Monday, March 30, 2015

The World through Picture Books

Literacy, rather than information literacy, but I couldn't resist linking to this publication, which lists the favourite picture books in many countries of the world. It includes a thumbnail of the book's cover and a brief description (in English plus in the native language of the country) for each book. There are also ideas for children's activities with the books.

Everall, A. and Quiñones, V. (2015). The World through Picture Books: Librarians’ favourite books from their country. 2nd ed. The Hague: IFLA.

It was produced by the Libraries for Children and Young Adults Section of IFLA – International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions – in collaboration with IFLA Literacy and Reading Section and the International Board on Books for Young People.

Friday, March 27, 2015

Friday post: #hatnote Listen to #Wikipedia grow

For some relaxing new-agey sound, go to Hatnote's Listen to Wikipedia. "Bells indicate additions [to Wikipedia] and string plucks indicate subtractions. Pitch changes according to the size of the edit; the larger the edit, the deeper the note. Green circles show edits from unregistered contributors, and purple circles mark edits performed by automated bots. You may see announcements for new users as they join the site, punctuated by a string swell. You can welcome him or her by clicking the blue banner and adding a note on their talk page." It was built by Stephen LaPorte and Mahmoud Hashemi and is open source (the picture is a screen grab, I chose a part of the screen that wasn't showing the information on what was being edited).

I was alerted to this by Carole Williams on the ili-l discussion list - it was in a post on a session about teaching source evaluation, and she mentioned having this playing up on screen when students were coming into class saying "It makes a great starting point for a quick discussion of the changing nature of information". I think this is a great idea, I'll think about when I can use it ;-)
Williams, C. (2015, 24 March) RE: Re: RE: Source Evaluation lesson plan.

Thursday, March 26, 2015

TeenTech and IL Group launch Information Literacy Award

The CILIP Information Literacy Group, in partnership with the TeenTech initiative, has announced a new award for 11-16 year olds that will recognise excellence in information literacy. The "Research and Information Literacy Award will celebrate how well young people can dispel the ‘Google Generation’ myth and show that they can be truly information literate researchers as they explore their ideas to make life better, simpler or easier. ... Winners of the new award will have demonstrated their ability to search intelligently across a range of resources, including search engines like Google, make excellent judgements about the information they have found, and put it to ethical use in their project." More information at and information on TeenTech awards at
Photo by Sheila Webber: spring planter, Blackheath, March 2015

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Conference report: MOOCs and flexible learning #sheftess15

In my third post about the University of Sheffield Faculty of Social Sciences learning and teaching conference (that I attended on 19 March), I’ll cover my own presentation and say something briefly about two others in the session. Marie Kinsey (School of Journalism) talked about Mixing it up with MOOCs, in which she described the progress of of Futurelearn (of which University of Sheffield is a member), highlighted Sheffield’s MOOC activities (she also played this cool trailer for the forthcoming How to write your first song MOOC) and identified the value of MOOCs to the University of Sheffield (e.g. providing evidence of research impact).
Julia Davies (School of Education) and Ros Walker talked about Going the distance: working with remote learners. I liked the fact that they used the term flexible learning, identifying that there are many ways of engaging with learning at a distance. They also highlighted Gilly Salmon's 5 stage model of online learning, as described here:

Finally, I gave a short talk called: Futurelearning! Reflections on teaching in a Futurelearn play MOOC (the theme for the whole conference was “Futurelearning”, by the way). This is embedded below. In this talk I took three frameworks for analysing the teaching-learning environment and reflected on the Exploring Play MOOC in which I was an educator and (as a contrast) the core module Information Literacy on a campus based programme. The three frameworks were: Entwistle et al’s (2004) map of the teaching-learning environment (which I find useful when thinking about learning design and the different factors which impact on it); Conole’s (2014) 12 dimensions of MOOCs (the analysis for this was on a separate handout, but I list the dimensions in the ppt) and Sharpe et al’s (2006) dimensions of blended learning. For me, they each provide a useful lens for reflecting on what kind of learning and teaching is happening.


