How do you solve a problem like literature searching?

How do you solve a problem like literature searching? Adding professional value to academic skills development

David Brown, Acting Academic Liaison Team Manager at Information Services, delivered on 14 November the third 2016/17 Forum workshop.

As the title suggests, there is a link between ‘literature searching’ and professional skills. Employability is a key word currently echoing in most university/academic contexts. The topic was discussed and highlighted from other angles in the two previous workshops (see Articulate – A toolkit to help us support students in the game of understanding and articulating their competencies), and today has been reflected upon and further discussed from another perspective.

David shared good practice reflecting on his experience working with the Nursing programme in the Department of Health Sciences and the Social Work programme in the Department of Social Policy and Social Work. As discussed in the workshop, some students, especially those from ‘professional programmes’ like Nursing or Social Work, find it difficult to see the value of ‘advance literature searching’ in their fields and, future, day-to-day jobs. Critical thinking and document use are two very important professional skills/competencies that university students will be able to acquire and further develop throughout their degrees. In order to foster appreciation of the skills among students, we must ensure that they understand the value of those skills now and in their future careers.

David worked with BSc Nursing and BA Social Work students using a flipped-classroom approach to have more productive face-to-face sessions with the students. He wanted to ensure that the students understood the why and how, not just the what, providing them with a more holistic yet concrete, meaningful and long-lasting knowledge.

View David’s presentation and find out more about his approach, which can be adapted and used with students from all departments. Included in the presentation there is a very interesting video for Health Sciences students where current students, academic staff, a practising nurse and himself discuss the importance of ‘literature searching’.

Summary by Carmen Álvarez-Mayo

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