ALDinHE Conference 2012

Filed Under (Events, Information Literacy, Professional practice) by ronan on 13-04-2012

I attended recently the 9th ALDinHE Conference: University of Leeds “Learning Development in a digital age: emerging literacies and learning spaces”. This is the Assocoation for Leaning Development in Higher Education, its aims are described on its website:  “informed by values of empowerment and partnership, a Learning Development perspective encourages and supports all students to be actively engaged in their own learning and to analyse and assess their own development within experiential and social contexts.”

The conference for which I could only attend one day was at the University of Leeds and was well organised – unfortunately I missed the social events. I did catch the Keynote speaker Helen Beetham who was excellent – I had come across her work in digital literacies in particular a JISC funded project which I rate highly and have returned to on a number of occasions. Helen’s keynote was engaging and well put together deploying a number of devices to put forward a well thought through argument – I was particularly interested in her thoughts about referencing and citation and her assertion that today’s learners are more likely to use Delicious or Mendeley rather than come to terms with the less intuitive Harvard 18th or Chicago 15th. I agree – it is probably the case – I use Mendeley and WorldCat all the time. I was even more surprised that a group like ALDinHE were aware of or interested in what I would have thought were “librarianship” issues. Indeed throughout my short visit to the conference I kept wondering where this group of people fitted into the modern university. They weren’t professional libraians nor could they be labelled “academic staff” whatever that means. I suppose they had some support role – widening participation seemed important judging from the poster session, and encouragingly many of them were keen researchers. It is hoped however that they do not have any role in supporting students with their academic writing because they described their keynote speaker as having been a Principle Researcher!

It was during the keynote that disaster struck! When the keynote was warming up, in fact at the precise moment when we were listening to the “sound of  data” the fire alarm sounded and we evacuated the lecture theatre. What a pity. I got bored and cold standing outside and there was nobody able to give any information so I took the opportunity to visit the Brotherton Library which is always a treat.

I now know that Learning Development is a “thing” but not sure what nor how it fits in with library services.

The ALDinHE website can be found here:

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