Assessing Information Literacy Skills


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Member Sharing Session presentation delivered at the 2007 BBSLG Conference hosted by the University of Northampton, 27-29 June

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Assessing Information Literacy Skills

  1. 1. Assessing information literacy skills within a core module at the University of Teesside Presented by Yvonne Cotton Carol Dell-Price
  2. 2. University of Teesside •Located in the North East •20 000 students •POPE – Providing Opportunity, Pursuing Excellence
  3. 3. Business School & Library and Information Services (L&IS) •c.200 first year undergraduates •c.100 post graduates •Supported by L&IS Business Information Team (2 members of staff)
  4. 4. Learning and Teaching Business Information Team regularly teach on both undergraduate and post graduate programmes – offering: –basic induction sessions –advanced literature searching –individual tutorials –drop in sessions
  5. 5. Professional Development and Employability (PDE) •Core module delivered to all 1st year undergraduates •Developed 2 years ago in order to equip first years with key skills e.g. IT, numeracy, group working, research methods
  6. 6. L&IS Input We deliver 3 sessions on this module which include the following: •How to search the catalogue •Understanding databases •Citing and referencing techniques
  7. 7. Assessment •Asked by module leader to provide some way of testing knowledge acquired from library sessions •Previous similar task set by School was unsuccessful
  8. 8. Why assess? •Opportunity to teach some literature searching skills and embed them into 1st year programme •Most students are assessment driven so improves attendance figures (previous years pretty hit and miss)
  9. 9. The task Students are asked to select a search topic of their own choice: Then, using a template: •Provide evidence of searching the catalogue and online databases for relevant materials •Produce a bibliography of 4 books and 4 journal articles using Harvard referencing style • Write a short reflection of the process
  10. 10. A few figures •137 attended out of a possible 170 (79%) •154 submitted •129 passed (84%) •25 failed (16%) •35 didn’t attend sessions and 8 of those failed (78%pass/22%fail)
  11. 11. What did we learn? •Marking takes 3 times as long as you expect ! •Repeat, repeat, and repeat again what you want the learner to do as most don’t pay enough attention to marking criteria or instructions
  12. 12. What else did we learn? •In the age of the internet students do not understand the difference between a catalogue search and searching full text documents •Students found it difficult to apply any quality control when viewing results •They expected searches to produce fewer and more relevant results very quickly
  13. 13. Feedback (what did they say!) •Feedback forms were handed out after they had submitted but before they had received their marks •Most students felt they could now carry out competent searches of our online databases and the library catalogue
  14. 14. More of what they said •They liked the use of templates •Found the idea of using different keywords very useful •Timing was important – many would have liked the assignment to be earlier in the academic year
  15. 15. Programme Evaluation •Most useful element of the module •Academic staff wish to retain it as integral part of programme •Already planned to be first task of 2007
  16. 16. Further information •Carol Dell-Price •Subject Information Team Leader • •Yvonne Cotton •Senior Information Officer •