Student Engagement and Success across the United States and Australia

I am pleased to inform you that an article of mine has recently been published in the Global Postcards column of the International Information and Library Review!

Based on theories from Professor George D. Kuh’s keynote presentation at Monash University in 2015, the article discusses the similar challenges that the United States and Australia face in student engagement and success, as well as the differences between these two contexts. For example, the difference in numbers of students living on-campus, and the ensuing effect on student engagement, is quite substantial.
I consider the use of ‘High Impact Practices’ as a means to achieve student engagement and success, and how Monash Law Library has been utilising this concept in their teaching.

If your institution  has access to Taylor and Francis publications login and have read.


George D. Kuh – ‘What matters to student success: the promise of high impact practices’

George D. Kuh – ‘What matters to student success: the promise of high impact practices’

This was a spectacular and inspirational talk. Dr Kuh was engaging and very entertaining, an expert in this field – it was a fabulous opportunity to learn from him.

He began by outlining that we want students to do/our major tasks as educators:

  • reflect (think about their thinking)
  • apply (transfer and use what they have learned in novel situations) and
  • integrate (connect relevance of their courses, with activities outside of class, their life etc).

The idea of ‘high impact learning’ was discussed in the context of the United States of America’s university system, however it is considerably parallel to our own here in Australia. As a basis, there are increased numbers of students, as well as a diversity in their backgrounds and levels of preparation. There is an increase in fees and a strain on resources.

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A Job Readiness Strategy for MLIS Students and Recent Graduates

The American Library Association – Allied Professional Association (ALA-APA) has published this interesting article in their eNewsletter ‘Library Worklife’ (October 2015 issue), titled ‘A Job Readiness Strategy for MLIS Students and Recent Graduates’.

It is of especial interest to students and new graduates, and while written by an American organisation, is very relevant to us here in Australia as well.

I’m glad to see that the knowledge and advice I have written about in my previous blog posts for students and new grads touches on very similar strategies.

The job readiness strategy in this article focuses on two pillars: first, building experience through “temporary” positions. Temporary positions are defined in this strategy as jobs that are short term and help develop a career. These jobs should increment the knowledge and skills needed for a particular type of professional librarian position. The second pillar is to form a network. As a person works through these temporary positions a professional network begins to take shape; hence, creating new opportunities for collaboration and professional development.

Have a read of the full article and good luck with your developing career!

Michelle De Aizpurua

Professional Development, Memberships & Networking

It is really very important to keep up to date with new developments, innovations, ideas, issues and so forth in our field. You need to be a life-long learner if you are going to succeed in Libraryland 😉 Things are constantly changing; the way we utilise space, new technologies, what is expected of us, how we are viewed and how we must justify ourselves. There is a lot to learn. Not only this, it is important to network and get to know other professionals. You need to create relationships. These are especially helpful if you have a question or need some guidance, or more employment. So where to start? There are a few things you can do:

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Tips for Library Students

There are a few things I wish I had known back when I was studying. Or things that people mentioned that I didn’t heed enough! People would give advice, and sometimes I’d think – “but I don’t have time for that”. Well I would have if I’d prioritised better. So, some of my tips for students (in no particular order):Read More »

Getting Started – How to Become a Librarian

When I wrote the title for this post, I instantly thought of a superhero. Someone ‘becoming’ a librarian – by a toxic waste spill, by changing themselves in someway, to come out the other side with a shining light and and a book in hand! ‘aaaaaaaaaah’ the angels sing as the light cascades through the clouds…

Clearly it’s not as magical as that, it really is just getting a qualification I suppose. But to me, there is something about being ‘a librarian’. Something that sets you apart. It’s like a special secret world that you know all about, and outsiders view with all these misconceptions. Read More »