So, the final day, an early start to day 3; the first session was at 8.45am!
After dragging myself out of bed and checking out of the hotel, we managed to make it across in time for the first session. I chose to attend the session by Alanna Ross and Christine Furno, who discussed their use of active learning to try to improve their 50 minute one shot information literacy sessions, comparing the use of clickers with a traditional lecture style session and a problem based learning approach; unfortunately their results were inconclusive but following further qualitative research they discovered that students did not see this as important due to lack of faculty support – sadly a lot of nodding faces at this point. Moving forward, they hope to integrate the session at the most appropriate time and link it to part of the module assessment by working with faculty.
I also attended a really interesting session by Elizabeth Symonds, Sarah Kennedy and Allison Davies (although only two of them were there – not sure who was missing sorry!) about information literacy and digital natives. They had done some research at both University of Gloucester and University of Worcester using the same questions posed to traditional first year students (i.e. straight from college) about their studying habits and the transition from FE to HE. I’m hoping to find out more about this as there were too many interesting findings to jot everything down, but a few points I found particularly interesting were that many preferred to study alone, they see social networking as a distraction for study breaks (not used to help study), and time management was the major issue when settling into HE. I definitely hope to find out more about this research, and will blog about it if I do.
Another quick break before the final two parallel sessions; Cathy Palmer sharing experiences of producing an information literacy online tutorial (biggest point I took from this session was the amount of preparation necessary before even considering producing content – see an example of one of their latest tutorials), and Valerie Kendlin and Lorna Dodd talking about the sustainability of information literacy support in University College Dublin. They had been successful in demonstrating the value of information literacy to support students, academic staff, and help deliver the University strategy – so successful that they were now struggling to meet demand! UCD are now looking to develop online support, use a blended learning approach, a more flexible approach to staffing (e.g. use library assistants to assist in sessions and handle administration), and communicate more with academic staff to ensure support is timely and fits into their study programme, not just a random module. Lots of food for thought!
Unfortunately I had to leave early to ensure I got to Dublin airport in plenty of time for my flight back to the UK, so I didn’t get to the final keynote from Ralph Catts, University of Stirling. It seemed like a thought provoking session though with lots of tweets which I was following.
That covers all the sessions I attended, but I also hope to publish a blog post about the conference overall and some tips for future attendees.