National Teaching Fellow 2011
Andrew Walsh thrives on making information skills relevant to all at the University of Huddersfield. He covers a wide range of subject areas and typically runs one-shot sessions where he will only see a group of students once.
From the start Andrew has sought ways to make these sessions as gripping as possible, bringing a range of active learning techniques into his teaching and encouraging other librarians to do the same. This has included encouraging professional colleagues worldwide to do the same through conference papers, articles and a recently published book. He particularly enjoyed organising a recent TeachMeet for librarians, an informal event to allow librarians to share best practice in teaching.
Andrew's favourite piece of feedback (via Twitter) after delivering a conference paper in Brisbane with a colleague is 'Those mad pommie guys are funny'. If he succeeds in making students realise that information skills classes need not be boring and instantly forgettable and manages to enthuse colleagues to achieve the same, then he views the battle for information literacy as half won.
Andrew has also championed online and mobile-friendly learning materials. He has done innovative work around mobile learning in libraries, using students' own mobile devices to facilitate learning. Over the last couple of years he has challenged professional colleagues to think how we can use mobile devices to blur the boundaries between our physical and virtual libraries, using techniques such as Quick Response (QR) Codes.
Increasingly he is invited to give keynote addresses at conferences internationally and is in demand to talk on information literacy, active learning and mobile learning. An active researcher practitioner, Andrew has published widely in journals and has written several book chapters. He is currently writing his second book (on mobile-friendly library services).
Always looking for new ways to innovate, Andrew is currently leading a project to bring ideas borrowed from the gaming industry into the heart of the library. This project will turn everyday library activities into points and badges within an online, mobile-friendly social game, encouraging the use of library resources.