The University of Sheffield Learning & Teaching Strategy 2016-21 has a strong focus on research-led teaching and learning, and on students as self directed learners. The Library supports the development of student research skills and information literacy, and this was reflected in contributions to the recent Student Research Festival, organised by the Faculties of Arts & Humanities and Social Sciences.
The four day Festival combined student presentations and opportunities to develop skills, and the first event was a Dissertations Masterclass in the Information Commons, delivered in partnership by staff from the Library Faculty Engagement Team and 301 Academic Skills Centre. It was attended by 33 students from a range of departments across both Faculties, and participants had the opportunity to develop their skills in finding influential literature and primary sources, referencing and reference management, structuring a dissertation and planning writing time. Feedback was very positive:
“Very interesting and helpful. All five activities were definitely beneficial.”
The Library’s existing programme of information and digital skills workshops was promoted during the Festival, and the Information Commons is hosting and ongoing digital exhibition of student research.
The final event of the Festival was a keynote address by Ben Beaumont-Thomas, Music Editor of The Guardian, and a Sheffield graduate with a BA American Studies and a Masters in Magazine Journalism. Ben spoke on the theme of “Face time: why humans are better than data”. His presentation showed the importance of developing personal relationships in journalism, but he also referred to the importance of using search engines and resources effectively for background research, and this links back to the importance of information and research skills for the Sheffield graduate.
Thanks to Maria Mawson (Social Sciences Faculty Librarian) for contributing.