Conole, G. (2014). A 12-Dimensional classification schema for MOOCs.
Entwistle, N., Nisbet, J. and Bromage, A. (2004). Teaching-learning environments and student learning in electronic engineering: paper presented at Third Workshop of the European Network on Powerful Learning Environments, in Brugge, September 30 – October 2, 2004.
Sharpe, R. et al. (2006). The undergraduate experience of blended e-learning: a review of UK literature and practice. York: HEA.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Data Visualisation / visualisation literacy

Yesterday I attended a workshop on visualisation literacy. This was part of dissemination from the Seeing data research project.
I'll skip straight to the "what might you want to use yourself" part, since there is a website which includes a section for people to work through, to develop their data visualisation literacy. It includes a "rate these visualisations" subsection This presents you with some real examples of data visualisations, and then asks you to decide whether you "Disliked it but learnt something", "Disliked it and didn't learn anything", "Liked it and learnt something" or "Liked it but didn't learn anything" and then drag and drop them onto a grid. In the workshop, we first of all examined visualisations and were told to place paper copies of the visualisation on the relevant quadrant of a paper copy of the grid. After this we had to stand up and stand in the relevant quadrant (e.g. "Disliked but learnt something") of a giant grid pencilled on the floor. We were then asked to say why we'd gone into that quadrant. If you have the space, this is something you could do in an information literacy class (using either the examples on the site, or your own examples).

Another exercise involved looking, in small groups, at a data set and proposing different ways to "tell the story" or "answer a question" through a particular kind of chart. As a final exercise we were asked to think of the elements that affected our engagement with a data visualisation e.g. subject matter, source, beliefs, emotions, confidence and the amount of time you have to devote to engaging with the visualisation.

There is some good material in the Understanding Data Visualisation part of the Seeing Data website. For example, one of the speakers took us through some of the different chart types listed on this page if you click on a chart type it gives some summarised information on "What it shows", "How to read it" and "What to beware". Another section defines 10 key terms i.e. Format, Chart type, Dataset, ata source, Axis, Scale, Legend, Variables, Outliers and Input area.

Helen Kennedy (Professor of Digital Society at the Department of Sociological Studies, University of Sheffield) is the project director, with Andy Kirk ("a UK-based freelance data visualisation specialist" (he has got a useful site,, which lists loads of data visualisation tools), Rosemary Lucy Hill (a post-doctoral research fellow at the University of Leeds) and Will Allen (a researcher at The Migration Observatory based at the University of Oxford). The project is funded by the AHRC and their twitter stream is
Picture: Mario Klingemann's Dada Visualization I, used under Creative Commons license: original at (do go there and read the notes about the picture, I think they are amusing)

Conference report: Failure; Group work; Architecture #sheftess15

In my second post about the University of Sheffield Faculty of Social Sciences learning and teaching conference (that I attended on 19 March), I’ll say something about three presentations I attended: on failure, on group work and on “real world” projects. Firstly, Tim Herrick (from the Education School) talked about Have we got it wrong? Rethinking failure, in which he was reflecting on what happens when student work fails. He asked us to think about failures in our own lives, and whether we’d used those experiences of failure with our students (many of us had e.g. talking about the “messiness” of getting an article published, or using examples of mistakes one has made in one’s own teaching practice when talking with students learning about teaching).

He identified three ways of diagnosing failure: as lack of capability (and he felt there were issues with this: could capability always be accurately assessed?); as “a standard level of performance temporarily affected by external factors” (aka as “my gran died” i.e. it refers to the type of circumstances that (someone decides) are allowable as a reason for not having performed well); and finally as “a misalignment of task and effort”.

It was this last one which he found most persuasive. Tim stressed that the learner has always been doing “something”, even if it wasn’t what the educator hoped or wanted (e.g. the learner might have been out having a good time, or have paid someone else to do the work – but that was still “something”). He felt that identifying the “something” gave a starting point for engaging with the student. It also helped to focus on identifying – why has this misalignment happened? what could educator and student do to prevent the misalignment?
One of Tim’s recommendations was: Holt, J. (1982). How children fail. Rev. ed. DaCapo Press. ISBN 9780201484021

Leo Care and Daniel Jary, from the School of Architecture, talked about two types of projects: MatterReality (a first year project) and Live Projects (a Masters level project). They are not to do with information literacy, but I’ll put links to some of the projects’ websites and social media as I found them interesting. For MatterReality, students end up constructing a conversation space out of one material, which gets displayed in the centre of Sheffield and In Live Projects, the students work on projects for real clients (mostly 3rd sector, community groups). Care and Jary did provide some interesting points on how the group work was managed, and as with the next speakers, they included reflective elements in assignments.

