Dr Sal Kleine, Liaison Librarian, Faculty of Business and Law, QUT
In the role of Library Adviser at the Queensland University of Technology, I provided support for the IFN001: Advanced Information Research Skills (AIRS) unit. In late 2022, the AIRS Team commenced planning for a major unit review, to ensure the continued delivery of a pedagogically informed, engaging, and relevant training program. Whilst the Review is multifaceted and will result in constructive updates to the unit, one thing that won’t change is the ongoing advocacy for open educational practices reflected in the provision of AIRS learning content under Creative Commons licensing. The AIRS content is currently made available via the AIRS website under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike Licence. However, given the complexities in maintaining the website, as part of the Review, the AIRS Team is exploring more sustainable approaches to openly providing this material to our QUT Higher Degree Research students and sharing it with external audiences. With this goal in mind, I began my own Open Educational Resource (OER) learning journey, a key part of which was participating in the CAUL OER Professional Development Program: Foundations.
As someone new to this space, the Program offered an introduction to OER in a tertiary education context. The module-based content stepped through introducing and defining OER, licensing and copyright considerations, finding and evaluating OERs and, finally, delved into the intricacies of adopting, adapting and creating OERs. But it wasn’t all reading, and a highlight for me was the weekly guest presentations by experts on various aspects of open education and OER. The sharing of their insights and experiences provoked ideas, questions and new understandings of both the principles and practice of OER. There were also plenty of options for engaging, or working collaboratively, with other participants if desired. The lively discussions in the weekly forums demonstrated the breadth of knowledge and passion in this area and how, as a profession, librarians have the potential to influence the movement towards more open educational teaching and learning activities. Underpinning the learning was a practical task. This involved preparing a Project Plan based on a scenario that could be tailored to suit the participant’s workplace or interests. The Plan provided me with an opportunity to focus my thinking on how to further leverage OERs in the delivery of AIRS, using the production workflows and creation tools introduced as part of the Program.
By participating in this professional development program, I am building the confidence to meaningfully contribute to the ongoing OER conversation and am better equipped to offer informed advice on the positive impacts of OER. Now, both enlightened and inspired, my next goal is to apply learnings from the Program to, in collaboration with the AIRS Team, develop contemporary OERs that are accessible, inclusive, and representative of our diverse student cohort, and encourage the sharing and reuse of content. So, while I will keep learning and continue to further my understanding of OER, it’s time to start creating!
In September 2022, we ran the Melbourne leg of face-to-face workshops for the CAUL Enabling a Modern Curriculum Conference 2022. The workshop in the morning, facilitated by Steven, Angie and Jennifer, was about incorporating Open Education Resources into the curriculum. In the afternoon, the workshop focused on learning experience design and its relevance in academic libraries, and was facilitated by Ellie, Beth and Jane.
Once the workshops were over, we had many observations on how things went and how it felt to get back to face-to-face presentations. We got together in our teams and reflected on our experiences – as we usually do – and we had a number of ideas for how things could be improved for the future, just in case we would want to run our workshops again!
We did something different this time, though: we decided to share our reflections and experiences with our LIS community in a short blog post just in case it helps those who are planning to run a workshop in the near future. Enjoy reading our reflections.
Mitigating time pressures
For any workshop you have a limited amount of time. You have a lot to share, people have other commitments (so they might not be able to stay in your workshop if it goes over time), and the workshop venue might be booked for another event. So timing of the workshop is super critical – here is our advice:
Don’t underestimate the amount of time participants need for tasks. This is particularly important for tasks that involve any level of complexity, e.g., completing templates, or using toolkits. Five minutes is rarely going to be sufficient for anything involving discussion, writing, or thoughtful contemplation.
Allow sufficient time for participant report-backs on activities, as this can be time-consuming. Also provide a speaking time limit for each table/group for this to avoid rambling.
Real-time identification of post-it note themes can be challenging: allow generous time, revisit these during breaks, or forget doing it in real-time and instead do this after the workshop.
Minimise the race against time by a) assigning dedicated timekeeping responsibilities to one facilitator, and b) building flexibility into the run sheet so you can recoup time by shortening activities as needed.
Ease participants out of activities smoothly and clearly
Use a bell. Ding dong! (or ding a glass cup with a spoon).
Enact a clear visual countdown on the screen (use an online tool for this) and give participants notice that this will happen (to ease count down anxiety).
Warn participants when 2 minutes left, and at 1 minute left say “start wrapping up”.
Any experience design can benefit from an iterative approach where each round of implementation will be informed by lessons from the previous round. There’s a good chance that you would want to reshape and further develop a conference workshop to use it in other different or similar settings. As a result, it would be good to take notes about your workshop and reflect on it after the delivery is over. Here are our suggestions:
Scribble down ad-hoc notes when encountering notable challenges. It’s hard to remember “things you would improve next time” when you’re concentrating on solving them in the moment and keeping the workshop running smoothly. It’s usually easier to take notes if the workshop is co-facilitated (so one of the co-facilitators can take notes while others are running the session).
After all is said and done, share your reflections. In particular, organise a dedicated debrief with your co-presenters to discuss the challenges, barriers, and things you would do differently in the future. Even better – write up these shared reflections and publish them in a concise way on an accessible platform where people in the industry will read and learn from it (like we’re doing now on this excellent blog!).
The online vs F2F nexus
For most of us, this was our first face-to-face workshop after two and a half years of online-only workshops in lockdown. This experience reminded us of the nature of in-person conference workshops and the challenges of coordinating these types of learning experiences. Here are a few reminders from us:
Help participants cut down on distractions. Always print out enough worksheets on the assumption that everyone will need one, so participants can minimise digital noise from their devices. However, equally it is crucial to prevent physical clutter, so ensure these print worksheets are visually signposted and explicitly chunked. For example:
organised into clear numbered headings
stapled together or at least page numbered
verbally referenced by headings/page numbers by presenter instructions.
Otherwise the digital distractions will simply migrate into physical form and participants will spend more time fluttering paper sheets than focusing on the exercise.
Assume half the room cannot get into Eduroam. This is frustratingly the norm – If you need people to do something online, act accordingly by providing USB copies and print copies for these people so they can access toolkits and worksheets.
Plan how you will capture physical data from the workshop. In the moment it can seem that a smartphone photo snap of post-it notes will efficiently capture all the written information. Often the content of the post-it notes will be unreadable or too low-res to be useful post-workshop. You may want to consider digital methods instead such as Padlet or Popplet.
The golden lesson
Last but definitely not least, there’s one thing we cannot emphasise enough: Practice, practice, practice. Test as many aspects of your workshop as possible before your live version. So here’s our golden lesson:
Plan and deliver “mock” workshops with trusted colleagues. These are absolutely invaluable because, as workshop designers and presenters, we are often too close to our own material and struggle to inhabit the learner’s perspective. Test workshops solve this problem by providing a second “outside” perspective. Think of these mock runs as a stress test of your run sheet to identify what will or won’t work in the real world – both in terms of technology and the human elements (e.g., microphones dropping out, insufficient time for participant tasks, lack of clarity for activity instructions, too much paper, etc.).
While running conference workshops and sharing knowledge with one’s community of practice helps to connect with others in the sector, presenting to large rooms of attendees can be scary and exhausting, especially if you are back to physical conference sessions after a long time of being online. Hopefully the tips we shared in this blog post will enable you as a future presenter to enjoy the experience as much as your workshop attendees.
This post was written by Marion Slawson, Project Lead OER PD Program
I’m delighted to be able to let you know that the much-anticipated CAUL OER Professional Development Program will be running from 26 September through to early December. This will be a foundational course, with modules covering an introduction to OER, open licensing and copyright, finding and evaluating OER, and adapting and creating OER.
