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Drop-ins in a medical library

Presentation about the effecitveness of drop-in sessions in Information Literacy teaching

Paula Funnell

on 20 October 2015

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Transcript of Drop-ins in a medical library

Drop-ins in a medical library
Any questions?
Paula Funnell
Faculty Liaison Librarian (Medicine & Dentistry)

The solution
The results
How to teach Information Literacy (IL)?

(Hsieh et al., 2014, Walker and Pearce, 2014, Ross and Furno, 2011)
Research into different pedagogical approaches to IL teaching has been inconclusive – no method shown to be best
Why we needed to do something
Problems with traditional IL teaching:
Not embedded across the board
Poor timing of sessions
Very large groups – unable to meet the needs of all participants
Not always an opportunity for hands-on
(Lange et al., 2011)
Why drop-ins?
To supplement formal teaching
Preference for targetted learning at the time of need
Effectiveness of one to one teaching
(Walker and Pearce, 2014)
(Cooper, 2010)
How it works
Weekly two hour drop-ins at Whitechapel
Wednesday afternoons – no formal teaching
Held in a small teaching room
Staffed by two members of Teaching & Learning Support team
Every week apart from Christmas
Drop-ins have now been running for five years

Some highlights based on the last year's stats:
Total number attending = 159
Largest number of attendees = 24
Average time spent at the session = 50 mins
No clear patterns in attendance

Who attended?
What they asked
How they found out about the session
Session evaluation
General feedback very positive

All but one felt their needs had been met
All felt confident putting what they learnt into practice

Long term impact
Follow-up questionnaire asking:
Most useful thing remembered
The extent they had used the skills learnt
The ways these skills had impacted on their work, study or research

All respondents using skills learnt – 50% on a regular basis
Half had used the skills to complete a project effectively
Others were more generic
A common theme was increased confidence
I did a systematic review for my BSc dissertation, so skills learnt in session were vital
Enabled me to locate appropriate literature for assignments and teaching sessions. Saved me time and stress from ineffective searching of data
I finally know what I'm doing when I have to search a database! I was clueless before and I would submit my papers with a lack of confidence, knowing I probably didn't find a substantial quantity of articles on my topic and the ones I found weren't perfectly catered to it
Point of need
Can address multiple needs
One to one teaching

Very helpful, tailored to my needs
Fantastic 1:1 teaching approach
Informal and friendly
Beneficial to those who might not thrive in large group sessions
Better use of staff time

I turned up with no idea what I was doing and the session leader didn't make me feel embarrassed by my lack of knowledge
given the opportunity to practice doing searches and using new learned skills whilst the trainer watched
(Lange et al., 2011)
Maintaining staffing levels
Victims of own success?

Good levels of attendance
High levels of satisfaction
Meeting IL needs of attendees
Positive impact on future work and research
Informs practice

There's no single best way to teach IL
Experiment with different pedagogical approaches
Use a method, or combination of methods, that work best for the students concerned
(Mokhtar et al., 2008)
Remember ...
Cooper, E. 2010. Tutoring center effectiveness: The effect of drop-in tutoring. Journal of College Reading and Learning, 40(2), pp. 21-34.

Hsieh, M. L., et al. 2014. Four Pedagogical Approaches in Helping Students Learn Information Literacy Skills. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(3-4), pp. 234-246.

Kraemer, E. W., et al. 2007. The librarian, the machine, or a little of both: A comparative study of three information literacy pedagogies at Oakland University. College & Research Libraries, 68(4), pp. 330-342.

Lange, J., et al. 2011. Tailoring information literacy instruction and library services for continuing education. Journal of Information Literacy, 5(2), pp. 66-80.

Mokhtar, I. A., et al. 2008. Information literacy education: Applications of mediated learning and multiple intelligences. Library & Information Science Research, 30(3), pp. 195-206.

Ross, A. and Furno, C. 2011. Active Learning in the Library Instruction Environment: An Exploratory Study. Portal-Libraries and the Academy, 11(4), pp. 953-970.

Walker, K. W. and Pearce, M. 2014. Student Engagement in One-Shot Library Instruction. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 40(3-4), pp. 281-290.

Issues in the medical libraries:
Scheduled training programme ineffective
Huge demand for one to ones
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