Education support from your Liaison team

Digital and Information Literacies Development

Working in partnership

Newcastle University Library is committed to developing our students’ digital and information literacies to equip them for their time at University and beyond. Our Library Liaison team collaborates with academic staff on the most appropriate ways to integrate information literacy skills in the curriculum.

What the Library Liaison team will do:

  • Offer advice to help you identify your students’ information needs and how these might be addressed in a sustainable, accessible way.
  • Design lectures, workshops, blended learning (including VLE material) and other educational activities to meet your students’ specific needs, to be delivered by us or by you as mutually agreed.
  • Co-develop and co-teach sessions with you.
  • Review teaching sessions each year to continually improve them in conjunction with feedback from you and your students.
What academic staff can do:
  • Working in partnership with academic staff helps us to offer relevant and timely skills teaching:
    • Engage with us in early dialogue to plan ahead for teaching and how best information needs can be addressed, sharing with us any issues commonly arising in assessment or feedback.
    • Discuss with us the context of the session, where it sits in the programme/module/curriculum, when and how it is linked to assessment or learning outcomes.
    • Work with us to embed a session at the optimal point in the module so that students can reflect on and put guidance into practice in a timely way in the context of their current work.
    • If you require us to deliver the session, request our availability when submitting a request to Timetabling Services.
    • Promote our sessions to your students before and after teaching, enabling them to see the connections between the skills and competencies they can develop now which will help them in their chosen field.
    • Provide us with feedback on the impact of our education materials on your students, to enable us to improve and refine our offer.
What students can do:
  • Work in partnership with us to take responsibility for your learning:
    • Participate fully in sessions, offering input and asking questions.
    • Decide how to make the best use of the sources of help available to you for your needs, whether in person or online.
    • Provide us with feedback on Library teaching provision, enabling us to improve and refine our offer to you and other students.

We would be happy to meet with you to discuss your students’ information literacies development further. Please contact your school’s Liaison Librarian.

The scheduling of teaching is dependent on resourcing and availability; due to high demand for sessions and our other activities, we may not be able to accommodate all requests. We aim to prioritise sessions, which are fully embedded in modules.

Student development and progression

We support student progression as outlined below by providing a sustainable and accessible mix of taught sessions, blended-learning and self-directed study materials. Our offer is aligned with the Graduate Framework to enable students to recognise and record their development against it.

Finding information

At introductory stage, students should be able to:
  • Recognise the types of academic information available in their subject area and explain why they might use them.
  • Describe what academic information is, how they would find it and perform the following with Library Search:
    • Basic keyword searching.
    • Simple refining techniques.
    • Find an item on Library shelves and access an electronic item.
  • Perform a search on a database where required by the curriculum.
  • Locate and interpret their reading lists.
  • Locate their Library subject guide for future reference.
At intermediate stage, students should be able to:
  • Use their subject guide to find links to subject-specific resources.
  • Develop their own search strategy:
    • Describe the subject scope and relevance of a chosen resource.
    • Apply BOOLEAN searching (AND/OR/NOT).
    • Begin to use synonyms.
    • Use the refining and limiting options in a range of resources.
  • Discover and use a wider range of sources (such as legislation / government publications / technical reports / Standards and Patents / company information / newspapers / websites).
At advanced stage, students should be able to:
  • Identify key journal titles, authoritative sources, experts and networks in their discipline.
  • Refine their own search strategy:
    • Perform advanced searching techniques in a range of subject-specific resources.
    • Use multiple synonyms and combination searches to build up a complex search string.
  • Explain what a 360° search is (moving backwards through references and forwards through citing documents), describe how it might be useful and employ it in their own searching.

Evaluating information

At introductory stage, students should be able to:
  • Recognise the limitations of Google and Wikipedia for the purposes of an academic literature search.
At intermediate stage, students should be able to:
  • Recognise the choices they have made in their use of sources and compare and contrast evidence, revealing gaps in knowledge.
  • Describe the currency, relevance, accuracy, authority and purpose of potential sources of information, making appropriate selections for their needs.
At advanced stage, students should be able to:
  • Articulate and justify the decisions they have made in choosing and using sources appropriate to their information needs and the task at hand.
  • Follow the development of an area of research, comparing and contrasting evidence and synthesising information to form connections and build their own arguments.

Managing information

At introductory stage, students should be able to:
  • Describe what referencing is and why it is important.
  • Identify any preferred referencing style for their School / programme / module.
  • Construct an accurate reference for the most commonly used information types in their discipline (e.g. books and journal articles).
  • Apply referencing principles in order to avoid plagiarism.
  • Locate and use the sources of referencing help available (such as Cite Them Right / Referencing Guide / Library Help / Writing Development Centre).
At intermediate stage, students should be able to:
  • Construct an accurate reference for further information types in their discipline (e.g.multimedia and social media).
  • Proof-read their referencing for common mistakes and rectify them accordingly.
  • Judge whether reference management software would help to save them time in their final year and locate further information if needed (Referencing Guide / EndNote Guide).
At advanced stage, students should be able to:
  • Save searches and set up email alerts to keep up-to-date with key journals/resources.
  • Decide on a workflow for managing information which suits their purposes.
  • Evaluate reference management tools and strategies in light of their preferred workflows:
    • If using EndNote, access EndNote after graduation and describe how to export an EndNote library to reuse in future.
  • Articulate which resources they have used whilst studying, describe what skills they have developed in the process and explain how they were developed (in readiness for further study, placements, interviews and the workplace beyond University).

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