Hello to the new library catalogue

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We launched our catalogue on Monday 1st June after a period of almost 12 months planning and testing.

The new catalogue is just part of a suite of changes you will see over the coming months but if you have any questions or you can’t find what you need in the catalogue or our tool ‘Discover More please tell us so we can help you.

Please take a look at the Ask us service for help, support and ways to get in touch.

We hope you like the many new features of the catalogue, here’s some information about what’s new:

  • A powerful search tool for all print and electronic resources resulting in more resources at your fingertips
  • Seamless access to your library account from within the VLE so no need to leave the Blackboard environment to view your checked out items
  • Fairer fines for all and an automatic book renewal service – the library will renew items for you so you can get on with other things, fines will only be charged on items reserved by other borrowers

For more information about the changes or your resources in Blackboard, please contact your subject librarian.

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager Quality, Marketing and Communication

 

 

So, how user friendly are we? Learning Services UX experiences..

With a major UK conference last month, the subject of UX in libraries is very much on the agenda.  UX or usability can take a variety of forms and many of us have been engaging with the ideas, techniques and concepts of UX for the past couple of years.

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Helen Jamieson and I attended a UX in Libraries conference which was held at the University of Cambridge in March and what a conference it was.  We felt we were on a film set for most of the week!.  It was truly international with library colleagues, anthropologists, ethnographers and web designers from all over the world there to inspire us.

We were introduced to a new concept – ideation = idea generation. It was great fun with one exercise generating well over a 100 post-it notes of ideas around improving library spaces in one of the Cambridge libraries.

imageWhen we returned home, we decided to try out the 6-8-5 technique as a way of creating new ideas for student induction 2015.  We tried it out with our staff who are on the induction planning group and then with a group of students. You’ll have to wait until September to see the results…

If you’re not familiar with the technique (and we weren’t) 6-8-5 is where you have 5 minutes to write 6 to 8 ideas on post-its. You share with your group, this can spark your creative juices so you repeat the exercise again with another 5 minutes – you might have new ideas or you have honed one of your original ideas or one of the teams.  You do create lots of ideas but they do begin to fall into themes when you bring them together and start to discuss.

 

What else are we doing?

Something which was a running theme with the keynote speakers at the conference and the breakout sessions was the limitations of data. Questionnaires don’t help us find out how using a service or a library space feels to our users. With this in mind, and following the success of diary mapping student study habits on campus, next term we will be mapping and questioning how students approach an assignment.  We know we don’t know enough so finding out more about the touch points with Learning Services will help us improve our service and support for students.

Three years ago as we prepared to develop new web pages for Learning Services, we dipped our toe into the water of web usability working with some prospective students who were our volunteers.  The work we undertook was fascinating as we watched students find – or not find as the case maybe- the answers to some standard questions that we get asked all the time.  The feedback gave us some great insights and helped us re-design some of our site – unfortunately, we can only share the videos with colleagues who were involved in the project and were named on the consent form but we are happy to talk to anyone thinking of undertaking a similar exercise.

More recently, we have been applying the same techniques to our single search tool, ‘Discover More’ observing volunteers trying to answer a number of questions using its navigation. We have been recording their experiences using screen capture software and a small team has been evaluating the results.

This month we are beginning to undertake usability of our VLE, Blackboard.  We have a brand new group of students who have just started their course at Edge Hill and we are keen to develop an understanding of how intuitive new students find Blackboard, and how they find key information – timetables, announcements, course handbooks, library resources.

The conference however has inspired us to be even more pioneering. Although our ethnographic techniques will continue we will be starting to introduce a more anthropological approach to the use of library services, as well as beginning to look at UXing some of our online activities as well.

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Helen Jamieson

Customer Services Manager

 

 

 

 

Evaluating academic skills support

EHU181-2014-Prospectus-Front-Cover-Cover034Last term, as part of Learning Services quality framework, we undertook a full evaluation of the 1-2-1 academic skills support sessions we provide to students.

We provide a number of mechanisms for students to access support, these include sessions embedded within the timetabled curriculum, on-line help and on-line workshops, Steps to Academic Success workshops which are delivered across the term, and 1-2-1 appointments.

