Through informal discussions with colleagues across the country, I am learning about how other institutions are dealing with the soft-skill shortages identified by employers. One initiative I’ll pay attention to is Humber College’s Institutional Learning Outcomes Project, http://humber.ca/svpa/ilos/
This project asks two questions:
What do our graduates need to be successful in work and in life?
What do our communities need from our graduates in order to thrive?
From their website:
WHAT ARE ILOs AND WHY DO WE NEED THEM?
The pace of global change is increasing rapidly. Humber is responding by identifying the skills, competencies and values that graduates need, now and into the future, to be successful and to contribute meaningfully to the workplace and society.
Institutional learning outcomes are statements that articulate an institution’s collective vision for and commitment to its students’ learning. They describe the attributes – knowledge, skills, competencies and values – that all students will possess upon graduation. As such, ILOs are gaining momentum as a way of defining to stakeholders the value of higher education in general, as well as the unique qualities of individual institutions.
I have been researching 21st century collection evaluation practices, and one resource I have found to be very useful is:
Kohn, K. C. (2015). Collection evaluation in academic libraries: A practical guide for librarians. Lanham, MD: Rowman & Littlefield.
This resource defines collection evaluation as “the process of systematically gathering data and using it to learn about the quality or value of your collection” (p. xiii) and as a “collection development tool” (p. 2). The author provides the following resources:
- A series of questions related to the various areas of collection development (p. 3): Book & journal selection; Weeding or moving to storage; Renewing or cancelling subscriptions; Training new selectors; Budget requests; Marketing; Accreditation; Evaluating new purchase models (eg, DDA); Planning collaborative collection development.
- A comparison of four methods of collection evaluation (p. 13-14): Quantitative benchmarking; List-checking; Usage statistics; and Citation analysis. Examples are given of how libraries have applied each of these four methods (p. 21), and the data needed (as well as the possible sources of the data) for each method (p. 29-30).
- Examples of collection evaluation goals are given (p. 25), and one that I would like to focus on is “To allow subject selectors to create informed collection development plans that take into account the overall significance of works in their areas of responsibility, faculty teaching strategies, and student usage habits”. I would add to this: understanding of resources that graduates will use in their workforce.
- Examples of tools are given for dividing the collection into subjects:
Today I met with one of our campus librarians to discuss setting up a working group that examines accessibility of resources in our databases. We hope to have a group of library staff examine our subscription databases for UDL (universal design for learning) principles and prepare a presentation for all library services staff to demonstrate these features.
NSCC has been responding to the Ivany report’s call to bring people into the workforce who have traditionally been marginalized from it, which means we have to recognize the diversity of how people need to access information. By optimizing accessibility of library resources and raising library staff awareness of universal design, we can ensure all our students are able to gather information in a way that works best for them.
Developing a presentation for librarians:
On Monday, I met with Mary Jane to discuss putting together a presentation for NSCC librarians on People in Practice and Collection Profiling. We plan to present something to them in August.
In preparation, I will meet with two campus librarians next week to discuss collection evaluation practices in a 21st century library. I’m putting together documentation in preparation, including:
- Reports I can offer, such as
- Shelf-lists and circ reports
- Ebook usage reports with subject analysis
- Search terms used in our databases
- OCLC reports
Focus group session with business faculty:
Next week, I meet with three business faculty for mini-focus group questions about industry reports, so we can provide better access to our resources based on the information needs of our current students.
I’ve been following Academic Impressions, and today’s post was about building student-centered learning models:
– An interview with Bruce Kusch
Kusch pioneered the i4 model of design, instruction that is:
- Interactive, and
I met with one of my mentors yesterday and she asked if I could pull together some of my observations on workplace info lit, so here it is:
- Annemarie Lloyd is a lead researcher in workplace information literacy. She indicates employers are reporting that students leave formal education lacking “critical information literacies that enable them to think creatively, to find solutions to real-world problems” (Lloyd 2013, p. 221).
- According to 2015 research conducted by Workopolis, Canada’s largest career site for job seekers, employers report that soft-skills deficits outweigh those of technical skills in candidates they interview: https://hiring.workopolis.com/article/viii-skills/
- Based on my conversations with my LCP mentors, NSCC addresses workplace essential skills in an ad-hoc manner. Some solutions include:
- There is a Writing Centre pilot for Metro campuses.
- Some 21st century skills addressed by Communications Faculty.
- At some campuses, LCAs offer courses and training in soft skills, such as interview and resume help, organizational skills, note-taking and effective communication.
- Library services offers some support, such as finding and evaluating information, help with digital skills and learning about some information resources in industry.
- Some program-specific faculty address soft skills that will be needed in their particular work environment.
- NSCC provides some information for students in trades programs about the essential skills they will need, eg: https://www.nscc.ca/docs/admissions/nscc_tradestechnology_preparationchecklist.pdf
- Some colleges take a coordinated approach: Douglas College offers specific programming in in the area of workplace essential skills: https://www.douglascollege.ca/programs-courses/training-group/essential-skills/programs It also offers a Essential Skills practitioner training: https://www.douglascollege.ca/programs-courses/training-group/essential-skills/practitioner-training-certificate
Lloyd, A. (2013). Building information resilient workers: The critical ground of workplace information literacy. What have we learnt? In S. Kurbanog˘lu, E. Grassian, D. Mizrachi, R. Catts, & S. Špiranec (Eds.), Worldwide commonalities and challenges in information literacy research and practice (Vol. 397, pp. 219–228). Cham, Switzerland: Springer International Publishing. doi: 10.1007/978-3-319-03919-0_28
Workopolis Hiring. (2018). Thinkopolis: Top Job Skills in Canada in 2015 | Workopolis. [online] Available at: https://hiring.workopolis.com/article/viii-skills/ [Accessed 26 Apr. 2018].
One of the biggest reasons I started my LCP was to get back to being a creative learner. I’ve taken courses on learning and being creative, and over the last three years I’ve learned to think of myself as a creative person again.
When I went to meet with my creativity mentor a year or so ago, this was the saying she had on her wall (a quote from Annie Dillard). It resonated with me, and I just started hooking rugs, so I thought I’d preserve the quote in yarn: