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Researching information literacy: from theory to practice


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Lecture given at the Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University on 25th November 2013 to the postgraduate students.

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Researching information literacy: from theory to practice

  1. 1. Researching information literacy: from theory to practice Dr Jane Secker LSE Centre for Learning Technology Department of Information Studies, Aberystwyth University 25th November 2013
  2. 2. Overview • • • • • • Introduction and my background Definitions of information and digital literacy and useful models Researching information literacy: developing a new curriculum (ANCIL) Information & digital literacy in practice Researching information literacy: open educational resources Tips for success as a research practitioner
  3. 3. The practitioners perspective  Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor at LSE  Primarily supporting staff in their use of technologies for teaching  Also teach on PG Cert (HE teaching qualification + research skills for PhD students)  How can librarians and other academic support staff best help students, research students, academic staff and other staff in higher education?  Why research in information literacy is important
  4. 4. More about me      My background: librarian and e-learning specialist, PhD in information science / history Publications and web presence Find me on LinkedIn, twitter, keen blogger Editor: Journal of Information Literacy Module tutor in DIS
  5. 5. Definitions of information literacy …Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner. CILIP (2004) Information literacy definition  Information literacy empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion in all nations. UNESCO (2005) Alexandria Proclamation
  6. 6. "the ‘savvyness’ that allows young people to participate meaningfully and safely as digital technology becomes ever more pervasive in society." FutureLab 2010 Digital Literacy Across the Curriculum
  7. 7. What are the issues?  Jones et al (2010) highlights the generational debate ‘ Google generation’  If you were born after 1982 = Generation Y  In pairs - reflect on:  What is digital and information literacy to you?  How did you become information literate as a students in school and in university?  What skills do you need to succeed in higher education?
  8. 8. What is the role for librarians in teaching in higher education?
  9. 9. The ‘Literacies’ Landscape Digital fluency
  10. 10. Information literacy is a continuum of skills, behaviours, approaches and values that is so deeply entwined with the uses of information as to be a fundamental element of learning, scholarship and research. It is the defining characteristic of the discerning scholar, the informed and judicious citizen, and the autonomous learner. ANCIL definition of information literacy (2011) Coonan and Secker (2011)
  11. 11. A New Curriculum for Information Literacy (ANCIL)  Research based approach  Arcadia Fellowship with Emma Coonan at Cambridge from May to July 2011  Academic advisor: Prof. John Naughton  Research remit: Develop a new, revolutionary curriculum for information literacy in a digital age  Understand the needs of undergraduates entering higher education over the coming 5 years  Map the current landscape of information literacy  Develop a practical curriculum and supporting resources
  12. 12. The expert consultation  Consulted librarians, researchers, educators, trainee teachers, school librarians  How you teach at least as important as what you teach  Must be embedded into the academic curriculum and disciplines will vary  Must be based on real needs: students are not homogeneous  Must be opportunities for reflection
  13. 13. Curriculum strands 1. Transition from school to higher education 2. Becoming an independent learner 3. Developing academic literacies 4. Mapping and evaluating the information landscape 5. Resource discovery in your discipline 6. Managing information 7. Ethical dimension of information 8. Presenting and communicating knowledge 9. Synthesising information and creating new knowledge 10. Social dimension of information literacy
  14. 14. Implementing ANCIL – Webster & Wrathall’s work Lessons Learnt
  15. 15. ANCIL at LSE  Reviewed current practice at LSE  To inform Library / CLT teaching provision  To highlight good practice and any gaps in provision  Put information literacy on the agenda at LSE  Produced a report presented at the February 2013 Teaching, Learning and Assessment Committee
  16. 16. Results of the audit  IL not embedded  Belief that IL is important: find, evaluate and manage  Some good practice but inconsistent  Time main barrier  Students ‘should’ have IL skills  Information use largely driven by reading lists and resources in Moodle Photo by starmanseries licensed under Creative Commons
  17. 17. Careers Language Centre Teaching & Learning Centre Language Centre LSE100 Departments Library Teaching & Learning Centre Departments Language Centre Library Departments LSE100 Language Centre Teaching & Learning Centre Careers Departments LSE100 Teaching & Learning Centre Departments Language Centre Library Centre for Learning Technology Library Library Library