Finally, my colleagues in the Information School, Pam McKinney and Barbara Sen, talked about their analysis of reflections on groupwork: the reflections were worth 20% of the mark in an assignment where the main output was a business report for a real life client. Their talk was entitled Situational analysis of group work: student reflective assessment.

Pam and Barbara analysed 25 students’ work, using (as you would guess from the title) situational analysis. Using this technique they identified actors (e.g. the student, the client), actants (e.g. ways of communicating), temporal elements (e.g. reflecting on past experiences of group work), silent actors/actants (i.e. things not mentioned e.g. very little mention of internet, wifi), discursive constructions (e.g. valuing each other’s contributions) and major issues or debates(e.g. importance of keeping in touch with the group).

In terms of implications for teaching, these included that (i) students used lots of different ways to communicate, with groups settling on the way that pragmatically worked best for that group (so the same way e.g. Facebook, email, was not best for every group); (ii) face to face group meetings were important, but there were issues around arranging and attending them; (iii) although the educators had put in a good deal of support and scaffolding, this was not mentioned by students (it was a “silent” item; (iv) students were not distinguishing work from social identities.
This identified (for example) the need to make it easier for students to arrange and manage face to face group meetings; the issue of the educator support could be seen as a positive (something the students used and took for granted), or perhaps its contribution to successful group work needed to be emphasised more.
Photo at the start of the post by Sheila Webber: blackthorn blossom, March 2015

Monday, March 23, 2015

Conference report: team-based learning #sheftess15

Last Thursday I attended the University of Sheffield Faculty Social Sciences learning and teaching conference (this is the Faculty the iSchool is in). I presented a paper in a session about distance education, and I will blog that separately. In this post I will talk about a session on Team Based Learning (TBL), and in another post I will give a few other snippets from the day. I meant to liveblog, but on the day I forgot to bring in my netbook...
The day started with a workshop on TBL (pictured, my coffee and some workshop clickers). This is a very structured approach to teaching large groups of students, and was developed by Larry Michaelsen in North America. There are numerous books and articles by him and others and a website at Our session was delivered by Rebecca McCarter and Simon Tweddell (University of Bradford), and most of it consisted of them treating us as a class working through a TBL session.
In TBL, students are put in teams that they stay with through the class. Learners firstly engage with a learning pack (readings, videos etc.), then in class the first part consists of each student taking a multiple choice test on the content they were supposed to have engaged with. The second part is for each team to tackle the same questions, decide what the answers should be, and record the team’s answers (and various studies have shown that the team does better than the individuals do). Done with clickers, there is immediate feedback on where students are having problems with these first two parts.
Thirdly, there is an appeals period, when students can appeal (e.g. argue against their answer being incorrect). Fourthly there is a short “corrective instruction” session, where the lecturer gives some quick revision on the questions that students had problems with. Fifthly, each team tackles the same “application activity” which is designed to apply the new learning to a relevant problem and reach a decision. Sixthly, there is debate between the teams about the decisions they made.

When I read about this beforehand I was thoroughly put off by some of the terminology (the aforementioned “corrective instruction”, and labels for the first processes i.e. “readiness assurance tests”): it sounded rather transmissive and positivist, which is not my idea of good pedagogy. There seemed to be an assumption that they way you were teaching already was via textbooks and long lectures, which is not my approach when I have any say in learning design (which, fortunately, is quite a lot of the time). Obviously some elements (like forming teams for classwork, focusing on problem application in class etc.) are familiar from other teaching approaches.
However, it was evident that the speakers, and also the Sheffield academic who’d invited them, had found the approach valuable and had positive feedback from students. Going through the process ourselves was very helpful, and a good way to get people thinking about the pros and cons of the approach. My colleague Pam McKinney highlighted that there had been a presentation at a previous LILAC conference about using this process for library/infolit sessions in the same University of Bradford course that one of the speakers led. I couldn’t find the LILAC presentation that Pam mentioned, but this is a powerpoint by the same speaker given at a different conference:
- Costigan, A. (2014). Team based learning and libraries: opportunities and challenges.

