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Using ANCIL as a skills audit tool: University of Worcester Case Study

Page history last edited by Katy Wrathall 12 years, 5 months ago

Case study University of Worcester


This is an outline of the pilot of ANCIL as a skills audit tool at University of Worcester and its results. 



Strategies for implementing ANCIL was a 10 week project to identify ways the New Curriculum may be used to support and enhance Information Literacy provision in Universities. One use was identified by Katy Wrathall as informing the design of a Skills Audit to identify existing provision, who delivers it, and at what point in the undergraduate experience. Dr Marie Stowell, Director of Quality and Educational Development and Anne Hannaford Director of Information and Learning Services at University of Worcester kindly agreed to support a pilot of the Audit in their institution.

The Executive Management Structure (EMS) of University of Worcester was used to identify where Information Literacy provision existed in some form and how best to approach the pilot.


Why interviews

The 10 strands of ANCIL were used to form the basis of a questionnaire, which was then expanded to include ancillary questions designed to gather information on the possible implementation of the curriculum within the institution. After consideration it was decided to interview representatives from the various professions and sectors supporting and teaching students at University of Worcester in order to assess the usefulness and clarity of the questions.


How they worked

Due to the extremely short timescale available the interviews were held within a single week. Representatives from the areas identified from the EMS as being involved in Information Literacy provision were invited to participate in informal interviews scheduled to last between one and one and a half hours. Those inter viewed included members of Academic Liaison Librarian team, Student Achievement, Learning and Technology Unit, Careers Advisers, Student Transition and Progression, Academic Course Leaders and Writer in Residence As the interviewer (Katy Wrathall) had no official base in the University, and in order to keep the location as neutral and informal as possible, the interviews were held in one of the coffee shops on site.

The questionnaire was used as a script, and interviewees were asked to identify whether the support they provided was formal or informal, mandatory or voluntary and in conjunction with other areas or not.



All of those interviewed provided some Information Literacy teaching and support. They all expressed a willingness to work across the institution, sharing skills and best practice, and collaborating in the delivery. It was felt that the New Curriculum could be introduced and delivered collaboratively and holistically should the University wish to, but that it would require a strategic direction and commitment form a high level within the institution to be effective and well directed.

The results of the interviews were used to create maps of formal provision which was academic led, student led or embedded. It was found that only the embedded provision was mandatory which implies many students may receive no formal support or instruction in Information Literacy at any point during their undergraduate experience.

An interesting outcome of the interviews was the way in which all the participants used them as a way to reflect on their own practice and development of collaborative working. The initial questions frequently led to a broader discussion on how students information literacy can best be supported and improved.



It is evident from the results of this pilot that using ANCIL to inform the creation and performance of a Skills Audit enables the collection of pertinent information which may be used to inform:

  • ·       training plans for individuals and teams
  • ·       plans for collaborative provision
  • ·       course design
  • ·       embedding of the Information Literacy curriculum within undergraduates courses


Note: a summary of the responses to the ancillary questions from both pilots can be found HERE.



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