  18. 18. Developing an LSE Framework  Covers digital and information literacy  Based on ANCIL and other frameworks  Purpose to inform academics and provide examples  Enable mapping of existing provision  Tool can be used by teaching librarians and learning technologists Image cc from /
  19. 19. Embedding Digital and information literacy  Running pilots with two academic departments to embed in UG courses  Working in partnership with academic staff and academic support colleagues  Scheduling additional face to face sessions  Embedding support in the virtual learning environment
  20. 20. Student ambassadors for digital literacy  Used in several JISC Digital Literacy projects  Will be piloting this as part of 1 year SADL project  Recruiting 20 undergraduates from Statistics and Social Policy  Planning workshops, reflection, peer support and more… Photo by Flickingerbrad licensed under Creative Commons
  21. 21. Further reading and resources LSE Digital and Information Literacy Framework (2013) Available at: Bell, Maria and Moon, Darren and Secker, Jane (2012) Undergraduate support at LSE: the ANCIL report. The London School of Economics and Political Science, London, UK. Available at: Secker, Jane and Coonan, Emma. (2012) Rethinking Information Literacy: a practical framework for support learning. Facet Publishing: London Wrathall, Katy (2012) Strategies for Implementing ANCIL in Non-Cambridge HEIs
  22. 22. Digital Literacy in practice at LSE  Digital literacy classes  Run each term  Cover using new technologies to support teaching and research  social media (social networking, social bookmarking, Twitter, blogging), advanced internet searching, keeping up to date, developing your web presence  Further information on CLT website
  23. 23. Supporting PhD Students: The MY592 programme  Information and digital literacy course comprising of six 2 hour workshops  Aimed primarily at new PhD students  Builds up skills over programme  Specialist advice and support from academic support librarians  Taught by CLT / Library staff  Supported online in Moodle  Overview on LSE Library website
  24. 24. IL research: the benefits of sharing teaching materials  In 2010/11 managed a 12 month JISC / HEA project in open educational resources programme  DELILA: Developing Educator Learning and Information Literacies for Accreditation  Converted LSE and Birmingham’s IL resources into Open Educational Resources (OERs) to share  Made the resources available in Jorum: UK teaching and learning respository  Several follow up projects since DELILA in this field to encourage librarians to share resources
  25. 25. From DELILA to CoPILOT  Following DELILA undertook a survey about OERs and information literacy launched at LILAC 2012  Additional funding obtained in October 2012 to explore benefits of sharing resources internationally  Created a UK ‘Community of Practice’ to share teaching materials as OERs  Also created an international platform for sharing teaching materials  Ongoing work with UNESCO and IFLA Information Literacy section
  26. 26. Benefits of sharing?  As someone who might have to teach information literacy for the first time, do you create materials from scratch or find existing resources?  Would you re-use materials from a colleague at your institution?  Would you re-use materials from a colleague elsewhere?  Would you know where to find materials?
  27. 27. Why share IL materials? Image licensed under Creative commons from:
  28. 28. Useful starting places  Information Literacy website:  Jorum Information Literacy collection:  Cardiff University IL resource bank:  UNESCO Worldwide Information Literacy resources:  JISCmail lists - LIS-Infoliteracy and IL-OERS
  29. 29. Challenges of being a researcher / practitioner  Finding time - the day job gets in the way of research and writing!  Credibility as a researcher  Confidence - but practice makes perfect!  Where to publish - the librarian’s echo chamber
  30. 30. Tips for success  Apply for external or internal project funds to facilitate research  Can give you time and project staff  Build reflection and feedback into your regular processes - e.g. annual surveys  Get published - even if just internally  Network, network, network conferences are great for this!  Find a like-minded colleague!
  31. 31. Contact details  Email  Twitter @jsecker  Personal Blog Secker, J. and Coonan, E. (2012) Rethinking information literacy: a practical framework for teaching. Facet Publishing: London
  32. 32. Useful references        Jones, C, Ramanau, R, Cross, S and Healing, G (2010) ‘Net generation or Digital Natives: Is there a distinct new generation entering university?’, Computers & Education, 54, (3), 722-732. Margaryan, A and Littlejohn, A. (2009). Are digital natives a myth or reality? Students use of technologies for learning. Available at: y-MargaryanAndLittlejohn-draft-111208.pdf (Accessed 2nd June 2010) Rowlands, I. et al ‘The Google generation: the information behaviour of the researcher of the future’, Aslib Proceedings New Information Perspectives, 60, (4) 290-310. SADL Project website (2013) SCONUL (2011) The SCONUL 7 Pillars Core model. Available at: Secker, Jane and Macrae-Gibson, Rowena. (2011) Evaluating MI512: an information literacy course for PhD students. Library Review, 60 (2). pp. 96-107. ISSN 0024-2535. Available at: Secker, Jane and Coonan, Emma (2011). A New Curriculum for Information Literacy. Available at: