Reflection – Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy

As Liaison Librarian at University for the Creative Arts, my role supports creative arts students with research and information literacy; facilitating learners to independently find, evaluate, manage and reference information (MacDonald, 2018). I started my claim for Associate Fellowship to reflect on my practice, apply pedagogy and build my confidence as an early career library & information professional.

Ray Land’s (Deverson, 2017) Threshold Concept has been a vital lens through which I have been able to reflect on links between the library’s role in the creative learning process and the information seeking behaviours of creative arts students. Many of whom can find the academic library a troublesome new realm; from accessing and using specialist subject resources, to ‘meta’ concepts of information and academic integrity (Duncan, 2019). The weekly seminar readings and mentoring enabled me to identify the transformational and constructivist learning theories (Meyer et al., 2010; Mezirow, 2008; Scales, 2017) that underpin the creation of my learning and support materials. My goal therefore is to inspire learners to be curious information seekers, construct knowledge from self-discovery during research, and adopt new ways of thinking about the wider world in which their own creative practice is situated.

I have most enjoyed the collaboration with my mentors. To have a peer and supportive voice to review my teaching materials has been invaluable. These open conversations allowed me to consider how neurodiverse students learn as well as how international students may see themselves represented in library resources and wider bodies of knowledge. I plan to adapt my teaching materials using British Dyslexia Style Guide (British Dyslexia Association, 2022), experiment more with new technologies to gather formative feedback, and use equality, diversity and inclusion policies (Hanesworth, 2015) to enhance the internationalisation and decolonisation of my learning materials.

The process of aligning my practice to the UKPSF framework has given me the opportunity to be part of a vibrant network who work to enhance the student learning experience. To be in fellowship then is to be in company with those who are reflective practitioners; to be part of a community where theoretical research is linked to action and positive social change (Schön, 1991). I am excited to use my claim for Associate Fellowship as a steppingstone to strengthen my professional practice and continue to further research areas of creative information behaviour and visual literacy.

This short reflection was written to support my application for Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy.

Riddell (2018) Art Matters [Illustration].

References

British Dyslexia Association (2022) Dyslexia Friendly Style Guide. At: https://www.bdadyslexia.org.uk/advice/employers/creating-a-dyslexia-friendly-workplace/dyslexia-friendly-style-guide (Accessed 07/06/2022).

Deverson, J. (2017) Ray Land: Threshold concepts. [Podcast] 25:34. Evidence Based Education. At: https://evidencebased.education/ray-land-threshold-concepts/ (Accessed 07/06/2022).

Duncan, A. (2019) ‘Crossing the threshold: innovations in information literacy’ In: Spark: UAL Creative Teaching and Learning Journal 4 (1) pp.16–22. At: https://sparkjournal.arts.ac.uk/index.php/spark/article/view/125/206 (Accessed 07/06/2022).

Hanesworth, P. (2015) Embedding equality and diversity in the curriculum: a model for learning and teaching practitioners. At: https://www.advance-he.ac.uk/knowledge-hub/embedding-equality-and-diversity-curriculum-model-learning-and-teaching-0 (Accessed 07/06/2022).

MacDonald, G. (2018) What is information literacy?. At: https://www.cilip.org.uk/news/421972/What-is-information-literacy.htm (Accessed 07/06/2022).

Meyer, J. et al. (2010) Threshold Concepts and Transformational Learning. London, UK: Sense Publishers.

Mezirow, J. (2008) ‘An Overview of Transformative Learning’ In: Illeris, K. (ed.) Contemporary Theories of Learning. London, UK: Routledge. pp.91–106.

Scales, P. (2017) An Introduction to Learning and Teaching in Higher Education: Supporting Fellowship. London, UK: McGraw Hill Education.

Schön, D. A. (1991) The Reflective Practitioner: How Professionals Think in Action. London, UK: Ashgate.

Illustrations

Bell, A. (2022) The Hand of Fellowship. [Mixed Media Collage]

Riddell, C. (2018) Art Matters. [Illustration] At: https://www.theguardian.com/books/gallery/2018/sep/06/neil-gaiman-and-chris-riddell-on-why-we-need-libraries-an-essay-in-pictures (Accessed 13/06/2022)

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