11 Apr 2013

Flying together and sharing our teaching resources: the CoPILOT initiative

Guest Post by Nancy Graham

What is CoPILOT?
CoPILOT is the Community of Practice for Information Literacy Online Teaching.  We are an enthusiastic group of librarians and learning technologists who support other librarians, learning developers and technologists in creating and sharing openly licensed (using Creative Commons licences) resources to teach information and digital literacy.

There are ten of us on the Committee (which is now a sub-group of the CILIP Information Literacy Group) and together we organise training events, maintain a website and disseminate information.  We also have a mailing list with over 270 members worldwide.

What inspired CoPILOT?
I’ve been a subject librarian in HE for 8 years.  When I first started developing teaching resources for my students I wanted to see examples of best practice to help inform my own teaching.  As librarians we have a strong professional identity and many well established networks within the librarian community.  I see this as a perfect opportunity to share ideas, not only to avoid re-inventing the wheel but also to identify best practice and improve our own teaching.  I ran several projects with exciting acronyms (BRUM, ReJIG, ReLO…), all focused on creating and adapting teaching resources so that they could be easily shared with other librarians.

In 2010/2011 I worked with Jane Secker from LSE on the JISC/HEA funded DELILA project and after the project was completed we wanted to continue the work and encourage librarians to create and, more importantly, share their teaching materials openly.

We ran a worldwide survey in April 2012 that had over 100 responses.  We used this as the basis to set up the CoPILOT Committee and start work on what respondents to the survey were demanding, namely training in how to use Creative Commons with their own material and how to find existing openly licenced teaching resources. The results of the survey are available in the report Librarians, Information Literacy and Open Educational Resources: Report of a Survey.

As the Committee was being set up, Jane and I ran another JISC/HEA funded project, also called CoPILOT: Community of Practice for Information Literacy Online Teaching: a case study of an international online community. University of Birmingham. This was a 2 month project in which we explored the use of an online platform to share information literacy resources.

What’s happening now?
We have arranged a one day event at the University of Surrey in May (watch out for publicity for this!) which will be a practical event to help librarians adapt their own teaching material and to help them find other existing resources.

If the event is successful we will run iterations of it in Northern England, Scotland, Wales and Ireland over the coming year.  If you are interested in helping to arrange/run an event in Ireland please get in touch! All materials from the event will be available online using Creative Commons licenses, naturally!

What about the future?
We are developing an online community of practice and Jane and I have been at several conferences recently to spread the word and gather ideas on how it should work.  We will share links to resources, provide guidance and generate discussion and communication.  We will regularly highlight specific ranges of teaching materials and encourage members of the community to put up requests for material they would like to see. Join us!

Mailing list: IL-OERS[at]jiscmail.ac.uk (to subscribe go to this page: https://www.jiscmail.ac.uk/cgi-bin/webadmin?A0=IL-OERS)

Wiki: http://iloer.pbworks.com

Twitter: @CoPILOT2013

Or contact me directly at n.graham.1[at]bham.ac.uk

*Guest blog posts represent the personal views of the poster and do not represent the official opinions or commentary of libfocus.com

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