FROM ABCD TO LOLTHE IMPORTANCE OF EMBEDDED INFORMATION LITERACY INSTRUCTION IN TERTIARY EDUCATION
As anyone working in the field ofeducation will tell you, for reallearning to occur there has to be asupportive framework around thelearner.Incite ALIA September 2011
ABCD: Any Bozo Can Do “This should be easy but it’s actually surprising … it should be easy anyway because we have a lot of well-organised databases and there is a specific place that you go … Anyway they should know how to use these things."York University lecturerquoted in Bury (2011).
ABCD: Any Bozo Can Do “I haven’t done (information literacy instruction) at all … I just consider this is something they should have done before they get to my point in the program … I know that some of them won’t be able to do it so I just assume they are going to have extra work figuring it out.”York University lecturerquoted in Bury (2011).
TMI 24/7Information can be accessed online 24/7, andmobile access to the web means it can literallybe in your pocket.Many digital natives ‘live online’ and naturally usea Google search as their first source ofinformation. It’s fast, and at their fingertips.The web contains a vast amount of information,including a lot of user-generated content fromsites like Wikipedia. A simple search in Googlewill output a huge number of results of varyingquality.
Students = Digital Natives? 26% of domestic students in Ministry of Education funded programmes at AUT in 2010 were aged 25-39. 12% were aged 40+. Students aged 25–40+ will have differing educational, social and professional backgrounds and corresponding differences in their levels of skill with information technology. Some may be ‘digital immigrants’.Image: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Students = Digital Natives? Even among students under 25, a universal ability with emerging technologies may be overstated. The following video, titled “Shift Happens” was created by Karl Fisch, a high school teacher in the US, and was subsequently used by Sony BMG: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jkD8 VE5ueXIImage: graur razvan ionut / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Digitally Native =Information Literate?What do students need to know to beinformation literate?- when information is needed- how to find information- how to evaluate information- how to use information effectively- how to use information ethicallyImage: Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Digitally Native =Information Literate?Can digital natives identify when informationis needed?On-demand internet access for Y12 studentsresulted in them defaulting to trying toanswer a question online rather thandrawing on their own knowledgeEven if they knew part of the answer theyjust typed in the entire questionImage: Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Digitally Native = Information Literate?How do secondary teachers define informationliterate?- ‘able to use technology to communicate with others’- ‘au fait with what is out there in terms of technology’- ‘being able to use computers to access information’Without education in this area, ‘digital natives’can’t become information literate. Image: Tina Phillips / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
WTF?:Where’s The Fire?The Internet, Google and mobile deviceshave created a culture of immediacy –speed in finding an answer has takenover from critical thinking and strategy.Students need to know how to find anduse information efficiently andeffectively, not just quickly.An academic subject search in Summonis as fast as Google, yields more relevantresults, and allows more advancedsearching and limiting options. Image: chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
WTF?: Where’s The Fire? “they don’t seem to be that familiar with the electronic resources and how to navigate them because there are tricks” York University lecturer quoted in Bury (2011).
WTF?:Where’s The Fire?Strategy and critical thinking are thekeys to success and speed withsearching and evaluationKeyword searching is still no match for acarefully constructed search strategywith truncation and wildcards!Thinking first about where to search andhow to search then thinking again toevaluate search results saves time in thelong run Image: chrisroll / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
WTG: The Way To GoHow do we ensure students learn theinformation literacy skills they need tosucceed at tertiary level?We have seen that being ‘digitally native’is not the same as being informationliterate – technology is not a substitutefor teaching.However, technology can be a way toengage with students who ‘live online’: ILinstruction can be delivered via podcastsor videos on YouTube and Facebook,available as and when needed.Image: chawalitpix / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
WTG: The Way To Go “We should as a program be clear about if you are a Political Science major…what you should be able to do by the end of first year, second year. It should get progressively more challenging and difficult. We should give them lots of practice and we should be assessing them as they go. ”York University lecturerquoted in Bury (2011).
WTG: The Way To GoEmbedding IL workshops in the tertiarycurriculum at every level ensures:Students will attendStudents won’t ‘fall through the cracks’Students will see practical applicationof the skills they need, reinforcinglearningBetter learning outcomes
We can’t assume all students are digital natives, or LOL:that being a competent user of technology is thesame as being information literate. A Lifetime OfStudents need to learn the skills to efficiently and Learningeffectively search for and evaluate information ifthey are to succeed at tertiary level and beyond.These skills need to be taught directly andembedded in courses so that learning is practicaland timely, increasing student success rates.Information literacy is a transferable skill andpromotes lifelong learning, so a small investmentat the beginning of students’ academic careerswill continue to reap rich rewards as they matureinto confident and competent learners.
Information literacy initiates,sustains and extends lifelonglearning through abilities thatmay use technologies but areultimately independent of them.ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards For HigherEducation
REFERENCESAssociation of College and Research Libraries. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/standards.pdfAUT University. (2011). Annual report 2010. Retrieved from http://www.aut.ac.nz/__data/assets/pdf_file/0010/206110/AUT- Annual-Report- 2010-Final-31-March-web.pdfBury, S. (2011, June). Faculty voices on information literacy: interview-based research exploring information literacy practices, attitudes and perceptions among university faculty. Paper presented at the Workshop for Instruction in Library Use. Retrieved from http://pi.library.yorku.ca/dspace/handle/10315/10047Twiss, T. (2008). Ubiquitous information: An eFellow report on the use of mobile phones in classrooms to foster information literacy. Retrieved from http://www.core- ed.org/sites/core-ed.org/files/Toni_Twiss_-_Ubiquitous_Information_0.pdf