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Information Literacy for Net Generation


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Considering the Open University (OU) as a context in which people come from a wide range of educational, cultural and professional backgrounds and distance learning forms the domain educational approach, this presentation discusses approaches can be taken by the OU to prepare for, and deal with the educational needs of Net generation, meanwhile meet the needs of elder generations.
It presents some practical assignments using Web 2.0 and demonstrate how they will engage students in developing their understanding of information literacy and performing as information literate individuals in the dynamic context of e-environments.
The proposed approach is based on the author's PhD study of information literacy in online distance learning environments, which particularly focused on the GIS (Geographic Information Sciences/Systems) discipline.
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Information Literacy for Net Generation

  1. 1. Information Literacy for the Net Generation: Challenges and Approaches for the Open University Maryam Nazari Research Student in Information Literacy and Online Distance Learning January 2009 Presented to the IL team, Library and Learning Resources Centre of Open University Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield University of Sheffield Department of Information Studies
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>The Net generation </li></ul><ul><li>IL needs of the N Gen </li></ul><ul><li>IL at the OU </li></ul><ul><li>Challenges </li></ul><ul><li>Approaches </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  3. 3. Net/ Y Generation <ul><li>Born in or after 1980 </li></ul><ul><li>Hypertext mindset </li></ul><ul><li>Defined by instant messaging and a Web 2.0 life perspective </li></ul><ul><li>Interested in team work </li></ul><ul><li>Hand-outs learning style </li></ul><ul><li>Needs constant feedback </li></ul><ul><li>Prefer doing, rather than knowing: “play to learn” </li></ul><ul><li>Me Generation: want jobs that fit their lives vs. adapting themselves to their jobs </li></ul><ul><li>(Feiertag & Berge 2008; Lorenzo & Dzinbun 2006) </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  4. 4. Net Gen Information Behaviour Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield Find Organise Create and Share Communication Update YouTube Wikis Blogs Social networking Tagging Folksonomies Facebook MySpace YouTube Blogs Wikis Delicious Slideshare Flickr Constant messaging Facebook RSS Feed Google personalization features
  5. 5. IL needs of the Net Gen <ul><li>Understand the function of Web 2.0 tools and resources in the context of their learning </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to effectively select, interact with, and use appropriate Web 2.0 tools </li></ul><ul><li>Ability to produce, organise, share information and update their knowledge in the 2.0 information landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Requires learning environment, tasks, assessment methods that support their information behaviour and needs </li></ul><ul><li>Need fun and exciting tasks and assessment methods </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  6. 6. The OU through an IL lens Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield Background Courses & Subjects Levels of education 25,000 outside of UK 20% under 20 Average age 32 A TYPICAL OU student is older than an undergrad elsewhere 150,000 Undergrad 30,000 Postgrad 10,000 with Special needs 13 subjects 600 courses Q, R, … X & Y Gens Diversity Ambitions and goals Abilities and competency-needs Information behaviour, needs No entry requirements 0.0 1.0 2.0 3.0
  7. 7. Fixed Curricula Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
  8. 8. IL as an enabler for transferable and lifelong learning Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield Year 1 Year 2 Year 3 Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
  9. 9. Challenges for the IL team <ul><li>How to meet the vision of OU: “OU transforms lives through education”? </li></ul><ul><li>How to update teaching methods, curriculum design, and learning environment and materials to support the development of information literate online distance learners in the e-world? </li></ul><ul><li>How to accommodate Q, R, X and Y Gens with their IL needs? </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  10. 10. Current Approaches to IL development in e-environments <ul><li>To position IL in the e-literacies framework </li></ul><ul><li>To add other literacies to the IL models </li></ul><ul><li>To develop new courses on IL with a focus on Web 2.0 resources and tools e.g. TU120 </li></ul><ul><li>To use Web 2.0 to teach IL concept and practice IL competencies </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  11. 11. IL in e-environments <ul><li>IL is a constructive and contextualised concept, needs to be built by learners and becomes part of them </li></ul><ul><li>IL is an enabler for transferable and lifelong learning, rather than only “a” set of transferable skills </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  12. 12. Solutions for the OU based on the new view of IL in e-environments Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  13. 