• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!


Using ANCIL as a skills audit tool: York St John University Case Study

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

Case study York St John University


This is an outline of the pilot of ANCIL as a skills audit tool at York St John University 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. Debbi Boden Head of ICT and Library Services,  Helen Westmancoat Deputy University Librarian and Clare McCluskey Academic Support Librarian  at York St John University kindly agreed to support a pilot of the Audit in their institution.

The Management Structure chart of York St John University was used to identify where Information Literacy provision existed in some form and how best to approach the pilot.


The surveys

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 distribute the questions across the departments supporting and teaching students at York St John University in order to assess the usefulness and clarity of the questions when answered remotely without contact with the questioner. Clare McCluskey distributed them as an online survey using SurveyMonkey. In order to encourage completion the shorter survey was distributed to the majority of recipients whilst the ancillary questions were asked of library and information personnel. The limitations imposed by the version of SurveyMonkey used meant that the extended questionnaires had to be split into two separate surveys, which may have had an impact on responses received.



Although the survey was only able to run for a short time, due to the constraints of the project, 30 responses were received, with 15 being from library and information personnel and the rest from academic personnel. No responses were received from other “support” services. It was very soon evident that the responses to the online surveys were less complete and contained little or no reflection on provision, delivery and collaboration and more emphasis on providing bare facts.

The results of the surveys were used to create maps of formal provision but it was not possible to differentiate between student led, academic led, embedded or indeed whether provision was mandatory.

The importance of semantics and tailoring the questions to the recipients was very evident. It would seem that a sound knowledge of the culture and terminology of an institution is vital to eliciting useful responses. It is doubtful that any survey could produce responses as complete as those obtained by interviews but what was obtained would provide a sound basis for further investigation.



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 information which may be used to inform:

  • maps of existing provision
  • identification of possible issues
  •  plans for staff development to increase the understanding of information literacy across the institution
  • strategies for improving collaboration
  • long term planning to embed the curriculum



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


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.