Information literacies – some help with evaluation.

We had a really useful meeting with Duna Sabri who helped us to think about evaluation methodologies for the project. It helped us to clarify objectives, and think about how we would know if and when those objectives are met. We will focus initially on Library Services staff, selecting pairs of staff working in similar areas, supporting courses in specific subject areas. We will ask them to do a 5 minute paper addressing questions relating to our objectives, which they will repeat after taking part in the pilot.

The pilot will be a module -or two -of a 23 things style on line course…yet to be scoped. We are looking at the idea of the information cycle – search, evaluate, manage, communicate, contribute  …the SCONUL 7 pillars of information literacy through a digital literacy lens is an example.

Notes from our meeting with Duna below:

What’s your project aiming to do?

It’s about getting  Library Services staff more aligned with where students are.  Students tend to be good at social media but not necessarily at evaluating materials.  They are aware of the limitations of Wikipedia, for example, but not much beyond that.  We also want to see a greater democracy of access with staff getting students to develop those evaluating skills but not necessarily (or not only) in the context of a ‘session’.

What was it about the ‘25 things..’ idea that you found distinctively good?

It didn’t feel too dry.  Breaking it down into a week-by-week chunk with an aim to achieve something at the end of each week.  This made us think about how we support the introduction of new things.

What was also attractive were the elements of keeping a reflective blog and having a mentor.

Why did you decide to get involved in DIAL?

Met Chris through ALTO and institutional repository work.  Library Services were involved from the bid stage and keen to get involved as a community. Digital literacy is an area we know we need to develop, so this seemed a really good opportunity to be involved.    Chris approached library as key stakeholders in digital resources.

What will improve as a result of taking part in the project?  Give me an example of a member of staff or student (can be fictitious) whose work or experience would change?

We want to structure our initial contribution around staff contribution to engaging students.  Some may be relying solely on traditional methods to engage students or be reluctant to volunteer for particular kinds of student induction (e.g. Harvard referencing) because they don’t feel confident about how to engage students in it.  We want to develop sustainable and flexible approaches for digital literacy, beyond the booked session approach.

One focus of the initial project will be on developing staff’s capacity to help students evaluate online resources.  We see this as part of a research cycle where students find, evaluate, manage, share and generate digital resources.

Our AIMS for staff are twofold:

  1. To develop contact between members of staff supporting similar courses in different parts of UAL.  This would be with a view to sharing resources and expertise, and updating practices.
  2. To encourage and support systematic enquiry among staff about (i) how best to engage students in for example evaluating digital resource (e.g through social media rather than or as well as face-face sessions?)

Among the outcomes we would wish to see are:

–          The location of tools or the development of new tools in relation to each aspect of the research cycle (searching, evaluating, managing, sharing and generating)

–          A broader range of staff willing to carry out inductions in relation to the research cycle

–          A broader range of strategies deployed by staff to engage students in evaluating digital resources.

Pilot Methodology

We will recruit up to eight members of staff across library services who will work in peer-partnerships to share expertise, ideas and resources


To evaluate the project each of the eight staff members will be asked to complete a ‘five-minute paper’ which will address three questions.   The questions will relate to the project aims and have yet to be developed.  Current ideas include:

–          How would you describe your work in developing student’s digital literacy, for example to evaluate digital resources?

–          What do you know about how this work is carried out in similar contexts across UAL?

–          What questions, if any, do you have about how students on the courses you support use digital media?

Towards the end of this year (May?) we will ask the eight members of staff to revisit their five-minute papers and reflect on their responses.  How would they amend them, if at all?  What do they think of the questions?  Would they propose different ones?

Both the initial five-minute papers and the reflections at the end of the year will be sent to Duna.  These data will be the basis of a further discussion with David and Jessica so that their own reflections and analysis of the five-minute papers as project leads form part of the evaluation.

Notes compiled by Duna Sabri 16th January 2012

Amended by:  Jess Crilly 23rd January 2012


Jess and David.

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3 Responses to Information literacies – some help with evaluation.

  1. Hi, Its great to see all the DIAL groups starting to surface their ideas and we can start to address the many synergies across the groups, looking like an important aspect of the DIAL project.

    There’s a lot here to talk about we should meet up early Feb ?

    With this in mind, how do you see DIAL supporting your aims and outcomes? Do you need an online networking group space asap, for sharing ideas and resources etc ?

    This may be of interest – Lyn Greaves and her colleagues at the University of West London to present some of the findings from their JISC-funded work on an Anytime Learning Literacies Environment (ALLE) –

  2. Yes! just as Chris said, it’s good to see that DIAL is starting to surface their ideas and interact with synergies across the group. On the other hand, it is good to know that you stated the information cycle, telling your audience how to gather information through the use of evaluation and technology. Technology is indeed a useful tool in gathering information just as in IT Support London.In connection with that, may I ask you on how did Dial help in achieving your aims and goals?

  3. Pingback: Expertise (and maybe attitudes?) | UAL digital baseline

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