13. <ul><li>Engage learners in thinking and questioning their information and skill-needs when accomplishing their tasks </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield <ul><li>Using 5 YouTube videos and 10 journal papers as sources of information to write an essay on a topic and publish it in the form of a Wiki </li></ul><ul><li>to know how to formulate a search strategy to find videos on YouTube and in a database that matches their needs </li></ul><ul><li>to understand the organization of knowledge published on YouTube website and databases </li></ul><ul><li>to be aware of the evaluation criteria for both types of information sources </li></ul><ul><li>to know how to document their thoughts and knowledge gained from these two sources of information and write them in the format of an essay </li></ul><ul><li>to upload a video, cite a video etc </li></ul><ul><li>to publish their assignment on a Wiki </li></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><li>Involve learners in evaluating their knowledge and skills gaps </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield <ul><li>To develop quizzes or other self assessment tools that would encourage them to identify their knowledge and skill gaps, and to share their profile with others </li></ul><ul><li>To use IL as a reflexive tool to identify the scope of knowledge and competency needs of learners in the e-environments e.g. Web 2.0 (using learners’ tasks, assessment methods, other task accomplishment requirements) </li></ul><ul><li>To design assessment tools or quizzes that would ask learners to situate themselves in the context of their task/assignment and identify their knowledge and skill-gaps </li></ul><ul><li>The system creates a kind of Facebook profile/ portfolio of the person. Then with his permission it can be shared with others </li></ul><ul><li>To develop the learners’ IL facebook in the form of a bank of expertise and provide instant and other communication facilities so that they can get in touch and exchange their expertise and expriences </li></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><li>Support learners’ information behaviour and needs </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield <ul><li>To provide learners with information and learning materials they may need </li></ul><ul><li>To provide learners with tutorials on information evaluation published e.g. in YouTube websites or blogs, comparing the criteria with the ones apply for a database, journal paper etc (to reduce the gap between X and Y Gens knowledge) </li></ul><ul><li>Tutorials on what is a Wiki, what are the functions of Wikis as source of information, how to evaluate them, how to use them, how to cite to them etc </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Support learners’ information behaviour and needs – cont. </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield <ul><li>To use tools and materials that make the IL tutorials more fun and exciting </li></ul><ul><li>To use Web 2.0 tools to develop the IL learning materials e.g. in the form of YouTube videos (e.g. how to use a journal paper, a Wiki, or how to evaluate information gathered from blogs) </li></ul><ul><li>To use some real experiences of people when they talk about the tips and tricks they have used in the form of some videos </li></ul><ul><li>To provide learners with an environment where they can make video or audio documents of their IL and learning experiences, and failure and success stories and publish them in the bank of IL tutorials </li></ul><ul><li>To use Web 2.0 tools and features to update learners’ IL needs e.g. add a RSS feed to the bank of IL tutorials or to the learners’ IL Facebook profiles so that they can refresh their information immediately </li></ul>
  17. 17. Openness, Collaboration, Practice <ul><li>To contextualise IL in the e-information and e-learning environments, and in the context of disciplines </li></ul><ul><li>To establish a common understanding of the contextualised concept of IL among the key IL role players and contributors in the OU </li></ul><ul><li>Course designers and tutors to design tasks in a way that engage learners in the IL activities </li></ul><ul><li>To set a new IL agenda to research the IL studies and practices in e-environments </li></ul><ul><li>To use learners’ self IL- and competency- assessments to enhance IL content, methods, and environment </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  18. 18. Bibliography <ul><li>Goodwin, Peter. 2008. Information literacy meets Library 2.0. London: Facet Publishing. </li></ul><ul><li>McPherson, Keith. 2008. Shaping global creativity with school libraries. School Libraries Worldwide, 14(2): 35-44. </li></ul><ul><li>Geck, Caroline. 2006. The generation Z connection: teaching information literacy to the newest net generation. Feature article in Teacher Librarian, 33(2): 19-23. </li></ul><ul><li>Andretta, Susie. 2007. Change and challenge: information literacy for the 21st century. PublisherAdelaide: Auslib Press. </li></ul><ul><li>Feiertag, Jeff, and Zane L. Berge. 2008. Training generation N: how educators should approach the Net Generation. Education + Training, 50(6): 457-464. </li></ul><ul><li>The Open University Information Literacy Strategy 2003-06. Information Literacy Unit, Open University Library. </li></ul><ul><li>Mallett, Liz. 2008. Going Beyond Google at The Open University. Presented in the department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield in 18 th November. </li></ul><ul><li>Open University Library. Library courses and workshops. </li></ul><ul><li>Wikipedia </li></ul><ul><li>YouTube videos </li></ul>Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield
  19. 19. Thank you. Maryam Nazari – University of Sheffield