The Academic Library’s Role in Supporting New Students

Brief notes from The Academic Library’s Role in Supporting New Students, University of Limerick 30th April 2015


Fiona Farr
What we think we know vs reality.
Changes on both sides of the transition.
Macro and micro factors must be considered.
Liz Thomas: improving student retention, 2014.
Age has significant impact on student challenges in retention.
Study finds that transition is a challenge for students, not just perceived. Social and extra curricular is important. Time mgmt, maths, research, & social = high importance.
Active learning linked to higher retention and more success.

Jane Secker
Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy.
Important to get to know the so called “digital natives”.
Academic community still hold onto digital native myth.
Many literacies that interlock with information literacy. Flexible in the way we think about information literacy and remember not familiar area outside library community.
ANCIL report.
How info lit should be progressing in the future.
How to develop independent learners.
Core course for undergrads. LSE100 – includes IL, social science approach. Hasn’t had a major impact on student transition.
Offering extra classes in the library – almost as remedial element – not taken up by undergrads – academics assumed needs were catered for by these extra classes.
Support was patchy.
Wide range of students, varying needs to cater for.
Need to reframe what IL entailed.
Digital Literacy found to have more meaning to students and wider public.
Students as Change Agents – jisc
Working with students as partners. Producing, championing.
Collaboration across departments…
Takes time to gain students trust. They need to learn over the year that it is collaborative not teacher led.
Room used is very important, training room, without computers.

Monica Crimp, NUIG
Examined core academic skills of students. Generic skills, not specific skills that academics should have been teaching.
Students and academic staff both identified same top 5 weak areas – although in a different order.

Research results feeding into support provided.
Important to go out to classes/lectures and make staff and students aware of all supports available.
Helen Howard, University of Leeds
Skills @Library
Flying Start, foundation of academic skills.
Commission of generic and school specific content.
Survey and focus groups with students at 6th form level and midway through 1st year.
Awareness of issues around independent learning
Enjoy hearing from other students experiences, more practical information.
Students needing more information on assessment and feedback from educators.
More examples of good work needed, what is expected.
Having reviewed Flying Start, complete update for 2015.
Lost some online support staff so need to streamline, make sure resources are scalable.
Linking online with face 2 face will be a new feature, facilitated in new building.

Lorna Dodd, Maynooth University
Teaching information literacy to students before they get to 3rd level.
Ties in with strong community links that maynooth values.
Go with what suits the school if you are willing to commit.
Initially 2nd and 5th year- then revised to TY.
Use of up to date examples, preparing engaging games. Have a variety of tools on hand.
Bringing teachers on board. Providing resources to teachers. Students visiting the library, first time on campus and in library for many.
Choose a school – think of implications, don’t choose one in area where there are two. Links existing with Uni. Approach principal. Support from senior management in library.
Be prepared to find a time that suits school.

Aoife Geraghty, UL
First 7 weeks crucial for student retention – themed each week.
Peer advisors receive training for orientation guides in addition to library specific training.
Questions peak in week two – consistently over the years since 2010.
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Posted in Conference, Information and Digital Literacy

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