Wednesday, January 24, 2007

'Learning is a conversation, not merely a lecture'

We've started the new year very well by having a short paper accepted at this year's LILAC in March. This will be a great opportunity to meet so many people that we've been in contact with about our project and to talk about possible future collaborations. It will also be a great chance to get some instant peer feedback about our project. We hope to meet many like minded librarians and to see what everyone else has been up to in the IL field nationally.

We're coming towards the end of the project now, with just a student focus group and an informal discussion with the academics involved to get through. We've also started writing up our project report, which will be finished by the end of February, so we'll have March to perfect our presentation!

Closer to home and all students at Birmingham received a welcome email from the University on their return after Christmas. This email highlights the importance of becoming 'enquiry-led learn(ers)' and goes on to describe attributes of an enquiry-led learner, including 'happily seek(ing) out your own resources, above and beyond those recommended by your tutors' and 'think(ing) critically about what you hear and read, weighing up the facts to come to your own conclusions'.

As information professionals we must tap into this university ideal of the enquiry-led learner with our embedded information skills training and generic training across the disciplines, focusing on self-directed study and using a problem based approach. We can help students achieve this ideal by supporting them to become information literate. We can also link at a higher position with the university's aims for independent learning by getting involved at the policy and committee stages and showing that we have an expertise that is invaluable at a strategic as well as practical level.

Enough excitement for now - we'll report back on the focus group....