|Assessment length / details
|User and organisations needs analysis report 2,000 words
|Evaluation and planning report 3,000 words
|Submission of resit report 2,000 words
|Submission of resit report 3,000 words
On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
*Critically discuss the concepts of user, service, and provision in the context of C21st expectations of service.
*Discuss the scope of information behaviour theory and critically evaluate its impact within evidence based user support, service development and service management.
- Identify, use and present techniques relevant to user needs analysis and information source and service evaluation.
*Outline the ways in which information skills can be developed within organisations, and relate this to the role of user training for information services.
*Examine ways in which user and organisation context affect user behaviour and particularly their use or non-use of information sources and services.
*Distinguish between different types of information source, and perform structured critical evaluations of different sources, and from these develop recommendations.
*Use a range of methods to generate a 3 year service development plan for one information service.
*Critically evaluate a range of current service structures, and based upon current trends and reflection on past changes to service delivery, identify potential areas of further research and practical development for practitioners.
The module is designed to take Master's students through the key elements of Information Service planning and provision, and to introduce to them the role of users, evaluation methods, key research themes relevant to contextualising information service use, the methods of analysing and evaluating sources and services, and key elements of strategic planning of services.
1) The content of the module begins with a foundation framework examining the notion of service, this brings together the concepts of user, resources, and organization and develops some key definitions.
2) There is a large literature on sources, and on types of sources with usage patterns, disciplines and usage, and associated research studies. The module will explore the relevant literature, and focus upon matching service, user and source, introduce a range of sources and differences between them. The political and policy elements of service provision will also be addressed.
3) The research area of information seeking and user studies is to be introduced and the notion of context, user, and multiple facets to information seekers explored. Links with information retrieval processes will be made, and the idea of needs introduced. Key research on information seeking behaviour and context for information seeking will be discussed and related to information sources and information service provision.
4) An overview of user training and skills development. In understanding behaviour and needs, we should not neglect to include Information Skills and Information Literacy and moreover the issues that arise from deciding when users require extra help, advice and training. Elements of value in this include facilitating skill development, the concepts of tipping points and zones of intervention, and an overview of training (which acts as a link to a new option module).
5) Ways to meet needs: The potential structure of information service provision has blossomed with the advent of web based digital libraries, gateways, portals, web 2.0, and the changing expectation of users. The roles, places, and reasons for information service existence in different contexts will be explored: commercial, academic, schools, legal, health, specialist, science, humanities.
6) The idea of service as fitting a particular model may be redundant, or merely divergent. It now encompasses the idea of service innovations as the norm, and the presentation of service as place, or role, as roaming individual, as virtual support or advisory, as custodian or gatekeeper, and potentially as hybrid role offering both information, software and information technology.
7) Methods for evaluation of sources, evaluation of information services, and planning for the adoption of these as part of service provision will be introduced. Examples of areas to be covered: Methods and tools for Needs Analysis, Basic needs analysis by interviewing - pre-search client interviewing. Some structured approaches to the analysis of role and function: Structured analysis of services, structured analysis of sources and their relationship to function, cost, complexity, timeliness, and support. User and usage surveys, bibliometrics, and budgets and costing for service and source delivery. Discussion of evidence based planning and service design.
This module is at CQFW Level 7