Published on

Published in: Education
  • Be the first to comment

  • Be the first to like this


  1. 1. Researching information literacy: theory and practice Dr Jane Secker LSE Centre for Learning Technology Department of Information Studies, University of Sheffield: 19th May 2011
  2. 2. Overview <ul><li>Introduction and my background </li></ul><ul><li>Definitions of information and digital literacy and useful models </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Discussion in pairs </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Information & digital literacy in practice at LSE </li></ul><ul><li>Researching information literacy: the DELILA project </li></ul><ul><li>Researching information literacy: Arcadia Fellowship May - July 2011 </li></ul>
  3. 3. Introduction to me <ul><li>My background: librarian and e-learning specialist, PhD in information science </li></ul><ul><li>Publications and significant web presence …. but what did you find? </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter </li></ul><ul><li>Blog? </li></ul><ul><li>LSE website? </li></ul><ul><li>What else </li></ul>
  4. 4. The practitioners perspective <ul><li>Copyright and Digital Literacy Advisor at LSE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Primarily supporting staff in their use of technologies for teaching </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How can librarians and other academic support staff best help students, research students, academic staff and other staff in higher education? </li></ul><ul><li>Why research in information literacy is important? </li></ul>
  5. 5. Definition of information literacy <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>UNESCO (2005) Alexandria Proclamation </li></ul><ul><li>“… 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. </li></ul><ul><li>CILIP (2004) Information literacy definition </li></ul>
  6. 6. Definition of digital literacy <ul><li>“… the skills, knowledge and understanding that enables critical, creative, discerning and safe practices when engaging with digital technologies in all areas of life” </li></ul><ul><li>FutureLab, (2010) </li></ul>
  7. 8. New SCONUL model
  8. 9. FutureLab (2010) model of digital literacy
  9. 10. What are the issues? <ul><li>Jones et al (2010) highlights the generational debate. </li></ul><ul><li>If you were born after 1982 = Generation Y </li></ul><ul><li>In pairs - reflect on: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What did you think of the article? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>How did you become information literate? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Do you think there are any gaps / areas you need more help? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What training / skills should those in higher education be focusing on to support learning? </li></ul></ul>
  10. 11. IL in practice at LSE <ul><li>Information skills classes run by Library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open to all students – focus on PGTs and UGs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optional – run each term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Covers using library resources, literature searching, internet searching, citing and referencing, Endnote, keeping up to date </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taught by Library staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Full programme listed on LSE Library website </li></ul></ul>
  11. 12. Embedding IL in undergraduate study <ul><li>LSE100 is a core course for all undergraduate students (pilot in 2009/10 now compulsory) </li></ul><ul><li>Understanding the cause of things: thinking like a social scientist </li></ul><ul><li>Tackles the big questions in the social sciences and taught by leading academics </li></ul><ul><li>Has information, methodological and communication skills embedded </li></ul><ul><li>An online tutorial is available to students in Moodle to support the essay writing process </li></ul><ul><li>Evidence suggests students who use the tutorial perform better in final exam - need further research </li></ul>
  12. 13. DL in practice at LSE <ul><li>Digital literacy classes run by CLT and Library </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Open to all staff and PhD students </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Optional – run each term </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cover using web 2.0 tools (social networking, social bookmarking, Twitter, blogging), internet searching, keeping up to date, managing your web presence </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Taught by CLT and Library staff </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Further information on CLT website </li></ul></ul>
  13. 14. The MI512 programme <ul><li>Information and digital literacy course comprising of six 2 hour workshops </li></ul><ul><li>Aimed primarily at new PhD students </li></ul><ul><li>Builds up skills over programme </li></ul><ul><li>Specialist advice and support from liaison librarians </li></ul><ul><li>Taught by CLT / Library staff </li></ul><ul><li>Supported online in Moodle </li></ul>
  14. 15. Course contents <ul><li>Week 1: Starting a literature search </li></ul><ul><li>Week 2: Going beyond Google </li></ul><ul><li>Week 3: Locating research publications </li></ul><ul><li>Week 4: Specialist materials: primary sources </li></ul><ul><li>Week 5: Managing information </li></ul><ul><li>Week 6: Next steps and keeping up to date </li></ul><ul><li>Overview on LSE Library website </li></ul>
  15. 16. Course structure <ul><li>Pre-course assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Activity based workshops all in computer classrooms </li></ul><ul><li>Support in Moodle but primarily F2F </li></ul><ul><li>Based around SCONUL 7 pillars and designed (and redesigned) to support student learning </li></ul><ul><li>Post course evaluation </li></ul><ul><li>Tailored feedback given to each student </li></ul>
