Presentation DBS Annual Library Seminar 09/06/17

First up, here are my slides

From attending and listening at the seminar I learnt a lot from the keynote by Andrew Preator relating to critical reflective practice. This was particularly timely as I was presenting with the viewpoint that the PDP portfolios were not  a place for this. But I am not suggesting that critical reflective practice is not to be engaged it, just that it is incompatible with a professional development portfolio. I drew the analogy with assessment of and for learning and how presenting yourself, your digital persona, for career enhancement is different from the kind of experimental, questioning work that critical reflective practice is.

It was nice to see the work that the public library service do, and obviously the DLR Lexicon is awesome, and the regeneration of the concept of the commons of a public non-commercial space is really importseminarDBSant.

I was less happy about the embrace of big data than the second keynote. But that should come as no surprise to those who have read my tweets on IP, infosec, privacy etc.

The lively debate at the end was notable for Jane Burns having a losing proposition to fight- getting rid of the word librarian in a room full of librarians – but she convinced me (not that Helen Fallon wasn’t also excellent) and I noticed that Andrew Preator changed his too

On a personal level it was quite stressful getting the presentation together in such a rush with the data arriving late. The presentation went well though, I did have to go  quickly. I’m now more focused on bringing this work forwards. What I have planned so far is:

  • Attending a seminar exploring the T&L framework for librarians (invite from the Librarian at DIT)
  • Follow up with the HECA Librarians group meeting on Friday, scoping out the mapping exercise for library CPD (Helen/David) I will update this following 16/06
  • This should lead to publishable work late in 2017
  • Possible article (non-peer reviewed) over the summer, a publication is interested

Intellectually I am planning to engage further with queer and feminist radical pedagogies. I have just bought Bell Hooks’ Teaching to Transgress based on Andrew’s presentation. I also realise I need to reconsider digital citizenship (which I view from the perspective of preserving the well being of the subject/teacher in a harsh neoliberal reality) and came upon this article via Catherine Cronin on Twitter. Which is timely.

catherine cronin tweet

I also would like to place the video of Judith Butler somewhere, so here would be good.

The PDF Pilot and this eportfolio

I admit it: this project has not featured a lot of reflection from me, and certainly no deep reflection. I got the impression as the project progressed that this was intended by the NF. I’m not apologetic however. I needed to catalogue this activity for myself. And to see what emerged from it myself, and then to see what could be codified. From the beginning when discussing this with colleagues, and I talked with other groups and gave some support also, that it was crucial that what we produced was useful for us.

In my work I am mindful of the tension between a public portfolio and a reflection which is, by nature, revealing and difficult in public. Jenny Moon discussed at this workshop the concept of learners delivering what was required in reflection. I’m often worried about the “performance” of reflection also. And as I perceive the eporfolio as being a tool for the performance of a digital/online identity in a professional context I don’t think it is an appropriate space for the kind of professional reflective practice that the main workshop activity involved.

This image contains most of the self reflection in this portfolio!

This mirrors the tension in a student’s eportfolio between a portfolio for learning and one for assessment. It is not possible to achieve both aims honestly and this is largely accepted in the field. I was taken by Helen Beetham’s concern that the learner has their working portfolio in a walled garden with a route out. Her work on digital identity in the modern mediated world has been important to me (as has danah boyd’s) and both have influenced how I think about eportfolios for professionals. And as with the statement above about student work I believe that the eportfolio as a professional development tool and as a tool to manage your digital identity is not a suitable place for deep, critical, self-reflection. I think Michael Seery expresses this well. It is however a good place to put your statement of practice, policy, and your ideas based on this self reflection. It is product, rather than process, that a professional CPD focused eportfolio focuses on.

To this end I will be proposing to this group a continuation of the pilot scheme with a real focus on our own ends. I intend to support the group in exporting their portfolio work so far to other domains and possibly systems. Many of us have used domains, as I have here, that echo the aims of the project rather than our identities. And I then intend to collaborate with the group to get a better sense of what the realisable CPD aims of this portfolio can be, taking in not only the teaching world which is the pilot, but also the information professional. This should lead to some publishable work.


Group Moderation

First time I’ve done this and a great opportunity to discuss the assessment in a module in a collegiate manner. We looked at the MLOs and the assessment to see did they align and the group suggested some strengthening. I had felt this myself but I will be amending this for the next iteration now.

