Shining the spotlight on Information Literacy : experience of the Veterinary Medicine Library. Author: Lorna Dodd


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Delivered at Facilitate Problem-Based Learning Summer School, June 23 – 27 2008, Dublin, Ireland. 2008-06-23.

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  • Pre-clinical years are not entirely PBL based Comparisons drawn between PBL & non-PBL activities
  • Lots of definitions. Think how much the world we live in has changed and how much the world of information has changed – the importance of being able to identify quality information and use it effectively and ethically
  • When we send students out on their own, they come back with information from unreliable sources Hear a lot about the importance of self directed learning within PBL, information literacy and self-directed learning go hand-in-hand. Silen argues they are both inter-linked process. Development of life-long transferable skills – one of the main benefits of PBL – information literacy is one of these skills Important to be critical and reflective about how we find and use information PBL gives students the skill to find the answer to something they don’t know. To do this they must be able to search for information properly
  • No reading lists for PBL module How are students finding information? Does this affect the way they use the library?
  • Students consider the library to be important in PBL
  • Students often go to PubMed or google – Mexican environmental factors different to Ireland
  • Shining the spotlight on Information Literacy : experience of the Veterinary Medicine Library. Author: Lorna Dodd

    1. 1. Shining a spotlight on Information Literacy:Experience of the Veterinary Medicine Library Lorna Dodd Liaison Librarian University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
    2. 2. Background• Only Veterinary Medicine programme in Ireland• Review in mid 1990s resulted in introduction PBL in the 2 pre-clinical years• Students attend traditional lectures & lab sessions as well as PBL module
    3. 3. What is InformationLiteracy? “recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.” (Association of College Research Libraries, 2000)
    4. 4. Why is Information Literacyimportant in PBL? • Self-directed learning • Development of life-long transferable skills • Critical and reflective thinking
    5. 5. Identify an Identify the mostinformation need appropriate source INFORMATION Use the LITERACYinformation Effectivelyin an ethical retrieve way relevant information Evaluate the reliability, relevance, currency & appropriateness of the information
    6. 6. What the students think…• 95% of students consider the library to be important in PBL• Those who did not think the library was important in PBL also experienced difficulties with PBL• Half of students spent longer in the library for PBL because of the way PBL affects how they find and use information
    7. 7. What the students think…• 40% of students experienced difficulty finding information for PBL• Most students consider information seeking skills very important or extremely important in PBL because:  “As a qualified vet you have to do your own PBL”• Students who value information skills were able to search for information more easily
    8. 8. All those who spent more timeStudents who feel the library in the library for PBL is important in PBL display higher levels of considered information literacy information literacy important in PBL Students who selected their own material: Considered information literacy skills more important & displayed higher levels of information literacy skills
    9. 9. The Coughing Horse• Anatomy of the lung  Factual Information – Textbooks• Allergens and treatment  Current Research – Journal Articles or Websites• Is the information reliable?• Is the information relevant to problem?  Location  Availability of treatment
    10. 10. Identify an Identify information Convert Learning most need Issues appropriate into search strategies source APPLYING Apply information INFORMATION to problem & LITERACY TO integrate Identify kind of PBL information &into existing knowledge resource Use the Evaluate reliability, information relevance, Effectively in an ethical currency retrieve way & appropriateness relevant information
    11. 11. Veterinary Library ExperienceStart of PBL: As a result of PBL: Information literacy  Librarian is PBL tutor delivered during  Knows problems & therefore required orientation resources  Talks to students about resources they use Librarian in  Close collaborative relationship with support/admin role faculty  Information literacy delivered after first problem – in context
    12. 12. Veterinary Library Experience• Facilitator/Tutor plays important role  Results showed that facilitators differed  Some recommended material and directed students in finding information  These students selected material themselves less  Displayed lower levels of information literacy – never verified information by checking another source
    13. 13. Conclusion• Information Literacy should be consciously developed Facilitators can -  encourage students to think about information they need  challenge students to critically evaluate the information they find and the source• Information Literacy can be:  Included as a learning outcome  An assessment criteria• Involve librarians in curriculum development:  Ensure there are sufficient resources  Help students develop necessary skills
    14. 14. “Know where to find information and howto use it. That’s the secret of success.”Albert EinsteinRunning or planning aPBL course?Don’t forget yourfriendly librarian!!!
    15. 15. References• Association of College Research Libraries (2000), ‘Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education’ [online], American Library Association. Available from .• Dodd, L. (2007) ‘The impact of Problem-Based Learning on the Information Seeking Behaviour and Information Literacy of Veterinary Medicine Students at University College Dublin’, Journal of Academic Librarianship, vol. 33(2), pp.206-216• Eskola, E (1998) ‘University students’ information seeking behaviour in a changing learning environment – How are students’ information needs and use affected by teaching methods?’ Information Research vol. 4(2)• Oker-Blom, T. (1998) ‘Integration of Information Skills in Problem Based Curricula’, 64th IFLA General Conference, August 16-21, 1994, Amsterdam, pp.1-8, IFLA• Rankin, J.A. (1996) ‘Problem-based learning and libraries: a survey of the literature’, Health Libraries Review, vol. 13, pp.33-42• Silen, C & Uhlin, L (2008) ‘Self-directed learning – a learning issue for students and faculty’ Teaching in Higher Education.