Hillcroft LRC

Posts Tagged ‘Information Literacy

Jisc Hillcroft College Small is (digitally) beautifulOver the summer Jisc published our case study on digital skills development at Hillcroft College in their Case Studies: Journeys Towards Digital Capability. The report also explains how we’ve been developing digital skills with students and teaching staff.

As a student you will have either experienced the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) team bringing in iPads or Kindles into the classroom or taken part in our information skills workshops where we teach you how to search for material on the catalogue, use ebooks, reference using the Citation Machine and about copyright and plagiarism. Read our case study Hillcroft College. Small is (Digitally) Beautiful.

This autumn we have been using Class OneNote Notebooks in the class room with Access to Higher Education (HE) Humanities and Social Sciences, Access to HE Health and Human Sciences and Introduction to Pre Access learners. Following the training we have been doing on Microsoft Imagine Academy.

As Digital & Learning Resources Manager introducing students to the Class OneNote Notebook I’ve found it really takes over from using an interactive whiteboard. Students and I have been impressed by the dyslexia-friendly Immersive Reader with its read aloud feature which also gives you the chance to change the font size and style and colour. We’ve all really liked the collaboration space which we’ve used in Introduction to Pre Access to share work we’ve done in pairs and groups creating Harvard references.

What’s also really useful is the ability to send material from the content library out into students’ individual note books and all of the tagging features so I can set up things for students to do that they can then tick off once complete. Here’s an example of the checklist

Pre Access with checklist

 

 

 

 

 

 

and another of showing the different tags you can add to make it easier to guide the student through material
Pre Access Classroom OneNote Notebook with tags

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iPad standingThis week we’ve been digesting all of our data for our Self-Assessment Report (SAR). You may be scratching your head wondering what it is! Basically it’s a review of the impact of what we do on our students. We produce one every six months and this one is looking back at 2014/15. Part of the process is to identify our strengths and weaknesses as well so we can flag up improvements for the next academic year which go into our Quality Improvement Plan (QIP) for 2015/16.

Here are our some of our highlights from 2014/15:

Increased audovisual material for learners to borrow by 7%.
Introduced iPads into the classroom for learners to boost their digital skills – included reading apps.
Increased use of eresources by 47.2% – getting more learners used to ereading material and building digital skills.
Improved Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) material – embedded videos to reinforce induction content, new Reading for Pleasure section to encourage reader development and apps to help to hone information/digital literacy skills.
Greater promotion of reading – National Libraries Day, more Six Book Challenge completers, World Book Night and Reading for Pleasure Moodle VLE block.
Extra refresher/consolidation sessions on information literacy skills eg referencing.
Rolled out dyslexic friendly labeling for books to help navigate our material – based on the International Libraries Association Federation (IFLA) Guidelines for Library Services to Persons with Dyslexia.

Standing iPadEver felt like your overwhelmed by search results when you use Google? Then this handy article by Business Insider UK will help you sharpen up your search skills.

The article 11 Easy Tips for Finding Exactly What You Want on Google by Jillian D’Onfro gives you handy tips that enable you to be more precise in your searches and narrow down the results. It’s ideal for our Access to Humanities and Social Science students who are doing an extended research/essay project right now. The tip on using define: to get a definition of terms that you might want to use in setting your project question/hypothesis will be a good starter.

Use domains to target websites where you can find primary source material from different types of organisations such as research organisations or think tanks (.org or .org.uk), government departments (.gov or gov.uk). This can help you find information that you cannot access in your library.

Try searching with double speech marks “…”  to look for an exact phrase or term on the web for example “cultural norms”.

Narrow down the number of search results by clicking on the Search Tools link below the search box to pick material on the Internet published recently or on a particular date or between a range of dates

Google SearchTools

 

Back in March our team submitted three entries for the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) Best Practice Awards 2015. This year there were three categories:

  1. customer service
  2. information literacy
  3. reader development.

We put in entries into each category and this week we heard that we’d got second place in the Information Literacy category for Copyright and Plagiarism Using Wordwall which is part of our information skills induction for learners on longer courses. We we use Wordwall with students on handheld devices answering questions on copyright and referencing using the Harvard reference system. We use the Wordwall kit to boost students digital literacy and as a fun activity which lets them get personal feedback on how they’ve done. Here’s one of our activities on referencing a book:

 

Referencing a Book on Wordwall

 

 

 

 

 

 

We also got third prize in the Customer Service category for our Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) Redesign and Dyslexia. For this project we worked with students, tutors and colleagues inside and outside our college to create a dyslexic-friendly look to our VLE, with a user-friendly course content template and accessibility plugins with read out loud and overlay features.

Here’s a view of the overlay accessibility feature in action:

Virtual Learning Environment with Green Overlay

 

 

 

 

 

Read CoLRiC’s press release to find out about other winners.  Many thanks to our students, staff and colleagues on working with us and inputting to our award wins.

 

Library display at Northampton CollegeLast week the Learning Resources Centre (LRC) team attended the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC) roadshow on Information Literacy at Northampton College. As well as having a tour of the Beacon award winning Library we took part in some practical sessions on referencing material.

Back in the day of the LRC team referencing was easy – books, journals and newspapers. These days our students need to reference not only their tutors notes but also blogs, images on the Web, wikis, discussion forums and more!

Our session by Abigail Cuthbertson from Huntingdonshire Regional College  on Using Xerte for esafety and information literacy got us being the students working our way through how to reference and avoid plagiarising material. Abigail put us on to Anglia Ruskin University Library’s Harvard System – a handy web page guide to referencing your research. Find out more about the work Abigail has done on information literacy on her Slideshare presentation Huntingdonshire Regional College’s Journey with Information Literacy and  E-safety.


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