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Supporting information literacy needs in different educational approaches – problem-based learning(PBL) at University College Dublin (UCD). Dodd


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Presented at LILAC 2008

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Supporting information literacy needs in different educational approaches – problem-based learning(PBL) at University College Dublin (UCD). Dodd

  1. 1. Problem-Based Learning at University College Dublin Lorna Dodd Liaison Librarian Human Sciences University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland Supporting Information Literacy in different educational approaches Ursula Byrne Head of Academic Services, Humanities & Social Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland
  2. 2. Background • Largest university in Ireland • Problem-Based Learning (PBL) currently in practice within several programmes • Government funding (SIF) to support development of further initiatives across campus
  3. 3. What is PBL? • Centres on the student • Work in small tutorials • Presented with complex, real-life ‘problems’ • Identify what they know from their existing knowledge • Identify gaps in their existing knowledge • Formulate ‘learning issues’ for next session
  4. 4. The flashy trainers
  5. 5. Why is Information Literacy important in PBL? • Self-directed learning • Development of life-long transferable skills • Critical and reflective thinking
  6. 6. Identify an information need Convert Learning Issues into search strategies Identify most appropriate source Identify kind of information & resource Effectively retrieve relevant information Evaluate reliability, relevance, currency & appropriateness Use the information in an ethical way Apply information to problem & integrate into existing knowledge APPLYING INFORMATION LITERACY TO PBL
  7. 7. • 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 The Coughing Horse
  8. 8. Information Literacy Instruction in PBL • Traditional lectures clashes with philosophical foundations of PB L • Usefulness of traditional workshops • In PBL context students need to use a range of information resources in order to find a range of information types • Often need to explain to academics that a change in educational approach requires ALL aspects of student instruction to change
  9. 9. Workshop approach • Keep students in their PBL groups • Identify common “Learning Issues” across all groups • Let students search for information without any guidance or instruction • Each group reports back  Which resources they used  Why they chose each resource  How useful each resource was  What strategy/language they used
  10. 10. Workshop approach • Librarian then looks at “Learning Issue”  Identify which ‘type’ of information is required  Identify appropriate sources  Think about language, keywords, alternative terms • Students then repeat exercise and report back • Students also asked how the information they find applies to the problem
  11. 11. Using a ‘problem’ approach The M50 - Europe’s Largest Car park?
  12. 12. Using a ‘problem’ approach • Psychology/sociology  Research on stress associated with long commutes • Environmental Studies  Comparative literature on impact of new motorways on developing countryside • Planning & Policy  Government reports in infrastructure planning • Economics  Current Irish & European statistics
  13. 13. Conclusion • Information Literacy is increasingly consciously developed  encourage students to think about information they need  challenge students to critically evaluate the information they find and the source • Information Literacy is often:  Included as a learning outcome  An assessment criteria • Librarians are more involved in curriculum development:  Ensure there are sufficient resources  Help students develop necessary skills
  14. 14. Conclusion • Introduction of PBL can dramatically change library & librarian’s role • Librarians often act as group facilitators in PBL  Significant departure from their traditional role  New skill set • Information literacy essential component  Many academics begin to understand the importance of IL and librarian as a result of PBL  This often leads to a ‘spill over’ effect
  15. 15. How do we strike the balance between taking advantage of new opportunities and managing growing workloads?