Today I gave a session on the above topic at the First Year Experience in Higher Education conference in Hobart, Australia. I put a posting on on the CILASS IBL blog giving links to material on the two modules (in our BSc Information Management) I was talking about. This blog entry is here, and I am doing a couple more blog entries on that IBL blog. The extended abstract of my session is on this page (you need to scroll down). The discussion included questions about "What was Web 2.0" and people giving some more examples of having students produce posters as output from projects, and having events around the poster displays (our first year students produce posters about their projects and this has worked well).
The delegates at the conference were mostly from Australia and New Zealand, and a mixture of educational developers, student services people, first year coordinators, academics in specific disciplines etc. There is a big literature about the First Year Experience in Higher Education, including some valuable reports from the UK, and as usual it is interesting/ depressing to see that often there is not much crossover of people with different interests. For example, although there was some mention of information literacy and working with librarians by different speakers, there was a lack of awareness of (for example) the amount of work that libraries have done in developing innovative learning spaces. By the same token, I think that the FYHE literature could be tapped into more (perhaps) by the library sector.
There is work on current projects about the first year experience in Scotland appearing at http://www.enhancementthemes.ac.uk/ (with a useful links page) and a 2006 literature review at http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/projects/detail/lr_2006_harvey
Photo by Sheila Webber: Bridge over the Derwent, Hobart, Australia, June 2008