LILAC conference: Pam writes: "I was very interested to hear Vicky Grant, Rosa Sadler, Kate Grigsby, and Sophie Carlson from the University of Sheffield present on their participatory action research project looking at Information and digital literacy provision at the university. They wanted to codesign and co-deliver information and digital literacy and worked with a team of Student Ambassadors for Learning and Teaching. Vicky stated "Co-design places the offer closer to the students lived experience". Participatory Action Research is a collaborative methodology for change, it is undertaken with not on people. Student ambassadors were paired with librarians to co-develop a programme of workshops,for example a blogging workshop, and a workshop on finding and using images. All the workshops were co-delivered by the student ambassador and the librarian. Students shared their experiences of becoming knowledge creators through writing blogs.
"The masterclass was run as part of the project which featured a selection of short workshops offered in one room to small groups of 6 students, with a mixture of student and librarian facilitators. The event was marketed as "skills to complete your dissertation" and had a very high uptake.
"In reflecting on the project it was noted that it was difficult to arrange meetings face to face between staff and students, and that a discussion needs to take place at the start of the project about the best spaces in which to communicate and work. (See my paper on student group working for the same conclusion).
"The staff and students successfully created an atmosphere of trust which enabled them to work together on an equal basis, with a lack of power differential. Student ambassadors were given both support and responsibilities, a scaffolded approach to partnership.
"Staff felt challenged and rewarded through designing teaching that was outside their comfort zone, and found it valuable to work closely with students. Students have positively disrupted the status quo and have improved the work of librarians. Collaboration is troublesome and rewarding. It is important to listen, be willing to make changes and be flexible in your approach to undertake a participatory action research project"
This is the UoS information and digital literacy resource: http://librarydevelopment.group.shef.ac.uk/
Photo by Pamela McKinney, April 2017, Swansea (the previous photo was also by Pam)