Academic information practices in higher education can differ greatly from those of previous environments, and failure to signpost and support these new practices may impact on student satisfaction and retention. With the 2015 LTC Review of Student Academic Induction, UEA recognised that social integration is key to successful smooth transition into higher education, and recommended that incoming students should receive an enhanced level of induction support to ensure successful academic adjustment and address issues of retention.
During 2016-17 the project manager (Emma Coonan) liaised with the induction co-ordinators and academic librarians of selected Schools to gain a deeper understanding of how induction practices are developing at UEA, and the types of resources that Schools are putting in place to help their students adapt to the higher education environment and its learning demands.
The role of face-to-face teaching
Online delivery is not an appropriate medium for all content. In particular, there are complex and contextual issues involved in understanding academic information practices and how they are enacted in various disciplinary communities.
The content in Information Trails is designed to introduce basic academic practices and skills in a way that can be dovetailed with face-to-face teaching later in the academic year, for example in the sessions on subject resource access and evaluation offered by Academic Librarians.
To ensure comprehensive induction support the Library has chosen to offer provision both in a structured Blackboard course - tailored to Faculty-level information practices - and also via ‘bite-sized’ library essentials on the New Students section of its website. These pages are suitable for quick orientation and reminders about key services.
Jonathan Colam-French (Head of ISD)
Nick Lewis (Library Director)
Clive Matthews (Chair of HUM Transitions Project)
Jane Helgesen (Head of Academic Liaison, LIB)
Emma Coonan (Information Skills Librarian, LIB)
Emma Coonan (project manager)
Academic Librarians for FMH and SSF