Information Literacy in the
Curriculum - Real and
Realistic Aims
Sheila Webber
Department of Information Studies
Universit...
Outline
• Importance of context
• Context 1: The University’s strategy
• Context 2: the subject discipline
• Exercise: ide...
Importance of context in
evaluating teaching and
  investigating impact


                           Sheila Webber, 2008
Sharpe et      “There appears to be little value in
                 another review which asks ‘do
  al, 2006       blende...
• Identify why you wish to assess impact
   –   Educational reasons
   –   Marketing reasons
   –   Administrative reasons...
• Identify what is the focus e.g.
   – student learning of information literacy;
   – student learning of another subject;...
• Where are you undertaking the study and who is
  involved: what is the context of the study?
• How are you going to eval...
Learn from mistakes in current literature
• Too great a preference for quantitative & quasi-experimental
  research design...
These criteria [for good-quality qualitative
              research] are no less rigorous than those
             used to ...
Context 1: the university’s
strategies and evaluation
         process


                          Sheila Webber, 2008
My Department’s learning &
          teaching evaluated through
• Key Performance indicators:
  – Outcomes of the National...
National Student Survey (a questionnaire)
                 has items such as
• Staff have made the subject interesting
• T...
Additionally
               “4. Demonstrate the core capabilities and skills of
                         information liter...
This means that…
• Reasons for evaluating information literacy in
  relation to something else (success in a subject
  etc...
Context 2: the subject the
 students are studying



                             Sheila Webber, 2008
• Three-year Arts & Humanities Research Council
  (AHRC) - funded project (Nov 2002- Nov 2005)
  To explore UK academics’ ...
Will present …
• Conceptions of information literacy, as identified
  through phenomenographic analysis
• Lists of desired...
Key point here is …
• There was variation within and between disciplines
• Can see (obviously) connection between concepti...
Marketing: Information literacy as…
1. Accessing information quickly and easily to be aware of what’s
   going on
2. Using...
Outcomes for IL - Marketing

                                  Work ethic
                              Wider thinking
   ...
English: Information literacy as…
1. Accessing and retrieving textual information
2. Using IT to access and retrieve infor...
IL Outcomes - English

                     Assimilate information
                         Transferable skills
          ...
Civil Engineering: Information literacy as…

1.    Accessing and retrieving data and information
2.    Applying and using ...
Outcomes for IL - Civil Engineering

                             Work ethic/professionalism
                             ...
Chemistry: Information literacy as…

1. Accessing and searching chemical
   information
2. Mastering a chemist's informati...
Outcomes for IL - Chemistry

                                Work ethic
                            Wider thinking
       ...
Observations
• Information literacy education is not just carried out
  by the library
   – Are you interested in looking ...
How do you find out what the indicators
             should be?
• Investigate this by talking to the people concerned
  e....
How do you find out what the indicators
              might be?
• Need to evaluate which indicators are most important
  &...
For example ….
•   Accessing information
•   Independence of thought
•   Confidence
•   Critical thinking
•   Being able t...
What are the outcomes that matter for
         your institution & partners?
1.   Think about one set of people you work wi...
1.   Get into groups
2.   Think about the questions individually (5-10 minutes)
3.   Discuss what the outcomes might be an...
Sheila Webber
s.webber@shef.ac.uk
http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/

                                   Sheila Web...
References
• Bordorano, K. and Richardson, G. (2004) “Scaffolding and reflection in
  course-integrated library instructio...
References
• Mayes, T. (2006) L E X: The Learner Experience of e-
  Learning: Methodology Report. JISC.
  http://www.jisc....
References
• Sharpe, R. et al (2006) The undergraduate experience of
  blended e-learning: a review of UK literature and p...
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Information Literacy in the curriculum

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Information Literacy in the curriculum

  1. 1. Information Literacy in the Curriculum - Real and Realistic Aims Sheila Webber Department of Information Studies University of Sheffield March 2008 Sheila Webber, 2008
  2. 2. Outline • Importance of context • Context 1: The University’s strategy • Context 2: the subject discipline • Exercise: identifying outcomes and indicators • Feedback Sheila Webber, 2008
  3. 3. Importance of context in evaluating teaching and investigating impact Sheila Webber, 2008
  4. 4. Sharpe et “There appears to be little value in another review which asks ‘do al, 2006 blended approaches improve highlighting learning?’ and which will contextual predictably give an answer ‘it depends’.” (p8) nature of education blended approaches = using both face to face and e- learning Sheila Webber, 2008
  5. 5. • Identify why you wish to assess impact – Educational reasons – Marketing reasons – Administrative reasons – Personal reasons • Whose agenda are you driven by? – Your own – Your institution – Your students – Your academics – Your profession – Some idiot? Sheila Webber, 2008
  6. 6. • Identify what is the focus e.g. – student learning of information literacy; – student learning of another subject; – Improvement in some other aspects of the student experience (e.g. confidence, presentation skills, employability) – student perceptions of the class and institution (e.g. in the UK we may make improvements with the aim of improving responses in the National Student Survey) – approaches to teaching (e.g. Problem Based Learning; Constructivist approach) – use of a particular method or channel (e.g. online tutorial) – efficiency gains of some kind (e.g. doing things cheaper or quicker) • … and what is the specific question to investigate? Sheila Webber, 2008
  7. 7. • Where are you undertaking the study and who is involved: what is the context of the study? • How are you going to evaluate? This flows from the answers to all the other questions Sheila Webber, 2008
  8. 8. Learn from mistakes in current literature • Too great a preference for quantitative & quasi-experimental research designs • Detailed investigation of student conceptions and experience not common • Pre/post tests described, but… • … often not sufficient detail about what went on between tests to make any sense of the results (it is not like measuring effects of drugs on disease!) • Lack of detail generally in describing course context & exactly what happened • May be questionable whether tests are really testing what they say they test • Also often gaps in describing aims and methodsSheila Webber, 2008
  9. 9. These criteria [for good-quality qualitative research] are no less rigorous than those used to assess quantitative data; they are Given, simply different, and require different steps and measures to ensure quality data. These 2007: 20 steps may include: prolonged engagement in the field; persistent observation; triangulation of methods; negative case analysis; peer debriefing; member checks; and many other techniques that are often used together. Sheila Webber, 2008
  10. 10. Context 1: the university’s strategies and evaluation process Sheila Webber, 2008
  11. 11. My Department’s learning & teaching evaluated through • Key Performance indicators: – Outcomes of the National Student Survey – Sheffield’s Student Satisfaction Survey – Students progression and attainment (pass rates, degree classifications etc.) – External and internal reports e.g. accreditation • Other surveys and feedback from students • Progress against our Departmental Learning Teaching and Assessment Strategy & against stated aims for our programmes Sheila Webber, 2008
  12. 12. National Student Survey (a questionnaire) has items such as • Staff have made the subject interesting • The course is intellectually stimulating • The criteria used in marking have been clear • I have been able to contact staff when I need to • The course is well organised • The library resources and services are good enough for my needs • The course has enabled me to present myself with confidence Anything that can demonstrably help improve these is popular with academics and the university!2008 Sheila Webber,
  13. 13. Additionally “4. Demonstrate the core capabilities and skills of information literacy, interacting confidently with the nature and structure of Character- information in their subject and handling istics of a information in a professional and ethical manner; Sheffield 5. Explore the history of and challenge the Graduate processes of knowledge creation, applying creativity, enterprise and innovation, to push against the boundaries of current practicequot; http://www.shef.ac.uk/content/1/c6/04/83/65/lta-strategy2.pdf Sheila Webber, 2008
  14. 14. This means that… • Reasons for evaluating information literacy in relation to something else (success in a subject etc.) but also • Reasons for evaluating the quality and impact of learning & teaching information literacy (rather than just evaluating it in terms of the impact it has on something else) • You will want to do the latter anyway … Sheila Webber, 2008
  15. 15. Context 2: the subject the students are studying Sheila Webber, 2008
  16. 16. • Three-year Arts & Humanities Research Council (AHRC) - funded project (Nov 2002- Nov 2005) To explore UK academics’ conceptions of, and pedagogy for, information literacy • Sheila Webber; Bill Johnston; Stuart Boon • Phenomenographic study: interviewing 20 academics in each of 4 disciplines to identify variation in conceptions (visited 26 universities to collect 80 interviews) Sheila Webber, 2008
  17. 17. Will present … • Conceptions of information literacy, as identified through phenomenographic analysis • Lists of desired learning outcomes for information literacy – This was one of the questions in the interview – We coded up interview transcripts using text analysis software – N.B. we coded every mention – some people mentioned an outcome more than once – In each case no. of interviewees = 20 Sheila Webber, 2008
  18. 18. Key point here is … • There was variation within and between disciplines • Can see (obviously) connection between conception and desired outcomes for information literacy • Some outcomes important to all especially – Being able to access information – Evaluating information – Critical thinking • Some vary e.g. personal development (English); Employability aspects (Marketing, Engineering) Sheila Webber, 2008
  19. 19. Marketing: Information literacy as… 1. Accessing information quickly and easily to be aware of what’s going on 2. Using IT to work with information efficiently and effectively 3. Possessing a set of information skills and applying them to the task in hand 4. Using information literacy to solve real-world problems 5. Becoming critical thinkers 6. Becoming a confident, independent practitioner Sheila Webber, 2008
  20. 20. Outcomes for IL - Marketing Work ethic Wider thinking Use/applying information Understanding info/role of info Self-sufficiency Self-awareness Search skills/tools Problem-solving skills IT Skills Outcome Information sources use Information management Getting them to think Finding information sources Evaluation Disciplinary knowledge Critical thinking/analysis Creativity Communication/presentation skills Career/lifelong learning skills Basic information/study skills Access information 0 5 10 15 20 25 Times mentioned Copyright Boon, Johnston and Webber Sheila Webber, 2008
  21. 21. English: Information literacy as… 1. Accessing and retrieving textual information 2. Using IT to access and retrieve information 3. Possessing basic research skills and knowing how and when to use them 4. Becoming confident, autonomous learners and critical thinkers Sheila Webber, 2008
  22. 22. IL Outcomes - English Assimilate information Transferable skills Self-awareness See value of info Presentation skills Personal development Produce academic output Organise/ manage info Learning to write IT skills Outcome IL skills Evaluate information Ethical use of info Able to do research Cultural awareness (of discipline) Critical thinking Confidence Best education possible Basic search skills Awareness of research methods Autonomous learning Analysis of info Access/ retrieval 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Times mentioned Copyright Boon, Johnston and Webber Sheila Webber, 2008
  23. 23. Civil Engineering: Information literacy as… 1. Accessing and retrieving data and information 2. Applying and using information 3. Analysis and sense making 4. Creating, and incorporating information into a professional knowledge base e.g. “get them to the point that they can be literate in their discipline and its wide, wider context….” (CENG19) Sheila Webber, 2008
  24. 24. Outcomes for IL - Civil Engineering Work ethic/professionalism Transferable skills Reflexivity/self-awareness Problem-solving skills Personal development Output Modelling skills IT skills Info management Outcome Evaluation Disciplinary core/fundamentals Critical thinking/analysis Confidence Communication skills Career skills Awareness of research methods Awareness of information sources Autonomous learning/independence of thought Appreciate significance of information literacy Access 0 5 10 15 20 25 30 Times mentioned Copyright Boon, Johnston and Webber Sheila Webber, 2008
  25. 25. Chemistry: Information literacy as… 1. Accessing and searching chemical information 2. Mastering a chemist's information skill set 3. Communicating scientific information 4. An essential part of the constitution/ construction/ creation of knowledge Sheila Webber, 2008
  26. 26. Outcomes for IL - Chemistry Work ethic Wider thinking Understanding Transferable skills To have fun Self-sufficiency Self-awareness/reflexivity Problem-solving skills Presentations Personal development Outcome Output Numeracy skill IT skills Independence of thought Evaluation Disciplinary core knowledge Database skills Critical thinking/appraisal Confidence Awareness of research methods Awareness of research literature Applying skills/knowledge Access info 0 5 10 15 20 25 Times mentioned Copyright Boon, Johnston and Webber Sheila Webber, 2008
