Thursday, 24 June 2010

Standardising and Measuring Graduate Abilities

Two large projects underway at the moment seem to indicate that quality of teaching may become increasingly important to regulators and universities.

The Australian Federal Government is introducing minimum standards for universities (and other bachelor degree providers) to develop in graduates in a project managed by ALTC discipline scholars. Standards are being developed in consultation with employers, professional bodies and higher education agencies on a discipline by discipline basis. In the Business area, Accounting standards are currently under discussion.
The standards will be administered by the Tertiary Education Quality and Standards Agency (TEQSA), which replaces the Australian University Qualities Agency (AUQA). More on TEQSA here:
And the Disciplines Setting Standards project here;

The OECD currently measures the abilities of school leavers as a way to benchmark the performance of education systems among member countries, and now they are aiming to measure university graduate abilities in a project that may significantly change international ranking systems, now based on research outputs. The report in the Australian Higher education section gives more details about this:

So where are libraries in all this? Are advocacy groups pushing for information literacy skills to be included as core graduate abilities by the ALTC? Will the OECD measure research skills or evaluation of information sources as core skills of graduates? If not, why not?

Monday, 21 June 2010

Closing the Digital Frontier

"The era of the Web browser’s dominance is coming to a close. And the Internet’s founding ideology—that information wants to be free, and that attempts to constrain it are not only hopeless but immoral— suddenly seems naive and stale in the new age of apps, smart phones, and pricing plans. What will this mean for the future of the media—and of the Web itself?"

A well considered piece in The Atlantic, dissecting the cultural underpinnings of the rise of the internet and framing the battle between Google and Apple in an interesting way. Michael Hirschorn connects the idea of "Manifest Destiny", to the pioneers of the internet as a social idea, utopians from West Coast USA who proposed using the network of copper cables laid around the world to expand consciousness and build a new kind of ecology of ideas and information.

Well worth a read.

Friday, 18 June 2010

Morris Miller Library: Renovations Progress

Staff were invited to a tour of the half finished renovations in the Morris Miller Library, they're running slightly behind schedule but progressing well.

This will be the new students area, for computers, and the reference and reserve collections

The entrance to the new staff area

The Morris Miller Librarian's Office

The new eLab 1, a combined teaching and student work space

The view from the Liaison Librarian's part of the new staff work area

Friday, 11 June 2010

Librarianship on iTunesU

I've been downloading a variety of stuff from iTunesU for a while, and it's just incredible what is available. Whole course lecture series from the world's great Universities, guest lecturers that are the top names in their fields and all kinds of other stuff, and all for free.

I only thought to look for librarianship content recently though, and while there's not as much as if you're interested in learning about some other subject areas, there is still enough content to keep you busy for quite a while.

For more on how to access iTunesU and what's available, check out the link below: