Category Archives: General

Student Reactions to Assessments – and how to Respond

40 percent

Here’s a blogpost I spotted on Twitter, shared by educationalist Phil Race.  It’s by Suzanne Fergus, who is Associate Professor of Learning and Teaching @UniofHerts. National Teaching Fellow, SFHEA.

It offers many practical suggestions as to how a lecturer might effectively, sympathetically – and constructively – respond to a student’s disappointment about an assessment grade that they feel does not reflect their efforts.  Well-worth reading!

“I am not happy with my mark” – Tough! 

by Suzanne Fergus

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Resources and Authority

Biteable BearI rolled out a new user education session last week – yes, you could call it information literacy (though you know I’m a bit conflicted about the expression, because I always fear students will find it patronising!)

A colleague had related anecdotally that students seemed to have picked up the impression that everything on our library discovery-layer was authoritative “because the librarian said so”.  Proud that we had been quoted as such an authority, I was nonetheless a bit alarmed.  EVERYTHING? Had we told them to place blind trust in EVERYTHING there, recordings, digital scores, the lot?

It was time to sort things out.  I offered a seminar about primary and secondary research sources, authoritative and less authoritative ones, what you could trust, and where you needed to tread with caution.  What might be “authoritative” in a sound recording, and why “online” is actually just a format – it’s the content that matters.  It seemed to go down well.

Throwing caution to the wind, I let the students know they were trialling this session, – although I would never usually TELL students they were guinea-pigs –  and sought feedback about my Biteable reminder at the end.  I was convinced they’d find the bear cartoons childish, but apparently not – he went down perfectly okay!  However, I do intend to have another look at the cartoon options, because there’s a limit to how often you can employ the same bear!

Not Quite Jimmy Shand!

A DIFFERENT KIND OF LEARNING2019-01-25 17.35.25.jpg

It seemed appropriate to have a ‘bucket list’ for my 60th year.  (My 61st year, I suppose, if you consider that my birthday marked the end of 60 years!)

So, I thought a modest bucket list would be achievable, and made a mental list.  It only had three things on it.  Halfway through the year, I hadn’t achieved one of them – it wasn’t looking good.

  1. Visit Bath
  2. Visit Chawton House (the Jane Austen museum)
  3. Learn to play the accordion

Why the accordion? Well, I feel that it’s all very well being a musicologist who plays the piano and arranges Scottish and Regency tunes, but as a musicologist with a PhD in Scottish Georgian and Victorian tunes, I occupy a strange, liminal existence where I’m neither a Classical nor a trad musician.  I’m not a virtuoso performer at all, to be honest, though my piano and organ-playing have stood me in good stead in a number of different contexts.  And as for trad – well, a sixty-year old will never learn the fiddle nor the flute, nor pick up the bagpipes well enough to play with other people.  Yes, I have recorders, and I suppose I could learn the whistle, but I wasn’t particularly drawn to this option.  Neither am I likely to be invited to play keyboards in a ceilidh band.  What to do?

Of course, there was another consideration … I’m the Honorary Librarian of the Friends of Wighton in Dundee, and I’ve been cataloguing Jimmy Shand’s music.  Now, this wouldn’t have influenced my choice of new instrument, would it?!  As it happens, Jimmy played a button accordion. That WASN’T in my calculations!

Yes, I decided to teach myself the piano accordion.  Not to play Georgian and Victorian tunes of any description, just to be able to play something that I might one day be able to use in some kind of  amateur group context.  I was generously lent an instrument from the Traditional Music department at work – a 48 bass Parrot.  It’s quite old, but fully functional (though there’s a rotating wheel thing that I would have assumed was a volume control – and it does nothing at all!) – and just needed new straps.  That done, I found a chart, and now understand the cycle of fifths that determines the pattern of the chord buttons – and what each row of buttons actually does.  Borrowing an instrument has been a good idea, not least because I now know that if I were to buy a secondhand instrument, I will need more buttons. At the moment I can play major and minor chords, but not diminished or 7th ones.  So The Parrot has prevented me from buying something that I would later find limiting!

I borrowed the instrument a little over a week ago, and brought it home last Saturday afternoon.  I’ve devoted quite a few hours to my self-instruction, and have recorded the results. I’m not a prodigy!

Weekend 1.

Weekend 2.  (Believe me, if all those endearing young charms)

2018 Round-Up: the Scholar-Librarian

via 2018 Round-Up: the Scholar-Librarian

Annual Review, 2018

St Pauls SilhouetteI am a Performing Arts Librarian 3.5 days a week, and a Postdoctoral Researcher 1.5 days a week.  In this self-imposed annual review, I’m not listing routine activities conducted in either capacity; it goes without saying that I’ve answered queries, catalogued, delivered library research training to a number of different class groups, attended meetings, and pursued research-related activities and fieldwork.

From September 2017 to September 2018, I was the AHRC-funded Principal Investigator for a new research network, the Claimed From Stationers’ Hall music research project.  Since then, I have continued to conduct research and network with the various scholars and libraries involved with this project, and in the new year shall be pursuing further grant-funding in order to extend the reach of the project.

As someone who continually asks themselves, “Am I doing enough?”, I feel that even I can be reasonably content with this year’s outputs!

  • JANUARY
  • Chaired sessions at Traditional Pedagogies, international conference at Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
  • FEBRUARY
  • Blogpost: Copyright Literacy: Legal Deposit (Copyright Behind the Scenes) – and Scores of Musical Scores  https://copyrightliteracy.org/2018/02/21/legal-deposit-copyright-behind-the-scenes-and-scores-of-musical-scores/
  • Initial iteration of Claimed From Stationers Hall Bibliography, (since updated regularly) https://claimedfromstationershall.wordpress.com/bibliography/
  • Book chapter, ‘Wynds, Vennels and Dual Carriageways: the changing Nature of Scottish Music’, in Understanding Scotland musically: folk, tradition and policy. Abingdon, Oxon: Routledge, p. 230-239.
  • MARCH
  • Claimed From Stationers’ Hall Workshop, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, (26 Mar)
  • Scottish Library & Information Council (SLIC) From PGCert to PG Certainty: Enabling the Distance Learner (invited talk, sectoral organisation) (March 2018)
  • APRIL
  • IAML(UK & Irl) Annual Study Weekend, invited talk, Pathways, outputs and impacts: the ‘Claimed from Stationers Hall’ music project takes wings
  • IAML(UK & Irl) Annual Study Weekend From PGCert to PG Certainty: Enabling the Distance Learner (quick-fire session) (April 2018)
  • MAY
  • Blogpost based on the session I gave at the IAML(UK & Ireland) Annual Study Weekend 2018 for the IAML(UK & Ireland) blog, http://iaml-uk-irl.org/blog/libraries-reaching-out-distance-learners
  • JUNE
  • EAERN (Eighteenth-century Arts Education Research Network), ‘Claimed From Stationers’ Hall: But What Happened Next?’ (University of Glasgow, 6 June)
  • Romantic Song Network steering group seminar at British Library
  • JULY
  • IAML/AIBM Annual Congress, Leipzig, ‘A Network of Early British Legal Deposit Music: Explored through Modern Networking
  • SEPT
  • RMA Conference, Bristol, ‘Overlapping Patterns: the Extant Late Georgian Copyright Music Explored by Modern Research Networking’
  • NOV
  • Field-trip to King’s Inns and Trinity College Dublin Libraries, and British Library
  • EFDSS Conference, London, ‘National Airs in Georgian British Libraries’
  • ARLGS (Academic and Research Libraries Group Scotland) Teachmeet at Glasgow University Library – speaker
  • Article, Trafalgar Chronicle, New Series 3 (2018), 202-212, jointly authored with Brianna Robertson-Kirkland, ‘My love to war is going’: Women and Song in the Napoleonic Era’.
  • DEC
  • Article, Information Professional, Nov-Dec 2018, ‘Coffee and Collaboration’ [teaching electronic resource strategies]

Additionally, I have authored 79 blogposts and 5 Newsletters in connection with the Claimed From Stationers’ Hall research project.

Institutional Repository: Pure.  My profile:- https://tinyurl.com/KarenMcAulayPureInstRepository

Bat printed cup and saucer possibly New Hall £2-00

Can I write a set of strathspeys?

Well, I made a valiant attempt, anyway! My set of strathspeys is called, whimsically, “My Foot Has Gone to Sleep” – partly because I really prefer watching dancing to actually doing it, so the title is just one of my excuses for not joining in!  Having said that, this weekend I found I would have to play Clavinova rather than organ at church (an electrical problem), so both my feet had a rest.  I played my strathspeys after a more sedate voluntary.  No-one passed any comment, so who knows if they didn’t notice or were too polite to say they didn’t like it!

The computer-generated audio file for violin, acoustic bass and guitar is horribly artificial-sounding, so I hope that one dayMusard Cherubs Quadrilles someone will play the piece and I’ll have something more human-sounding!

My Foot Has Gone to Sleep

Animating a Bibliography? Yes, for sure!

Edinburgh Legal Deposit Music Research – Brief Bibliography

I’m looking forward to giving a talk to students at the University of Edinburgh this week.  The University Library was one of the recipients of legal deposit materials during the Georgian era, before the law changed in 1836.  Amongst all the learned tomes and textbooks, they received sheet-music too.  The interesting question, of course, is what they did with it!

Now, as you know, I’m a bit of an enthusiast when it comes to bibliographies, but this time I’ve prepared a very minimal bibliography in a novel format.  Don’t worry, all the necessary details are on the big, definitive bibliography page on the Claimed From Stationers’ Hall blog.

HAPPINESS IS …WRITING A BALLAD

magpie-2364332__340Not content with setting old folk-tunes, this weekend I decided to go one further and write a ballad.  Yes, the whole thing.  Seventeen verses and a couple of different tunes, so the setting uses tune A for a few verses, then B for a few more, and finally back to A again.  We have all the ingredients for a classic ballad – a lovelorn lass, a motherless child, a lone father … and a couple of Glaswegian magpies.  (They exist – I can show you the tree and chimney pot where I spotted them on my way to the bus-stop last Friday morning!)

magpie tree skyI was asked to write something for voice, flute, violin, piano and guitar / accordion.  I’ve done so.  Personally, I think it would be best to have either piano OR guitar / accordion, but not having heard it played by live musicians, I’m willing to be proved wrong.  Here’s the computer audio-file – unfortunately you can’t hear any words!  But if you listen right to the end, you’ll get an audible hint as to how the story ends!

Jackdaw-Jo : a Ballad