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An Introduction to Information Literacy Judith Keene Information and Learning Services, University of Worcester
What is Information Literacy? “An information literate person is one who is able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate and effectively use the needed information” American Library Association 1989
Development of the concept Term first used in 1974 Paul Zurkowski, Information Industry Association (IIA), – viewed a growing need for better handling and use of the increasing proliferation of information in the workplace. – Recognised the need to be able to use tools as well as information sources
ILit within the H.E. sector 1970s – definitions began to emerge from librarians and the education sector 1980s - new information technologies began to be recognized as an important feature of information literacy. mid 1980's, academic librarians began to view user education programs in terms of information literacy rather than information skills 1990’s Development of standards and best practice e.g SCONUL model (1999), ACRL (USA), CAUL (Australia) 2005 JISC i-skills programme aimed at HE and FE staff
Current trends Move towards institutional strategies / policies for ILit Embedding in curricula New delivery methods –e.g.VLEs Work on assessing / evaluating effectiveness and impact
Models ACRL (USA) – detailed performace indicators and outcomes but does not indicate the level of skill involved – http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/ informationliteracycompetency.htm http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/ SCONUL (UK) – assumes progression through levels – http://www.sconul.ac.uk/activities/inf_lit/ papers/Seven_pillars2.pdf http://www.sconul.ac.uk/activities/inf_lit/
QAA Subject Benchmark for Computing Effective information-retrieval skills (including the use of browsers, search engines and catalogues). ‘learning in the future is likely to revolve around the use and exploitation of electronic material.. for the present, academics face the challenge of how to teach this and how to assess it.’
Art and Design source, navigate, select, retrieve, evaluate, manipulate and manage information from a variety of sources; select and employ communication and information technologies.
Biosciences Threshold be able to access bioscience information from a variety of sources and to communicate the principles in a manner appropriate to the programme of study Good be able to access and evaluate bioscience information from a variety of sources and to communicate the principles both orally and in writing (eg essays, laboratory reports) in a way that is well- organised, topical and recognises the limits of current hypotheses have developed basic strategies to enable them to update their knowledge of the biosciences. have well-developed strategies for updating, maintaining and enhancing their knowledge of the biosciences.
Engineering Threshold can search for information related to a design solution and present it for discussion Good can search for information related to a design solution, evaluate it and suggest requirements for additional information Excellent can initiate and undertake searches for information and generate new information related to a design solution, evaluate it and recommend actions based upon the information
POSSIBLE STUMBLING BLOCKS TO COLLABORATION resource limitations logistical difficulties Institutional teaching paradigms which do not favour active learning approaches Constraints to introducing change within department / institution External factors
POSSIBLE STUMBLING BLOCKS TO COLLABORATION (2) Academics view of librarians’ role within learning & teaching Limited concept of ILit that focuses on sources and processes See ILit as already catered for within programme – students will ‘pick it up’ or should take up one of the opportunities available Internal factors : i.e. beliefs and perceptions Librarians Perception of themselves within learning & teaching Lack of leverage to cause change
WORKING TOGETHER – RETRIEVING INFORMATION Traditional model of demonstrating database and follow up worksheets Lecturer involved in: – Setting assignment / learning outcomes – Reinforcing in subsequent weeks – Jointly measuring change in skills and quality of bibliographies http://informationr.net/ir/9-2/paper173.html
WORKING TOGETHER - EVALUATING INFORMATION Higher cognitive skills involved Group work used to discuss and draw out principles based on subject-specific scenariosGroup work used to discuss and draw out principles based on subject-specific scenarios Librarian provided expert knowledge on evaluation skills Lecturer involved in : Devising appropriate scenarios Measuring change in skills and quality of bibliographies
Sample Group Exercise You are researching the uptake of CASE tools by developers in the West Midlands and analysis of data from your own research indicates positive usage patterns in the three years after purchase. You find an article in the peer-reviewed journal IEEE Software that includes “…after one year of introduction, 70% of CASE tools are never used…” What do you do? CHOOSE ONE ANSWER Use it anyway ……………………………….. Leave it out ………………………………… Use it but explain the different findings ……… Evaluate its research methodology ………….. Don’t know …………………………………… Reasons for your choice
COLLABORATIVE OUTCOMES Benefit from existing teacher / student relationship Student-centred activities relating to the subject Timely linking to module assignment and learning outcomes Reinforcement by lecturer in subsequent sessions Librarians benefit from tutors’ teaching experience Tutor can benefit from librarian’s skills and raise own awareness and ILit skills
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