Habits of Information Literacy


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This presentation was delivered by Carol Perry, Jenny Marvin and M.J. D'Elia (me) at the OLA SuperConference 2009 in Toronto. Here's the description from the program:

Librarians commonly encounter ‘guest speaker syndrome’ when they’re invited to deliver instructional sessions: the content may be interesting and useful, but students often view the session as supplemental to the course. This presentation will focus on strategies used in the Information Management course at the University of Guelph to demonstrate how an embedded approach can encourage students to access, evaluate and use information effectively.

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  • JENNYOpenwith discussion about titleWant to develop habits of IL in studentsWe also want to challenge our own old habits and move beyond traditional information literacy to embed new and complex information resources and technologies.
  • Refer to handout for future referenceAt Guelph our information literacy framework has 3 levels that increase in level of library involvement. Your library’s IL activities may look similar or may be a variation of this.Describe slide
  • JENNYThisdefinition published by Queensland University for Technology is quite succinct; it emphasizes the key elements of :Subject focusedDeveloped, designed and delivered via a partnership of teaching faculty and librarians
  • JENNYMust ask yourself the question of “what are you trying to embed?”In our example we embedded IL through:Describe slide
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  • CAROLNot the library catalogue or literature searchInformation that cannot be organized / presented in familiar waysMedical, law, government, archives, data, gisLimited hours to access and assistanceOnline access or mediated to resourcesHow much spoon feeding with provision of access to information and matching to outcomes (ie: is the purpose to teach people how to find information or how is information utilized)
  • JENNYLabs, online access to information sources, access to software on computersTechnical supportNeed to provide students with skill sets in a short period of time
  • JENNYElaborate on our context-publicvs private machines (specialized software need to come to library)-
  • MJStudents are often not narrowly focussed (pre-specialization) – they do not know enough about a particular thing, wait until they decide…. But concepts are important
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  • CAROLDevelopmentstages and maintenance stagesChanges in:Class numbersChange in theme and dataSupportGroup sizes
  • In an embedded approach you have the luxury of assessing the experience throughout the implementation of the assignment. It becomes a very iterative processes allowing for continued improvements.
  • How to spin this:Assessment tool…. How to instruct students of importanceNeed to have this awareness that would allow you to delegate this role later in your employment.
  • Richness of feedback in the embedded model that you do not get in other methods
  • Habits of Information Literacy

    1. 1. Habits of Information Literacy: An Embedded Approach to Instruction<br />OLA 2009<br />Jennifer Marvin, GIS Librarian<br />Carol Perry, Government Publications Librarian<br />M.J. D’Elia, Marketing & Consumer Studies Librarian <br />
    2. 2. Information Literacy framework<br />The embedded approach (case study)<br />Considerations <br />Information<br />Technology<br />People<br />Design<br />Implementation & Assessment<br />Best practices<br />Agenda<br />2<br />OLA 2009<br />
    3. 3. Supplemental Services<br />Generic instruction<br />Self selected sessions, subject guides<br />Integrated Services<br />Customized instruction<br />Single session directed towards course assignment<br />Embedded Services<br />Incorporated into the curricula <br />From development through to assessment<br />1. Information Literacy Framework<br />3<br />OLA 2009<br />
    4. 4. 2. Embedded Approach<br />“subject-specific education programs which are developed, designed and delivered in partnership with academic teaching staff and integrated into course and unit curricula where appropriate”<br />Learning for life: information literacy framework & syllabus. Queensland University of Technology, 2001.<br />4<br />OLA 2009<br />
    5. 5. Embedding Examples<br />Embedded instructor<br />Shared responsibility for instruction<br />Embedded project<br />Assignment design aligned with course design<br />Embedded technology<br />Technical skills matched to course objectives<br />5<br />OLA 2009<br />
    6. 6. Context<br />MCS*2020: Information Management<br />Required for Bachelor of Commerce<br />3 sections of 75 students<br />Dual roles: Librarian and Instructor<br />Information systems (people, information, technology)<br />Topics: intellectual property, databases, ethics, data security, Internet, technology trends<br />6<br />OLA 2009<br />
    7. 7. Context [cont’d] <br />Mock corporation<br />Students pose as employees of a grocery store<br />Semester-long metaphor (group role-playing)<br />Provides context for decision-making<br />Ownership over key information issues<br />Strategic emphasis (not operational)<br />7<br />OLA 2009<br />
    8. 8. 8<br />OLA 2009<br />Context [cont’d] <br />
    9. 9. Debate scenarios facing the company <br />Corporate espionage<br />Reputation management<br />Selling customer data <br />Investigate technology or develop policy<br />Biometric technology for security<br />Employee monitoring policies <br />Context: Assignments<br />9<br />OLA 2009<br />
    10. 10. Context: Assignments [cont’d]<br />Identify potential locations for expansion<br />Collect census data<br />Map data with a Geographic Information System<br />Examine results <br />Make recommendation for new location<br />Defend decision<br />10 % final mark (group assignment)<br />10<br />OLA 2009<br />
    11. 11. Example of student project map<br />11<br />
    12. 12. Why bother?<br />Uphold professional obligation<br />Develop information literacy competencies<br />Broaden awareness of information<br />Provide access to key information sources<br />Expose users to cutting edge technology<br />Equip students with tools for future employment <br />Respond to user community<br />Desire to include GIS/data into curriculum<br />12<br />OLA 2009<br />
    13. 13. 3. Considerations<br />Information<br />Complexity, access, non-textual<br />Technology<br />Software, hardware, infrastructure<br />People <br />Students, faculty, librarians<br />Design<br />Scalability, resources, assessment<br />13<br />OLA 2009<br />
    14. 14. Information<br />Complexity<br />Beyond the standard IL coverage<br />Unique organizational structure<br />Access<br />Location of information<br />Usage restrictions<br />Non-textual <br />Unfamiliar file formats (.ivt, .dbf, .shp….)<br />Numbers and visualization<br />14<br />OLA 2009<br />
    15. 15. Information: Complexity<br />OLA 2009<br />15<br />Number of families with income<br />Actual income in dollars<br />
    16. 16. Information: Access<br />OLA 2009<br />16<br />
    17. 17. Information: Non-textual<br />OLA 2009<br />17<br />
    18. 18. “I think the GIS assignment was very interesting, and learning GIS concepts are definitely of value to business.”<br />- MCS*2020 student (Fall semester 2008)<br />18<br />OLA 2009<br />
    19. 19. Technology<br />Software<br />Steep learning curve <br />Short time frame<br />Availability <br />Support<br />Hardware & infrastructure<br />Availability of machines and labs <br />Reliability<br />Troubleshooting<br />19<br />OLA 2009<br />
    20. 20. Software<br />Hardware and infrastructure<br />Public computer pool<br />Computer lab for scheduled drop-in sessions<br />Portable media for data (USB key)<br />20<br />OLA 2009<br />
    21. 21. “Yes, [GIS] is practical in the business world and I already can’t wait to use B2020 [software] in the future (seriously!).”<br />- MCS*2020 student (Fall semester 2008)<br />21<br />OLA 2009<br />
    22. 22. People<br />Students<br />Inexperience with concepts<br />Inability to recognize value and relevance<br />From a variety of programmes<br />Faculty and Librarians<br />Receptiveness to collaboration<br />Familiarity with concepts<br />Trust and comfort levels<br />22<br />OLA 2009<br />
    23. 23. “At first I thought the GIS assignment was too much trouble, but it’s actually very useful and I learned that location is important to business.”<br />- MCS*2020 student (Fall semester 2008)<br />23<br />OLA 2009<br />
    24. 24. Design<br />Scalability <br />Randomization<br />Delivery and support<br />Resources<br />Impact on staff<br />Time constraints<br />Technical <br />Versatility <br />Changing themes and updated information<br />To be used in other contexts<br />24<br />OLA 2009<br />
    25. 25. “I liked the GIS assignment. It was sort of tedious, but we were so happy being able to see it come together. I think it’s a great business tool and the situation we were given made it seem very purposeful.”<br />- MCS*2020 student (Fall semester 2008)<br />25<br />OLA 2009<br />
    26. 26. 4. Implementation & Assessment<br /><ul><li>Lecture
    27. 27. Introduce assignment and key concepts
    28. 28. Drop-in help sessions
    29. 29. Provide technical help
    30. 30. Clarify instructions
    31. 31. Observe user behaviour
    32. 32. Frustration level related to skill level
    33. 33. Identify problems as they happen</li></ul>26<br />OLA 2009<br />
    34. 34. Assessment [cont’d] <br /><ul><li>Grading assignment
    35. 35. Identify repetitive errors
    36. 36. Target areas for improvement
    37. 37. Faculty feedback
    38. 38. Share anecdotal observations and impressions
    39. 39. Informal feedback
    40. 40. Deliver year-end course survey
    41. 41. Provide focus group opportunities</li></ul>27<br />OLA 2009<br />
    42. 42. “Yes, GIS was awesome! Every group got to play with cool, legit computer programs for data analysis. Plus, the results looked professional.”<br />- MCS*2020 student (Fall semester 2008)<br />28<br />OLA 2009<br />
    43. 43. “The GIS was kind of cool and kind of a pain. I think it is a good skill, but then again you could always get a geography major to do it for you.”<br />- MCS*2020 student (Fall semester 2008)<br />29<br />OLA 2009<br />
    44. 44. 5. Best Practices<br />Pre-test assignment design<br />Multiple user groups <br />Provide multiple support modes<br />Lecture, modules, FYI’s, drop-in help<br />Develop a plan for assessment<br />Formal and informal<br />Include: instructor, librarians, students<br />Expect to refine the assignment<br />Based on observations and feedback<br />30<br />OLA 2009<br />
    45. 45. Ferrer-Vinent, Ignacio and Christy Carello. Embedded library instruction in a first-year biology laboratory class. Science & Technology Libraries, Vol. 28(4) 2008.<br />Lougee, Wendy Pradt. Diffuse libraries: Emergent roles for the research library in the digital age. Council on library and Information Resources. 2002.<br />Matthew, Victoria and Ann Schroeder. The embedded Librarian Program. Educause Quarterly Vol. 29 (4) 2006.<br />Queensland University of Technology. Learning for Life: Information literacy framework & syllabus. 2001.<br />OLA 2009<br />31<br />Selected Readings<br />