Friday, 2 August 2013

Research skills - do students feel the need to learn them?

Information and Research Skills course at the:-

Well I have completed my second week of running the Information and Research Skills course at our public library. The course is based around the University of Birmingham Library Services course for 6th formers which I have added to with current examples of plagiarism and also using the University of Sydney’s Information skills  for added value.  

I am becoming very adept at putting up the projector and screen, making sure that the computer is not switched on before the projector or else nothing works and generally getting the room ready for students who may or may not turn up. Until today,  I would say that I wasn't really too bothered if no-one turned up, I had been pleased that I was able to set it all up and had been able to run through it at least once. It’s different though when no-on comes. I did feel a little despondent.

I have presented to a total of 13 people which does not sound too bad but when I tell you that 5 of them were staff and 4 were my own children the figures do not look that great. I must say that the staff and my own children did say that they found it useful and did learn something so all was not wasted. I too, do not feel that this has been a waste of time because it has allowed me to talk through the course a few times now and the more I do it the more confident I feel about it. I also run this course at the local Grammar school so being confident in running it can only be good.

So why are students not flocking to my course? I personally believe that the decision to run this course over the summer holidays was made too late and by the time we arranged for notices to go out to the schools and colleges, the people who might have been interested had already broken up for the summer holidays. It could also be because they don't understand what it is they need to know to get through university. How many of us as teenagers thought we knew best and didn't need to be told anything?! 

Maybe we needed better marketing but we have advertised this course on the local radio and have had a couple of people turn up because of this. We have also advertised it on the library website, Twitter @GuernseyReads and Facebook page so there is not much else we can do there.

I would love this to work and would be interested to hear if anyone else has tried to do courses like this and if they had much interest.