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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 Lorna.dodd@ucd.ie Supporting Information Literacy in different educational approaches Ursula Byrne Head of Academic Services, Humanities & Social Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland Urusla.Byrne@ucd.ie
  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?

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