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Assessing the effectiveness of information literacy teaching at the University of Bedfordshire. Belanger

Presented at LILAC 2008

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Assessing the effectiveness of information literacy teaching at the University of Bedfordshire. Belanger

  1. 1. Interactive Information Literacy: Using an Audience Response System in IL Teaching Sue Csoka Academic Liaison Librarian (Business) Jacqueline Belanger Academic Liaison Librarian (English & Performing Arts)
  2. 2. What is an Audience Response System (ARS)?  classroom / personal response system; electronic voting system  Software / receiver / wireless handsets  Questions embedded in PowerPoint presentation  University of Bedfordshire uses TurningPoint
  3. 3. Usefulness of an ARS as an IL teaching tool?  Interactivity & student engagement  Instant feedback for students & lecturer  Knowledge checking  Group cohesion  Anonymity
  4. 4. The Project  To pilot the use of an Audience Response System (TurningPoint) for IL teaching with English, Performing Arts and Business students.  To pilot the Audience Response System for library inductions for selected groups (Business and Education). Aims:  To engage students more fully in IL sessions & to promote a more active approach to learning information skills.  To gauge student learning and improve our teaching through feedback gained via ARS.
  5. 5. How did we use the voting system?  Knowledge checking  Quizzes  Assessing student confidence pre- and post-teaching  Feedback on teaching  Generating discussion (e.g. what is plagiarism?)
  6. 6. Taking ownership of learning…  ARS used with 2 groups of 3rd year English Studies students.  Students choose the focus of their session.  Aim – to encourage students to reflect on their existing knowledge; to recognise gaps in skills and to take an active approach to addressing these gaps.
  7. 7. What do you want to do in today’s session? Discuss steps forc... R eview databases an... Find outabouthow t... Explore otherlibrary ... 28% 23%23% 26% 1. Discuss steps for conducting a successful literature search for my dissertation. 2. Review databases & practice searching for information. 3. Find out about how to get materials for my dissertation not held by this library. 4. Explore other library catalogues & websites that might be relevant for my research.
  8. 8. ‘Contingent teaching’ “The defining attribute is making teaching (the course of a lecture session) dependent upon the actions of the students, rather than being a fixed sequence predetermined by the teacher. To put it another way, this requires not just the students to interact (to be active and for that action to depend on the teacher and material), but the teacher to be interactive too. … This is important because it makes the teaching relevant to actual needs.” (Draper & Brown, 2004, p. 91)
  9. 9. A pain in the ARS? Downsides:  Extra preparation time required  Must be flexible in delivery of sessions  Must allow adequate time for students to consider options  Need to gives students choice while still achieving clear learning outcomes  Majority voting can leave some students feeling less engaged
  10. 10. Generating discussion on plagiarism & referencing  Sessions on plagiarism & referencing for 2nd year Performing Arts & 1st year Business students. Feedback from students:  The session “helped with our understanding of plagiarism and referencing and the ‘touchpads’ were really good”.  The ‘referencing [session] was fantastic’.  ‘The interactive session at the end of term [was most useful] as it motivated us to keep alert and it was a new way for us to contribute’.  ‘Great lesson on referencing, really useful’.
  11. 11. Impact on learning outcomes? 10% 29% 61% Very confident Confident Not very confident 86% 14% 0% Yes No Not sure Before session: How confident do you feel about referencing? After session: I feel more confident about my referencing skills after this session…yes or no? Anecdotal evidence from lecturers indicates that referencing standards improved in assignments after these sessions.
  12. 12. How has the technology helped us to improve our teaching?  Encourages reflective practice (still need qualitative feedback, however)  Teaching is more responsive to student needs – learning to think ‘on the fly’
  13. 13. Preliminary conclusions:  ARS more successful with some subject groups than others.  Most effective when used in conjunction with other forms of teaching and learning (e.g. small group work).  Can be used in small groups as well as large groups.  Need to have mechanisms to get qualitative feedback.  Can be useful for drawing faculty’s attention to IL teaching.  Danger of over-use and impact of technology diminishing over time.
  14. 14. What we still have to do…  Focus groups  Roll-out use to other subject areas  Long-term assessment of ARS – is it having a real impact on student learning & retention of material?  Develop new ways of using technology – see use in plagiarism teaching at Imperial (UK) and Dickinson College (US)
  15. 15. It’s an obvious point to make… “… better learning outcomes are really the result of changes in pedagogical focus, from passive to active learning, and not the specific technology or technique used.” (West, 2005)
  16. 16. Bibliography Beekes, W. (2006). ‘The “Millionaire” method for encouraging participation’. Active Learning in Higher Education, 7(1), pp. 25-36. Burnett, S. and Collins, S. (2007). ‘Ask the audience! Using a personal response system to enhance information literacy teaching and induction sessions at Kingston University’. Journal of Information Literacy, 1(2). Available at: V1-I2-2007-1/11 (Accessed 12 October 2007). Draper, S.W. and Brown, M.I. (2004). ‘Increasing interactivity in lectures using an electronic voting system’. Journal of Computer Assisted Learning, 20, pp. 81-94. Foggo, L., Mottram, S. and Taylor, S. (2006). ‘Ask the audience: e-voting at the University of Leeds’. SCONUL Focus, 38 (summer), Available at: 11.pdf (Accessed 11 October 2007).
  17. 17. Bibliography, continued West, J. (2005) ‘Learning outcomes related to the use of personal response systems in large science courses’. Academic Commons: The Center of Inquiry in the Liberal Arts, Wabash College. Available at: http://www. review/west- polling-technology (Accessed 15 January 2008). Woolley, R. (2006). ‘Using personal response systems for induction’. SCONUL Focus, 39 (winter). Available at: /12.pdf (Accessed: 11 October 2007).