As I don’t coordinate a large class at the moment, just make contributions to large classes (e.g. to our research methods class) I probably won't be using the process myself. I think it is more suited to subjects where there is an uncontested knowledge base, otherwise developing multiple choice questions for the first two stages becomes problematic: it is difficult to avoid asking questions about the less-important elements where there are a right and wrong answers.

A quick google showed that there are a number of articles about TBL and information literacy e.g.
- Jacobson, T. (2011). Team based learning in an information literacy course. Communications in information literacy, 5 (2).[]=v5i2p82
- Metcalf, S. (2006) Will Team-Based Learning Mesh Well with Library Instruction? Loex quarterly, 33 , 6-8.
- Hosier, A. (2013). Using Team-Based Learning in an Online, Asynchronous Information Literacy Course. Library Innovation, 4 (2),

Sunday, March 22, 2015

cfp 2nd Annual LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy) Conference

There is a call for papers for the 2nd Annual LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy) Conference on August 3 2015 at Loyola Marymount University, Los Angeles, USA. The title is Collaboration for Lifelong Learning: Innovative and Effective Approaches to Information Literacy. The call for proposals end May 1.
"The LILi (Lifelong Information Literacy) group invites you to submit proposals related to information literacy and collaboration for lifelong learning for 20-minute presentations and 10-minute lightning talks. Proposals will be blind-reviewed, so please do not include identifying information in the text of your abstract. Topic ideas include, but are not limited to:
Collaborative or creative ILI partnerships among academic, school, special, and public libraries
Collaborative or creative ILI partnerships between libraries and community organizations
Sequential ILI across two or more institutions or organizations
Collaborative or creative ILI partnerships between individuals in different types of libraries
ILI co-teaching
Marketing, publicity & promotion for collaborative ILI
Establishing innovative ILI connections
Outreach for ILI beyond a single institution or organization
Collaborative or cooperative ILI programming
Assessment of ILI partnership efforts
ILI and Common Core Standards and/or California State Standards
New, innovative ILI pedagogical approaches"
The proposal submission form is at Questions to Elisa Acosta (Loyola Marymount University)
Photo by Sheila Webber: plum blossom, March 2015

Saturday, March 21, 2015

Game-Based Learning in Library Instruction

A priced online course (US$175) running from April 6 to May 1 2015, Game-Based Learning in Library Instruction is led by Scott Rice as part of Library Juice Aacademy. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: woodpile, Lokrum, October 2015

Thursday, March 19, 2015

Creative library teaching workshop

Andrew Walsh is running a workshop on Creative Library Teaching in Leeds, UK on 18 May 2015. The cost is £120.00 with a discount for new professionals. The day consists of 4 mini workshops within one day, introducing different approaches to teaching information literacy and library skills. Go to the booking site for more details
Photo by Sheila Webber: primula, March 2015

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

New articles: Information Research

The latest issue of Information Research has been published (vol. 20 no. 1, 2015). This issue celebrates 20 years of this open access journal, and the founder and editor, Tom Wilson, comments on its achievements in his editorial.
The issue is at and includes the following:
Hilary Yerbury: Information practices of young activists in Rwanda
Alisa Howlett and Zaana Howard: Exploring the use of evidence in practice by Australian special librarians
Sook Lim and Nick Steffel: Influence of user ratings, expert ratings and purposes of information use on the credibility judgments of college students
Christine Yates and Helen Partridge: Citizens and social media in times of natural disaster: exploring information experience
Reijo Savolainen: Expressing emotions in information sharing: a study of online discussion about immigration

