Developing students’ academic skills online: the Library’s ‘Info tips’ by Erika Delbecque

illustration for info tips blogpost

Library Info tips have been a feature of our website since 2009 but how well-known and used are they? Which are the most popular? These bite-sized articles, which are aimed at developing students’ academic and research skills, cover topics that are relevant to all students, such as:

  • Referencing
  • Finding specific types of materials such as statistics, images and maps
  • Using Endnote
  • Accessing and using e-books
  • Using the internet for academic study

The Info tips are advertised by a banner on the Library homepage, and a new tip is published every two weeks. They are often written jointly by Liaison Librarians and Study Advisers, and they usually tie in with specific periods in the academic year. For example,

the Info tips that we published this summer on reading around a subject and keeping records are aimed at students working on their dissertations, and in October, Info tips on using the Library catalogue and understanding reading lists can help new students find their feet.

Through the use of Google Analytics, we have been able to ascertain the popularity of the Info tips.  Each Info tip is visited by hundreds of students. Top of the chart with over 500 views is ‘Study advice for exam success’, which points students towards useful books on exam revision, makes them aware of workshops organised by the Study Advice team, and gives a few helpful tips on how to revise effectively. Two other timely Info tips, ‘Develop your research skills’ and ‘Using the internet for academic study’, complete the top three.

Through our Info tips feature, we are able to encourage students to develop their academic skills by providing targeted information at the time when they most need it. Please help promote them by alerting your students to relevant Info tips. You can sign up for an RSS feed from our Library news blog to get alerted to new Info tips as they are added. In this way, you can help us make the Info tips reach an even wider audience.