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Hitting the moving target: The transformation of information literacy instruction for First Year students over a decade of change

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Presentation given at Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT) Information Literacy Seminar, June 11th 2014

Presentation given at Institute of Technology Tallaght (ITT) Information Literacy Seminar, June 11th 2014

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  • 1. Hitting the moving target: The transformation of information literacy instruction for First Year students over a decade of change Claire McGuinness School of Information & Library Studies, UCD ITT Information Literacy Seminar, June 11th 2014
  • 2. 10 years a- growing... ..and a-planning, a-teaching, a-researching... information literacy for first year undergraduates
  • 3. What I will talk about • Setting the scene - best practices in supporting student learning for information literacy (and other literacies) • The learning landscape in 2004, and the first incarnation of IL module for First Year students • The key changes in the learning landscape across a decade of teaching First Years & impact on instruction • Evolution of a module – how my instructional approach adapted to change
  • 4. Best practices? • Clear concept/definition of information literacy, feeding into Library mission statement & aligned with institutional goals • Curriculum-integrated or embedded instruction – meaningful tasks related to current information needs (the “teachable moment”) • Clearly articulated learning objectives and measurable outcomes (LO’s) • Multi-modal learning activities aligned with intended LO’s • Student-centred – based on instructional needs and group attributes • Authentic, situated learning contexts - not generic • Active, not passive learning environment, using appropriate learning objects • Assessment of learning, not just satisfaction with learning experience • Scalable, adaptable and sustainable • Based on strong collaborative relationships with key stakeholders
  • 5. What did the Learning Landscape look like in 2004? How has it changed over 10 years, and how have Information Literacy teaching practices adapted to these changes – if at all? Let’s go back in time to 2004....
  • 6. • Unreliable classroom technologies • VLEs (Blackboard) new to instructors • No smart-phones or tablets • “Web 2.0” an emerging concept (2004) • Social networking catching on • No Twitter until 2008 • Social Sharing Services emerging • Wikipedia mistrusted as a source • Personal Blogging not yet mainstream • eBooks not widely adopted • Searching across library e-collections less integrated – e.g., no discovery services • Hard-copy assessment practices 2004-2005 Learning Landscape
  • 7. Intro to Information Literacy • New Module “Introduction to Information Literacy”, taught first time 2005-2006 (in development since late 2004) • Stage 1 (core or elective) – 150-200 students • Collaboration with UCD Librarians • Structured around the process of researching for, and writing, an academic essay • Stripling & Pitt’s 1988 model of the research process as scaffold – step-by-step, linear structure
  • 8. Stripling & Pitts’ Model • Step 1: Choose a broad topic • Step 2: Get an overview of the topic • Step 3: Narrow the topic • Step 4: Develop a thesis or statement of purpose • Step 5: Formulate questions to guide research • Step 6: Plan for research and production • Step 7: Find / Analyze / Evaluate sources • Step 8: Evaluate evidence / Take notes / Compile bibliography • Step 9: Establish conclusions / Organize info. into an outline • Step 10: Create and present final product
  • 9. Intro to Information Literacy Instructional approach • Large group teaching, 2 x 50 minute slots per week • Lecture-based, (one session of hands-on computer lab work introduced 2006-2007) • No live linking to Web in class (unreliable WIFI) – screen-shots instead of live demos for resources • Hard-copy IL pre-test & post-test distributed in class • Each week addressed a different “step” in the research process
  • 10. Assessment • No group work – individual assessment only (essay and reflective research journal) • Assessments submitted in hard-copy • Some paper worksheets to practice using resources Tools & Learning Objects • PowerPoint slides & paper handouts • Blackboard used to upload slides and handouts & make announcements – no interactive tools used (many not yet available) • Readings mainly (print) books and some links to websites/pages
  • 11. Original topics • Research process • Essay topic selection • Preparing essay outlines • Constructing arguments • Information formats • Reference sources • Org of information • Intro to UCD Library • Library OPAC • Popular VS scholarly resources • Electronic info formats (websites, e-journals, mailing lists, forums, chat) • Basics of online searching • Avoiding plagiarism • Evaluating information • Using statistics in essays • Interpreting visual info • How to write effectively • Proof-reading & formatting
  • 12. So, what changed? 1. Information literacy as an evolving concept 2. Students’ baseline ICT skills 3. “Personal viewpoint” content on the Web 4. New emphasis on presentation and conduct of self online 5. The collaborative imperative 6. The academic web 7. Wikipedia as a scholarly resource 8. Rise in popularity of visual media for learning 9. Reflective learning