It also has a supplement at with the second part of the proceedings from the 2014 Information Seeking in Context (ISIC) conference. These include
Anindita Paul: Use of information and communication technologies in the everyday lives of Indian women: a normative behaviour perspective.
Heidi Enwald, Noora Hirvonen, Raija Korpelainen and Maija-Leena Huotari: Young men´s perceptions of fear appeal versus neutral health messages – associations with everyday health information literacy, education, and health.
Kyung-Sun Kim and Sei-Ching Joanna Sin: Use of social media in different contexts of information seeking: effects of sex and problem-solving style
Noora Hirvonen, Stefan Ek, Raimo Niemelä, Raija Korpelainen and Maija-Leena Huotari: Socio-demographic characteristics associated with everyday health information literacy of young men.
Ola Pilerot: Information sharing in the field of design research.
Reijo Savolainen: Approaching the affective factors of information seeking: the viewpoint of the information search process model
Shelagh K Genuis: 'The transfer of information through word of mouth is powerful': interpersonal information interactions and personal health management
Sophie Rutter, Nigel Ford and Paul Clough: How do children reformulate their search queries?
Terryl Asla and Kirsty Williamson: Unexplored territory: information behaviour in the Fourth Age
Theresa Anderson and Ina Fourie: Collaborative auto-ethnography as a way of seeing the experience of caregiving as an information practice.
Tom Rosman, Anne-Kathrin Mayer and Günter Krampen: Intelligence, academic self-concept, and information literacy: the role of adequate perceptions of academic ability in the acquisition of knowledge about information searching.
Yan Zhang and Yalin Sun: Users’ link sharing in an online health community.
Stan Karanasios, Carmine Sellitto and Stephen Burgess: Mobile devices and information patterns amongst tourists.
Valerie Nesset: Using empirical data to refine a model for information literacy instruction for elementary school students.
Photo by Sheila Webber: daffodils, Sheffield, March 2015

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

Information Literacy at #ACRL2015 conference

The ACRL conference takes place on 25-28 March in Portland, USA. If you are intending to go, you will probably be all booked for it by now, but I thought I'd just highlight some of the Information Literacy events in the programme (which is at
Sessions on 26 March include:
Leaving the One Shot Behind: Transitioning from Status Quo to Sustainable Integration - Speakers: Elizabeth Dolinger, Meredith Farkas
Engaging Second-Year Students in Transformational Learning Experiences - Speaker: Elizabeth L. Black
Shifting our Focus, Evolving our Practice: A Collaborative Conversation about the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education - Speakers: Donna Witek, Danielle Theiss, Joelle Pitts
Snapshot or Big Picture: Assessing Student Learning using the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education - Speakers: Steven Hoover, Megan Oakleaf, Michelle Millet
Scholarly Communication Apprenticeship as a Site of Information Literacy Development for Humanities Undergraduates - Speakers: Kathleen Reed, Dawn Thompson
Foundational Assumptions in Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy - Speaker: Patrick Morgan
Sessions on March 27 include:
Crossing the Threshold with Threshold Concepts: Redesigning a Library Instruction Lesson Plan - Speakers: Xan Goodman, Samantha Godbey, Susan Wainscott
The Framework for Information Literacy and its Impact on Student Learning - Speakers: Sara D. Miller, Craig Gibson, Merinda Kaye Hensley, Carl DiNardo, Alan Carbery

Shared Goals for Shared Learning: Using Frameworks to Collaborate in the Writing and Information Literacy Classroom - Speakers: Donna Witek, Teresa Grettano
Putting the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education into Action: Next Steps - Speakers: Sharon Mader, Karen Williams
When the Question Means More Than the Answer: Facilitating Inquiry to Improve Research - Speakers: Veronica Douglas, April Aultman Becker, Abraham Korah
Sessions on March 28 include
Put a Librarian On It: Information Literacy Partnerships In Everyone’s Space - Speakers: Elizabeth Galoozis, Dunstan McNutt, Mary Moser, Colleen Mullally
Slow Journey Over the Threshold: Recognizing Intelligent Mistakes as Markers of Progress - Speakers: April Cunningham, Carolyn Radcliff, Richard Hal Hannon
Photo by Sheila Webber: Daffodil, Sheffield, March 2015

