3/2014, In English, Koulutus ja oppiminen, Opiskelijat, Tutkimus ja innovaatiot

A Feedback System created with students on display on World Library and Information Congress – Presenting student co-operation on international level

Learning center Fellmannia

Learning center Fellmannia is one of the Lahti University of Applied Sciences campuses, consisting of classrooms, learning spaces, information and library services, student services and a restaurant and a café together with conference services.  Fellmannia´s functions are defined as need-based, interactive, innovative and proactive. For this to come true, service concept needs to be systematically developed, taking into account the feedback collected from the users of the premises and changes in service environment.

One way of supporting interactional functions is making students genuine partners in Fellmannia’s everyday actions and development. This has been a working principle for several years now, and the skills of students have been widely utilized in many functions, including technical visualization, interior planning, promotional photography, development of student and personnel welfare services and organizing events.

Fellmannia launched a service evaluation process in 2012, as a part of World Design Capital 2012 -project. Through this evaluation process, data was being gathered on how Fellmannia’s functions and services meet the objectives and what are the needs for further development. Project was targeted to higher education and vocational students and teachers of Päijät-Häme region and other users of Fellmannia’s services. The students were selected as the most important group in the evaluation process.

The process consisted of five workshops, two case-study afternoons and two customer surveys. Through this extensive data collection, few key points were identified, the most important of them being the need for easy to use and transparent feedback system.
It was clear from the beginning that the feedback system will be made together with students. Working with them is a perfect way to engage students to a new system and get to know what kind of feedback system would appeal to users whose feedback is the most important.

The planning of the feedback system started as a multidisciplinary project with Information and Library services, Design Foundation Finland and students from the Institute of Design and Fine Arts and the Faculty of Technology. The technology behind the new feedback system was built by the Lahti University of Applied Sciences Faculty of Technology students. Their contribution was remarkable for the user-oriented development process of the feedback pool.

Feedback pool provides a simple, game-like channel for feedback with no complicated menus or multiphase processes. It is also a practical communication channel between Fellmannia’s users and staff. Both positive and negative user input give valuable insight and tools for improving services.

Picture 1. Layout of feedback pool

Feedback pool displays the latest feedback at one glance. Fellmannia’s Feedback pool has separate sections for different services and an open section, where the administrator can ask a topical question.

Comments, opinions and other feedback can be entered into a bubble and all bubbles can be liked by other users, causing the liked bubble to grow. Feedback pool can be operated via pc and mobile devices.

Feedback pool is a registered trademark.

Picture 2. QR-link to Feedback pool

Feedback pool on spotlight

World Library and Information Congress is held annually, being the most important congress in the field of Information and library services. Congress is organized by IFLA, International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, the global voice of the library and information profession. This year, IFLA was held in Lyon, France and was visited by over 4000 Information -and library professionals around the world.

Picture 3. Poster session visitors. (photo: Guillaume Gast)

Feedback pool was presented in this congress as a poster. During two poster presentation sessions, both lasting for two hours, the feedback pool was attracting over 200 visitors wanting to know more about the topic of the poster. Discussions with delegates were fertile and many were even interested in acquiring the pool for their own organization.

Working with students appealed to many coming from academic libraries, for the benefits of such cooperation are clear. With strong student collaboration, the library services are viewed as a potential partner providing an opportunity to present students skills to a wider audience. Furthermore, cooperation is a good way to connect with students and get to know their information needs and their understanding of library services. Thus the collaboration benefits both the library and the students.

Picture 4. Feedback pool is bubbling. (photo: Johanna Kiviluoto)

Benefits and experiences

The creation of the feedback pool was an important process both to Fellmannia’s staff and students taking part in the project. Students got valuable experience from working with a the supplier, learning multidisciplinary cooperation and project work, and the supplier got the chance to get to know the latest views and ideas student have on the services offered. Students also gave insight to what kind of language should be used when creating services for students. When students form the most important customer group, the service model “for student, by students” will be a continuing principle at Fellmannia.

Service design is an ongoing process in which students are seen as important partners. After the development of feedback pool, students have already been involved in other projects aiming to enhance the customer experience, such as beta testing the information and library services’ new information retrieval system and making a survey on customer satisfaction with one of the information and library services newly renovated locations, Information Centre Campus. Fellmannia has also been a partner in several theses and a place for many students to perform their practical training. In the near future, student co-operation will take yet another step forward with the launching of a new media center created by students, making use of Fellmannia’s facilities.

Author

Riikka Sinisalo, Information Specialist, M. Soc. Sc, Lahti University of Applied Sciences, riikka.sinisalo@lamk.fi

Feedback pool, 2014. www.fellmannia.fi/palautepallomeri

Fellmannia – tiedon ja oppimisen kohtaamispaikka, 2014. In english. www.fellmannia.fi

Flickr,2014. The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions (IFLA). https://www.flickr.com/photos/ifla/sets/

IFLA World Library and Information Congress, 2014. http://conference.ifla.org/ifla80

The International Federation of Library Associations and Institutions, 2014. http://www.ifla.org/

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