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Helping students develop their information literacy
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Helping students develop their information literacy

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These slides are from a workshop run at a Teaching and Learning Conference at the University of Leicester, UK, in January 2013. Slides have had minor tweaks to correct a couple of errors and clarify ...

These slides are from a workshop run at a Teaching and Learning Conference at the University of Leicester, UK, in January 2013. Slides have had minor tweaks to correct a couple of errors and clarify one point.

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    Helping students develop their information literacy Helping students develop their information literacy Presentation Transcript

    • Learning & Teaching Conference, Leicester 2013 Helping students develop their information literacy Dr Chris Willmott Dept of Biochemistry, University of Leicester cjrw2@le.ac.uk University of Leicester
    • Background• There was a time, not SO long ago…• The internet provides an apparently bottomless pool of information• There are concerns that students may not possess the skills to appraise the merits of online sources 1,2 • Information literacy • Digital literacyhttp://tinyurl.com/indexmedicus
    • Activity• Students are asked to evaluate eight online sources• One week before group tutorial, sent instructions,plus: • File listing top eight hits on a “Google search” • Link to proforma for recording evaluation of the sources• Student complete activity in their own time prior to the tutorial • Ensures they can work at own pace • Enables me to collate cohort response
    • Activity
    • Activity• For each source students are asked to consider:• The “academic quality” of the source • Veracity? • Credibility? • Would person marking your work think that it is an appropriate source document for the purpose?• 1 (low) to 10 (high)
    • Activity• For each source students are asked to consider:• The “suitability” and “relevance” for two assignments • A first year essay on the role of mitochondria in energy production • A final year dissertation on the role of mitochondria in ageing• For each category 5-point Likert scale offered• Open-text box to give short explanation of their reasoning
    • Source 1• Mean student rating*: 7.7• Tutor rating: 8• What is it? Chapter from Molecular Biology of the Cell• Why is this example included? Alerts students to fact some major texts are online Raises point that textbooks = good, but not pinnacle * 2010-12 (n=299)
    • Source 1• Suitability for 1st year essay on energy production? Definitely Suitable• Relevance for 1st year essay on energy production? Definitely Relevant• Suitability for Final year dissertation on ageing? Not Sure – textbooks unlikely to play major role in final year• Relevance for Final year dissertation on ageing? Probably Irrelevant – cursory mention of topic
    • Source 2• Mean student rating*: 6.1• Tutor rating: 4• What is it? Wikipedia• Why is this example included? First port of call for casual research Students need to be aware of differences of opinion Raising notion of Wikipedia as a portal not endpoint * 2010-12 (n=299)
    • Source 2• Suitability for 1st year essay on energy production? Not Sure – Definitely Unsuitable? who authored?• Relevance for 1st year essay on energy production? Probably Relevant – some relevant level content, but…• Suitability for Final year dissertation on ageing? Probably Unsuitable – raise notion of “portal”, “good” Wikipedia pages are well referenced• Relevance for Final year dissertation on ageing? Not Sure
    • Source 3• Mean student rating*: 5.3• Tutor rating: 2• What is it? Essay from “papermill”• Why is this example included? Important to raise educational concerns (and quality concerns) regarding sub-contraction services [Worry – alerting students to their existence?] * 2010-12 (n=299)
    • Source 3• Suitability for 1st year essay on energy production? Definitely Unsuitable – academic dishonesty issues• Relevance for 1st year essay on energy production? Not Sure – title almost identical, but can it be trusted?• Suitability for Final year dissertation on ageing? Definitely Unsuitable• Relevance for Final year dissertation on ageing? Definitely Irrelevant
    • Source 4• Mean student rating*: 8.3• Tutor rating: 9• What is it? A short review article in an important journal• Why is this example included? An example of a top peer-reviewed journal An opportunity to discuss peer review and validation? * 2010-12 (n=299)
    • Source 4• Suitability for 1st year essay on energy production? Probably Unsuitable or Definitely Suitable? – tougher than expected for students at Yr1. Setting reasonable expectations?• Relevance for 1st year essay on energy production? Probably Irrelevant – energy production mentioned, but focus is on ageing• Suitability for Final year dissertation on ageing? Definitely Suitable – perfect for job• Relevance for Final year dissertation on ageing? Definitely Relevant
