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.

Style guide for college


Perparing style guide for college communications. This project (a draft was completed for submission to the QAES in early May) involved a large amount of time looking at the professional communications of other colleges to get an idea of what the de facto standards for orthography were, keeping these logged, and then checking style guides to see if there was a consensus to this.


This isn’t new to me, but this context extended it. I think I have learned something about limiting jobs and turning down things I can’t do or shouldn’t do. Rather than just accepting that I will do the best job I can and that someone should do something I know I should suggest the organisation does the best job it can and select the team appropriately.


Peer feedback in workshops (and student and lecturer feedback using moodle)


Communicating with colleagues on new service and using Moodle surveys to get a sense of the effectiveness.

New feedback mechanisms on Moodle, using the course review process from the previous iteration of a module to inform the new assessment of it. Also the group moderation mentioned above.

Both of these activities are tied by a feedback process, they relate to previous plans (in the first case improved use of video resources, and in the second more authentic assessment) and implementations of them. The refinement of the workshop also included: more stress on peer reviews, giving the learner more control by asking them what the assessement should look like/focus on, allowing the learners to give summative as well as formative assessment, and responds not only to the previous learners’ experience and the course review but comments and plans made in the peer moderation process. In doing this I am leading the group, often people more experienced than I am, which is fun.

Various activities on 29th of March


Wrote catalogue notes for exhibition on migrants for the library- this is a first for us and we will be joining it to an online exhibition. Need to learn Omeka.


Koha email list – learning how to do acquisitions. I began the list and it hasn’t been used much. I hope to kickstart it and lead the community a little bit.

Began using the Outlook/Office 365 project management tool for the Delegated Authority  project


What is professional development?

I was nominated to represent the group in the project and suggest a definition of professional develooment. Here are some starts and what I sent in.

Striving to improve myself in my profession, seeking to improve my profession.

Seeking recognition for the change and development I have undergone and that the profession does. Seeking to keep up to date with changes as far as possible.

This sounded better last night.


Professional development means me striving to improve myself in my professional life. It also indicates a goal of me striving to improve my profession and its recognition. It also means recognition and validation of that development externally. I believe it also should include seeking such improvement in those around me and in recognising that and using it to manage, measure, and reward performance in an organisational environment.

On a basic level professional development includes updating skills and upskilling, but it should also seek to interrogate and inform the professional, ethical, and philosophical standards.

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.