Category Archives: ResearchGate for PGCert Project

Multiple Hats

Oops, it’s a week since I blogged.  This is in part due to my trip down to the University of Oxford last week to give a paper at the Cultures of Collecting event at TORCH (The Oxford Research Centre in the Humanities).  The poster gives further details:-

There were four papers – mine was the first.  There was an enthusiastic and welcoming audience, so I felt it went very successfully. (It also gave me a range of other things to think about, which I wouldn’t otherwise have encountered!) Click here for my PowerPoint.   In preparation, I read several papers from Elsner and Cardinal’s book, The Cultures of Collecting, which were thought-provoking to say the least .. and yes, I now have a list of more books I’d like to get hold of!

Now I must get back to the business of my PGCert project.  I do now have a questionnaire, albeit not yet turned into a SurveyMonkey online survey.  First, I have to submit an ethical approval form, so that’s the next hurdle to cross.

Thoughts about Research Context

Research  Context

I had to write my Research Context section for my PGCert project.  When I met my supervisor, she explained this is where I write a brief literature review.  I have now done this and added it to my PGCert Project Page.

Then I’ll have to write my Professional Aims, and also personal benefits to me.

My Research Questions come next.

Then my Methodology – a qualitative study/approach, using a thematic method of analysis.  Google Braun and Clarke for a list for thematic analysis.

  1. My plan of action will then be:-2016 Survey informs intervention
  2. See what students think might be useful.
  3. Build intervention
  4. Share intervention with cohort
  5. Send a short questionnaire
  6. Interview my four categories of respondent (hope I get all four categories!)
  7. Analysis

 

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.

So I asked ResearchGate …

As I mentioned, there’s the facility for asking questions on ResearchGate. I’ve decided to be bold, and I’ve just asked a question of my own:-

I may regret this action, but it could yield some very interesting worldwide insights!

A ResearchGate Discussion on user Education

On 7th June last year, a Zimbabwean researcher asked the following question:-

How effective is user education provided to students at academic libraries?

There is a problem that most academic library users after introduced to the library and educated about the library use and services the library offers among other things, but still they find it difficult to use the library. What really might be the cause?

I immediately jumped in.  The conversation still continues, fitfully.  (I can copy my response here, but unless I have permission from everyone in the discussion, I can’t ethically share the whole conversation.  It wasn’t until this evening that  I realised that maybe I could ask everyone if they would object to the conversation being copied into Storify, so it would be openly available and not within the ResearchGate walls.)

Anyway, I’ll share my response of 13th June, and then I’ll wait to see what the others say.  If necessary, I suppose I could ask individuals for their permission to quote them.

Can I (modestly) reference a paper I wrote last year?  Library Review
Vol.64, Iss.1/2, (2015), 154-161, ‘Sexy Bibliography (and Revealing Paratext)’
http://www.emeraldinsight.com/doi/abs/10.1108/LR-09-2014-0104

I have also blogged about library user education as part of my studies for a postgraduate certificate in teaching and learning in higher education https://karenmcaulay.wordpress.com/e-portfolio/ and I am continuing this study in a project for submission next year.

Can I briefly make a few points here?

  • Firstly, we’re not teaching new undergraduates “library science”. They just want to know where to get started in the library.  Don’t start by trying to turn them into mini-librarians!
  • Secondly, students learn best at the time of need.  So we provide regular training working in collaboration with teaching staff, and with one eye on the teaching and submission schedules.  If students have their first essay coming up, they will be more motivated to listen and learn from us!
  • Thirdly, make the teaching relevant.  They are going to write about Prokofiev? Find examples of electronic resources that you have ensured WILL FIND appropriate information on Prokofiev!
  • Lastly, flip the classroom.  Embrace good pedagogical practice and involve the students rather than lecturing them. Ask what they think/recommend.  Build on what they know (This is called a “constructivist approach”)  Use multimedia to engage.  I could go on, but maybe I’d better stop for now!
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How effective is user education provided to students at academic libraries? – ResearchGate. Available from: https://www.researchgate.net/post/How_effective_is_user_education_provided_to_students_at_academic_libraries#58715ff45b49529a6b48ff14 [accessed Jan 7, 2017].

Interestingly, the last lines- the citation – were added automatically by ResearchGate when I copied the text. Maybe they’ve taken care of it that way!  I still worry that ResearchGate participants might be the only ones able to open the link.  Could someone check the link for me, please?