  27. 27. Observations • Information literacy education is not just carried out by the library – Are you interested in looking at the impact of the “library” or of IL? – If looking at IL: try to establish the whole picture • Some outcomes are obviously connected with information activities (e.g. accessing information) but many are not Sheila Webber, 2008
  28. 28. How do you find out what the indicators should be? • Investigate this by talking to the people concerned e.g. lecturers, students, senior managers • Open questions about what they see as important outcomes and impact • Probing questions about how they can tell the outcome is achieved • Asking, for example, academics and students and librarians and careers advisors • So – this investigation is taking place to enable you to decide what indicators to select Sheila Webber, 2008
  29. 29. How do you find out what the indicators might be? • Need to evaluate which indicators are most important & which are feasible • Refer back to your motives to decide criteria for “important”, “feasible”! • Next stage is to collect and analyse data in relation to these indicators • The approach you take to gathering & analysing data will depend on what the outcome & indicators are Sheila Webber, 2008
  30. 30. For example …. • Accessing information • Independence of thought • Confidence • Critical thinking • Being able to transfer the skills to new contexts Most of these cannot be evaluated by looking at one short training session Sheila Webber, 2008
  31. 31. What are the outcomes that matter for your institution & partners? 1. Think about one set of people you work with (e.g. academics in one discipline). What are their key outcomes for their students; ones that are directly about information literacy, or which information literacy might contribute to? 2. Do you need to find out more about what the outcomes are? How will you do this? 3. How will you evaluate achievement of those outcomes? • What are your key questions? • What indicators are appropriate? • What research approaches will you take? What form will your data take? How will you gather and analyse it? Sheila Webber, 2008
  32. 32. 1. Get into groups 2. Think about the questions individually (5-10 minutes) 3. Discuss what the outcomes might be and/or how you could find out what they are: note down your ideas on overheads (15 minutes) 4. Discuss what indicators might be and how you might gather and analyse information on them: note down (15 minutes) 5. Return for feedback. A few groups will be asked to present. Sheila Webber, 2008
  33. 33. Sheila Webber s.webber@shef.ac.uk http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/ Sheila Webber, 2008
  34. 34. References • Bordorano, K. and Richardson, G. (2004) “Scaffolding and reflection in course-integrated library instruction.” Journal of academic librarianship, 20 (5),391-401. Example of an article where aims, methods and process of the evaluation are clearly described. • Given, L. (2007) “Evidence-based practice and qualitative research: a primer for library and information professionals.” Evidence based library and information practice, 2 (1), 15-22. http://ejournals.library.ualberta.ca/index.php/EBLIP/article/view/155/237 • Glenaffric Ltd. (2007) Six steps to effective evaluation: a handbook for programme and project managers. Bath: JISC. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/digitisation/SixStep sHandbook.pdf This is about project evaluation, but the sections on planning and data gathering are useful. Sheila Webber, 2008
  35. 35. References • Mayes, T. (2006) L E X: The Learner Experience of e- Learning: Methodology Report. JISC. http://www.jisc.ac.uk/media/documents/programmes/elearning pedagogy/lex_method_final.pdf Description of using Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis “a method for exploring how participants make sense of their own experiences” • Pritchard, J., Stratford, R. and Hardy, C. (2004) Training students to work in teams: why and how? York: LTSN Psychology http://www.psychology.heacademy.ac.uk/docs/pdf/p20040422 _training_students_teams.pdf Describes a training day and discusses in some detail the way it was evaluated and issues to do with evaluation of educational interventions. Sheila Webber, 2008
  36. 36. References • Sharpe, R. et al (2006) The undergraduate experience of blended e-learning: a review of UK literature and practice. York: Higher Education Academy. http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/ourwork/research/litreviews/200 5_06. • Vezzosi, M. (2206) “Information literacy and action research: An overview and some reflections.” New library world, 107 (7/8),286-301) Keywords: Academic libraries • Zuber-Skerritt, O. (Ed),New directions in Action Research. London: Falmer Press . Sheila Webber, 2008

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