Monday, March 16, 2015

The Innovative Library Classroom

Registration is open for The Innovative Library Classroom (TILC), a day-long conference on May 12, 2015 at the campus of Radford University in Radford, Virginia, USA. It is supported by the Virginia Chapter of the Association of College & Research Libraries (VLACRL) and a number of Virginia institutions, including Radford University, Virginia Tech, and Hollins University. The $35 registration fee includes lunch and snacks. Full details about TILC, including accepted proposals, can be found at: Registration is at:
Photo by Sheila Webber: Daffodil, Sheffield, March 2015

Quick survey on #ACRLframework

Merinda Hensley is moderating a panel at the ACRL conference on 27 March ("The Framework for Information Literacy and its Impact on Student Learning") and is seeking experiences of using the new ACRL Framework. She says "Please consider taking a quick a survey (it's only 1 question!) and tell us about your experience so far with the Framework. I am just looking for a few sentences. If you'd like to remain anonymous, just don't leave your contact info. We'd like to give a quick overview of trends to start off our panel." She will be collecting responses up til 20 March 2015: go to [in fact when I just tried that url, it said the survey wasn't live, but presumably it will be shortly!]

Friday, March 13, 2015

Shifting Landscapes: Integrating Flipped Teaching into your Information Literacy Instruction: chat session

ACRL Science and Technology Section's Information Literacy committee has organised a chat session on March 20 3pm-4pm US Eastern time (which is 12 noon US Pacific time, 9-10pm UK time - since the time difference USA/UK is still 1 hour out at that point). The topic is Shifting Landscapes: Integrating Flipped Teaching into your Information Literacy Instruction and the host is Tasha Maddison, Science Liaison Librarian, University of Saskatchewan. "Description: This chat session will begin with a short presentation about three separate applications of flipped teaching in the College of Engineering, University of Saskatchewan. The Engineering Librarian used this pedagogy to deliver information literacy instruction to Civil Engineering students in their 2nd and 4th year of study in design heavy courses. The chat that follows is expected to generate thoughtful discussion about how flipped teaching could be applied in your own practice. Possible considerations include class size, location of class (computer lab availability), ability to collaborate with a faculty member, time, what you will cover in the tutorial and what lecture content will be. Consider reading this pre-chat: Maddison, T.; Beneteau, D.; & Sokoloski, B. (2014). Breaking Ground: Improving Undergraduate Engineering Projects through Flipped Teaching of Literature Search Techniques. Issues in Science and Technology Librarianship, 78, doi:10.5062/F4QR4V3D

The chat uses Adobe Connect
Link to enter the chat room:
Test your connection:
Get a quick overview:
Photo: screen grab from the Sheffield Peregrines webcam: it looks like the pair of peregrine falcons will be nesting again on St Georges church (only 5 minutes away from my office!) and this year there are 2 webcams in place. Last year eggs were laid at the mid/end of March. This shows a peregrine with its beady eye sparkling and feathers ruffling in the wind, perched by the nesting box surveying the city of Sheffield. They seem to like sitting there, I suppose they can spot passing meals (pigeons).

Digital Learning Day #DLday

The (US) Alliance for Excellent Education has designated today (March 13) Digital Learning Day, which focuses on school (K12) use of technology in teaching and learning. They have resources and a "live" stream running from 1pm (7pm UK time)

Institutional MOOC strategies in Europe

An output last month from the European Union-funded project HOME (Higher education Online: MOOCs the European way) is a survey about universities' use and perceptions of MOOCs. Comparing it with data from USA surveys, European universities are more likely to be running MOOCs and seem more positive about them. For example "While in the US the number of institutions having a MOOC or planning to introduce them has
decreased from 14,3% to 13,6%, in Europe it has increased from about 58% in EUA study to 71,7% in this study." The report writers hypothesise that this might be because of issues such at the greater amount of public funding in Europe and the credit transfer across national borders.
Jansen, D. and Schuwer, R. (2015) Institutional MOOC strategies in Europe: Status report based on a mapping survey conducted in October-December 2014. European Association of Distance Teaching Universities.
Photo by Sheila Webber: mist, Sheffield, February 2015

Western Balkan Information Literacy Conference cfp

There is a call for papers for the Western Balkan Information Literacy Conference: Information & media literacy for lifelong learning: digital citizenship for a digital age which takes place 17-20 June 2015 in Bihac, Bosnia and Herzegovina. Keynotes are Christine Bruce and Tefko Saracevic. There is a call for full papers, presentations, roundtables, posters, workshops and pechakucha. There are a wide range of possible topics (see Deadline for abstract submissions in 17 April 2015.
Photo by Sheila Webber: mist, Sheffield, February 2015

