Expert Search Early Adopters pilot – training evaluation

In mid-September 2020, HEE began a pilot to understand how best to help LKS in England move from using HDAS to using provider interfaces (EBSCOhost, Proquest and Ovid – see here for further detail: https://kfh.libraryservices.nhs.uk/resourcediscovery/frequently-asked-questions-2/)

We’re now heading towards the end of the project and are currently analysing all of the data we’ve collected so we can pull together a report with recommendations for moving forward. Today we’re sharing some of the results from our training evaluation survey – the valuable feedback we’ve collected from pilot participants will shape the way training is rolled out to the rest of LKS in preparation for migration from HDAS to provider interfaces.

Training was offered by all three interface providers (EBSCO, Proquest and Ovid). The team at University of Cambridge Medical Library also very kindly provided online training that was open to all pilot participants, regardless of geographical region. All of the training sessions were recorded and made available to those who couldn’t attend the live sessions. Of the 68 participants who completed the training evaluation survey, 93% had attended some training as part of the pilot.

When asked if the training provided meant that participants felt ready to switch from using HDAS to provider interfaces for literature searching, the responses were split pretty much equally, with 51% answering yes and 49% answering no. We asked for further detail to help clarify the issues around preparedness, as this will be key to helping staff feel confident about moving from HDAS. Those who had answered ‘yes’ said that a) the training sessions were a good starting point, and that they were ready to dive in and start practicing (38%), or b) they already had some familiarity with provider interfaces and so the training acted as a refresher (34%). The responses for those who answered ‘no’ were more difficult to categorise. There was a feeling that the training on its own was not enough, that people needed time to consolidate their learning and practice. There were also comments about the need for follow up sessions so that there was an opportunity to ask questions and share experiences after the initial sessions.

When asked what they would like to change about the training offered, 68% of participants said that the timing of sessions needed to be earlier. There were definitely slippages in the timing of the whole project, and we appreciate that the training schedule didn’t fit with the expectations of the pilot participants. We know from other comments that people needed time to process what they had learnt, to practice searching so they could increase their familiarity with interfaces and also to have a chance to come back to training if they need to. All of the sessions were demonstrations with time for questions, and 10% of participants would have liked hands on training, where there’s a chance to try a live search for yourself. However, there was a recognition that could be difficult in an online format.

There was a marked difference in the feedback for the training delivered by provider representatives and the sessions held by the University of Cambridge Medical Library. Although satisfaction levels were not drastically different, participants commented positively on the content and structure of the Cambridge sessions. Their training focussed on taking a search from start to finish in an interface, whereas participants felt that the interface providers were demonstrating functionality and features that weren’t necessarily relevant to the search process.

The next blog post for the pilot will be sharing some of the results from the data we’ve collected around ‘post-switch’ searches – those carried out in provider interfaces. Participants captured information about 296 searches, which is a fantastic resource for us to draw from.

For any questions about the project, please email Emily.hurt@lthtr.nhs.uk.

Emily Hurt, Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust
Vicky Price, Vicky Price Consulting

2 thoughts on “Expert Search Early Adopters pilot – training evaluation

  1. The point about the difference between sessions provided by library teams and those offered by suppliers is an interesting one.

    Arguably we saw a similar thing recently in a session aimed at people considering purchasing on the recently procured ebook platform – a chunk of time was spent running over features rather than addressing the outcomes people had booked in for.

    A big plus vote for the value of skills training rooted in the work of practicing users.

    1. Definitely! The suppliers are really keen to try and get it right for LKS staff, so we’ll be passing on relevant feedback to them so they can review their offer. We’re a tricky bunch to please, but the main message from our pilot participants was that they need to know how it works, not what it can do.

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