Category Archives: Research

The REF and the TEF

My trade union is the EIS-ULA, a Scottish lecturers’ union which also admits academic librarians.  Today I opened the December bulletin to find an update on the next REF (Research Excellence Framework), which takes place in 2021.  I’m surprised it is as far away as this!  I know there’s a new tranche of funding in 2018, so there’s something I’m not understanding here! Anyway, the 2021 REF will reportedly take into account the findings of the Stern Review, which was commissioned by the Scottish Funding Council.  It’s potentially of some interest to me, assuming I still have a research role five years from now.

There’s also a paragraph about the Teaching Excellence Framework, an English initiative which first ran this year.  It seems to be a matter of choice whether Scottish universities sign up to this, and I don’t know if my own institution has any plans yet.  What I do know, however, is that we are concerned about pedagogy – otherwise I wouldn’t be voluntarily doing the PGCert in Learning and Teaching.

I’m posting the link to the December bulletin to ensure that it’s here for reference later, should I need it.  I’ll also post it on my Resources (bibliography) page:-

https://www.eis.org.uk/images/ula/bulletins/BulletinDec16.pdf

And more Reading for me!

I’ve just got an email about the latest SCONUL Focus issue.  It looks highly relevant, so I’m posting the text of the email here to remind myself to follow up!  Admittedly, it’s more about librarianship as a profession, than librarians as teachers. Nonetheless, it’ll be great for up-to-date commentary on the profession of academic librarianship.  It’s a bit of a blurred line when it comes to librarians sharing expertise with researchers – but still teaching of a kind!

“The new issue of SCONUL Focus, with staff / professional development as a key theme can now be accessed via the SCONUL website. See http://www.sconul.ac.uk/page/sconul-focus.

Amongst a wide range of articles you may be interested to read about the following:

  •  A selection of views from academics teaching at library schools about the skills that librarians of the future will need;
  • An illustration of some of the ways in which academic librarians are developing new support models to meet the needs of researchers engaging with research data management and open access;
  • A case study of how one service is encouraging “knowledge exchange” between their staff to ensure that information learned from training and attendance at events is shared across the service, as well as general information about current projects.

The SCONUL Focus editorial team is currently gathering submissions for issues 68 and 69 to be published during 2017. They will be themed around support for teaching and research respectively.  Guidance for authors and a list of key contacts are available on the web page for anyone who would be interested in contributing.

I made a WordCloud: Educational Music

Tagul Wordcloud
 I’m doing a presentation at WELEC in September, and I’ve spent the day playing around with data prior to actually starting writing the paper.  I’ve been looking at the instructional music in the St Andrews Copyright Collection, and this wordcloud shows some of the words that occur frequently in late 18th and early 19th century books. (There’s another wordcloud to go with this one, but I have to leave some surprises for the workshop!)

PG Cert Research Project

In the next few weeks I shall be beginning to research my project for my PG Cert.  The subject?

I am researching the best ways to teach topics such as electronic resources, bibliographic citation, or historic Scottish music books, in the context of library instruction, in order to get maximum student engagement.

To support this, I’ve obtained a couple of new books for the library:-

  • Allan, Barbara, Emerging strategies for supporting student learning: a practical guide for librarians and educators (London: Facet Publishing, 2016)
  • Bent, Moira J., Practical tips for facilitating research (London: Facet Publishing, 2016) [In fact, I met and contributed a couple of tips to this author for this book.]

Desk research will obviously also involve use of e-journals etc.

Although I paid close attention to, and gained a lot from the IAML UK and Ireland Academic Music Librarians Seminar and Annual Study Weekend, it is significant that no mention was made of pedagogical theory.  My challenge will be to examine the issues in this light.