  • 13. Information Literacy Evolution of understanding of Information literacy to a situated, transformative, social practice, anchored in specific contexts Librarians should move away from “instrumental, skill-based definitions of literacy and toward an understanding of literacy as a culturally situated phenomenon based in the way communities construct meaning and belonging” (Elmborg, 2006)
  • 14. 1. ACRL Information Literacy standards revised to focus on Threshold Concepts (also ANCIL “Strands”) 2. Inclusion of information creation, collaboration and the presentation of self in online spaces in definitions of digital literacy (JISCInfonet, 2014)
  • 15. Students’ ICT Skills A gradual raising of instructors’ expectations of the baseline ICT skills that students have on entering third-level education – e.g., can use WORD, can navigate the Web, use search engines, etc However, this should not be confused with students’ abilities to use all tools effectively – multiple studies have shown that students struggle especially with the “higher-order” aspects of online information use (UCL CIBER Group, 2008; Project Information Literacy, 2008-present; Beetham & White 2013)
  • 16. Personal Viewpoint Increasing availability of personal viewpoint content on the Web, e.g., Blogs, Tweets, message board comments, video diaries, and the questions that this raises in terms of information evaluation “What has changed is that today's students have defined their preferences for Information sources in a world where credibility, veracity, and intellectual authority are less of a given—or even an expectation from students with each passing day”(Beetham & White, 2013)
  • 17. Self and Others Online New emphasis on the presentation of self in the online environment – personal reputation management, digital footprints, generation of content& contributionto various online discourses “In 2004, something fundamental happened to the world wide web. It became a place for collaboration, more personal, and driven by us, the users” (Godwin & Parker, 2012, p.3)
  • 18. The Collaborative Imperative Shift from physical, F2F collaboration & group-work, towards virtual or remote collaboration and the possibilities that it entails, not just for learning activities, but in a global context “Although not everybody is going to crowd-source or crisis map, the knowledgeable digital citizen ought to know how virtual communities, wikis, and other varieties of mass collaboration work – and how to join in the fun”(Rheingold, 2012, p.148)
  • 19. The Academic Web Acceptance that students will often turn first to web search engines, such as Google and Ask.com for academic tasks. Should we ban or encourage this? “Universities need to do more to educate students about these boundaries and the limits of free, unrestricted access that is their predominant expectation of networked technology. If done effectively – that is by developing students' understanding rather than policing their behaviour – this will prepare them for the world of work, which is likely to be considerably more restrictive” (Beetham & White, 2013)
  • 20. Wikipedia in Academia Very gradual change of perspective re Wikipedia as a potentially acceptable resource of information for academicwork, and tool for supporting IL development Recent paper at LILAC 2014: “Wikipedia: it’s not the evil elephant in the library reading room” (Graham & Gray, 2014)
  • 21. Rise of Visual Learning Media The instructional possibilities engendered by the explosion of YouTube and video in general, as a self-paced, asynchronous learning tool, both in terms of content consumption and creation “In the not-too-distant past, videos for learning were often under-budgeted, highly didactic efforts with laughable production values[…] Advances in technology, however, have made it so that designed video is no longer in the sole province of broadcast television or dependent upon a full-fledged production studio” (Schwartz & Hartman, 2007)
  • 22. New Tools, New Practices? Change in the “rules of engagement” – to pique and maintain students’ interest, must we use their everyday tools to support learning? Social media, apps, gaming, etc? “Students increasingly expect their digital capabilities to be enhanced by their university experience, especially in the area of workplace and research-like skills.... HOWEVER ...They continue to be unclear about how to legitimately use personal devices, services, networks and practices in academic contexts” (Beetham & White, 2013)
  • 23. What do Students Expect? • Free WIFI access across campus, and point-of-use access to the Internet • Instructors with appropriate ICT skills & technology to be incorporated into teaching and learning • Access to a range of learning spaces with robust WIFI, storage facilities, desk space, power sockets • Course-related information and personal updates (e.g. timetables) to be accessible continuously via their preferred device/service • Explicit instruction in using institutional systems (library catalogue, VLE, assessment system) and specialist technologies required for their course • Technology incorporated into their teaching/learning in ways that are relevant to their academic success (Beetham & White, 2013)
