Task 2: Contribute to inventory of online activities (badge activity) (no more than 2 hours)

Virtual Library Induction
by Hazel Rothera - Wednesday, 8 April 2015, 5:32 PM

Squeezing in before it's Week 3, just about...

My online activity is a virtual induction to Harcourt Hill Library (the campus library where I'm Academic Development Team Leader - it serves a variety of subjects including the Education students I look after). We used to do traditional face-to-face Library induction tours in small groups (and still do for some small courses who prefer that), but several years ago, partly because of the logistics of touring lots of large cohorts, and partly because of student feedback (as detailed in the attached document) began to experiment with moving induction activities online.

For several years I put the Virtual Tour and Library tutorial online but had the Library quiz on paper; I wanted (and still want) to encourage the students to actually come in and wander round the Library while completing it, rather than doing the whole thing online without ever coming in to the Library. However, the logistics of trying to mark so many paper quizzes got impossible - so last year I put the quiz online too for the first time. I am still trying to come up with a really good quiz question or two which can't be answered without coming in and exploring the Library, but can still be marked automatically by Moodle rather than having to be manually marked, as I found this year that manually marking just one or two questions was still unsustainable...

I've presented/analysed the activity using the JISC Effective Practice Planner, based on their Model of Learning Activity Design. (Though I found that the Planner doesn't include, as the Model does, a section on "other people" - so I added that in as I think it is helpful and in this case relevant.) 

I've included a screenshot in my document to give you an idea of what the activities look like presented in the VLE, but here are links (all open in new tabs) to:

The Harcourt Hill Library Virtual Tour

The "Getting to Know Harcourt Hill Library" tutorial - download the Powerpoint rom this link or, if you don't have Powerpoint available, run it as a Google Doc (doesn't look quite as snazzy but you will get all the information)

The "Welcome to Harcourt Hill Library" video (not strictly part of the induction activities, but a "hook" I created this year to show when I go into lectures to introduce myself to students and provide a personal connection to an otherwise all-online induction)

Document is attached as a PDF, which I hope is OK for everyone.

Off to look at other people's contributions now!


Abi Ball
Re: Virtual Library Induction
by Abi Ball - Monday, 13 April 2015, 9:37 AM


You give a really comprehensive overview of the activity and its different stages using the JISC Effective Practice Planner – it is a very well thought through activity and I wish some other staff would consider their induction activities in similar depth! One thing that I would say is that it is very text based and consequently does take a lot of reading.  Have you considered demonstrating the activity in a more illustrative form? 

Whilst this induction activity is aimed at on-campus students, have you thought about how you might adapt this activity for distance learning students?  One of the things that has become very clear from my PhD work is that distance learning students are not particularly well catered for at Brookes (and I imagine in other HEIs too) in non-academic support.  Hence there are initiatives like the Transactional Student Experience Project which I see you are also involved in, that are looking to rectify some of these issues.  Perhaps this TOOC learning activity might be a good starting point for some real online developments at Brookes?


Re: Virtual Library Induction
by Hazel Rothera - Monday, 13 April 2015, 9:48 AM

Thanks Abi - the Virtual Induction has gone through several years of iterations so I would hope it's well-thought-through by now! Though I am still wrestling with how to come up with one or two online quiz questions that would really compel students to explore the physical Library without those questions having to be manually marked...

Now that I've worked through the JISC planner and worked out what I wanted to say (hence all the text, I guess... sorry!) I could certainly look, time permitting, at condensing this into a more visual & concise form.

Induction is one of the Transactional Student areas, and I'm sure you're right, there's lots more scope to use virtual activities and quizzes there. I have in fact adapted the Virtual Induction slightly for use with non-campus-based groups (concentrating on the Library's e-resources), and I know academic colleagues who've used the Virtual Tour with groups who rarely come to the Library.

Picture of marion waite
Re: Virtual Library Induction
by marion waite - Tuesday, 14 April 2015, 7:35 AM

Hi Hazel

& Abi, yes we would really welcome this inititative in the PESE2 project. I think you are working with Sally on the library strand, is that correct? It is great to see practical examples like this shaping the student experience.