To make the most of your learning experience, your new knowledge will be applied through a project plan that is developed over the course of the program. This project plan will enable you to consider and plan how you will implement your learning within your own workplace, in a way that is commensurate with your role and opportunities. All content is adapted for an Australian / New Zealand higher education context.
What will you be signing up for? The program will be delivered fully online, and there will be a combination of synchronous (real-time) sessions of up to 1 hour, as well as work to be completed independently at a time that suits you between synchronous sessions. Overall the time required should be no more than 2 hours per week.
If you’re keen to participate, we encourage you to bring a friend (a library colleague or ally, such as a learning designer or academic) so that you can collaborate as you learn and plan how you will activate and implement your knowledge. It’s a great chance to deepen understanding of OERs and the possibilities for change they offer across your workplace, in partnership with others. Of course, you can still participate solo; there will be lots of opportunities to learn with the broader group.
The course is great value, priced at just $95 for CAUL member staff and $175 for non-members. Enrolments will open in early August, so start thinking about who you can participate with now and watch this space so you can secure your place!
This post was written by Dr Nicole Johnston, Project Lead, CAUL Conference
The CAUL Enabling a Modern Curriculum Conference Project Team has been working hard to put together a dynamic program for the Conference, which will be held in September.
We are delighted to announce that our first keynote speaker will be Dr Amanda White. Dr White is a Senior Lecturer and the Deputy Head (Education) of the Accounting Discipline in the UTS Business School and has been teaching accounting at the university level for almost two decades.
She will share her journey of creating an open textbook, Accounting and Accountability – an introductory accounting textbook that will be used by over 2000 students at UTS annually. Amanda is best known for loving auditing and sharing her resources with students and educators around the world through her YouTube channel Amanda Loves to Audit. In 2020 Amanda was awarded the Teaching Excellence Award for Law, Business, Economics and related areas by Universities Australia – partly for her work in creating accessible resources and OER in the area of academic integrity. In 2022, Amanda is taking on the challenge of developing an introductory accounting open textbook – the first in Australasia.
Registrations for the two day online event and face to face workshops are now open.
This post was written by Bec Muir (Manager, Libraries West) at Victoria University.
Supporting our frontline Library staff in enabling the modern curriculum
Frontline library staff are integral partners in the modern curriculum. They are the librarians, library technicians, and advisory staff who provide front-of-house services to our academic communities. Frontline staff may have a qualification in librarianship, library technician, or teaching; or have other academic qualifications such as certificates, diplomas, bachelors, or higher degrees. They are very highly skilled, qualified, or both.
The less-seen impact of frontline staff
Our frontline staff are a very present and very visible element of Library service, working as finders, guides, connectors, and interpreters of the modern curriculum. They empower their academic community to step confidently beyond the university by building their information literacy, knowledge of academic integrity, and digital dexterity. They instruct, demonstrate, troubleshoot, and guide students and academic staff through the information journey. Often their work is done quietly, conducted one-to-one at the service desk or via the online chat service instead of before a class. In short, the role of frontline staff in the modern curriculum is a whisper rather than a roar.
Why is this a concern?
By overlooking the role of frontline staff in the modern curriculum, the library misses an opportunity to improve its connection with our learning community and enrich their educational journey. If we do not see the role of frontline staff in this space, we risk not developing and upskilling our Library staff to enact these roles, which can disempower them in their interactions with our students and staff. This in turn can disempower our academic community.
Individual and institutional commitment to professional development
If academic libraries are to fully enact their role in supporting the modern curriculum, professional development of frontline staff should be seen as a key strategic and operational objective. Shared institutional and individual responsibility for ongoing professional development (at all staffing levels) is a vital way to grow industry and professional robustness. This ultimately benefits our academic community by enriching the Library’s ability to speak to their educational needs. Once there’s a commitment to professional development, where can frontline staff access professional learning?
