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How can we help? Developing staff skills to support e learning in libraries: the UEL experience Cathy Walsh Some background 90% modules on VLE Distance and work based students Virtual learning on campus The role of Library staff Web 2.0 and e learning UEL Docklands Library

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How can we help l.jpg
How can we help?

Developing staff skills to support

e learning in libraries: the UEL experience

Cathy Walsh

Some background l.jpg
Some background

  • 90% modules on VLE

  • Distance and work based students

  • Virtual learning on campus

  • The role of Library staff

  • Web 2.0 and e learning

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New building, new behaviours

  • 24/7 during semester

  • Group work spaces/social spaces

  • PCs – in huge numbers

  • Increasing numbers of students resident at Docklands

  • 70% increase in enquiries

  • Little social space available elsewhere

  • Staff working in open plan area – highly accessible

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What have we got to offer?

  • Self service

  • E resources and collections

  • Email services

  • Virtual reference/online chat

  • VLE - Your e library

  • Personalised services

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The UEL strategy

  • Learning and Teaching Strategy to 2009:

    “ Our vision is to be a leading UK multi-mode university with as many students educated off-campus as on-campus.”

  • UEL Strategic Plan 2008-13

    “Expansion of our distance and e learning and a commitment to providing equality of learning opportunity.”

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The UEL E Learning Strategy, 2008

  • E learning must be integrated, both physically and virtually, into UEL policies and practices and all aspects of students experiences.”

  • “We will use e learning technologies to produce a more interactive and independent environment for learners…”

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Skills Gap?

  • LLS Staff profile

  • Skills analysis – survey

  • Student needs

  • Training and development for all staff

  • The project as a Learning Enhancement Opportunity

  • Collaboration with SDEL

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LEO project

  • TQEF funding made available under LEO (Learning Enhancement Opportunity)

  • UEL Learning & Teaching Committee

  • Joint project with SDEL (School of Distance and E Learning)

  • Bid for funding to cover staff costs, some equipment and professional fees

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How can we help? Aims

  • Identify the baseline skills needed to support learning in a blended learning environment.

  • Develop a coherent induction and staff development programme for library staff

  • Develop a UEL Plus module to facilitate self guided learning for members of staff wishing to develop or enhance their awareness of new technologies, e learning and e resources in libraries.

  • To develop, maintain, and make available to all LLS staff a collection of best practice and staff development resources (e.g Lib 2.0, blogs, professional association resources, audio and video).

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Crash Course in Web 2.0

  • Blogs and Wikis

  • Social networking (Facebook)

  • Skype

  • Podcasts

  • Social bookmarking

  • Serious gaming and virtual worlds

  • VLEs

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Moving on…..

  • Feedback from Crash Courses

  • Student focus groups

  • LLS (Library) staff focus groups

  • Library managers from other institutions

  • Results

  • Where we are now.

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Feedback from Crash Course

  • “Social bookmarking - a fantastic resource for research students”

  • “Wikis, Blogs and podcasts seem to plug the gaping holes in communication….staff-to-management, staff-to-staff, lecturers-to-students…”

  • “Work at home and never see a real human being….!”

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The student view

  • Focus Groups

  • What help do they need now?

  • What might they need in future?

  • What do they see as Library staff’s role in supporting their learning online and in the libraries?

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Student Focus Group: we need more help with....

  • Basic equipment in libraries (copiers, printers, binders, scanners etc)

  • Athens accounts

  • Selecting the right online resources and databases

  • Sconul – what are we entitled to under this scheme?

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And more ....

  • “… Athens, UEL Plus, Turnitin, IT …we need a lot of help!” (Student)

  • It’s [Athens] got everything – you just have to know where to look” (Student)

  • Teaching students about IT facilities offers them a chance to work independently…” (Library Assistant)

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Google generation...?

  • “We help students with everything from turning on PCs – lots of people have no idea and are even confused by email.”

  • Library Assistant

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Where to now….?

Specify training modules to include:

Basic IT to get started

VLE (UEL Plus)



Athens and e resources

E books

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Concluding comments

  • Need to look further at basic IT skills for students

  • Continue to work in partnership with SDEL colleagues to deliver LLS staff training and student support

  • Specify training modules starting with induction level for all LLS staff