  16. 17. Gathering feedback <ul><li>Course evaluation forms used routinely in information and digital literacy classes. More detailed form used in MI512 programme </li></ul><ul><li>Analysed usage stats of information literacy resources in Moodle for undergraduate core course (LSE100) </li></ul><ul><li>Carry out staff survey every year and ask about training </li></ul><ul><li>Informal feedback from workshops and events such as LSE Teaching Day - Google Generation debate in 2010 and skills debate in 2011 </li></ul>
  17. 18. IL research: DELILA <ul><li>Research not core to role at LSE so externally funding </li></ul><ul><li>Currently managing 12 month JISC / HEA project in open educational resources programme </li></ul><ul><li>DELILA: Developing Educator Learning and Information Literacies for Accreditation </li></ul><ul><li>Turning LSE and Birmingham’s IL resources into OERs </li></ul><ul><li>Specifically releasing content for those seeking accreditation for their teaching from the HEA </li></ul>
  18. 19. DELILA: emerging issues <ul><li>IL / DL not explicit in UKPSF but underpins it: thus mapping important </li></ul><ul><li>IL / DL needs to be embedded in PGCerts and other accredited teaching courses </li></ul><ul><li>IL / DL resources contain 3rd party content that is often inappropriate to copyright clear </li></ul><ul><li>IL / DL resources may be more context specific than other teaching resources </li></ul><ul><li>Creative commons licensing could be used more routinely to help librarians share resources and good practice </li></ul>
  19. 20. DELILA Blog
  20. 21. Arcadia Fellowship <ul><li>Short projects to explore future of academic libraries - led by Cambridge University Library and supervised by Prof John Naughton </li></ul><ul><li>Currently undertaking research from May - July 2011 and on sabbatical from LSE </li></ul><ul><li>Working with Emma Coonan from CUL </li></ul><ul><li>Developing an undergraduate curriculum for information literacy for 2016 </li></ul><ul><li>Desk research and interviews with experts in the field </li></ul>
  21. 22. How to approach IL research? <ul><li>Literature review: LISA / LISTA but also advanced Google searching and searching educational databases </li></ul><ul><li>Search limited to very recent material </li></ul><ul><li>Search terms problematic: information literacy is a library term </li></ul><ul><li>Limited scope of a 10 week study </li></ul><ul><li>But need to produce something practical </li></ul>
  22. 23. Work to date <ul><li>Brainstorming with project partner </li></ul><ul><li>Discussions with librarians at Cambridge - reaction to revised SCONUL 7 pillars </li></ul><ul><li>Semi-structured interviews with IL experts (RIN Information Handling Group) </li></ul><ul><li>Questions emailed to other education and technology experts </li></ul><ul><li>Lots of reading and thinking! </li></ul>
  23. 24. Challenges of researching IL <ul><li>In pairs: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What do you think the challenges of carrying out research in this area might be? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is it important to be a researcher practitioner? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What sort of activities are important to researcher practitioners? </li></ul></ul>
  24. 25. Challenges of being a researcher / practitioner <ul><li>Finding time - the day job gets in the way of research and writing! </li></ul><ul><li>Credibility as a researcher when working in an institution that doesn’t have an education or information science department </li></ul><ul><li>Where to publish - the librarian’s echo chamber </li></ul>
  25. 26. Tips for success <ul><li>Apply for external or internal project funds to facilitate research </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Can give you time and project staff </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Build reflection and feedback into your regular processes - e.g. annual surveys </li></ul><ul><li>Get published - even if just internally </li></ul><ul><li>Network, network, network </li></ul><ul><li>Find a like minded friend / colleague </li></ul>
  26. 27. What next for me at LSE? <ul><li>Drafted an information and digital literacy strategy for LSE </li></ul><ul><li>More closely align training programmes to the Researcher Development Framework </li></ul><ul><li>Continue to work collaboratively with other training providers across LSE to avoid duplication / better target training </li></ul><ul><li>Follow on course to MI512 </li></ul><ul><li>More research on impact of LSE100 </li></ul>
  27. 28. Contact details <ul><li>Email j. [email_address] .ac. uk </li></ul><ul><li>Twitter @jsecker </li></ul><ul><li>Personal Blog http: //elearning . lse .ac. uk/blogs/socialsoftware/ </li></ul><ul><li>DELILA Project Blog </li></ul><ul><li>http: //delilaopen . wordpress .com </li></ul><ul><li>Arcadia Fellow for Easter Term based at Wolfson College / CARET so do get in touch! </li></ul>
  28. 29. Useful references <ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Margaryan, A and Littlejohn, A. (2009). Are digital natives a myth or reality? Students use of technologies for learning. Available at: http://www.academy. gcal .ac.uk/anoush/documents/DigitalNativesMythOrReality-MargaryanAndLittlejohn-draft-111208. pdf (Accessed 2nd June 2010) </li></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>SCONUL (2011) The SCONUL 7 Pillars Core model. Available at: http://www. sconul .ac. uk/groups/information_literacy/seven_pillars .html </li></ul><ul><li>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: http: //eprints . lse .ac.uk/32975/ </li></ul><ul><li>Secker, Jane and Chatzigavriil, Athina and Leape, Jonathan (2010) The impact of technologies in a first year undergraduate course for social scientists. In: European Conference on E-learning (ECEL 2010), 4 - 5th November 2010, Porto, Portugal. Available at: http: //eprints . lse .ac.uk/32968/ </li></ul>