The Google Problem

The Innovation Library Skills program enables students to develop and explore a library-based practice for innovation and entrepreneurial research. I worked Wirth Dr MArika Zeimbekis to develop a video based teaching resource and specialist Innovation and Entreprene website.

In all my teaching at the Centre for Innovation and Entrepreneurship , students are expected to practice engaged research in Bristol City with and for people who live there. To do this, they need to pick up quickly a set of basic and more advanced information skills. This is a high bar for year one students. The innovation program’s trans-disciplinary cohort offers unique opportunities for collaboration but also problems for teaching. 

To address this aspect of our students learning I worked with Dr Marika Ziembekis our Innovation Library specialist to develop a a blended teaching program to support our innovation program. Working together we developed a twelve week program that has two core aims:

  • To support our students to build an engaged research practice through agile use of library content
  • To develop an information literacy program integrated into students’ four-year progression.

 In 2021 Marika and myself where asked to speak about our program at the Connecting Bristol Conference. In our conference talk we present collaborative approach to working together, the library resource we produced together and the impact we have seen on the students work and engagement using the {CFIE} Library resources we have built.

While we didn’t set out to collect metrics in this pilot project, we did gather some indicative metrics about engaged from our students with our program. In February 2021, when the unit started, there was a 300% increase in the use of the online subject guide for innovation from 2020. The guide was used 487 times during the teaching of the second teaching semester when we introduced the program to our first year cohort. This accounts for 44% of the usage of the guide during this academic year. 

Our average views for each video over the twelve-week (released each week) were 112, with the highest at 210 (how to build a database search). Students were asked to watch the videos in groups and are relying on high-level metrics (the number on the videos page!). Since completing this pilot project we have had our program used in units across the {CFIE} programs and in the Engineering, Computer-Science, Medical and management schools at the University. We ran a feedback session with our students in week 23 of their Being Human unit. These are some selected comments that we feel illustrate the impact on our individual students’ work.

“Being a database ninja – name something new.”, ‘I can use the library. It terrified me before!”, “Web of science is amazing.”, “having Kier [sic] make it relevant for Innovation in the videos.”

1st Year Innovation and Entrepreneurship programme