Tag Archives: Literature Searches

STEP e-learning modules now available!

As you know, we’ve been developing a suite of literature searching modules for you to use as part of the information skills training you offer.

We are delighted to announce that the first three modules are now available from https://www.e-lfh.org.uk/programmes/literature-searching/

‘Building the Foundations’ includes three modules to enable users to assess their current level of skill in literature searching, find out more about the resources available to them and get started planning a search.

Module 1 Introduction to searching
Module 2 Where do I start searching?
Module 3 How do I start to develop a search strategy?

Please feel free to place these links on your websites use the attached flier to promote the modules.

The next three modules on ‘Developing the Skills’ will be launched later this year and ‘Applying the Skills’ modules will be available in early 2018.

Attached are some FAQs about the modules which you may find helpful.

If you require further information, please contact the project leads:

Tracey Pratchett, Knowledge and Library Services Manager, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust tracey.pratchett@lthtr.nhs.uk
Sarah Lewis, Library Services Manager, Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust sarah.lewis@buckhealthcare.nhs.uk

It’s “Yammer-Time”! Consultation and engagement in a virtual community By Tracey Pratchett and Sarah Lewis

So, you’ve probably heard about our project to deliver information literacy via e-learning modules. Well, in this post, we want to tell you a bit more about our approach to consultation and engagement. The Virtual Reference Group (VRG) was set up early in the project to provide feedback on module design and development. It has been an essential part of the development process with library staff providing advice, guidance and support throughout the project. Currently there are in the region of 40 library staff from different sectors signed up to the VRG covering the following:

  • NHS England
  • NHS Scotland
  • NHS Wales
  • NICE
  • Higher Education
  • Royal College of Nursing
  • Royal Society of Medicine
  • An independent hospice
  • Public Health

We have used Yammer as the main method of communication as it is accessible in most trusts. One or two group members have had some issues when Yammer was blocked, but largely these barriers seem to have been overcome. As a tool, it takes a bit of getting used to, but generally it has worked well across organisational boundaries.

There has been a good level of engagement on Yammer, with colleagues advising on a range of topics, from contributing to the module learning objectives via a shared spreadsheet to discussing the potential design and layout of the modules. Generally, feedback so far about the level of communication from the project leads has been positive and we hope to be able to continue the dialogue throughout the project.

For Sarah and I, the VRG has played an essential role, not only in informing the design and development process, but engaging our key stakeholders along the way. By creating this network of library staff, we hope to have 40 advocates who will champion the resources with their users when the modules are launched.

This group has been invaluable to us on a personal level too, providing us with the opportunity to connect with library staff from other parts of the country and different sectors. This has been a really positive experience, expanding our personal networks and enabling us to work with other people in this way.

Finally, we would like to thank all of our wonderful VRG members for their honest and valuable contributions, which have really influenced the development process.

The Service Transformation E-Learning Project (STEP) aims to deliver its information literacy modules in April 2017.

Sarah Lewis
Clinical Outreach Librarian
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Tracey Pratchett
Knowledge and Library Services Manager
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust

Different folks, different strokes: results of the STEP E-learning surveys by Tracey Pratchett and Sarah Lewis

We had an incredible response to our survey on information skills and e-learning – 139 responses from library staff and 173 from healthcare professionals. This exceeded expectations and has given us a great platform on which to build – thanks to everyone who contributed!

In some ways the results confirmed what we had already expected e.g. key concerns about literature searching included how to access resources and identifying search terms and that interactive elements and ease of access could encourage people to use e-learning. Time pressures were also seen as a potential barrier and many library staff raised concerns about the limitations of older versions of internet browsers.

Interestingly, there were some key differences in perceptions of information literacy needs between library and healthcare staff. Healthcare staff ranked concerns with finding relevant information more highly than librarians. However, library staff felt that healthcare professionals may need more training in advanced searching techniques – something which was not commonly recognised by healthcare staff themselves. Of course, this could be a case of “you don’t know what you don’t know”.

Michelle Madden analysed the survey results and made a number of recommendations which we will take forward. For those of you interested in reading the full report and recommendations, it is available here.

Here are a few selected highlights from the recommendations:

  • Search skills modules should initially focus more on introducing or reinforcing the basics of searching rather than on more advanced search skills.
  • Modules should prioritise the following topics: refining searches when too many or too few results are found, accessing full text articles and awareness of different resources.
  • Employ multiple interactive learning activities to engage different learning styles.
  • Balance accessibility due to browser capability with providing an interactive and engaging learning experience.

At our first face to face project team meeting in the impressive Manchester Central Library we started to clarify what the modules might look like. Here’s what we came up with:

  • Module 1: Introduction to searching modules. This module will outline key problems when searching and where to find help in the e-learning modules. It could also include a few basic questions to get baseline knowledge.
  • Module 2: Where should I start searching? User needs survey highlighted lack of awareness of where to start searching. This module will provide suggestions to where to start looking based on type of question, quality of evidence etc.
  • Module 3: How do I start to develop a search strategy? Will help users to break down search into different concepts but use generic concepts rather than PICO. This module will also introduce combining search terms, thesaurus.
  • Module 4: Too many results? How to narrow down your search. Searching tips such as phrase searching and truncation to help users find relevant articles in less time
  • Module 5: Too few results? How to broaden your search. Searching tips such as phrase searching and truncation to help users find relevant articles in less time
  • Module 6: Searching with thesaurus terms.
  • Module 7: How to search the healthcare databases. This will be a basic overview – perhaps with links out to Youtube videos being produced by NICE. It will allow users to apply their learning into practice.

Please let us know what you think, any comments are welcome!

Sarah Lewis
Clinical Outreach Librarian
Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust

Tracey Pratchett
Knowledge and Library Services Manager
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust