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How is Information Literacy related to Social Competences in the Workplace

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Collard, A., De Smedt, T., Fastrez, P., Ligurgo, V., Philippette, T. (2016) How is Information Literacy related to Social Competences in the Workplace. Presented at ECIL 2016: 4th European Conference on Information Literacy. Prague (CZ), 10-13 October 2016

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How is Information Literacy related to Social Competences in the Workplace

  1. 1. How is information literacy related to social competences in the workplace? Anne-Sophie Collard University of Namur Center in Information, Law and Society Thierry De Smedt, Pierre Fastrez, Valèria Ligurgo, and Thibault Philippette Université catholique de Louvain: Knowledge Mediation Research Group ECIL 2016 Information Literacy in the Inclusive Society
  2. 2. Context Office work environment and activities are changing, mostly in terms of flexibility. In this context, Media and Information Literacy (MIL) can be seen as: • A factor of (e-)inclusion • A factor of well-being • A set of competences required to work in an efficient and meaningful way
  3. 3. NWOW environments As noted by Ajzen, Doni and Taskin (2012), the “New Ways of Working” (NWOW) policy observed in office work environments is characterized by: • A more collaborative work organization • A more participative management • A more spatio-temporal flexibility Permitted by the use of new information and communication technologies and services.
  4. 4. The LITME@WORK project Media and Information Literacy in team and distance work environments MACRO The social and discursive construction of “new work competences” MESO Work organization, workplace design and structural conditions for competence utilization and learning MICRO The relationship between media uses and competences
  5. 5. Information Literacy in the workplace With the development of those multimedia networked technologies, the information literacy requirement in the workplace has evolved: ● From text-based contents to a variety of sources ● Beyond information access, management or transmission, to include content creation skills In this context, the information literate user can be defined as capable of: ● adapting oneself to its changing information environment ● adapting the information landscape to its professional activity
  6. 6. MIL as competences and practices Media and information literacy is not limited to operational skills. We define it as a set of competences related to socially situated media and information practices. Rey et al. (2012) identified four inherent properties of the concept of competence: 1. Adaptability 2. Singularity 3. Non-observable 4. Mobilization Media and information practices Competences informational technical social
  7. 7. MIL as individual and collective accomplishment Information literacy is social: 1. it relies on social relationships and organization as resources for its expression and development, 2. it shapes social relationships and social organization, 3. it is (at least in part) a collective accomplishment.
  8. 8. The LITME@WORK project Media and Information Literacy in team and distance work environments MACRO The social and discursive construction of “new work competences” MESO Work organization, workplace design and structural conditions for competence utilization and learning MICRO The relationship between media uses and competences
  9. 9. Information Literacy = [social↔informational] competences Goals Defining the competences of ICT- supported distant teamwork practices • from the perspective of workers, • based on their discourse and on workplace observation Highlighting how informational work practices are valuable in relation to the social organization they contribute to elaborate [social↔informational] distant teamwork practices observation
  10. 10. Method Data collection is underway. A “connective ethnography” (Leander 2008) of everyday work: • Interviews with workers • complementary workplace observation 10 case studies: Belgian organizations involved in NWOW projects • In each organization: two teams N = 20 • In each team: one team manager and two team members N = 60 Main instrument: interview guide • involving a guided tour of the informant’s personal workspace • structured around 11 work activities related to distant teamwork • identified in the Computer-Supported Cooperative Work literature • involving • social interaction between team members, • the mediation of technological apparatus
  11. 11. Working hypothesis: the observed teams will vary in terms of the relative importance and complexity of these activities Method: activities and dimensions Activities: 1. Authoring a document collectively; 2. Sharing a collection of documents; 3. Managing outgoing information; 4. Managing incoming information; 5. Using others to find information; 6. Making collective decisions regarding task distribution, team governance and roles, and overall team functioning; 7. Managing one's tasks in relation with others; 8. Planning a meeting; 9. Planning the team's activity; 10.Working synchronously in the distance with other team members; 11.Organizing one's workspaces for collaboration. … broken down into dimensions Task management Time management Space and distance management Information management Awareness Collective decision making Reflexive tool use Comprehension of “sociomatics” x
  12. 12. Method: activities and dimensions
  13. 13. Example: the collective authoring of a document Dimensions Oliver: team leader Vocational guidance center John: project coordinator Research unit Task mgmt sequential: individual authoring → notification → individual authoring... Time mgmt typically asynchronous Space & distance mgmt collective synchronous editing on one computer shared distant storage (network drive | cloud) supports asynchronous editing Information mgmt network drive, equally accessible to all, collective rules for naming and sorting cloud-based storage, access defined by creator, within rules defined by IT Awareness (of necessity of contributions) receiving email (with link to document), or face-to-face requests receiving email / phone calls; checking the cloud’s notification system for edits Collective decision making team agreement on the final version; intended cleanup of working versions validation of final version by one person Reflective tool use revision mode / versioning; shared drive organized by trial-and-error Comprehension of sociomatics open access to shared drive coworker support in re-finding documents = reminder to cleanup limiting who has access to what Opportunities for collective Information Literacy development
  14. 14. Conclusions What: Drawing a map of the intensity, frequency and complexity with which the individual and team act upon the technical affordances of media to achieve the socio-informational functions that allow a due performance of their activities. How: Theoretical grid (11 activities x 8 dimensions) ⇒ observations and interviews Media and Information Literacy: • Beyond retrieving, evaluating and producing information • Using workplace affordances and constraints to process information • to enable efficient collective activity, • to contribute to the constitution, maintenance and evolution of the organization, and to the fulfillment of its missions. Information literacy contributes to social inclusion: it empowers the worker to fully participate to the existence of the organization.
  15. 15. Perspectives: rethinking the concept of information “Informational” exchanges are communicative acts with pragmatic incidences • Expressions of support, divergence, feelings, complicity or irony are present in the uses of media and technology, but cannot be accounted for by the concept of information. • How can such competences of social regulation between the members of a team fit within a model of media and information literacy? Any information is information for someone • i.e. for a community of people for whom it has a meaning/a purpose, who secure its existence and accessibility, through shared memory or shared media. • Information ≠ [predicate ↔ object] • Information = [predicate ←for whom→ object]
  16. 16. Thank you for your attention Questions? Comments? Thibault Philippette Pierre Fastrez thibault.philippette@uclouvain.be pierre.fastrez@uclouvain.be

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