I took part in my first TeachMeet this month. It was organised by the Academic & Research Libraries Group Scotland, on the theme of Information Skills, and hosted at the University of Glasgow Library. With such a broad theme, the presentations were suitably varied and imaginative takes on support for information skills.
A TeachMeet is “an organised but informal meeting … to share good practice, practical innovations and personal insights in teaching.” – Wikipedia
I gave a fifteen minute presentation at the TeachMeet, on the Wikipedia assignment in the Reproductive Biology Honours that I help run, and how it supports information literacy and research skills. (I am going to write up my talk and post it here soon.)
There were eight other presentations, on a number of digital tools used in information skills teaching, innovative practice, and interesting initiatives. Colleagues found my notes very interesting, so I thought I should share them here too.
The TeachMeet talks:
Padlet : Anne Moron, University of the West of Scotland
Anne presented how UWS are using Padlet, an online ‘wall’, to collate their information literacy information. The information, such as training dates or information on referencing, is in different places on their website, and so they use Padlet to bring it all into one place, as well as linking out to other resources, for example a Turnitin quiz and tutorials from the University of Manchester.
Kahoot : Lorna McNally, University of Strathclyde
Kahoot is an online quizzing website, and it’s simple, colourful and effective. Lorna uses Kahoot in teaching sessions with Business students, usually the survey version to establish students’ knowledge level. She uses it to determine the direction of the lesson by gauging their existing knowledge, in an anonymous way to encourage participation. Kahoot has recently changed its pricing policy and now need to pay if using it at university level.
Referencing active tasks : Linda Moses-Allison, University of Cumbria
Linda showcased the many varied active ways she is teaching about referencing and plagiarism. These included Zeetings (similar to Kahoot), ‘Locked boxes’ which require finding a code by using references, and using Haribo to ‘encode’ a reference.
Learning how to do a literature review with 90s films : Kirsty Thomson, Heriot-Watt University
I loved the topic of this talk. Kirsty found she was receiving enquiries from students ostensibly about literature searching but actually about how to write a literature review. She began running a training session about literature reviews, using 90s films in an interactive activity to identify the plot and themes, to show the stages of a literature review.
Improving student use of e-resources : Karen McAulay, The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
Karen wanted to improve remote access to resources for distance learners. She knew the easiest way to solve their problems would be to take them for coffee off-campus and walk them through the shibboleth, but that was obviously not possible. However, she has trialled a new initiative embedded in the on-campus BA Ed programme, where the students attempt to research using online resources before and again after help from the librarian. The results showed it was successful and e-resource access was much easier for these students. This hasn’t solved the original problem but does show the value of dedicated intervention from a librarian. We support a large number of online distance learning degrees here at the University of Edinburgh, so this talk was really applicable.
Participating in a Faculty Learning Community : Laura Ennis, Edinburgh Napier
A FLC is a “learning community made SMART”. It is a time-bound learning community with a specific goal. Laura is participating in an FLC at Napier, with a mix of others working in academic skills, research support and academics. Their subject is ‘supporting one another in the university. It was a thought-provoking presentation, and Laura ended her talk with a call for interest or thoughts on a solely librarian/information professional FLC.
Referencing week : Sarah Kevill, University of Strathclyde
Sarah was involved in running Referencing Week with colleagues in the Creative Learning Team. She presented on various creative workshops, such as a Lego workshop to replicate the process of referencing in writing an essay. Teaching and advising on referencing was something all the participants have as part of their role.