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Using What Academics Really Think to Develop Our Teaching Offer: Mapping the Learner Journey at the University of Worcester

Pittaway, Sarah (2018) Using What Academics Really Think to Develop Our Teaching Offer: Mapping the Learner Journey at the University of Worcester. In: LILAC (Librarians’ Information Literacy Annual Conference) 2018, 4th-6th April 2018, University of Liverpool. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Developing students’ academic skills is central to the higher education experience, but what assumptions do course teams make about the skills students have at the start of their course? What expectations do they have about how these skills should develop throughout the degree programme, and how are these articulated to students? These were just some of the questions we posed to academic staff at the University of Worcester as part of a pedagogic research project to refresh our teaching offer. Our initial aim had been to develop a menu of options that helped staff understand what we could deliver and how it might fit into their curricula. It quickly became apparent that such a tool needed to be underpinned by academic understanding of students’ skills and development, in a much broader sense than ‘just’ information literacy. Thus the learner journey project was born. Academic Liaison Librarians were tasked with conducting informal interviews with staff, often over a coffee, with a few prompt questions to ask where needed. Consciously avoiding the term ‘information literacy’, they questioned staff about the broad skill base that students bring with them and develop at university, mapping their view of the student learner journey from pre-entry to graduation. Although starting out as a small-scale project, it soon piqued the interest of senior management at the university, and grew into a much larger piece of work. Through focusing on broader skills’ development, we have developed a body of evidence and data that has wide interest and application for both academic Institutes and other professional services (e.g. Disability & Dyslexia). Alongside highlighting themes, the data has demonstrated inconsistencies across the university and even within departments, with disparate staff attitudes towards such topics as progression, student confidence, and learner independence. These results have been shared widely across the university, for course teams to discuss, all of which has served to raise Library Services’ teaching and pedagogic profile.

Item Type: Conference or Workshop Item (Paper)
Uncontrolled Keywords: information literacy, learner journeys, pedagogy, student engagement, student experience
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Divisions: Academic Departments > Information and Learning Services
Related URLs:
Depositing User: Sarah Pittaway
Date Deposited: 20 Apr 2018 10:40
Last Modified: 20 Apr 2018 10:45
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/6566

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