Monday, 17 March 2014

StarPlus tools for learning - more than a library catalogue!

StarPlus is now established as the University Library resource discovery service and catalogue, providing access to digital and print resources in the Library and beyond. StarPlus also includes a number of tools to support collaborative learning and resource sharing, as well as enabling individuals to organise and personalise content they discover.
This seems to be a good time to be promoting these tools, in the light of the recent NMC Horizon Report 2014 Higher Education which identifies the growing ubiquity of social media as one of the key trends accelerating technology adoption in HE.

Individual learners can add favourite items on StarPlus to their personal e-Shelf. These can then be organised into folders, printed, emailed or added to reference management software. It’s also possible to add notes to individual items or folders.

This functionality can support undergraduates as they begin to develop the key research skills of selecting, evaluating and organising scholarly material for coursework and research projects.

It’s possible to add tags, reviews and ratings to all items on StarPlus. These will be visible to other users, and are a means of enabling collaboration and sharing in resource discovery. Facebook users can use the Like button to tell their followers about something they’ve found on StarPlus.

If you have a look at the popular tags on StarPlus at the moment, you’ll see that some users have started to use module codes as tags. 
at the moment, you’ll see that some users have started to use module codes as tags. 


My colleague Clare Scott and I recently talked to Gary Wood from the School of English, and he is encouraging his students on ELL326 to try tagging, reviews and the e-Shelf.  In addition, Farzana suggested using the text for the tagged records to create a wordcloud and she has been working with Gary to integrate this into MOLE. Hopefully we’ll be able to get feedback from Gary and his students as the semester progresses. 

If you can see potential uses for learning and teaching in your department, please give it a go. You’ll see a link to StarPlus on your Services menu in MUSE, and before you get started, remember that to access these tools, you must sign in to StarPlus by clicking the link marked University members in the top right corner. To find out more about using StarPlus effectively, have a look at the guide in the Information Skills Resource We’d love to hear how you get on!

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