Thursday, March 12, 2015

Pedagogy for librarians: UK course

Members of the UK's Information Literacy Group can apply for a one week course taking place 1-5 June 2015: Immerse yourself: Pedagogy for librarians. The venue is Northern College in South Yorkshire, England. The course will "give a thorough grounding in the technicalities of teaching for librarians. The course will be delivered by Northern College’s teacher training team who have a strong belief in the transformative potential of teaching and education with a social purpose. It will lead to an award of Level 3 Education and Training (which replaced PTTLS), a nationally recognised qualification. All participants on the course will be expected to stay at the College for the full week and be available for group work and discussion with fellow librarians each evening to help form a continuing community of practice. The course includes an element of written work that all participants will be expected to complete." The course has been subsidised by the Information Literacy Group, so that each participant will pay only £100 for accommodation, all meals except evening meals and course fee. To apply "Tell us what you, your library users and the wider community would get out of the course! Fill in the online form to tell us what difference this course would make to your teaching of information literacy skills and how you would continue to build on this in future. Deadline is 29th March 2015. Numbers are extremely limited and we’ll base our selection on those who demonstrate that they would most benefit from attending and would continue to spread that benefit amongst the wider community."
You must be a member of the Information Literacy Group to apply: the form is at and enquiries to
Photo by Sheila Webber: another student campaign poster, March 2015

Tuesday, March 10, 2015

JISC's #digifest15

Yesterday and today JISC (which has a remit to support use of technology in tertiary education) was holding its digifest. Skimming through the session titles, there was a good deal about research data, various aspects of Technology Enhanced Learning, sessions on specific applications and tools, sessions on issues around mobile tech, privacy etc. In some cases there is just a short abstract, but a lot of the powerpoints are there (on the "Programme" page), as well as a link to the tweets of whoever was tasked with livetweeting the session. The home page is here There are lots of tweets and various storifys (e.g. here of a session on Google tools and this one on the keynote about FutureLearn). Nicola Osborne did very informative blog posts: and
Photo by Sheila Webber: use of old media, students campaign on campus for election to Student Union posts, March 2015

Code of practice for learning analytics

A link from a JISC conference (that I will blog about in a minute!): a free booklet summarising legal and ethical issues around learning analytics, published last November. They are in the process of drafting an actual code of practice (there should be a consultation period on it shortly).
Sclater, N. (2014)  Code of practice for learning analytics: A literature review of the ethical and legal issues.JISC.

In a blog post from January, Sclater outlines a taxonomy of the legal and ethical issues:

There is a Storify of the session on this topic at JISC's digifest15 on 9 March
Photo taken by Sheila Webber in the virtual world, Second Life, March 2015

Monday, March 09, 2015

Latest articles: Library and Information Research

The latest issue of open-access journal Library and Information Research (vol 38, no 119, 2014), includes:
Assessing varied instructional approaches in the instruction of online graduate students by Mary Francis
Assessing the impact of evidence summaries in library and information practice by Lorie Andrea Kloda, Denise Koufogiannakis, Alison Brettle
Demonstrating impact: a possible approach for the LIS researcher by Andrew Kenneth Shenton
Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber, March 2015, taken in the virtual world, Second Life

Saturday, March 07, 2015

Project Information Literacy: interview with S. Craig Watkins

The transcript of an interview with S. Craig Watkins (University of Texas at Austin professor and MacArthur Foundation researcher) has been published by Project Information Literacy. In the release about this he is quoted as saying "While schools do not always suffer from a lack of technology, they consistently suffer from a lack of vision in how the technology will be used. In high-poverty schools, technology is rarely used to promote the development of higher-order thinking skills, such as design, problem-solving, or coding. Schools must invest in highly-skilled instructors and curricula that cultivate the skills associated with innovation. This is not necessarily a technological
barrier, but rather a social barrier. By expanding what we help students learn to do with technology, we increase the likelihood that they can begin to more fully leverage the power and possibilities of social, digital, and mobile platforms." Go to His website is
Image created from Craig Watkins' website using tagxedo

