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Research-informed teaching and information literacy at the University of Central Lancashire. Westaway

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Presented at LILAC 2009

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Research-informed teaching and information literacy at the University of Central Lancashire. Westaway

  1. 1. Research-informed Teaching & Information Literacy Initiatives The UCLan Experience LILAC 2009 Jonathan Westaway University of Central Lancashire, Preston, UK jwestaway@uclan.ac.uk
  2. 2. Research-informed Teaching • Characteristics – Student as scholar, co-partner in research – Research and teaching not necessarily linked and need developing – Teaching-research nexus discipline specific – The teaching-research nexus is ‘central to higher education’ Jenkins, A., Healey, M., Zetter, R. (2007). Linking teaching and research in disciplines and departments. Higher Education Academy, 2 http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/assets/York/documents/LinkingTeachingAndResearch_April07.pdf
  3. 3. Research v. Teaching? • 2003 White Paper (DFES, 2003) • ‘teaching-only universities’ • Research Forum examines teaching-research links • HEFCE Teaching Quality Enhancement Fund (TQEF) – ‘ensuring that teaching is informed and enriched by research’ – National Teaching Fellows – 74 Centres for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETLs)
  4. 4. Centre for Research–informed Teaching @ UCLan • Diffusion – undergraduate research journal • Student internship programme • CRiT Fellows in faculties • Impact – case studies • University Conference 2008 • Pedagogic Research Forum • Information literacy – Partnership – Learning and Information Services – Learning Development Unit
  5. 5. The student experience… • Wider trend • Repositioning the student • Fees – students as customers • NSS, LIBQUAL - competition • New pedagogy/learning theory – Problem-based Learning – Active learning
  6. 6. The construction of knowledge • Knowledge of facts • Knowledge of techniques/processes • ‘Knowing that Everest is the highest mountain, and knowing how to measure the height of mountains, are respective examples of the two kinds of knowing. The interesting question is, which is more important?’ Grayling, A. C., (2008) ‘The importance of knowing how’, New Scientist, 9 August 2008, 48.
  7. 7. Pathways to knowledge • RiT emphasises research processes and problems – Moving away from just learning subject content – Inquiry-based learning – Epistemological development • IL similar shift to higher-level skills – Learning how to learn – ‘Knowledge of how to become knowledgeable’ (Grayling, 2008).
  8. 8. Policy Agenda Leitch Review of Skills (2006) • Prosperity for all in the global economy – world class skills • Emphasis on: – Skills and competencies – Transferability – Employability – Employer engagement in HE – Lifelong learning ‘It is these arguments from a knowledge-economy perspective that have probably been most important in moving the UK Government away from a “teaching only” perspective’ (Jenkins, Healey, Zetter, 2007, 12)
  9. 9. Policy Agenda The Debate on the Future of Higher Education • DIUS framework for future of HE • Prof. Paul Ramsden’s report Teaching and the Student Experience • ‘Universities and colleges are increasingly positioning students as engaged collaborators rather than inferior partners’ 5 • To prepare students better HE needs to • ‘Incorporate research-based study for undergraduates…’ 11 • Reforms to Professional Training • Develop ‘a stronger connection between the complimentary skills of academic and other professional staff.’ 14 • The librarian as educator
  10. 10. Your ‘Knowledge Economy’, my ‘Information Society’? • ‘In a knowledge society, how knowledge is developed (i.e. researched to create understanding) and transmitted (i.e. taught and learned) is critical’. (Jenkins, Healey, Zetter, 2007, 12) • ‘Information literacy is conceivably the foundation for learning in our contemporary environment of continuous technological change…Information literacy education is the catalyst required to transform the information society of today into the learning society of tomorrow’ (Bruce, cited in Bundy, 2004, 8)
  11. 11. You say ‘supercomplexity’… • Students’ ability to understand and do research is essential to cope with supercomplexity • ‘Complexity we may take to be that state of affairs in which the demands before one exceed the resources to meet them’ • ‘Supercomplexity, in contrast, arises under conditions of a conceptual overload: in short, supercomplexity is the outcome of a multiplicity of frameworks’ (Barnett, 2000, 415).
  12. 12. …I say ‘information overload’ • Are RiT and Information Literacy both attempts to model complexity? – To deal with information overload, the digital transition, the constant churn of technology, the multiplication of authorities, the loss of knowledge as a pure objective reading of the world? • ‘The possession of multiple tools enabling the individual to cope in society is captured by the term “literacy”.’ (Martin, 2006, 7) – Substitute ‘research’ for ‘literacy’ Martin. A ‘Literacies for the digital age: preview of part 1’ 3-25, in Martin, A., Madigan, D. eds (2006) Digital Literacies for Learning.
  13. 13. “one literacy to rule them all…” • Seeking commonalities between RiT and IL – IL ‘The functional literacy for the 21st Century’. (Andretta, 2007) – ‘Concepts of literacy are pieces of the vision of the social order’. (Martin, 2006, 18) – ‘Visions of the literacies of the digitally infused society continue to evolve an to find connections and overlaps. All of them, however, seek to make a rapidly changing element of the present world understandable and masterable.’ (Martin 2006, 22)
  14. 14. Information Literacy@UCLan • IL in the curriculum – Learning and Teaching Strategy – Validation • IL Learning Outcomes – Information-literacy Benchmarks for Academic Literature Searching • IL Learning Objects – What is information literacy? • IL Embedding – Critical and reflective
  15. 15. Information Literacy@UCLan • University conference – 2008 Digital literacies panel discussion – 2009 Digital natives seminars and focus groups • Digital natives – Discussions around deficits • Digital Publishing Landscape – Module on MA Journalism, Media, Communication • JISC Study on the use of research content in teaching and learning in Higher Education Institutions • IL as a key performance indicator – IL strategy
  16. 16. Redefining the library… • Restructure • Merger – LLRS and ISS become Learning and Information Services • University restructure – Schools • 2008 Library ground floor redesign – Social learning space • 2009 Library 1st & 2nd floor redesign – Relocation
  17. 17. Re-defining the librarian • Librarian as educator – Understand academic learning/teaching practice – Pg.Cert in Teaching and Learning – HEA accreditation • New academic teams • Subject expertise – Critical role of liaison ‘The information professionals of the future need to be outward-going people, with really sharp business skills and a huge understanding of technology and the implications of the internet. They need to be able to understand and engage with users to bring their collections to life…’ (Brindley, 2006, 494)

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