4 Days, 40 sessions: FYE’s new Digital and Information Skills week

This year, for the first time, first-year students at Stonehill have participated in a Digital and Information Skills orientation in the MacPhaidin Library as part of the First Year Experience (FYE) program.

Senior and FYE co-faciltator Cassidy Ballard ’18, writes “I think that the most beneficial part of the program was the wide variety of information presented to the students. It often takes Stonehill students a year or more to figure out all of the information that was presented at the FYE program on their own. This way, the students know what resources are available to them at the beginning of their Stonehill careers.”

From September 19th to September 22nd, the 40 sections of FYE visited the Library for an introduction from Information Technology, the Center for Writing and Academic Achievement, and the Library. Moving through the first floor in groups of nine, students spent half of their 75-minute class session in the DisCo learning about IT systems, then spent the other half at five CWAA and Library stations to introduce them to the array of people and resources available to support their writing and research.

83% of FYE Instructors and Co-facilitators surveyed “strongly agreed” that the information included in the program was valuable, and 92% of students either “strongly agreed” or “somewhat agreed” with this statement. We plan to include a question in our annual student survey at the start of spring semester that will ask first-year students whether they used any of program’s information or skills during their first semester.

“Our overarching goal for the program,” says Liz Chase, Head of Collections, Assessment, and User Engagement, “is that if they remember nothing else, students remember that there are friendly, welcoming people in the Library, CWAA, and IT who can help them find the answers to their questions and be successful in their classes.”

Students who participated in the session were introduced to:

IT Learning Stations

  • Searching email: how to find lost emails from your Professors and Staff
  • How to save to OneDrive: how to never lose your work the night before a paper is due
  • Creating folders within OneDrive: save time for the next four years by organizing your assignments by semester and class
  • Editing the my courses module in eLearn: save time by making sure your current classes are front and center
  • Where do you find the answers to your questions? Learn how to access the Knowledgebase & training resources for answers to all your IT questions

Library Learning Stations

  • Learn where in the Library to get research and IT help.
  • Have a paper or project coming up? Need a quiet place to work? Need help getting started? Learn how to book study rooms AND librarians for consultations.
  • It’s not the Dewey Decimal System: Learn how Library of Congress classifications works so you can find the books you need for class and get them checked out.
  • Don’t pay for that article! You already paid your tuition bill, don’t let a paywall in Google Scholar stop you. Find out how to access peer-reviewed and empirical articles for FREE.

CWAA Learning Station

  • Learn about the services offered by the CWAA, where and when to get subject-specific tutoring, and how to book tutoring appointments.

Residence Director Bridget O’Brien noted that “I think this was truly important for our students, and precisely the kind of work that FYE should be doing. I especially commend how active the presentations are, and how they involved students in finding their own information, not passively banking knowledge.”

From the FYE instructors:

“I loved that it was interactive.”

“As an FYE Instructor, I learned a lot!”

“I think that this was a really great, informative program. I wish it was available my freshman year because I know I would have found the information helpful and relevant.”

From the students:

“I thought it was extremely helpful”

“Thought it was very interactive and informative!”

“I liked it.”

We liked it too! Though we were exhausted after delivering our presentations 80 times in 4 days, we hope that first year students will benefit from having Library, CWAA, and IT information at their fingertips as we head into midterms!

If you have any questions about the program, please contact Liz Chase, echase2@stonehill.edu. If you’re a student and you’d like to set up a one-on-one consultation or learn more, please visit the following: