Distance education, blended learning context. 4 year degree, commenced 2012. Embedding information and research literacy (IRL) across the curriculum involves a collaborative team approach.
IRL = Information and research literacy/literacies IRL includes academic, research and information literacies. According to Gosling & Nix (2011), embedding IRL entails creating integrated, well designed activities to fit the learner’s study context in the blended learning environment. This is the model that has been adapted for the SW degree.
There is no separate research methods course. IRL skills are embedded in most of the courses throughout the curriculum. Students are assessed on these skills in three courses, at levels 5, 6 and 7.
Social Work Faculty Course writers Educational Designers Social Work Liaison Librarian
Adapted ANZIIL (2004) standards into three IRL learning outcomes. Developed a skills matrix for the programme curriculum, identifying in advance the IRL skills required relating to each course’s learning outcome. Course development included creating formative IRL learning activities and summative assessments.
Course Level Learning OutcomeFormative activitiesSummative assessments Level 5 Formulate information search questions, identify relevant sources, and find needed information Searching the online library and the internet Formulating search strategies Evaluating sources APA referencing In the sixth level 5 BSW course Level 6 Analyse, organise and apply research findings Note taking Critical reading Critical appraisal of research Report writing Applying research to practice In the sixth level 6 BSW course Level 7 Critically appraise research including ethical and cultural considerations To be developed. In the eighth level 7 BSW course
Embedding IRL in learning material was new for us all. Issues with including the Liaison Librarian role on the Project team. Differing views within the team on how to embed IRL activities in a SW course. The process of how to embed IRL activities was not clearly agreed upon before we started on actual course development. Developing generic sample activities was time consuming and still required contextualizing within a specific course. Communication and collaboration issues across a multi- disciplinary team. Timeframes for course development and completion.
Modified the process of developing IRL learning activities. IRL learning activities are identified collaboratively and include input from the Course writer and Educational designer. Course writers create and embed IRL activities. Liaison Librarian acts as an advisor for IRL with Faculty and Educational design and assists with reviewing embedding in courses.
Online discussion forums assist with specific IRL questions from students. Proactive IRL in discussion forums relating to student assessments. E-learning tools such as “how to do” videos. Additional resources added to online course pages e.g. Reference lists, links to academic literacies
Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy. (2004). Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework: Principles, standards and practice (2nd ed.). Adelaide, Australia: Author. Gosling, C. & Nix, I. (2011). Supported open learning: Developing an integrated information literacy strategy online. In T.P. Mackey & T.E. Jacobson (Eds.). Teaching information literacy online (pp.91-108). London, England: Facet. The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS). (2010).Information literacy interactive tutorial. Retrieved from http://content.iriss.org.uk/informationliteracy/index.html http://content.iriss.org.uk/informationliteracy/index.html