Teachmeet Event Write-up

CILIPinKent’s first Teachmeet event took place at the University for the Creative Arts (UCA) Canterbury campus on Friday 4 April, 1 – 4pm. Professionals and para-professionals traveled from across the county, London and Surrey to share ideas and best practice on teaching Information Literacy. The session started with an introductory exercise allowing attendees to become acquainted.

Kristy Widdecombe (Head of Learning Enhancement & Support, UCA) welcomed attendees to UCA and provided a brief overview of the converged department of Library & Student Services (LSS).  Kristy introduced UCA’s multidisciplinary Learning Enhancement & Support team which comprises of Careers & Employability Advisers, Learning Development Tutors, Learning & Teaching Librarians, Learning Support Managers and Dyslexia Tutors. The team works in partnership with courses to provide inclusive and anticipatory services.  Librarians deliver workshops and 1:2:1 tutorials, create innovative online content and develop inspiring collections. See Kristy’s presentation here.

Ian Badger (Learning & Teaching Librarian, UCA) presented two ongoing projects at the event. Firstly, Ian discussed how he and the Learning Development Tutor have worked closely with the Fine Art course team to develop a series of literacy workshops that are integrated into the students’ timetables.  As a consequence, the course team’s awareness of professional staff specialisms has been raised and student retention improved. For further details see the presentation here.

Secondly, Ian has worked with the FE Fashion and Textiles pathway leader and LSS colleagues to produce a series of interactive screencasts for the VLE to improve student engagement with assessment criteria.  This has been well received by the Course Leader and further screencasts requested. See links and details here.

Rebecca Daniels (Senior Adviser, UCA) is studying towards a Masters in Information and Library Management at Northumbria University and presented her research proposal. Rebecca is working on a case study that will look to identify the information needs and behaviours of first year Fine Art undergraduates as they develop a research-led practice.

Lynsey Blandford (Academic Liaison Librarian, Canterbury Christ Church University) is also enrolled on the Masters Dissertation module at Northumbria University. Lyndsey will explore the persistent use of online guides for Google-style web based discovery tools. By adopting criteria to assess current guides, Lynsey aims to produce a set of recommendations that amalgamate best practice. Read more here.

Sarah Pavey (Independent Consultant) demonstrated the affordable and widely available LeapMotion Device which allows users to manipulate computer-generated graphics using hand motion. In particular, free apps Kyoto (puzzle game) and Sculpting (3D modeling) could bring an interactive element to literacy workshops with the latter compatible with 3D printers.


Matthew Parfitt (Learning & Teaching Librarian, UCA) uses interactive activities in his teaching to aid discovery as many arts students are considered to be visual or kinesthetic learners:

Enter your questions and answers online and the software will create a puzzle game. Various shapes available.


  • Fortune Teller

View template here.  Originally created for session with Fashion undergraduates tasked with producing a research paper in a creative format. Unveil information retrieval tips!


Matthew also uses dominos in his teaching, if you have any questions contact mparfitt@uca.ac.uk

Fresh from presenting at LILAC, David Bedford (Academic Support Librarian, Drill Hall) shared how he has improved student engagement with Boolean operators using natural language examples:

Fish AND Chips

Plaice OR Haddock

Salt NOT vinegar

Fish and Chips” NOT Mushy Peas

At workshops, David asks students to search for multiple variations of terms or phrases (i.e there are many synonyms for ‘specific language impairment’) using the OR operator to demonstrate its usefulness. By conducting sessions in an IT suite students learn experientially.

May Warren (Academic Support Librarian, UAL Central Saint Martins) has recently completed a PGCE qualification. Assignments encourage reflective practice, involved action research projects (presented in coursework as stop-motion animation) and allowed May to develop professional networks. Central Saint Martins adopted a new approach to student inductions this academic year, showing a film featuring students and alumni sharing their experiences of using the library. Traditional information skills sessions now take place later in the term at the point of need.

May also discussed how the library service has collaborated with students to develop a communication strategy. A competition prompted students to consider the library as client for a marketing campaign. The winning group created an Instagram profile and subsequently, students and visitors have tagged the library into their own posts providing a window into research culture.

Other initiatives include a new academic support website, running library skill sessions in parallel with the Study Tutors, embedded literacy sessions and a 24 hours opening pilot. See May’s presentation here.

Andrew Day (Learning & Teaching Librarian, UCA) takes a pragmatic approach to the use of search engines and Wikipedia. Recommending students use for exploratory research however advising them to view content with a discerning eye as resources are not free from bias. By demonstrating how the addition of ‘is’ after ‘Obama’ in Google shifts search results from general information to the realm of conspiracy theories.  Find out more on Google’s algorithm by watching this TED talk by Eli Pariser on the Filter Bubble.


If your institution is interested in hosting a Teachmeet event please get in contact with us at CILIPinKent@gmail.com


Write-up by Rebecca Daniels, Communciation Officer, CILIPinKent 

One response to “Teachmeet Event Write-up

  1. Pingback: CILIP Kent Teachmeet « Staff Development Hub·

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s