In terms of the number of students we see via this wide variety of mechanisms, the figures look like this:

 

  • Curriculum based sessions – this academic year we have delivered 210 sessions to 6,842 students.
  • Workshops – we have seen 109 students at the Steps to Academic Success workshops
  • 1-2-1 sessions – provided help and support to 814 students

Evaluation of group sessions is very well established in Learning Services and we regularly use feedback to help us reflect.  Examples of improvements following feedback include improving the relevancy of inductions sessions, changes to the days and times of day we delivered Steps to Success sessions and access to help and support using virtual tools. However, we have not previously evaluated the 1-2-1 sessions we deliver.

In early December 2014 we contacted all students who had attended a 1-2-1 session and asked them to anonymously complete an online survey, with a focus on whether the support they received was effective and has helped them move on with their studies.  The survey was short, just 6 questions but with opportunities for students to use free text to tell us changes they have made since accessing support and if the structure of the session was useful.

We are extremely pleased to report that:

  • 83.1% of respondents either strongly agreed or agreed that the advisor was able to provide guidance and answer my support queries
  • 84.7% of respondents said that the support they received was effective and helped me move on with my studies

Comments from the free text sections include:

My planning of assignments is better. This is reflected in my marks as they are getting better.

It helped me write in a more reflective and analytical manner

It has helped me back up my observations with theories and quotes and has enabled me to analyse more critically

The short survey has provided some valuable feedback around what the students liked and disliked (which was mainly around the booking process, turnaround time and location of where the support was held) and this feedback will also help us as we manage expectations in terms of support and also make the other mechanisms of support we provide more accessible.

This was the first time we have undertaken this form of evaluation, however this will now form a key part of gathering feedback and the process will be repeated at the end of April 2015, when we will contact those students we have supported via 1-2-1 in the Semester two time scale (January 2015 – April 2015).

Drop in to discover more

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Come and see our librarians to get some helpful advice and tips for using the discovery tool.  We have produced a handy guide but if you would like to find out more, or ask questions and see how you can search more effectively and locate the full text, we are holding a couple of sessions in the run up to the Christmas break.

Our staff will be available:

Thursday 11th December 12.30pm – 1.30pm SPS001 in the Social Sciences building

And

Wednesday 17th December 1.00pm – 1.30pm HUB1 main building

Just pop in at  and see us at one of the events or you can get help with eResources everyday from 9.00am – 7.00pm (Monday – Friday) at the Ask desk.

Please also remember we have online help with questions and answers within Ask Us

The Academic Support team

Do you need to discover more?

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It has come to that time of year when you will be researching for assignments or exams. One of Learning Services’ key resources to support you with your research is Discover More.

We have recently upgraded the tool and there are lots of new features which we hope will help you as you search for information – whether that be books or journals.

Some of the new features of the tool include:

  • Refining your results to books in the library and library location ( you can quickly see books on the subject and which library holds them)
  • Database recommendations – you can see at the top of your results page which database Discover More has found the most results in
  • You get a quick view of the item – hover over the title and check out the panel on the right
  • You can refine by discipline – this is really easy to use and will help you focus more; it also provides you with details of how many results there are so you can see if this is area to focus on

There is short guide which takes you through the basics of searching, refining and then saving and exporting your results.  Take a look at the guide or come and see a member of staff at one of our help desks.  Your subject librarian is also a good contact to have!  Take a look at the Learning Services webpage for your subject, there are full contact details of your librarian.  Your subject resources tab in Learning Edge is also a great starting point – your main databases and journal collections are recommended and also quick links into   the library catalogue and Discover More

ehu.ac.uk/askus

Rachel Bury

Learning Services

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Assistive technology

Learning Services has a  newly developed space which provides access to a range of assistive technology to support all learners.  The new space provides an inclusive environment with space for working individually or in pairs. The space is also bookable.

Assistive technology equipmentAssistive technology roomThe  PCs have:

  • Inspiration
  • Mindview
  • Read & Write

And in addition to the assistive software:

  • Height adjustable desks
  • 65″ Interactive height adjustable screen
  • Bring Your Own Device area (BYOD)
  • Zoomtext – magnification software
  • Affinity magnification machine

The room has full wheelchair access. The room is bookable via the Learning Services room bookings panel in your subject resources tab in Learning Edge or via GO. Bookings can be made for up to 3 hours.

