DIY for academics: a ‘how to’ guide for achieving self-management using Leganto
Kirstie Nicholson, University of Western Australia
“Self-management” of reading lists meaning unit coordinators creating, editing and submitting reading lists. Gives them autonomy and is efficient for library.
Previously lists were submitted via email; library would create in Alma course reserves (and liaise with unit coordinators) and students had access via Primo. This was always meant to be temporary but became permanent with age. Fully library managed so due to work involved was limited to essential items only. Had low usage and felt this was due to limited functionality. Highly inefficient to process or to monitor.
New model aimed to encourage and support self-management; allow student access via LMS (Blackboard); allow non-essential items; have liaison librarians rather than list processing staff liaise with coordinators. Knew coordinators wouldn’t want to learn a new system and would be busy to self-manage so would want library to keep managing things and wouldn’t use Leganto. So retained a library-managed list option with some restrictions (as last resort, essential readings, and only using basic Leganto functionality).
Started with 10-unit pilot, then went to full implementation in 2018. Branded it as “unit readings” (name chosen by pilot participants) and rolled over existing lists.
97% (215) of lists were self-managed in 2018 – reviewed, submitted, published by coordinators (with assistance available). In S1 2019 99.5% of lists – only one was library-managed. Very good feedback from coordinators re ease of use, intuitive, easy to integrate, fast, responsive. Why did it go so well?
- Pilot provided real champions speaking up in support of it, and great comments in survey from both staff and survey which helped promote it. Also a confidence boost for library staff, affirming the model. In pilot could do one-on-one training which taught a lot about the needs for the system, which could then use in the implementation.
- Functionality was a big leap up. Built to encourage academics to use it eg auto-complete which encourages self-management behaviour.
- All-library approach on the project. Library management buy-in so all staff invested. Roles well-delineated, staff confident in benefits, well-equipped/trained to support coordinators.
- Messaging emphasis that it was a university-supported project tying into uni strategy/goals (not just library); not paperwork but part of preparing for unit; benefits for academics and students.
- Used old approaches as a cue for new opportunities eg when received an email list used it as an opportunity to meet coordinator and show them the new system.
- Publishing: meant to be academics’ responsibility but they often neglected this step and needed lots of followup. From Semester 2 library will take over this responsibility (which is easy) and change messaging to focus on getting academics to switch on LTI.
- Full engagement with interface: they’d come in, create list, but not return to look at student interactions or add readings
- Using more self-management functionality: haven’t opened up rollover, etc
- Support content: what level of support content to provide, how to provide info needed without creating a whole manual. Ex Libris content doesn’t always match their workflows.
- Transitioning off old system: a third of lists haven’t migrated so need to find out why (eg maybe it’s no longer taught).
- Uneven use across faculties: both of Leganto and of the LMS.
Future plans to address these:
- Student benefits are main motivator for academics to transition so want to use analytics more to demonstrate this
- Targeted communications: define groups of users/non-users and target messaging appropriately; also target based on time of year
- Support model: communicate this better.
- Educational enhancement unit: work with this team and target early career educators
- Usability testing
Q: How did you link Leganto introduction to university goals?
A: Mostly in the realm of engagement librarians at teaching and learning committees. Sent bulletpoints with them. Eg how it ties into uni educational strategy, student retention etc.