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Step up to Masters is an award-winning resource

The Library has won the 2020 Digital Award for Information Literacy for a resource to support new taught postgraduates.

The prestigious Digital Award for Information Literacy recognises innovative and high impact digital resources in the UK. It was awarded to the Library’s Learning Services and Learning Technologies Teams for the Step Up to Masters online resource.

Step Up to Masters was launched in September 2019 to support student transition to taught postgraduate study. The new online resource has a particular focus on Masters level academic skills and information literacy development. It is designed to complement departments’ own induction and transition programmes.

Gave me a good overview of what to expect in the time as a Masters student, both academically and from a general perspective in terms of time management, coordinating tasks and managing other commitments and my physical and mental wellbeing.

Masters student

Step Up to Masters helps Masters students to reflect on their previous study experience, identify their strengths and areas for improvement. Students then explore opportunities at Leeds to develop their academic skills to make a successful transition to Masters study. There is also an accompanying suite of open, face-to-face workshops. These 45-minute express sessions cover topics including time management, reading at taught postgraduate level, developing an academic voice, and intercultural group work.

Dan Pullinger and Jiani Liu, who led the project in collaboration with Library colleagues, commented:

We’re delighted to accept this award on behalf of the Learning Services and Learning Technologies Teams at the University of Leeds. It's very satisfying to be recognised by our peers for our work in creating a resource to support our large and diverse taught postgraduate community. We’d also like to thank the students and academic colleagues who contributed to the videos and provided us with valuable feedback.

The resource was informed by research conducted by the Learning Services Team between 2016 and 2018. This included large-scale surveys and follow-up focus groups with Masters students at the University of Leeds. The research project was prompted by a growth in Masters student numbers, and a heavy demand from this cohort for Skills@Library support.

Step Up to Masters has received over 16,000 page views and has garnered positive comments from students and academic colleagues.

Clear, usable layout and presentation. The videos are a good resource. Like the opportunity to write a reflective log! It was very helpful for me as I was not familiar with the UK education system.

International Masters student

It is the latest in a series of Skills@Library resources that support transition across different levels of study. The other resources include Flying Start, Second Year Success and Final Chapter. This success follows a nomination for the same award in 2019 for the online course Critical Thinking at University: An Introduction, created in partnership with the Digital Education Service.

If you would like to discuss how the Library can support your students’ transition into taught postgraduate study, or how to tailor the Step Up to Masters online and workshop resources to meet the needs of your module or programme, please contact Skills@Library.