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Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 UK Academics and Information Literacy Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003.

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Presentation on theme: "Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 UK Academics and Information Literacy Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003."— Presentation transcript:

1 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 UK Academics and Information Literacy Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003

2 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Outline … Description of the project & who we are Scope of the project Timeline & methodology Early findings What’s next

3 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Project Description … Three-year, £130,000 AHRB-funded project ( ) whose purpose is: To explore UK academics’ conceptions of, and teaching practices for, information literacy.

4 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Project Aims … Contribute to the development of the discipline of information literacy by identifying UK academics' conceptions and relating the results to information literacy research internationally; Develop a framework of academics' educational practice as regards information literacy and collect data using that framework; Identify whether there are differences in conception and practice in different disciplines, and relate any differences to previous research on disciplinarity

5 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Who we are … Principal researchers: –Sheila Webber, University of Sheffield –Bill Johnston, University of Strathclyde Research associate: –Stuart Boon, University of Sheffield

6 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 Sheila & Stuart Bill

7 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … IL in the university … Academics are becoming more and more aware of information literacy At the faculty level, numerous agendas are encouraging educators to include information skills into their classes and course designs What we do not know is how academics are reacting to and thinking about information literacy?

8 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Project Scope … Nothing on this scale has been done to date Interviews with academics will take place across the UK in England, Scotland and Wales More than 20 universities will be involved with more than 80 academics across four disciplines

9 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Disciplines involved … Hard Pure: Chemistry Hard Applied :Civil Engineering Soft Pure: English Literature Soft Applied: Marketing Minimum of 20 academics in each discipline

10 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Widening the scope … Based on the analysed results of the interviews, we will then create and pilot discipline-specific questionnaires These questionnaires will be distributed to academics across the UK to provide us with a wider research sample

11 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Timeline … Interviews and Analysis (months 1-21): Arranging, conducting, and transcribing interviews In-depth analysis and development of four discipline-based models of conceptions of information literacy Dissemination of these models Questionnaires and Analysis (months 22-36): Sending out survey questionnaires to all UK universities Detailed analysis of responses Further dissemination and our final report

12 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Methodology … Phenomenography –Looks for variation rather than commonality within experiences of a phenomenon –Seeks a more holistic and complete view of an experience by incorporating variation (e.g. seeing a situation from many angles) –Provides a detailed and descriptive ‘snapshot’ of the phenomenon studied

13 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Phenomenography … “Phenomenography is the empirical study of the differing ways in which people experience, perceive, apprehend, understand, conceptualise various phenomena in and aspects of the world around us.” Ference Marton: In The International Encyclopaedia of Education. Second Edition, Volume 8. Eds. Torsten Husén & T. Neville Postlethwaite. Pergamon 1994, pp – 4429.

14 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Phenomenography … Phenomenography as a method of research began in Sweden in the early 1970s Modern phenomenography is closely linked with the writings of Ference Marton who evolved phenomenography as a research methodology aimed at “describing conceptions of the world around us” (Marton, 1981) It gained further notoriety when Christine Bruce published her thesis “Information literacy: a phenomenography” in 1996

15 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Early findings … ‘Information’ means different things for different disciplines Information literacy confused with ‘digital’ literacy and ICT skills

16 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Early findings … Information literacy is not just textual Disciplinary findings suggest IL needs to incorporate ‘multiple literacies’: –e.g., academic literacy, media literacy, digital literacy, numeracy, visual/spatial literacy, etc.

17 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Early findings … Conceptions are being informed by governmental agendas (quality assurance, key skills, etc.) Academics are often trying to provide skills that students will take ‘beyond their degree’

18 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Early findings … Information literacy as a recursive/reflexive act –keywords: crystallise, reinforce, reflect, assess, adding, augmenting, building a template, looking at what you have done, etc. Information literacy as involving an affective change –i.e. building up confidence, altering perceptions/processes, getting students to ‘think for themselves’ and to conduct ‘acts of leadership’

19 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … Early finding … Librarians vs. ‘The Library’ Academics’ information world extends well beyond the library and its resources –importance of colleagues and other ‘people’ resources –the invisible college

20 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … What’s next … Looking toward a model of academics conceptions of information literacy Looking toward models of practice for introducing, sustaining, and assessing information literacy in the classroom Helping to bridging the gap between academics and librarians Developing a model for an information literate university

21 Boon, Johnston & Webber © University of Sheffield 2003 … More information … Project Website Information Literacy Place Information Literacy Weblog


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