How I Use Learning Logs #Chartership

I took part in the #chartershipchat on 24th May 2012. During this very interesting discussion I mentioned how I used ‘learning logs’ as way of recording and reflecting on ‘learning activities’ (I’d define these as anything that has some developmental opportunity, doesn’t have to be a formal process i.e. a course, can be ‘experiential’ and can either positive or negative). I also said I would share. They are based upon Andrew Gibbons – upon which more information can be found here – http://www.learningresourcesunlimited.co.uk/cpd-and-lifelong-learning/ . I only slightly amended them to suit my needs and if handwriting them I often will revert to the originals. I actually prefer to hand write them as they feel less formal and more personal making me feel more of an individual if that makes sense. A large amount of my evaluative statement was made up of the essence of these learning logs.

On to the logs. They are very simple, very straightforward and I personally find very easy to use. By answering every ‘question’ you reflect. Simple as that! 2 examples follow at the end.

Learning Log

Title – just something you’d remember the ‘learning activity’ by.

Date

Date log produced. I now try to make the date of the log produced and the date of the ‘learning activity’ close by as they are very fresh in my mind. The 2 examples below were produced when I was playing catch up and I think suffer from it.

Number

Significant Experience

What the learning activity was and why (if applicable)

What Happened?

General overview of the learning activity. This can be as long as you like but is useful if you want to look back later.

So What? Conclusions

What are we going to take from the learning activity? This is the hub of it and doesn’t have to be earth-shattering

Now What? Actions

How are you going to take what we have learnt from the activity and put it into practice? This is an action based outcome often ‘I will now’…

When & Where?

Self explanatory I feel!

Below are two examples that I have used – 1 for a CPD course and one reflecting upon something service based

Learning Log – Strategic Networking Event

Date 1/04/2012

Number 9

Significant Experience

On December 1st 2011, I attended a training event hosted by HCLU called ‘Strategic Networking’. I felt it was necessary to attend this CPD session as in the current NHS climate it is important, as library manager, I need to have the skills to fully promote the library both operationally and strategically.

What Happened?

I blogged about the day here: https://michaelhealthlibrarian.wordpress.com/2011/12/01/strategic-influencing-course-1st-december-2011/

So What? Conclusions

While this training session was not directly what I expected – which had more to do with me not fully understanding the concept of strategic influencing than the session itself – I found it a real use. It had practical implications and has given me plenty of ideas that I can implement into daily practice such as appealing to all ‘representational systems’ when undertaking information skills sessions.

Now What? Actions

Since partaking in this session I have began actively using such techniques as ‘well formed outcomes’ as a new approach to goal setting and have begun to implement some of the presentation techniques within my information skills sessions. This has allowed me to get across library related ideas more effectively and sell the service to senior staff more.

When & Where?

HCLU Offices, Wigan – 1st December 2011

Learning Log – e-journals audit

Date – 2nd April 2012

Number 10

Significant Experience

During the monthly review of the library budget I noticed that we had overspent on journals for the year 2011-2012. Because I had reviewed the paper journal usage and cost in 2011, I needed to assess the usage and value of the e-journal collection by individual title, in both an effort to save money but also to improve the relevance of the journal collection to the core user group – public health. This was a relatively straight forward task as the vast majority of NHS Bolton Library e-journals are published as part of consortia – either nationally or regionally.

What Happened?

Based upon the cost of requesting an article from the British Library (£7.50) and using Athens statistics generated electronically through the Link Resolver I examined how much each ‘hit’ of the e-journals cost the library. I was confident that promotion of the journals was not an issue as all paid for journals (both individual and consortia purchases) were content of the library blog, the generic ‘pubmed’ current awareness and any work-stream relevant articles were signposted directly to the individuals and have been since 2010. I divided the cost of the journals by the usage. If this figure was below the British Library figure it was deemed cost-effective to the service, if it was above, the decision was made to not renew the title as it would be cheaper for the service (in theory) to order any requests from the British Library.

So What? Conclusions

The audit showed that many of the journals we purchased individually, despite the promotion and signposting were not used by the core user groups. This also tallies with some feedback from the Public Health Information Needs Analysis that queried the quality of the journal collection as a whole. I feel that this work, while extremely valid is probably long-winded and not professionally the simplest way to complete it as I have had developed it from my own working knowledge of the systems.

Now What? Actions

The monies saved will now be spent in the upcoming budget in different areas – be that on more specific e-journals titles or on different resources. Personally I shall also need to investigate more time-efficient ways of managing and evaluating the collection. I will do this my examining best practice within my peer group but also investigating the LIS literature.

When & Where?

February 2012

Another example can be Learning log – student placement management

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2 thoughts on “How I Use Learning Logs #Chartership

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