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Using ANCIL as a skills audit tool

Page history last edited by Katy Wrathall 12 years ago

Defining the questions


One use of the  curriculum is to audit the delivery of Information Literacy support and teaching, and the skills available, within an institution. It is recommended that existing organisation charts for both institutions are used to map the skills and support provision on to for formal, student led, academic led and embedded delivery.This will enable the auditor to identify areas where there is an overlap of provision, a lack of provision, who within the institution is positioned and skilled to deliver the provision, and whether parity of provision exists.

Katy Wrathall used the 10 strands of ANCIL to form the basis of a Skills Audit Questionnaire. The strands were then further expanded into more specific applications to try to ascertain whether respondents delivered them in full or in part. Respondents were also asked to identify at what stages of the undergraduate timeline were they supporting and helping students (this was intended to include the teaching of students) and to identify who they worked with on a formal basis to support the students with these topics. Questions were also asked as to "ownership" or responsibility for Information Literacy, how to deliver the Curriculum, any issues, which areas of an institution might be reluctant to change how provision was delivered, which areas would be "champions" and who were the top influencers. 


The Information skills audit questions and link for download can be found HERE . The questionnaire can be used as a script for face to face interviews, or as an online survey.


Posing the questions


In order to test the effectiveness of the questions it was decided the survey would be carried out in different ways at University of Worcester and York St John University. At Worcester Katy worked closely with Sarah Oxford (Academic Liaison Librarian) and Ellen Williams (Student Achievement Officer) to identify individuals and teams to take part in a series of one-to-one interviews. It was decided that the full set of questions would be asked of each interviewee to try to identify issues arising in different areas and professions. The results of the Worcester case study can be found HERE.


At York St John Clare McCluskey (Academic Support Librarian and Teaching Fellow) and Helen Westmancoat (Deputy University Librarian and Teaching Fellow) distributed the survey electronically using the free version of SurveyMonkey. To encourage response a shorter more fact finding version (see note at end of HERE ) was sent for those not involved in library and information work, with the latter receiving the full version. Unfortunately the constraints imposed by SurveyMonkey meant that the longer survey had to be split into two, which may have had some impact on responses. The results of the York St John case study can be found HERE .


Getting the answers


It is recommended that whenever possible interviews are undertaken in preference to questionnaires being distributed as it was interesting to note, but perhaps not surprising, that the interviews elicited a fuller response and interviewees spent a considerable amount of time reflecting on their own roles and how they provide information literacy education, how that could be adapted, who they could work with and whether collaborative provision could be strengthened. The surveys, in contrast were not always fully completed, perhaps due to misinterpretation of the questions, and answers were not expanded on in a reflective manner as occurred during interviews. However, interviews are obviously more demanding on time and require a suitable environment in which they can be conducted. 


Using the results


The results from the audit can be used in a variety of way. For example, to identify:

  • ·       duplication of provision, in which case collaboration and shared delivery can be encouraged
  • ·       areas which have insufficient, or no, provision which require action
  • ·       good practice which can be shared across the institution
  • ·       individual or group training requirements where skills are not available
  • ·       the role within an HEI best placed to take the curriculum forward
  • ·       resources required for adequate provision


Katy Wrathall's report on this phase is Strategies for implementing ANCIL in non-Cambridge HEIs 


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