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Pedagogy

What is the King’s Learning and Skills Services (KLaSS) Suite and how can it support our academics at King’s College?

KLaSS can be used in a few ways to support staff and students at King’s, we’ll talk about how! 

Students are expected to engage critically with academic sources of information to complete their degrees and courses of study. Sounds uncontroversial, right? Many students, across all levels of study, have either very little or even no experience of this. Perhaps their A-level course taught them from a single pre-chosen book, or they’re returning to study after a long period of time out? Both hit close to home for this author.  

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The wealth of resources available to use at King’s can then become a barrier, as inexperienced, unconfident students waste time unable to decide on the right way to frame their research topic or choose inappropriate sources of information to complete their assignments. 

Where KASL (King’s Acacademic Skills for Learning), developed by King’s Academy, deals with broader topics around what it means to become and develop as a student, KLaSS is focused on creating and developing students as researchers.
KASL is not intended to replace KLaSS but complement it. 

KLaSS’ exercises cover topics like how to choose an appropriate database, how to come up with a useful research question, how keywords and subject headings work and how to find the full text of a useful article. 

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The tutorials are bookended by quizzes designed to help students identify their strengths and weaknesses (as everyone arrives with different levels of experience) where the quiz’s feedback directs the learner to a specific tutorial relating to the concept in question. If the preliminary self-diagnostic quiz isn’t passed, the final quiz will then be made available to complete, helping your students check learning or demonstrate improvement. 

Why is this useful? Perhaps you or your colleagues have developed your own resources on searching for literature online, or dedicated valuable face to face time to go through the same topics available on KLaSS? Perhaps your tutees are still choosing inappropriate sources of information? 

Instead, why not use our material as the foundation that you build on in a seminar space? Use our KLaSS module to flip your classroom, using the time students have with each other to discuss and critique, instead of learning something that can be practiced in their own time. KLaSS is available to all staff and students able to access KEATS. 

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Libraries and Collections’ Learning Design team have had success when working with academics to embed KLaSS material into their KEATS modules, using the Book activity to curate and direct students to the relevant materials. We can also provide insights into the level of engagement from your students by monitoring and reporting on quiz attempts, grades, and how many students engage with each tutorial. The more they engage with KLaSS, the more satisfied our academics are with their students’ work! 

See the useful links below to see KLaSS’ front page and the request form to work with us to curate and embed specific parts of KLaSS into your KEATS spaces. 


Written by John WoodcockJohn Woodcock

John Woodcock is the Digital Education Librarian for Libraries & Collections, and led on the design and construction of the KLaSS suite of KEATS modules released in the summer of 2018.


 

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