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Perceptions of the ‘find-it-out-yourself method’: Developing self-efficacy and students as ‘tourists’ in academic communities of practice - Heather Lincoln & Tiffany Chiu

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Perceptions of the ‘find-it-out-yourself method’:
Developing self-efficacy and students as ‘tourists’ in
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Institutional context
• Imperial College is a research focused
STEMB+ institution
• 2,000 business students mostly PG
stud...

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Rationale for research
• What are students’ experiences of IL learning? I have anecdotal evidence,
formative feedback and ...

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Perceptions of the ‘find-it-out-yourself method’: Developing self-efficacy and students as ‘tourists’ in academic communities of practice - Heather Lincoln & Tiffany Chiu

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Presented at LILAC 2022

Presented at LILAC 2022

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Perceptions of the ‘find-it-out-yourself method’: Developing self-efficacy and students as ‘tourists’ in academic communities of practice - Heather Lincoln & Tiffany Chiu

  1. 1. Library Services Perceptions of the ‘find-it-out-yourself method’: Developing self-efficacy and students as ‘tourists’ in academic communities of practice Heather Lincoln, Liaison Librarian Library Services h.lincoln@imperial.ac.uk Tiffany Chiu, Senior Teaching Fellow in Educational Development, Centre for Higher Education Research and Scholarship t.chiu@imperial.ac.uk
  2. 2. Institutional context • Imperial College is a research focused STEMB+ institution • 2,000 business students mostly PG studying for 1 year • Team of four librarians teaching databases, reference management, avoiding plagiarism and search skills • Library has Information Literacy CoP and supports • Library staff taking PG Cert, PG Dip & MEd in University Learning and Teaching This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC-ND
  3. 3. Rationale for research • What are students’ experiences of IL learning? I have anecdotal evidence, formative feedback and gather teaching evaluation form feedback, but the research was an actual opportunity to ask students themselves. • Limited literature on this group of students and how practical and relevant they feel information literacy is and how it fits into their overall university learning experience. • Results of research used to input into Business School's PG curriculum review and develop the teaching offered to these students
  4. 4. Research questions • What are the IL learning experiences of business PG students? • What effect does standalone one-off teaching sessions have on learning? • What do students think about the librarian-as-teacher?
  5. 5. Research Methodology & Methods Design • Qualitative research • Structured approach to analysing the data Focus Group Format No of participants Specialised MSc suite focus group In-person 2 participants MBA suite focus group In-person 2 participants Finance MSc suite focus group Online 3 participants Finance MSc suite focus group Online 2 participants Specialised MSc suite focus group Online 3 participants Specialised MSc suite focus group Online 2 participants Ethical approval • Imperial College Education Ethics Research Process Recruitment • 14 postgraduate Masters (MSc & MBA) students in the Business School • 6 focus groups up to 1 hour
  6. 6. Data analysis Transcribed focus group data (c. 22,600 words) Transcripts anonymised and pseudonyms used for participants names (e.g., Liam, FG3) Thematic analysis (Savin-Baden & Howell Major, 2013) with deductive approach drawing on theories such as Communities of Practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) Transcripts coded creating first order codes and statements -> key themes -> theoretical categories
  7. 7. Data analysis, cont’d
  8. 8. Key themes Students’ perceptions of standalone IL teaching The find it out yourself method: students’ perceptions of IL learning and self-efficacy Student ‘tourist’ identity within the academic community of practice
  9. 9. 1. IL learning and self-efficacy • Students were aware of their diverse student cohort. • IL teaching viewed as part of the programme offered at Imperial but outside core-curriculum. ‘I did a Masters previously and they had no sort of information sessions like that, so I think that even the fact it's included as part of the programme is really commendable’ (Chris, FG5). ‘I think Imperial is pretty good, in the sense that my previous studies I didn’t quite have any of this…I had to just learn through my friends or discover it, the kind of find out yourself method. So yeah, Imperial has done quite a lot for me personally.’ (Liam, FG3).
  10. 10. 1. IL learning and self-efficacy, cont’d • Students don’t know what they don’t know? How does this affect their self- efficacy? • Students have a focus on assessment rather than on wider IL and non-core curriculum, learning experiences? • Students have an awareness of the cultural capital of learning experiences. ‘Usually, the students try to undermine the benefits of these information skills, but I think it’s actually very, very important and students, usually even more my peers, usually try to overlook it they somehow feel that, ah, this is something that I have known, so I don’t attend the session, but in fact there are many things we generally don’t know.’ (Yu-Tung, FG4).