If you would like to find out more or take a look at the software and equipment, please see a member of staff at the Ask desk, 1st floor, University Library or or contact the SpLD team:

SpLD@edgehill.ac.uk
01695 584372
ehu.ac.uk/spld

Rachel Bury
Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

Get Connected with Learning Services

We are looking forward to providing a warm welcome to new (and returning!) students and week commencing 22nd September will see the return of our successful Get Connected activities in the University library and Hub.

Last year we welcomed 353 students for tours at the University library and just over 1,000 students came to see us and asked questions at the Get Connected stand in the Hub. The activities are a great way for our staff to meet new students and take the help and support to where they need it.

From 22nd – 26th September our Get Connected stand will be in the Hub everyday 11.00am – 3.00pm to help students with:

  • Connecting to WiFi
  • Accessing Learning Edge
  • Finding reading lists
  • Finding out about library facilities and learning spaces on campus
  • Where to access help and support
  • Using course resources

We have some fantastic freebies to give away including a cotton bag which helps promote our twitter handle @EHULearnService – this is one of the newest ways that students like to connect with us.

This same week there are also student led library tours everyday 11.00am – 2.00pm in the University library.  The library tours are every half hour (last tour at 1.30pm).

Please encourage your students to come along!

Rachel Bury

LS0353 Get Connected Plasma2

Learning Services newsletter – spotlight on technology enhanced learning and media and ICT

And so September and First Week planning begins….The latest edition of the Learning Services newsletter is a special issue dedicated to all those summer planning activities!

Find out about VLE enhancements, opportunities for training & development and the latest upgrade to Blackboard.

Articles include news to update academic colleagues both around the Blackboard upgrade and the latest development within the VLE – Blackboard Community, which some of you may already have heard about and want to introduce for your department.

Blackboard was successfully upgraded on Monday 21st July and there are two webinars to share the enhancements and new features and these take place on the 23rd and 24th of July.  More information about the new features of Blackboard can be found in the newsletter.

Also in the newsletter is an overview of the development of the classroom infrastructure across campus and helpful information about training and support if you are using new technology or rooms or lecture theatres you are unfamiliar with.

We have included some future gazing with a look at augmented reality uses in education and also the Horizon 2014 report.

Changes to technology can be very fast paced and we welcome your feedback about your experiences of using the VLE and technologies and very importantly, areas where you feel we can provide more training and opportunities for development so please get in touch.

email ltdsupport@edgehill.ac.uk

Phone: 01695 650754 ex 7754

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

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What are your views about library charges?

We are currently exploring how we can improve our offer in terms of students/staff borrowing from the University Library. Our aim is to have a more flexible service, and to minimize charges. We are keen to hear your views about our fines and renewals policies.

We have a really short survey which if you could get involved and complete, will help us review how we manage loans of our materials.  It takes about 1 minute!.

If you would like to join us for a focus group, you can leave your details at the end of the online survey.

Or if you would like to know more or get involved in the focus group, please contact Mark Ramsden, Learning Spaces Manager. email mark.ramsden@edgehill.ac.uk

Rachel Bury

Academic Liaison Manager – Quality, Marketing and Communication

 

 

Developing Digital Excellence sessions

We are offering a number of sessions in April which we hope will support and development staff skills in terms of using technology.

There are two sessions within our Digital Practitioner strand, including a session around using tools within Campus Pack to develop students portfolio skills.

The Digital Practitioner

Learn And Interact At The Touch Of A QR Code      1stt April               12.00pm – 1.00pm

A World Café in Campus Pack: Using Wikis & Blogs 3rd  April           12.00pm – 1.00pm

 

 

The Digital Office

Outlook Calendar                                                          7th April               2.00pm – 4.00pm

ECDL Induction                                                             8th April               10.00am– 11.00am

All session within the Developing Digital Excellence programme can be booked via the HR Staff Development booking system.

You can view our programme and plan your session for the next few months by using the booking system.

All sessions are held in the ICT training room, 2nd floor, LINC Building.