Innovative teaching in a new normal: creating new ways to deliver virtual information literacy and research support training
Keywords:information literacy, research support, teaching, virtual, online learning
With the pandemic bringing unprecedented circumstances for us all, at the University of Essex we moved our in-person information literacy (IL) and research support (RS) training online. We wanted to see the unexpected situation as an opportunity for improvement, which required innovation and creativity. In this paper, we will share the lessons we have learnt in our shift to online teaching. We begin by giving a brief background of the training we offered prior to the pandemic, highlighting how this training was rarely online, with a greater emphasis on in-person support. We then give an overview of the technologies we used to develop our virtual offer of IL and RS training in a range of different formats, including online tutorials using LibWizard, mixed-media webpages using LibGuides, YouTube videos, and running virtual workshop sessions using Zoom. We then discuss what has and hasn’t worked in our aim to increase the scope and interactivity of our IL and RS training, before considering the feedback we received from participants. Finally, we explore how we intend to broaden our offer further in the future based on the lessons learned and reflect on how this will influence future decision making. Ultimately, we aim to make the most of the positives we’ve seen and offer a mix of online and in-person IL and RS training, with consideration toward how we do this sustainably amongst the continued uncertainties around the ‘new normal’. Overall, we hope that our paper demonstrates how challenging situations can lead us to innovate in new and interesting ways.
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Copyright (c) 2022 Keziah Gibbs, Hannah Crago
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