Industry-developed learning opportunities
There are many existing tools and resources that frontline staff can draw on for professional learning. A good place to start is with a framework that maps skills, knowledge and capabilities such as the Digital Dexterity Framework. Conference attendance – such as ALIA Information Online, the Library Technicians Symposium or the new 2022 CAUL Enabling a Modern Curriculum Conference – provide a way for frontline staff to engage in active learning from their peers. Platforms such as 23 Things for Digital Knowledge and FutureLearn, and initiatives like Library Carpentry provide self-directed and cost-effective learning. Sector magazines, such as Incite, provide a consumable way to stay industry engaged and empower staff to see broader institutional responses to change.
Library-developed training opportunities
Library-developed training can prepare frontline staff to meet the challenges of the modern curriculum and the curriculum beyond that.However, a concern with library-developed training is that it may take a ‘trickle down’ approach where the program is developed by senior staff, and trickled down to instruct frontline staff in expected performance. Rather than being partners in the modern curriculum, frontline staff may be seen as trainees, or even students. While this may not be intentional, it can result in staff feeling silenced, lost, or disengaged from the training as a result. It is not ‘their training’, but ‘the library’s’.
A learner-led learning (triple-L model) opportunity
In contrast to library-developed training, learner-led learning shifts the balance in the learning relationship to one of mutual benefit. I envision learner-led learning (‘triple-L model’) as a training delivery framework shaped around scaffolded learning, shared authority, professional reflection, and learner engagement. The triple-L model creates an environment where the learner feels able to reshaping existing knowledge to build skills for future needs. Triple-L approaches training from a position of partnership.
The triple-L model approaches professional development across five phases, commencing with a position of partnership and concluding with a commitment to evaluation for success. While it is beyond the scope of this blogpost to fully unpack this model, it has already been tested at Victoria University. The triple-L model formed the foundation of our frontline training suite, DigiChat. More importantly, the triple-L model has cemented to every frontline staff member that the role that they play in the modern curriculum is an important one.
The implementation of this model occurred simply and organically from a position of partnering for success. Our frontline team were asked a single straight forward question: ‘what do you find hard when helping our patrons on LibChat?’. ‘Hard’ here was left broad; for some frontline staff multi-tasking became the challenge point, for others identifying the core of the question and conveying an answer, for still others discovering the resource required. We then reflected on position descriptions and changes in the industry to identify any areas missed. We observed that three theme areas were emerging in our frontline team’s identified needs: customer service, digital skills, and professional identity. These themes became the burgeoning phases of the DigiChat cycle: each enriching and speaking back to the other.
From these proposed sessions and phases, we sought reflection and input from our frontline team and engaged staff in a process of co-creation and sharing of skills. A learning theory foundation was employed that limited the length of sessions and introduced a scaffolded theory of staggered skills, in addition to building in opportunities for reflection through doing (theoretical activities); thinking (Teams chats and sharing); ownership (on-the-job skill usage); and growth (tying to current and future skills). Lastly, an important part of this process was embedded in the evaluation mechanism: a survey at the end of each session which asked our frontline team to reflect on their learnings and how they would apply it, and why, in addition to reflecting on the presentation and the presenter. This process yielded great results that have built our frontline team to meet (and embrace) the changes of the curriculum both in its current iteration, and into the future.
A stronger voice
We are all partners in enabling the modern curriculum. Through identifying the needs and skills of our frontline teams, enriching learnings and abilities, and visualising their value in the modern curriculum, the role that our staff play in this capacity changes. Recognising the role of our frontline staff means that we are all better enabled – as a Library and as a sector – to respond to the challenges of the modern curriculum.
This post was written by Kat Cain (Deakin University Library), Lindsey Fratus (University of Newcastle Library), Liz Walkley Hall (Flinders University Library). All three writers are part of the CAUL EMC Conference project.
What does 2022 look like for you and your work in the academic Library sector? Many of us have strat plans with OER goals or students as partners as top level foci. The moving feast of “Read and Publish” is shaking up Open Access outcomes across the board. And while our core business has always been aligning with tertiary learning and teaching goals, new ways to flexibly engage and enable curriculum have become a heightened priority. On top of this, we’re all dealing with evolving digital practices impacting learning, research and everyday ways of working.
