Presentation feedback from our meeting with FE staff

Over the summer term we were delighted to speak at two events for FE LRC staff and one for Heads of Teaching and Learning. Our sessions focused on two key themes: (1) the importance of digital literacy and not assuming students know how to use the internet safely, and (2) how to promote and encourage take-up of e-resources that the LRC has invested in.

A lot of important points emerged from the discussion groups and this is a summary of those points.

(1) How can we help our digital natives navigate the online world safely and successfully to improve their learning?

a) Ensure all students are provided with the following key skills and don’t take any of these for granted

  • Basic IT skills plus access to necessary hardware
  • Critical evaluation of resources
  • How to manage information effectively
  • How to cite sources correctly
  • Knowing when to ask for help
  • How to identify keywords and search effectively
  • How to internalise and interpret information – not just cut and paste
  • Patience – getting students to recognise that research takes time (too used to short sound bites)

b) Work to ensure these core skills are embedded into main stream study programs

c) Don’t assume teaching staff have all the necessary skills and appreciation of the problems; they may also need help and support.

d) Ensure all LRC staff have necessary skills to support and guide students navigating the internet safely and successfully.

e) Important the LRC has good communications with teaching and learning teams and SMT. Get them to recognise the importance of digital literacy.

f) You can’t build digital literacy across the college on your own you must involve others such as:


  • Tutors
  • IT
  • Curriculum Leaders
  • Careers staff
  • Additional Support staff
  • Digital Champions / Students

View our presentation here.

(2) How to encourage take up of our e-resources?

“Wouldn’t you think that today’s ‘digital native’ would just automatically find and use full-text e-magazines, online encyclopaedias, subject specific databases, e-books, video content and other digital sources of information that are vetted and reliable?”

This doesn’t seem to be the case so students (and teaching staff) need to help to find them quickly and easily.

It was suggested that LRC staff need to:

  •     Move from the mindset of the library as a place
  •     Reach the users who never use the physical building
  •     Get users to see the library as a portal to trusted online sources

The most effective way to achieve these changes is to be strategic and to have a plan that addresses the Why? What? Who? How? When?

Due to time constraints we focussed our discussion on The How? You can find more information about the Why? What? Who? How? When? in the presentation here.

The How? within the plan should be about good marketing and communications. In the workshop the groups considered this under four main headings:

a) Human interaction

  • Set up stock reviews with staff and include electronic resources to remind them of their existence
  • Recommend e-books over print books when asked for titles
  • One-to-one sessions with students
  • One-to-one sessions with staff perhaps on inset days
  • Presence as Fresher’s Fair
  • Word of mouth
  • Recruit staff and student champions
  • Encourage students to tell their tutors when they find e-resources they like and are useful
  • At staff/departmental meetings
  • Organise training days

b) Electronic communications

  • Subject specific emails
  • Blogs
  • Twitter
  • VLE links and VLE subject areas with links to the library
  • Adding links everywhere – website, VLE etc.
  • ‘Digital Learning Badges’ – virtual badges earned/ awarded for areas of learning including ‘Library Learning’; create a digital portfolio of badges which can be used as part of CV/Portfolio of achievements for job applications
  • QR codes on subject leaflets to link directly to relevant resources

c) Physical communications

  • Posters
  • Workshops
  • Leaflets and guides
  • Whiteboard display with a ‘looped demo’ showing (for example) effective searching methods
  • Provide a physical representation of e-books – e.g. place old VHS cases with QR codes on book shelves

d) Training

  • Run surveys to see which resources need attention (for staff training)

View our presentation here.