The Research Skills Toolkit is a collaboration between the IT Learning Programme and the Bodleian Libraries. It offers postgraduate and post-doc researchers a range of transferable IT and Library Information skills and tools, that will support their research while at Oxford and in their future careers.
At each Toolkit workshop, post-grad researchers are given a series of hands-on tasks, to try out tools and resources that will be useful in their research and study. The emphasis is on an appealing encounter, rather than detailed training. A key feature of the Toolkit workshops is that expert advisors, who are themselves experienced practitioners, are on hand to discuss students’ questions and to recommend further courses and resources.
This year we held 16 workshops, in November 2012 and January 2013. 526 postgraduate students booked, of whom 377 attended (61% 1st year, 15% 2nd year; an 11% increase on last year). Each workshop was targeted at one of the academic Divisions or a subject area.
In feedback, students overwhelmingly appreciated the event and felt it was a good use of their time (96% of responses; 50% of participants responded).
A substantial website at www.skillstoolkit.ox.ac.uk supports the workshops, providing resources and advice on 120+ further tools and topics relevant to research and study. This website is an essential part of the Skills Toolkit, it is integrated into the live workshops, and it provides follow-up resources throughout the year.
The Toolkit website continues to prove popular with students – over 1800 distinct individuals have visited the site this year.