It offers new learnings and practice-based knowledge for expert staff across the Australia and New Zealand industry to embed in their work.
What practical action should you take?
Lock in the CAUL EMC Conference into your 2022 calendar
Start thinking about sharing and showcasing your Library’s work or learnings
What are the dates?
Remember it’s a hybrid event so the conference dates for both in-person and online experiences:
Wednesday 7 and Thursday 8 September for the online program
Tuesday 13 September for the face-to-face events in five capital cities.
What is the Conference all about?
This conference offers you and your institution the chance to exchange ideas and experience in a novel way. Using a hybrid conference model means flexible attendance options – pick and choose between in-person located learning and digital experiences.
CAUL’s intention in offering a hybrid conference model is to ensure flexibility and access for its member libraries. But it also provides the different but complementary dimensions of national lens and a local, state-based gatherings.
Your voice in this space
One of the great things about the Conferences is sharing thoughts, learnings and new projects outside of our own work bubbles. We will soon be taking submissions for presentation ideas – so start thinking about what you could share with your academic library community!
University libraries play a number of key roles in enabling contemporary teaching and learning, including:
curating, collecting and creating information resources related to the curriculum
consulting and advising through curriculum design processes
partnering with educational designers and academic developers to provide holistic support for course development
embedding information literacy instruction in the curriculum
championing digital literacy
supporting academics to find, use, adapt or create open educational resources.
In many institutions, academic skills development is also part of the library’s remit. Even the work libraries undertake that isn’t directly related to teaching and learning impacts it indirectly. For example, supporting open scholarship results in more open access research outputs, which are in turn used in teaching and learning.
Libraries contribute to contemporary teaching and learning in a myriad ways and so our focus on this blog will also be broad. We are keen to explore the various ways that libraries enable a modern curriculum, and to amplify the work CAUL Member institutions do in the teaching and learning space.
So, we have two questions for you!
What topics related to libraries’ role in teaching and learning would you like to see featured here on the blog? Share your thoughts about the topics you’d like to see us explore in the comments! If you’re reading this post as an email, click the post title to head to the blog and add your comment.
Do you have an idea for a blog post you’d like to write? Perhaps there is something great happening at your institution that you’d like to share, an event that you’d like to write an analysis of, an important message you need to get out, or a resource you’d like to highlight. Perhaps you’d like to share about what enabling a modern curriculum means to you. If you would like to write something from the blog, then we would like to hear from you! You can contact me – Kate Davis (CAUL Director, Strategy & Analytics) – with your ideas for posts.
This post was written by Annette Goodwin, Senior Client Services Librarian at Charles Sturt University. Annette is also a CAUL Digital Dexterity Champion.
Let’s start with an Open Educational Resources framing. OERs are teaching, learning and research materials that “reside in the public domain or have been released under an open license that permits no-cost access, use, adaptation and redistribution by others with no or limited restrictions” (UNESCO, n.d.). OERs can therefore include textbooks, curricula, syllabi, lecture notes, assignments, tests, projects, audio, video, software, coded elements and more.
Libraries and librarians around the world support and encourage educators, teachers and academics to create, locate, adapt and use OERs for the benefit of others.
But have you ever thought of the resources and objects you create as a librarian? Could they be considered OERs too? Absolutely!
Everyday, librarians create and use a wide range of resources that support learning, teaching and research at their institutions. Amazing session plans that unpack research methods or interactive infographics about fake news. Workshops on how to make videos or seminar presentations demystifying referencing. Librarians are prolific creators! We need to harness the power of this work and share those resources with others. You may already use platforms like OER Commons or Merlot to locate OERs for your own use or recommend them to your academics, but have you considered sharing to the platforms yourself?
Let’s talk about a Digital Dexterity Commons
The Resource Sharing Group (RSG), a sub-group of the CAUL Digital Dexterity Community of Practice (CoP), has created a Group on OER Commons – Digital Dexterity Educators to help you understand and share OERs you’re creating. The CoP supports their organisations and the wider tertiary library community to build digital dexterity capabilities and drive positive change in relation to technology, so creating a OER sharing group seemed a natural fit.
The RSG is encouraging academic librarians around Australia and New Zealand to join our OER Commons group and share resources. If you’re not sure how to go about creating or sharing OERs, the RSG has created a couple of documents to help you to get started…
The ASCILITE Open Educational Practices Special Interest Group (OEP-SIG) is a practitioner-led community that supports open educational practice (OEP) in Australian Higher Education. Each month, they produce a monthly digest on all things OEP. The digest is curated by Ashleigh Barber (University of South Australia), Jennifer Hurley (RMIT), Alice Leutchford (James Cook University) and Nikki Andersen (University of Southern Queensland).
The latest issue of the digest features an excellent list of new open texts and resources produced by Australian academic libraries.
A Long Goodbye by James Cook University
James Cook University has published their first open ebook via Pressbooks titled: ‘A Long Goodbye: Ed and Mary’s Journey with Lewy Body Dementia’. The book chronicles Ed’s experiences as a carer following his wife Mary’s diagnosis with Lewy body dementia. Ed’s story provides information and educational resources related to dementia care. Although specifically focusing on Lewy body dementia, the resources are transferable to caring for people with any type of dementia.
Women’s voices in tourism research by the University of Queensland
This book showcases the many contributions that women worldwide have made to tourism research. It also serves as a collective mentoring platform, containing letters written by women to the future generations of tourism researchers and passing on invaluable observations and advice.
23 Scholarly Communication Things by Queensland University of Technology
This resource has been created as an aid to help library staff to learn about the various aspects of Scholarly Communication. It is designed to be of use to those who are new to academic librarianship and for seasoned professionals wishing to keep up-to-date.
It is not a ‘how to’ guide, but rather a doorway to information that will help you on your quest for knowledge and experience, using various tools and sites related to world of scholarly communications.
Visuals for Influence by the University of Southern Queensland
‘Visuals for influence: in project management and beyond’ is a practical guide with 24 visuals to download, adapt and deploy to engage your stakeholders. This practical guide will build your confidence and practical skills to quickly and effectively leverage the benefits of visuals to maximise your influence.
Uncover the science behind the power in visuals
Discover software and tools that make visualisation easy
Learn pro design tips that give your visuals a professional edge
Download a visual archetype, tailor to your needs, and enhance your influence!
Deleting Dystopia by University of Southern Queensland
‘Deleting Dystopia: Re-asserting Human Priorities in the Age of Surveillance Capitalism’ confirms that the existential threats posed by the misuse of advanced digital technologies are real. But, in place of apathy and fatalism, the book explores ways of understanding the threat, conceptualising solutions and identifying strategies that lead away from digital authoritarian futures towards those funded on humanly viable values and practices.
Open education resources (OER) and accompanying open education practices (OEP), are changing the education landscape. To take on OER-related roles and issues, we need to learn the language and culture of open education and develop expertise in areas such as open licensing, copyright, e-learning, and knowledge about OER technologies and standards.
The Open Educational Resources Professional Development Program project is addressing the OER Professional Development needs of higher education institutions.
The project aims to:
Develop a proposal for an Open Educational Resource professional development program.
Develop and implement an Open Educational Resource professional development program.
The project is led by Marion Slawson (Federation University) and consists of the following team members: Sarah Howard (QUT), Kylie Tran (University of Melbourne), Anne Hawkins (Flinders University), Kate McVey (University of Western Australia) and Nikki Andersen (University of Southern Queensland).
The below video outlines the project’s team current progress.
More information on the Open Educational Resources Professional Development Program project can be found in the project brief (PDF).
Interested in being involved?
Subscribe to the blog to receive project updates and keep an eye out for OER Professional Development 2022.