  • 24. Reflective Learning Increasing interest in the concept of meta-cognitive or reflective learning – supporting students in managing own learning, and understanding their learning preferences and strategies “Lifelong learning and just-in-time learning require informed self-direction. That is, students need to operate from a sound knowledge base and use reflective or meta- cognitive skills to work strategically towards solving novel problems” (Biggs & Tang, 2007)
  • 25. New Module 2012 “Students on this module will learn to act as intelligent digital judges, exploring digital information as an entity to be scrutinized, verified, and classified to enable us to locate, generate, and apply trustworthy digital information in personal, professional, and academic contexts” Core concept is Evaluation – ability to make intelligent decisions about information encountered online
  • 26. New topics • The Digital Consumer • 21st Century info formats • Evaluating digital info • Academic e-Resources (OPAC, e-journals, etc) • Databases & Online searching • Directories, Portals & Search Engines • Using Google Tools to find, create and manage information • Understanding the “Deep Web” • Social networking in the 21st Century • Can we use Wikipedia for academic work? • Avoiding plagiarism – citing & referencing • Fakes and Phonies online - Spam, Phishing, Hoaxes and Scams • Understanding Digital Footprints • Health Literacy/Medical Misinformation on the Web • News in the Digital World
  • 27. What did I change? • Blended Learning – combination of online and F2F, synchronous and asynchronous instruction • Interactive e-tutorials replaced three F2F lectures (and more in 2014-2015), included in assessment. Independent learning tasks included reading, viewing videos and interactive websites (e.g., Internet Detective) • Jettisoned step-by-step model and replaced with thematic structure, broken down into weekly topics, with pre-reading/viewing tasks each week
  • 28. Learning Design Learning Tasks/Supports/Resources model Source: Oliver & Herrington, (2001)
  • 29. Three core themes
  • 30. What did I change? • Content heavily (but not exclusively) focused on interactions with web-based digital information • Individual coursework largely replaced with collaborative group project – Digital Resource Guide, with group reflective component • Use of social media tools strongly encouraged – in addition to Blackboard tools, students use Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter and Wordpress to collaborate and create their guides
  • 31. Student Feedback “The e-tutorials helped me to learn for myself. The group-work helped me to gain a more rounded understanding of the module” “the online tuts [sic] were amazing, due to the fact that it allowed for a different learning experience, information was comprehensive and very well displayed, loved the fact that the slides could be read out to you as well by the on screen voice”
  • 32. Student Feedback “I loved the e-tutorials, I thought they were a great way of splitting up the learning/assessment load, along with the face-to-face tutorials also” “There was a lot of additional and supplementary reading which was interesting. I also thought having the lecture notes up on Blackboard was greatly beneficial” “Don't use tutorials. Use more online tutorials”
  • 33. The Future? • Change module title! • Increase e-learning component – current collaboration with MLIS Capstone project group to revamp existing and create new e-tutorials for 2014-2015 • More hands-on work in class – “BYOD” approach (Bring your own Device) • Explore possibility of video projects (e.g., Video Guide to resources)
  • 34. Thank you! Claire.mcguinness@ucd.ie
  • 35. References • Beetham, H. & White, D. (2013). Students' expectations and experiences of the digital environment: Executive Summary.[JISC Digital Student]. Available: http://digitalstudent.jiscinvolve.org/wp/students-expectations-and- experiences-of-the-digital-environment-phase-1-study/ (4th June 2014) • Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2007). Teaching for Quality Learning at University (3rd Ed.) Buckingham: SRHE and Open University Press. • Elmborg, J. (2006). Critical information literacy: Implications for instructional practice. Journal of Academic Librarianship, 32(2), pp. 192-199 • Godwin, P. & Parker, J. (2012) Information literacy beyond library 2.0. London: Facet Publishing
  • 36. References • Graham, N. & Gray, A. (2014). Wikipedia: it’s not the evil elephant in the library reading room. [Presentation given at LILAC 2014]. Available: http://www.slideshare.net/infolit_group/wikipedia-its-not-the-evil- elephant-in-the-library-reading-room-andrew-gray-nancy-graham (4th June 2014) • Head, A.J. & Eisenberg, M.B. (2009). Lessons Learned: How College Students Seek Information in the Digital Age. [Project Information Literacy Progress Report]. Available: http://projectinfolit.org/images/pdfs/pil_fall2009_finalv_yr1_12_2009v2. pdf (4th June 2014) • JISCInfonet. (2014). Developing digital literacies [InfoKit]. Available: http://www.jiscinfonet.ac.uk/infokits/digital-literacies/ (4th June 2014) • Oliver, R. and Herrington, J. (2001) Teaching and learning online: a beginner's guide to e-learning and e-teaching in higher education. Mt Lawley, WA: Edith Cowan University.
