Case study: shifting your IL teaching online – Ian Clark

Ian Clark is a Librarian at the University of East London and supports the academic subject of Psychology.

I’ve been an academic services librarian for Psychology at the University of East London for six years. As well as working with staff and students within the School, I oversee the library’s social media team, including our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube accounts.

Outside of my day-to-day working life, I’m also an amateur photographer, with an interest in learning more about making videos to support my passion. When lockdown occurred, it seemed that bringing the two things together would be a good way to develop myself as well as to contribute towards the library service better supporting staff and students across the university.

Fortunately, due to my passion for photography, I happen to have a lot of equipment at home (including tripods for cameras and smartphones) and the software necessary to edit and create HD quality videos. As a result, it was simply a case of pulling together the things I have at home and I was good to go.

In terms of the platform we used, there were some advantages to the use of Stream over YouTube. It enabled us to more easily use material covered by the educational use exception for copyright (as videos are restricted to staff and students at UEL) and has very user-friendly accessibility options, ensuring videos can be transcribed quickly and easily. Although we still use the YouTube channel, the requirement to make videos private and subsequently embed them somewhere to ensure they could be used under that exemption was too much of a barrier in terms of making videos quickly available and easily accessible.

I’ve learnt a lot along the way and there has definitely been an increase in the quality of videos as a result of honing my skills and discovering new techniques. I feel there has definitely been an increase in the quality of our video output during this period, and hopefully it is something we continue to hone and improve as we continue to seek new ways to support our students using the digital tools available to us. 

This case study was produced in response to a survey carried out by the CILIP Information Literacy Group (ILG) Chair, Jane Secker, and one of the ILG School Library reps, Sarah Pavey, as part of research into the shift to online teaching of information literacy that has taken place in UK education during the COVID-19 pandemic.

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