” Like? (Not Literally!)

In my own job, I give irregular seminars to students at any level if their teachers request this. As I’ve mentioned before, I find it’s best given at point of need, eg when an essay or project has to be handed in!  However, although training is kind of compulsory if we’re attending a scheduled lecture or seminar, there’s no compulsion in the sense that credits have to be earned or a “library training” box ticked as part of the students’ studies.  In our own situation, we’re quite proud of the amount we are now involved in teaching compared to how things were even three or four years ago.  Prior to the redesign of our Bachelors’ degrees, I did encounter one comment that students ‘didn’t want to be trained in information science’ – after all, they’re at a conservatoire.  Nonetheless, degree-level study, or study towards a degree, demands degree-level (or heading for degree-level) information handling skills. Not as a librarian, but with the aim of becoming a competent information-seeking graduate. I’ve been attending programme committee meetings this week, and one thing that resonated with me was that programme designers and educationalists know what they want a typical graduate from our institution to ‘look like’; however, from the students’ point of view, they want to be performers, and to that end they want to spend most of their time performing.  They don’t yet see the need for acquiring the kind of graduate attributes that will, actually, turn out to be useful.

Networking by Social Media

But back to William in Canada – he has just shared with me his own website for library teaching resources, which is very generous of him. And I see he has also published a book on the subject.  So, that’s two more things to go on my reading list – the website and the book! Maybe we could even consider getting the book, if it suits the Conservatoire context.  I am really grateful for the generosity of fellow-researchers and librarians on ResearchGate.  I’m getting so much useful discussion, not to mention recommendations for reading or websites to visit.  (And in my day-to-day work as a librarian, last week I contacted a professor in a totally different discipline to ask about a paper she had listed but not yet uploaded, because one of our students couldn’t access it by any other means.  This week, she kindly uploaded it!  The research scene is so very different from pre-internet days – it’s great!

So, here are Williams’s resources:-

Badke, William, Research Strategies: Finding Your Way Through the Information Fog, 5th Edition (iUniverse, 2014) – it’s available as paperback on Amazon

Badke, William, Teaching Resources (used at Trinity Western University, Canada) [website, accessed 2017.01.14]  http://williambadke.com/TeachingResources.htm

I’ll add these to the reading list I compiled earlier this week, and to my full Resources page.

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