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Supporting undergraduates of the future: developing a new curriculum for information literacy

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  1. 1. Supporting undergraduates of the future: developing a new curriculum for information literacy Dr Jane Secker & Dr Emma Coonan
  2. 2. The Arcadia Programme <ul><li>Based at Cambridge University Library </li></ul><ul><li>Academic advisor: Prof. John Naughton </li></ul><ul><li>Exploring the role of academic libraries in a digital age </li></ul><ul><li>20 Arcadia Fellows in 3 years </li></ul><ul><li>Many from outside Cambridge, not all librarians </li></ul>
  3. 3. Our research remit: Develop a new, revolutionary curriculum for information literacy in a digital age
  4. 4. Aims: in 10 weeks <ul><li>Understand the needs of undergraduates entering HE over the coming 5 years </li></ul><ul><li>Map the current landscape of information literacy </li></ul><ul><li>Develop practical curriculum and supporting resources </li></ul>
  5. 5. Method <ul><li>Modified Delphi study </li></ul><ul><ul><li>means of obtaining expert future forecasting </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>consulted widely in the fields of information and education </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Literature review </li></ul><ul><ul><li>theoretical overview of the field </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>revealed conflicts in terminology, pedagogic approach, values </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expert workshop </li></ul><ul><ul><li>method, findings and preliminary curriculum presented </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>curriculum refined in light of feedback </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. What do we mean by information literacy? “ Digital fluency”
  7. 7. Theoretical background <ul><li>Transition to independent learning </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Academic’ vs. ‘support’ elements </li></ul><ul><li>The cloistered garden and the labyrinth </li></ul><ul><li>Demos report: ‘Truth, lies and the internet’ </li></ul>
  8. 8. Transition: culture clash or opportunity?
  9. 9. IL and the support environment Academic mission
  10. 10. IL and the library
  11. 12. Rehabilitating information literacy <ul><li>IL is: </li></ul><ul><li>a continuum of skills, abilities, values and attitudes around analysing, evaluating, managing and assimilating information </li></ul><ul><li>fundamental to the ongoing development of the individual, social as well as academic </li></ul><ul><li>IL is not: </li></ul><ul><li>seen as part of the mainstream academic mission </li></ul><ul><li>merely functional/technological skills </li></ul><ul><li>the preserve or saviour of the library </li></ul>
  12. 13. “ 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
  13. 14. The expert consultation <ul><li>Consulted librarians, researchers, educators, trainee teachers, school librarians </li></ul><ul><li>How you teach at least as important as what you teach </li></ul><ul><li>Must be embedded into the academic curriculum and disciplines will vary </li></ul><ul><li>Must be based on real needs: students are not homogeneous </li></ul><ul><li>Must be opportunities for reflection </li></ul>
  14. 15. What our experts said… Modular, flexible holistic, embedded, Relevant to students Format and structure of the curriculum Online / face to face Active learning: discussion and reflection Training > Teaching Teaching style and method of delivery Who teaches? When?
  15. 16. And don’t forget…. Use of audits Meaningful assessment Learning outcomes How to market IL to different audiences Assessment Marketing / hooks Aligning the curriculum content to discipline specific knowledge, skills and behaviour
  16. 17. Technology in the curriculum <ul><li>No need to teach specific tools and software as curriculum needs to evolve but … </li></ul><ul><li>Assumptions around technology </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership or access to computers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ownership or access to mobile technology </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Google generation assumption </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Greater use of cloud computing </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Great use of social media - combating the filter bubble </li></ul></ul>
  17. 18. Our key curriculum attributes <ul><li>Holistic – supporting the whole research process </li></ul><ul><li>Modular – ongoing ‘building blocks’ forming a learning spiral </li></ul><ul><li>Embedded within the context of the academic discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Flexible – not tied to a specific staff role </li></ul><ul><li>Active and assessed – including peer assessment </li></ul><ul><li>Transitional : Transferable : Transformational </li></ul>
  18. 19. Curriculum strands <ul><li>Transition from school to higher education </li></ul><ul><li>Becoming an independent learner </li></ul><ul><li>Developing academic literacies </li></ul><ul><li>Mapping and evaluating the information landscape </li></ul><ul><li>Resource discovery in your discipline </li></ul><ul><li>Managing information </li></ul><ul><li>Ethical dimension of information </li></ul><ul><li>Presenting and communicating knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Synthesising information and creating new knowledge </li></ul><ul><li>Social dimension of information literacy </li></ul>
  19. 20. Using the curriculum <ul><li>The strands cover 5 broad learning categories, from functional skills up to high-level intellectual operations </li></ul><ul><li>Classes can incorporate multiple strands at the same level </li></ul><ul><li>Classes should be active, reflective, relevant to student need </li></ul><ul><li>You could use the curriculum to audit your own (or your department’s) teaching provision </li></ul>
  20. 22. Unpacking the curriculum <ul><li>Strand 1: Transition from school to HE </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the expectations at higher education level in your discipline? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the conventions around reading, writing and presenting at HE level in your discipline? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reflect on your current and previous information behaviour and consider what’s different </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Activities might include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reviewing HE level work and discussing differences with prior work at school </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Exploring academic journals and how they differ from more popular publications such as History Today or New Scientist </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Students identify top 3 current information sources and evaluate fitness for purpose </li></ul></ul>
  21. 23. Strand 6: Managing Information <ul><li>Note-taking </li></ul><ul><li>Time management and planning </li></ul><ul><li>Storing information effectively </li></ul><ul><li>Bibliographic and reference management </li></ul><ul><li>Push services / alerting / ways of keeping up to date </li></ul><ul><li>Activities might include: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Listen to short podcast and make 1) a full transcript, and 2) note salient points – reflect on both and when you might use them </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Create a plan including deadlines and a realistic time frame for your next piece of assessed work </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore cloud storage tools and discuss the merits of remote vs local storage </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Explore free and paid for reference management software – ideally peer-led </li></ul></ul>
  22. 24. ANCIL outputs, July 2011 <ul><li>Executive summary </li></ul><ul><li>The curriculum and supporting documents </li></ul><ul><li>‘ Teaching learning: perceptions of information literacy‘ (theoretical background) </li></ul><ul><li>Expert consultation report </li></ul><ul><li>Free to download at http:// / </li></ul>
  23. 25. Next steps, October - December 2011 ‘ Strategies for implementing the Curriculum for Information Literacy’ Dr Helen Webster & Katy Wrathall Arcadia Fellows, Oct-Dec 2011
  24. 26. Careers Unit Alumni Office Student Services Research Support Unit Faculty Learning Development Learning Development Student ambassadors International Office Disability Unit Student Services Careers Unit Faculty Library Library Library Student ambassadors Library Faculty Learning Development Faculty Faculty Research Support Unit
  25. 27. How could LSE implement the New Curriculum for Information Literacy?
  26. 28. Thank you Image: ‘Tulip staircase at the Queens House, Greenwich’ by mcginnly,