Thursday, October 23, 2014

Report from #ecil2014 - Transitions from school to higher education: understanding the needs of undergraduates at London School of Economics

Next from ECIL in Dubrovnik, Maria Bell and Jane Secker talked about Transitions from school to higher education: understanding the needs of undergraduates at London School of Economics. The presentation is already on slideshare here: They started by giving some basic information about the LSE, noting that they have a relatively small undergraduate population. They had done an audit of undergraduate support using A New Curriculum for Information Literacy as an auditing tool in 2012, made recommendations, developed an LSE Digital and Information Literacy Framework and then created the Student Ambassadors for Digital Literacy project.
They recruited 20 undergraduates from the Statistics and the Social Policy departments: they were helped by both the departments and the student union. They tried to keep people engaged by offering Amazon vouchers, online badges and also giving the students credit to put on their HEAR (Higher Education Achievement Report). To start with they administered a questionnaire to find out where the students saw their information literacy skills. (Questions were: where do you start? How did you learn to use your favourite research tool? What do you think of the Library search tools? Assessing quality: library resources and internet resources? Identify strengths and weaknesses of your research practices).

There were workshops to develop the students' skills and encourage and enable them to share practice with other students. As an example, students were asked to share ways on which they worked on assignments, managed information, or kept up to date. One of the workshops focused on Managing your digital identity, including an exercise in which pairs of students googled each other (sometimes to their horror at what was doscovered aabout them). There are some resources here including some worksheets and student videos.
LSE also developed 3 workshops for schools (and including access to the library) and this material is archived on JORUM: one of the things that was liked most were talks from the undergraduates on "what I wish I'd known when I was 16/17".
There is more (e.g. on "lessons learnt") on the powerpoint linked above. The website about the SADL project is here
Photo by Sheila Webber: cat, Dubriovnik, October 2014

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