Friday, March 06, 2015

Augustana Information Literacy Workshop 2015: Sharon Mader

The excellent annual Augustana Information Literacy in Academic Libraries Workshop, held in Alberta, Canada, will be on October 21-22, 2015. The theme is Considering Implementation Options for ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education and the speaker is Sharon Mader (ACRL's Visiting Program Officer for Information Literacy). More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sharon Mader, at the IFLA conference in Singapore, August 2013 (Sharon also chairs the IFLA information literacy section committee)

Thursday, March 05, 2015

Free 20 minute webinar: News, and Beyond

FreePint is offering a mini 20 minute webinar "which discusses essential questions around news and presents key findings from FreePint's recent Topic Series News, and Beyond." This series ran at the end of 2014. The highlights include "Why suppliers are raising prices; How the marketplace has fundamentally changed, regardless of which supplier(s) you are using; What risks you face when you move the conversation about news from "what?" to "why?", and how to manage those risks effectively." The focus will be on business and market news I think, since the business information/ intelligence is Freepint's focus. Dates are 11 March at 17:00 (GMT); 12 March at 10:30 (GMT); 12 March at 20:30 (GMT). These is probably functioning as an advert/ taster, but could still be interesting. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Duck, near Guildhall, London, March 2015

Call for Nominations: Teaching Librarian of the Month

The Teaching Librarian of the Month is a new feature on the ACRL Instruction Section Teaching Methods Committee Blog. Nominations are requested by 13 March 2015 (it looks like you are not supposed to nominate yourself!) using the online form. In 150-250 words you have to summarise "What makes this person a great teaching librarian? Reviewers will consider the librarian’s enthusiasm, creativity, and dedication. Specific examples of effective and innovative teaching strategies are encouraged." "During select months, the committee will select and interview a librarian who demonstrates a passion for teaching, innovation, and student learning. We’ll feature this interview as a way to highlight best teaching practices and learn from colleagues!" Go to
Photo by Sheila Webber: Guildhall, London, March 2015

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Award winners: Lisa Hinchliffe, Lesley Farmer and Claremon Colleges Library

Lisa Janicke Hinchliffe, coordinator for information literacy services and instruction at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign Library and GSLIS adjunct professor, is the winner of this year's Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Instruction Section’s (IS) Miriam Dudley Instruction Librarian Award. Both North American and international colleagues will be familiar with Lisa's extensive work. There is more information at
The American Library association Library Instruction Round Table awards have also been announced. The 2015 Librarian Recognition Award goes to Lesley Farmer (California State University Long Beach), who has also had impact at the international level. More information here
The 2015 Innovation in Instruction Award goes to Claremont Colleges Library, California, USA. This "specifically recognizes the Visual Curriculum Mapping project created by librarians at the CCL". Material for this visual mapping is here. More information on the award at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cake stall, Blackheath Farmers' market, March 2015

Monday, March 02, 2015

Sponsorship for South African librarians with information literacy focus, for #WLIC2015

Sabinet will sponsor 10 South African librarians to attend the IFLA World Library and Information Conference 2015 (which will be held in Cape Town in August 2015). The closing date for applications is 1 May 2015. "This sponsorship comprises of funds for registration fees as well as two thousand rand (R2000.00) towards travel and/or accommodation. Priority will be given to eight public librarians as well as two academic librarians who have a focus in the area of information literacy." Applicants must provide "a motivational letter indicating how attending this conference will add value to their career, their organisation and the user population that they serve" of no more than 200 words, plus a letter of approval/permission from their employers. Application materials (motivational letter plus letter of approval/permission) should be sent to More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber, February 2015: St Pauls, London.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Reflective Teaching: Self-evaluation to assess and improve your teaching practice

There is an ACRL Instruction Section Preconference at the American Library Association Annual Conference, in San Francisco, USA, June 26 2015: Reflective Teaching: Self-evaluation to assess and improve your teaching practice. It is led by Anne-Marie Deitering and Wendy Holliday. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Botanic gardens on Lokrum island, Croatia, October 2015