  11. 11. 1. The ‘find-it-out-yourself’ method... • Induction sessions most recalled by students than other IL sessions. • Presumption that students have a high level of self-efficacy and that students are proactive asking librarians for help. This is in contrast with student expectations where more tailored guidance and focused help was anticipated. • Standalone sessions don’t always allow for this focused and tailored learning? 1-1s have to be requested by the student. ‘If I remember correctly, we just had that one initially thing [IL session] and then after that it was just like figure stuff out for yourself. Which was fine, but it was quite time consuming. So, it would have been nice if there was a bit more integration’ (Chris, FG5). ‘I think that the British education system, it makes you aware of the resources, but it doesn’t teach you how to use them, unless you really want it’ (Natalie, FG3).
  12. 12. 2. Students’ perceptions of standalone IL teaching • Many students thought one-off sessions fitted their needs. • Full timetables mean students understandably de-prioritise learning outside the core- curriculum? • IL teaching from librarian part of academic CoP and available only to that community. • Access to follow-up materials and the facility to speak to a librarian afterwards is an important part of IL teaching. But are we still expecting students to do this independently? How much self-efficacy do students have? ‘I think in the beginning you are really trying to manage, like it’s all overwhelming…so if it’s not compulsory, it probably, you probably won’t go to it… and it’s just natural just trying to cope, but I do think it's beneficial and like in retrospect I feel quite like sad that I didn’t take advantage of these things more’ (Sophie, FG5).
  13. 13. 2. Students’ perceptions of standalone IL teaching, cont’d • However, students were aware there are issues with standalone teaching sessions. • Business School’s Careers and Global Skills teams teaching sessions suggested as being more integrated throughout the year that library IL teaching... • Students notice lower attendance at IL sessions and perceive lower importance within their peer group and lower cultural capital? ‘The current way definitely doesn’t push you into attending all these lectures and learn those skills…They [IL sessions] were outside of the main curriculum, erm, and I found that that made us not really bother with them since we are so busy with other things, it’s kind of hard to actually say, I am going to attend this lecture, even though it might actually be very useful' (Sanvi, FG6).
  14. 14. Mentimeter question Please share ideas from your own experience for enhancing student engagement in IL learning Go to Menti.com and use the code 4643 9599 This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA-NC
  15. 15. Communities of practice (Lave & Wenger, 1991) • Communities of practice have shared ‘engagement, enterprise and repertoire’ (Wenger, 1998). • Engagement in a community of practice starts as legitimately peripheral and ‘increases gradually in engagement and complexity’ (Lave & Wenger, 1991). This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC
  16. 16. Landscape of Practice (Hudson, 2020) Might a landscape of practice be present where each community is relevant to students? Students’ trajectory might not be a straightforward journey from periphery to centre?
  17. 17. Multi-membership and visitors to CoP Tourists: identified as having ‘low levels of participation engaging in only superficial ways with local practices; their identities are hardly changed by the experience and the academic world remains a foreign country to them’ (Fenton-O’Creavy et. al., 2014, p. 44) This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-SA
  18. 18. Tourists' information resource use • Students were appreciative of the vast range of resources available. • But, availability to these resources doesn’t necessarily correlate to their use. Students have time pressures and perceive they already have the IL skills to find information (Fowler, Thomas & Saenger’s, 2019). • Information resources significant as ‘artifacts’ that make up CoP (Lave & Wenger, 1991). • Information resources have high cultural capital value ‘I would say that the resources are really, really impressive…there are definitely a lot at our disposal’ (David, FG5). ‘I still don’t use the tools. I don’t know if they actually make your life easier. [laughter and nods]. I’m sure they do. It’s just there is a reasonably high start-up cost and don’t have time to sink on figuring out how they work’ (Chris, FG5).