  • 37. References • Project Information Literacy (2008-2014). Available: http://projectinfolit.org/ (4th June 2014) • Rheingold, H. (2012). Net smart: how to thrive online. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. • Schwartz, D.L. & Hartman, K. (2007). It is not television anymore: Designing digital video for learning and assessment. In Goldman, R., Pea, R., Barron, B., & Derry, S. (Eds.). (2007). Video Research in the Learning Sciences. New York: Routledge. Available: http://aaalab.stanford.edu/papers/Designed_Video_for_Learning.pdf (4th June 2014) • University College London (UCL) CIBER Group. (2008) Information behaviour of the researcher of the future: Executive Summary. London: University College London. Available: http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/reppres/gg_final_k eynote_11012008.pdf (4th June 2014)
  • 38. Selected Image Attributions 1. Nick Chill. Fast Food/Roadrunner. https://www.flickr.com/photos/nchill4x4/3023580056/in/photolist-bz5vQ5-617wsW- 5BbD1C-aKKyYz-617wqL-4M6Jou-7tVuTe-f1Rmbr-dt6z7x-4s3v54-cCbkdJ-eFEn7M-a1mWPS-ai9RY6-82eCwY-91jgfp-91np9G- afFcJC-d2QGE-3gVxkU 2. Chen Shiang Khoo. Joyce & the Beanstalk. https://www.flickr.com/photos/jameskhoo/2471790195/in/photolist-4Lqz7k- ikc5qA-ikaQ29-ikbHFD-ikcsqB-ikbmhD-9LiLsW-4tCkvt-JcrtS-ejYBT-dkbigj-77VBmS-8jcjro-4dZCD6-iPq1To-iPqtwo-iPoHXD- iPnxSn-iPnsKX-iPqQvh-iPn532-iPohSj-iPqCEo-iPnFAt-iPpLEb-iPnAsS-iPp1ZL-iPoBBc-iPoXK9-iPncGa-iPoJD9-iPpEkY-iPounH- iPnnv8-74eSrn-8y3rtb-4Zs959-tQaYK-8jhG3B-dsd446-7hVjG3-dyBz8L-6Dpx5P-4ZXiQv-6DjsPc-4Rxbjf-dj19gQ-dj1bd6-dj1bbZ- dj1bfk/ 3. Andrew Becraft. LEGO Back to the Future DeLorean .https://www.flickr.com/photos/dunechaser/9312170928/in/photolist- fbTiZb-m6Ffa-fbD2xD-386E1v-fbD24t-fbD2dH-fbD1cv-fbD1RX-fbTiEu-fbD2ic-fbTiB9-fbD17D-8ftYFZ-7yTwsu-fbTikf-fbTi7E- fbThy5-38bfcd-gXMNq-8D7Axw-fbTicd-38beZG-giTe4A-5kjYTX-6RmmNJ-fFWg27-7GAgGQ-fbThu9-buf5s7-5tCkSo-fxqgHb- 386Edv-9Vc3jM-eLksLS-386E9F-kP894a-fnb8Yi-7fiJ73-iCHK4C-kP9o2u-ciV1t7-7Qv6Fk-a5Wz74-7FpcEt-cyt7L-6qx4fz-9mzQk9- 8NdpxM-7Gwm3t-6qVJ4 4. Jan Sefti. Kurdistan Nature, Landscape. https://www.flickr.com/photos/kurdistan4all/4543929183/