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Jonathan Smart, University of Plymouth, 17.3.08 We’re in this together – getting involved through information literacy strategies that encourage reflection.

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Presentation on theme: "Jonathan Smart, University of Plymouth, 17.3.08 We’re in this together – getting involved through information literacy strategies that encourage reflection."— Presentation transcript:

1 Jonathan Smart, University of Plymouth, We’re in this together – getting involved through information literacy strategies that encourage reflection through collaboration between faculty, student and information professional

2 Outline Context Connecting with the curriculum The nature of the assignment Reflective approach Collaborative teaching IL & study skills Student feedback Concluding thoughts

3 ‘...evidence suggests that IL is still treated as an elective skill set on the periphery of the core curriculum in most disciplines’ McGuinness (2007 p26)

4 Context l PGCE / Cert Ed students, HE levels – 3 / 1. NQF levels 6 / 4 l F/t / p/t l SWAST l Diverse backgounds l c. 50% SWAST cohort no education beyond secondary school l Demanding & challenging curriculum l Strong need for effective IL skills

5 Connecting with the curriculum l Essential to connect IL with curriculum (Bundy 2004, Johnston & Webber 2003, Grafstein 2002 etc.) l PBS students – relevance to business success l Reflective practice integral to curriculum + PDP l Dual function as diagnostic – mutual gain l Study skills element

6 Schon’s reflective practitioner Reflection-in-action: thinking on their feet – try apply prior experience to new situations for new understanding Reflection-on-action: later stage – write up account of ‘journey’, reflect in order to change / adapt. Action following reflection - new theories & responses. Constructivist.

7 Other Reflection models l Kolb: Concrete experience; Observation & reflection; Forming abstract concepts; Testing in new situations l Boud & Walker – 3 stages of reflection: R. in action; R. mid-experience & R. after an event l John: Situation relates to other experiences? Could have handled differently? Consequences of alternative actions? Feelings now? Experience changed way I know?

8 The assignment l Induction - orientation l Hands-on ‘Facilitated Discovery’. Learn by doing with help of coaching (Refl Practicum) l ‘Safe’ environment l First written assignment l Importance of initial positive experience l Diagnostic for PCET staff, students & me

9 The assignment As a consequence of the session you have received and the follow-up work you have done, consider the following diagnostic checklist of information literacy skills and identify both the ones in which you feel that you have now accomplished a working level of competency (i.e. you can use them as part of the process of researching for your coursework) and those that you consider you are still in need of developing.

10 You will then research around issues of diversity, inclusion and equality of opportunity, producing a 500 word reflexive summary reflecting on your own personal progress in acquiring and applying information literacy skills, reflecting on both your successes and areas that you are aware you still need to develop. You should include the following:

11 1. Information strategies you have found most effective 2. How you assess and critically evaluate what you find 3. What you have learned from the process 4. What further actions you need to take to further develop your information literacy skills 5. How you will use the knowledge you have gained to instil information literacy skills in your students

12 Diagnostic checklist

13 Diagnostic checklist cont.

14 The reflective approach l Get them thinking l Cognitive, higher order skills l Reflection key part of course and practice l Raising levels of (self) awareness l Reflexive for us toous l PDP key element of the course

15 ‘A discussion with the tutor led me to pare the content down even further…(he suggested one ‘minimalist ‘ formula and we compromised, meeting half-way by including one extra element ) and the feedback was dramatically improved from the first session, with the class speaking positively about the practical hands- on element and confidence…as a result of the session.’ Smart (2005, p.7) Back

16 Assignment: prior knowledge ‘I started with Diversity. I have quite a lot of background knowledge in this area as I was the lead person for the Ambulance service this year at Plymouth’s Respect festival....As a ‘mature’ student I will probably take longer than the ‘normal’ student to grasp things although I bring life skills with me and the experiences that I have had so far in life.’

17 Assignment: reflection ‘By using the basic reflective cycle of action; reflection; revised action and reflection (Wallace, 2007) both myself and my students could analyse information literacy. Therefore if I reflect by exploring if I am acquiring the correct information, I can revise my action by seeking another method to get information, for example from another data base or use a different key word and then reflect again.’

18 Assignment: cascading benefits ‘Once I have mastered the art of e-resources I feel that it will benefit my research and ultimately my skills as a teacher. In time I am certain that I will be able to do this efficiently and with confidence in my ability.’

19 Collaborative teaching l Natural move to team teaching l Learning from each other l ‘Shared’ cognitive authority l Reflexive process for us l Mutual trust & confidence in each other as professionals l Expand horizons l Part of tutorial programme l Listed as ‘tutor’ in handbook

20 Study skills & scholarship l Request from PCET while planning programme l Study skills & IL have natural fit l More ‘territories’ (LD & Academic Support) l Scholarship – overlap. Boyer (1990) l E-learning – shared & adapted slides l Predicated around faculty’s needs l Relevance of AS confirmed l Professionally stretched l Directly addressed faculty need l Information professional directly alongside faculty – shared territory

21 Student collaboration l Groups in refectory l Wiki l Joint tutorials with me l ‘By spending more time accessing the resources by trial and error, discussing best practice with colleagues and listening to there [sic] experiences, it will make me more efficient enabling me to spend time on relevant material’ ‘Critical evaluation from these sources is vital. Sharing findings and resources with fellow students helps to expand resource information’

22 Questionnaire

23 Students’ perceptions l 100 % found FD either v.useful or useful l 80% thought assignment useful for thinking through IL issues l 70% FD most useful l 10% reflective assignment l 20% both in conjunction l 100% transferable to further coursework

24 ‘Other comments’ ‘without the practical session...would have appeared very daunting’ ‘Having never attended university prior to this course, I found this exercise very useful’

25 Concluding thoughts Recipe for success(?): l Think outside own territory l Continuous communication l Relate to curriculum – don’t be semi-detached l Mutual understanding of drivers l Comfort in shared professional spaces l If in doubt - take it on l Step outside comfort zone – it’s good for us...

26 Question Where would/do you as an information professional draw the line in terms of what you are prepared to teach in order to promote the integration of IL in the curriculum?

27 References Bundy, A. (2004) Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework: principles, standards and practice. 2 nd ed. Adelaide: Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy Grafstein, A. (2002) A discipline-based approach to information literacy. J of Academic Librarianship, 28 (4) pp Johnston, B., Webber, S. (2003) Information literacy in higher education: a review and case study. Studies in Higher Education, 28 (3) pp

28 References (cont.) McGuinness, C. (2007) Exploring strategies for integrated information literacy. Communications in information literacy, 1 (1) pp [Online]. Available at: pring2007AR3/14 (Accessed ) pring2007AR3/14 Pilerot (2006) How do students develop information literacy – through formal education or social participation? Paper presented at E-Lit conference. Smart, J. (2005) Cabinet reshuffle: from the Business to the education portfolio – a practitioner’s reflections, Education libraries J. 48 (3) pp 5-8

29 Bibliography Boyer (1990) Scholarship reconsidered: priorities of the professoriate. Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching. McGuinness, C. (2003) Attitudes of academics to the library’s role. In: Martin, A. Rader, H. Information and IT literacy: enabling learning in the 21 st century. Facet Publishing,


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