  19. 19. Boundary objects (Hudson, 2020) This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY ‘…. in retrospect I feel quite like sad that I didn’t take advantage of these things more, especially like hearing David got a one-on-one session [provided by the librarian] on Bloomberg, I’m just like, can I go back and do that?’ (Sophie, FG5) • A way to engage students in learning experiences across different CoPs? ‘Some teams had someone in the team who was really familiar with the database and he could easily extract… I think from Bloomberg, and it was a huge advantage compared to some teams where we don’t know where to find data.’ (Ryan, FG6)
  20. 20. Tourists’ and plagiarism avoidance • Some students seemed less engaged with learning about plagiarism whereas some more anxious about being caught accidentally plagiarising. • Avoiding plagiarism part of academic communication and firmly rooted in academic CoP? • Plagiarism avoidance and referencing rules may seem arbitrary in the workplace community? We had, a…tutorial on Harvard citations, which it wasn’t the same one I was using in my home country…so I had to re-train myself to do it again (Juan, FG1). There is always the little presentation on how to not plagiarise, buy you don’t really listen to that (Ryan, FG6).
  21. 21. Tourists and plagiarism avoidance ‘I came from [X country], the problems with the university in [X country]…we didn’t bother so much about plagiarism because most of the assignments doesn’t go through plagiarism checks and people seem to be not so much bothered about, as long as the assignments is done, they are generally happy with it. So, when I came to Imperial that something was an eye- opener.’ (Yu-Tung, FG4) Maybe keeping that in mind, that not everybody… you know we don’t do this in [x country] for instance so, keeping in mind that’s a UK centric way of doing things and not assuming every students gonna know it already (Ryan, FG6). • Half of the groups directly mentioned TurnitIn software when discussing plagiarism and were concerned about ‘passing’ TurnitIn. This may also seem rooted in the academic CoP? • Different expectations in academic writing conventions observed from students across the diverse cohort.
  22. 22. CoP as tourist’s engagement with IL Learning: information resource use & plagiarism avoidance Plagiarism avoidance Focus Group data example Reflection on participation Inside the Community of Practice Passing through Student learning experiences with plagiarism learning There is that talk about plagiarism, but you don’t really listen to that (Thomas, FG2) Low participation Resistance to learning? Marginal Tourist (adapted from Fenton-O’Creevy et. al. 2014). Information Resource use Focus Group data example Reflection on participation Inside the Community of Practice Passing through Student learning experiences with information resources I still don’t use the tools (Chris, FG5). Low participation Resistance to learning? Marginal Tourist
  23. 23. Pedagogical recommendations • Lesson plan and teaching session design should include all materials and follow up information. By doing this we are still considering students to have high self-efficacy. • Look at best practice from other departments that teach outside the core-curriculum, e.g., Careers etc. in terms of how the market and organise teaching offering • Databases which have workplace use, like Bloomberg, could be used to engage students and bridge the gap between workplace and academic CoPs. • Focus teaching on ‘tools and how they can make your life easier’ rather than access to resources in IL sessions.
  24. 24. Discussion and reflection • Have you experienced low or high student engagement in your teaching context? • Is student engagement dependant on the format of teaching? Is your teaching mostly as standalone, one-off sessions or is IL more integrated into the core- curriculum? This Photo by Unknown Author is licensed under CC BY-NC
  25. 25. References • Braun, V. & Clark, V. (2006) Using thematic analysis in psychology. Qualitative Research in Psychology. 3 (2) 77-101. Available from: https://doi/abs/10.1191/1478088706qp063oa [Accessed 16th November 2020]. • Fenton-O’Creevy, M. Brigham, L. Jones, S. & Smith, A. (2014) Students at the academic-workplace boundary: Tourists and sojourners in practice-based education. In: Wenger-Trayner, E. et al. (Ed.) Learning in Landscapes of Practice: Boundaries, identity and Knowledgeability in Practice Based Learning. Routledge. • Fowler, K; Thomas, V. & Saenger, C. (2019) Enhancing students’ marketing information literacy, Marketing Education Review, 29:1, 52-64 Available from: https://doi.org/10.1080/10528008.2018.1461570 [Accessed 25th March 2021]. • Hodson, N. (2020) Landscapes of practice in medical education. Medical Education. 54. 504-509. Available from: https://doi.org/10.1111/medu.14061 [Accessed 30th July 2021]. • Lave, J. & Wenger, E. (1991) Situated Learning: Legitimate Peripheral Participation, Cambridge University Press: Cambridge • Wenger, E. (1998) Communities of Practice. Learning, meaning and identity. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. • Savin-Baden, M. & Howell Major, C.(2013) Qualitative research: the essential guide to theory and practice. London: Routledge.
  26. 26. Heather Lincoln Liaison Librarian Imperial College London Email: h.lincoln@imperial.ac.uk Twitter: @LincHeather Tiffany Chiu Senior Teaching Fellow Imperial College London Email: t.chiu@imperial.ac.uk Twitter: @yltiffanychiu

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