It was also good to hear the questions that they asked as they were able to help me see whether the instructions/rubric made sense to outsiders and students. I had a lot of positive feedback from the moderation group on the feedback mode I gave. I used audio feedback (in order to separate the feedback on the work which is the grade and that on the person’s effort and future work. Also I hope that by speaking directly to the person I could be kinder, and not misconstrued).

My grading held up across the moderation which was a relief. I already thought my rubrics and marking were both consistent and workable as a process.

I always say that when looking at the four lenses that Steven Brookfield talks about, the colleague/peer lens is the one most often neglected. Any chance to change this is to be grabbed with both hands.

Obviously I also got the opportunity to be that lens for others in a collaborative collegiate environment. I love group teaching and I think I am able to be relatively ego free in a team. It helps if you actually care about what you are doing that the outcome is important. In that kind of environment there is no such thing as an argument you lose but rather a situation where your opinion survived peer review or one where you learn and grow.

The suggestions are going into the course review form and we will evaluate the output and whether it improved the students’ learning.

Learning outcome collaboration


Group workshop on new design programme learning outcomes. While it is always a learning experience to work on documents in areas you are not expert in, what was most informative here was the process of working in a group on it and meshing our skills and experience together. It certainly took up some time: we spent most of a day on these learning outcomes.
I think that this process should become part of our normal working practice and I forwarded Gilly Salmon’s Carpe Diem learning design workshop materials to my team leader in the hope that we could incorporate this in teaching and learning. Perhaps we could become an example of best practice in curriculum design for the college?

Discussing this with colleagues I really feel there is a potential to be more efficient with time by front loading the work collaboratively like this. Outcomes were much more robust, more concise, more thought through and less likely to cause trouble further down the line. While it was tough going at times the achievement was rewarding and the overall experience enjoyable and useful for everyone in the room.

Internal review panel

Sat on internal review panel for course proposal / accreditation, second time doing this, got a bit better at it (more open ended questions rather than offering answers first) but lacked time to get it done right.

As a team I think we are learning to work at these collaborative/review processes and the entire thing is a learning process in becoming more professionally capable. While not relating to teaching as such curriculum design, development, and support is crucial to the teaching role. In this I am consolidating my own learning and becoming a more capable mentor. The more I work on projects like this the less of an imposter I feel.


Marc and related training

Today I taught two of my colleagues how to use marc ftp server, to bulk download records for ebooks.

Then how to use MarcEdit to batch process these (join, mnemonic, edit for 856 field url, process) then upload, stage, and add to koha catalogue.

It’s quite technical and very library. It’s interesting to consider this as teaching as I normally wouldn’t. For me training is teaching. If we think that teaching relates to learning in that the learner does the learning it becomes a part of their identity for me this really fits this. This kind of detailed technical knowhow is a real part of building the identity of a librarian. We need to feel comfortable, or at least many of us do, in this kind of data and metadata related detail for our professional identities.

PDF Pilot, workshop in Griffith Library

The HECA librarians were chosen as one of the pilot groups in the national forum professional development framework pilot scheme. We are blogging our PD activities during the course of the pilot in WordPress blogs/eportfolios. Being librarians we decided to use WordPress “categories” to clasify each post/activity to  the typology of professional development for each post.

typology pd

And we decided to use tags to mark each post to the domains


We chose to do this in a group collaboration meeting as we thought that each type of activity would have a discreet typology, but that it may map onto several domains. In this, our second meeting that I attended, I mentored as I am familiar with WordPress. But primarily it was a collaboration and we worked as a group to make decisions. As we always say at these things it’s so inspiring to meet each other and any occasion that allows us to do it is great.

As an aside the food in the students’ training restaurant was sublime.

Making this video

I made a video for the group on WordPress. WP changes all the time which is quite frustrating. In my longish experience with WP most people’s problems can be solved by checking out the publication status (have they verified their account? Update the site, publish and refresh) and checking the theme/template they use. Does the theme support what they want? Can it be edited to do this?

Well those and what is a page/post. The frustrating part of supporting WP is then that each theme is very different and has a different of affordances and features. A general rule would require telling everyone exactly what theme they have to use which minimises the customisability of the site and its reflecion of the person.