    • Source 5• Mean student rating*: 8.7• Tutor rating: 9• What is it? A research article from a top journal• Why is this example included? Raise differences between “primary literature” and review articles Good point to discuss citation scores?
    • Source 5• Suitability for 1st year essay on energy production? Definitely Unsuitable• Relevance for 1st year essay on energy production? Definitely Irrelevant• Suitability for Final year dissertation on ageing? Definitely Suitable – perfect for job• Relevance for Final year dissertation on ageing? Definitely Relevant
    • Source 6• Mean student rating*: 6.8• Tutor rating: 6• What is it? Educational website with peer-reviewed articles• Why is this example included? A “good” website – run by American Institute of Biological Sciences * 2010-12 (n=299)
    • Source 6• Suitability for 1st year essay on energy production? Not Sure – claims of “peer review” but likely to be sceptically received by markers• Relevance for 1st year essay on energy production? Probably Irrelevant – not main thrust of article• Suitability for Final year dissertation on ageing? Definitely Unsuitable• Relevance for Final year dissertation on ageing? Probably Relevant – topic aligns, but…
    • Source 7• Mean student rating*: 4.7• Tutor rating: 3• What is it? CBS News website• Why is this example included? The title is alluringly close to one of the set assignments Written by staff writer “Jamie Holguin”, no evidence of scientific training * 2010-12 (n=299)
    • Source 7• Suitability for 1st year essay on energy production? Probably Unsuitable – an illustration for introduction? Not authoritative on matters of scientific fact• Relevance for 1st year essay on energy production? Definitely Irrelevant• Suitability for Final year dissertation on ageing? Probably Unsuitable – as above• Relevance for Final year dissertation on ageing? Not Sure – material is on same topic, but…
    • Source 8• Mean student rating*: 5.2• Tutor rating: 5• What is it? TED talk• Why is this example included? Raising notion that not all sources are written (though a transcript is available) * 2010-12 (n=299)
    • Source 8• Suitability for 1st year essay on energy production? Probably Unsuitable – videos and podcasts can be valuable, probably not this one!• Relevance for 1st year essay on energy production? Probably Irrelevant• Suitability for Final year dissertation on ageing? Probably Unsuitable – as above• Relevance for Final year dissertation on ageing? Probably Relevant – concepts under discussion are relevant to dissertation, but concern over authority
    • Comments at close of tutorial• Reminder that although internet useful tool for accessing fantastic resources, other resources• Library offers access to books and expertise of staff
    • Summary of outcomes
    • Evaluation• 2010-2012, 169 students completed anonymous evaluation of activity• 91% of students gave positive feedback: This was a useful exercise Agreed (56%) Strongly Agreed (35%)
    • Evaluation• “In some instances my opinion and the actual answers differed by quite a lot. This activity gave me greater insight into how sources are viewed in terms of authority at a university level”• “It really opened my eyes to some aspects I had never given a lot of thought to”• “It made me aware of how important the quality of sources is and how to judge this”• “It was really useful, as I was a bit apprehensive about using the wrong sources in essays.”• “I didn’t learn much new, but the practice and the feedback session helped me to understand better.”
    • My reflections• A valuable, if imperfect, exercise• Terminology: explaining key issues hard to get across succinctly a priori• Works best as blended (online then F2F) activity• Could be quicker without requesting explanation “After about five sources the task got tedious, however it was still useful”
    • Adapting for your course?• Researching possible sources and shortlisting to about eight takes time• Check that sources are available off campus (and expect some tinkering to be required as URLs change)• Search pages prepared as PowerPoint slides and uploaded to connect.le.ac.uk using Adobe Presenter• Data collection form prepared in Plone
    • References1. Beetham H. et al. (2009) Thriving in the 21st Century: Learning literacies for the digital age (JISC)2. Pan B. et al. (2010) Assessing the dynamics of search results in Google. Information and Communication Technologies in Tourism 11:405-416
    • Acknowledgements• Stuart Johnson• Paul Smith• Alan Cann & Jo Badge• Ethical approval cjrw2-7991b
    • Any Questions?E-mail: cjrw2@le.ac.ukTwitter: cjrwSlideshare: cjrw2Delicious: chriswillmottBlogs: www.bioethicsbytes.wordpress.com www.biosciencecareers.wordpress.com www.lefthandedbiochemist.wordpress.com University of Leicester