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In recognition of excellence in teaching and innovation in delivering information literacy (IL) skills training, the OU Library’s Live Engagement team was awarded LILAC’s information literacy award at their annual conference on 24 April. Bringing together practitioners from across the UK and with an international reach, LILAC’s annual conference focusses on best practices in library user education. This award shines a national spotlight on the team’s achievement in teaching through online training sessions, podcasts, Facebook Live and other methods.
The judging panel cited evidence of the excellent team-work behind supporting students and developing study skills. Panel member Dr. Dina Martzoukou explained: “We were very impressed by the OU team. Their submission was very robust, full of examples of impactful work demonstrating how they go above and beyond to help students develop IL. The sessions are offered in a very modern style and include many innovative characteristics.”
Two examples illustrating this impact on student learning: analytics data indicates that students who attend live online training sessions are 10-15% more likely to complete their module of study; and a 95% reduction in study skills referrals for one module.
Noting the strength of the team and community, Helen Clough (Senior Library Manager and LE group leader) said at the award ceremony, “The innovative and forward thinking work of the Live Engagement team isn’t done in isolation - it is built on the back of all the great work that everyone in this room does, and supported and encouraged by our amazing colleagues in the Open University Library and the wider university.”
The award comes with a cash prize, which the team will be donating to Ability.Net, a national charity headquartered in Milton Keynes. Ability.Net’s Service Delivery Director Amy Low said, “The donation demonstrates the commitment of the OU to opening Higher Education to a wide range of under-represented groups, including disabled and older students.” Ability.Net are devoted to "changing the lives of disabled people by helping them to use digital technology at work, at home or in education” which mirrors the OU Library’s commitment to accessibility.
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