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CanadianKaleidoscope Perspectives on Information Literacy in Higher Education Dr. Corinne Laverty Queen’s University.

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Presentation on theme: "CanadianKaleidoscope Perspectives on Information Literacy in Higher Education Dr. Corinne Laverty Queen’s University."— Presentation transcript:

1 CanadianKaleidoscope Perspectives on Information Literacy in Higher Education Dr. Corinne Laverty Queen’s University

2 Canadian Universities

3 Information Literacy Trends in 1997 Focus: traditional stand-alone workshops on catalog, reference tools, periodical indexes Instruction Methods: individual instruction (87%); lectures, subject guides, tours (83%); 79% have “program” but no objectives; no formal evaluation Roles: few BI librarians; reference unit responsibility Audience: first years 56%; graduates 40%; mature students 37%; faculty 34%; reach 50% overall Support: 6% with dedicated funding (Bibliographic instruction trends in Canadian academic libraries:Julien & Leckie, 1997)

4 Ranking of Teaching Objectives: 1. finding information in various sources 2. understanding general research strategies 3. locating materials in the library 4. evaluating quality and usefulness of information 5. identifying database structure 6. awareness of technological innovations Directions: hands-on; small groups; critical thinking, research strategies, search concepts (Julien & Leckie, 1997) Information Literacy Trends in 1997

5 Focus: class workshops on conceptual skills and research strategies for specific assignments Instructional Methods: fewer lectures, tours, videos; 20% more hands-on; < 9% with credit course; 25% test students on knowledge Roles: library assistants offer instruction (up 20%); reference unit responsibility Audience: first years 85% (up 30%); undergraduates 60%; mature students 40%; faculty 47% (up 13%) Support: 11% with dedicated funding (up 5%) (Information literacy instruction in Canadian academic libraries: Longitudinal trends and international comparisons: Julien, 2000) Information Literacy Trends in 2000

6 Ranking of Teaching Objectives: all the same! 1. finding information 2. understanding research strategies 3. locating materials 4. evaluating information Directions: critical analysis of sources; focus on concepts; hands-on; first-year experience and instruction for faculty; use technology for live, canned, and modular sessions (Julien, 2000) Information Literacy Trends in 2000

7 Barriers to instruction: –lack of equipment and space (40%) –lack of planning time (40%) –insufficient staff (32%) –faculty undervalue IL instruction (47%) –students have negative attitude (27%) (Julien, 2000) Information Literacy Trends in 2000

8 Challenges in Canadian Libraries  Governments don’t explicitly acknowledge need for information literacy.  Meaning and value of information literacy is misunderstood.  Too few librarians to implement successful programs, especially with large classes.  Faculty are reluctant to create partnerships.  Educational technology can hinder information literacy development.

9 Challenges in Canadian Libraries  Governments do not acknowledge the role of information literacy. “The Internet enables undisciplined searches in a poorly indexed chaos rather than genuine research.” (The E-learning E-volution in Colleges and Universities Advisory Committee on Online Learning, 2001)

10 Challenges in Canadian Libraries  Concept of information literacy misunderstood. Students don’t understand what “doing research” is. Information literacy develops with ongoing practice. Everything that happens in the research process is connected and informs each choice that follows. Confronting barriers is essential for reshaping thinking. Modeling research with ongoing explanations of thinking is helpful in the learning process (Resource-based learning: Gateway to information literacy: Laverty, 2000)

11 Challenges in Canadian Libraries  There are not enough trained librarians to provide instruction. Large classes of up to 1,000 present teaching challenges and encourage reliance on reserve readings. “Instruction has suffered drastically from downsized staff budgets at a time students need more attention because of technology… We know there is a widening gap between what is expected and the support provided, and know there is a role for the library which we have stopped performing.” (Julien, 2000)

12 Challenges in Canadian Libraries  While there may be emphasis on independent study in the curriculum, faculty are not always willing information literacy partners. “We propose that: Queen's University Faculty of Arts and Science encourage a learning-oriented curriculum that promotes intensive learning and fosters independent learning skills.” (Queen’s University, Curriculum Review Working Group, 2000)

13 Challenges in Canadian Libraries  The impact of information technology has increased the scope, number, and complexity of research tools yet students just “Google”. “I see instruction as being perceived as even less important than it was ten years ago. The speed and ease of Web technology obscures the need for learning searching and evaluating skills.” (Julien, 2000)

14 Challenges in Canadian Libraries  Impact of educational technology presents both opportunities and challenges. –librarians are not on course development teams –electronic reserves are displacing information literacy development

15 Collaboration Partnerships Learning Teams Learning Commons Critical Thinking Focus Educational Technology New Directions

16 Cooperative Ventures –Information Literacy Cooperative Project by the Ontario Council of University Libraries (19 libraries) –goal is to create a shared resource New Directions: Collaboration

17 Partnerships –instructional development and learning technology groups on campus Learning Technology Faculty Associates –facilitate use of educational technology Learning Technology Teams (Queen’s) –team works on course projects New Directions: Partnerships

18 New Directions: Learning Teams LIPD Blues (Memorial) –library instruction professional development blues –theme of the learning organization –supportive group learning sessions

19 New Directions: Learning Commons Information Commons (e.g. Calgary, Dalhousie) – bring teaching and learning into the same space –collaboration within learning communities

20 New Directions: Critical Thinking Focus on critical thinking –concepts over mechanics e.g. “Beyond Boolean” (Memorial) –in-depth instruction on evaluation of tools, avoiding plagiarism, invisible Web

21 New Directions: Technology Join online course development teams –online course “Teaching and Learning in an Online Environment” (Queen’s); integrated IL

22 Interactivity via split html screens with application running beside directions Virtual reference has potential for group instruction Information literacy modules within WebCT New tools to heighten visual elements such as Viewlet Builder (Simon Fraser); ScreenCam TILT adaptations (Waterloo) comprehensive online tutorials & workbooks – e-manual (Winnipeg) New Directions: Technology

23 PC-Diary for continuing IL education of physicians – self-managed method of accessing, organizing, reflecting, and applying information & learning –includes Internet Question Diary so physicians’ learning is shared as learning objects (Tools to assist physicians to manage their information needs; John Parboosingh, In Infomration liteacy around the world, 2000) New Directions: Technology

24 Development of a learning object repository U.S. - MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Learning and Online Teaching: Canada - CLOE (Cooperative Learning Object Exchange: See History Research Project (180 min.) using QuickTime Player - Web browser - Flash plug-in (Waterloo) New Directions: Technology

25 From Challenge to Direction Compile and disseminate evidence on the effect of information literacy on academic achievement. Work within academic departments towards the systematic integration of IL as an educational objective into the curriculum. Partner with faculty to design assignments with specific IL objectives. Measure the effect of IL instruction on student performance.

26 Canadian Association of College and University Libraries in leadership role for information literacy to raise awareness of educators and government Offer courses on library instruction in the Masters degree in Library and Information Science (presently only 4 out of 7 Canadian MLIS programs have this elective: Julien & Boon, 2002) From Challenge to Direction

27 References Julien, Heidi & Gloria J. Leckie. (1997). Bibliographic instruction trends in Canadian academic libraries. Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science, 22/2: Julien, Heidi. (2000). Information literacy instruction in Canadian academic libraries: Longitudinal trends and international comparisons. College & Research Libraries, 61/6: Julien, Heidi & Stuart Boon. (2002). From the front line: Information literacy instruction in Canadian academic libraries. Reference Services Review, 30/2: 143 – 149. Laverty, Corinne. (2000). Resource-based learning: Gateway to information literacy. PhD dissertation, University of Wales, 2000.

28 References Parboosingh, John. (2000). Tools to assist physicians to manage their information needs. In Information literacy around the world: Advances in programs and research pp ). Charles Sturt University: Centre for Information Studies. Whitehead, Martha J. & Catherine A. Quinlan. "Canada: An Information Literacy Case Study," July 2002, White Paper prepared for UNESCO, the U.S. National Commission on Libraries and Information Science, and the National Forum on Information Literacy, for use at the Information Literacy Meeting of Experts, Prague, The Czech Republic.


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