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Student as Researcher


  • Build your student’s research skills and confidence with a Student as Researcher (SaR) intervention
  • Work with our Student as Researcher officer and your Academic Support Librarian to create engaging, unique and innovative interventions to develop your student’s research skills and prepare them to become independent, confident researchers
  • Whether you already have an idea for an innovative assessment or are just interested in how the Library could help to develop your student’s research skills, get in touch to see how we could support your teaching
Student working with a laptop and book in the Library

Skills we support

  • Information literacy
    • Planning searches
    • Using databases
    • Identifying information needed and where to search
    • Primary and secondary sources
  • Module and subject specific research skills
  • Digital literacy
    • Fake news
    • Evaluating online resources
Students working together

What is unique about SaR?

  • Discipline & module specific interventions
  • Collaborative—designed with and for academics
  • Supports experiential and active learning
  • Online resource, tutorial and video creation
  • Multiple, singular or integrated sessions
  • Can support or include formative and summative assessments
  • Providing opportunities for skills support and development at the point of need
Students working together in a classroom

Examples of SaR approaches

 Visualising the research process

 Research map

  • Session supporting First Year UG Philosophy Annotated Bibliography Assessment
  • 2 hour session on information literacy and research skills
  • Pre-session task for students to find a resource and discuss with peers why and how they found it
  • Session focused around 4 group activities to complete map


  • 30 minute session at the end of 2 hour Classics 3rd Year Dissertation introductory lecture
  • Simple puzzle activity to refocus students at beginning of session
  • Puzzle used as metaphor for research approach
  • Segway into using online polling to get students to reflect on how they currently research


  • Optional opportunity for 3rd year history students in H12D4 to curate Floor 1 exhibition case for Black history month 2019
  • Students identified and analysed sources from the Library’s Ethnicity and Migration collection
  • Students then curated a display on a chosen theme or theme

 Online polling

  • Used in WBS Core first year lecture to set search tasks and measure student understanding
  • Used in both large lecture settings and smaller group settings
  • Short quizzes on lecture content and structured finding activities
  • Open questions to measure student understanding and opinions

 Digital learning resources

  • Classics IATL funded intervention. 20 minutes of skills support at end of core first year lecture using online polling, padlet and flipped learning techniques to frame tasks
  • Supporting learning design and session structures to integrate digital learning resources
  • Advising the integration of digital tools such as Padlet
  • Creation of h5p interactive elements and videos for Moodle courses

 Where do you go?

Example of a flipchart from a lesson
  • Starting task for 3rd Year Law dissertation Undergraduate students
  • Flipchart paper with four types of subject resources on
  • Students provide suggestions of where they would look for particular resources
  • Facilitates discussion of further Library resources and where to look for different types of information

 What’s your research approach?

  • Starting task for 2nd Year English module 20th C American Literature
  • Students draw or write down their approach to finding resources for essay resources
  • In pairs student’s discuss the similarities and differences between their approaches and resources they use

 Interactive courses

  • H5P integration, creating interactive quizzes, activities and presentations
  • Video content for Information skills for SMLC
  • Created in collaboration with academic tutors to support modules, assessments and course outcomes
  • All courses meet AA accessibility standards
  • Departments supported: Physics, Chemistry, English, Foundation Studies, Economics, Businesss

 Blended and flipped learning

  • Flipped learning course to accompany CH401 face to face workshops
  • Foundation Studies flipped learning course
  • Created in collaboration with academic tutors to support modules, assessments and course outcomes
  • Contain interactive H5P elements