Information Literacy for Masters students


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This was presented at the Konstanz Workshop on Information Literacy, Konstanz (Germany) 9th November 2007. In it I a) describe a "search/teach" activity undertaken with taught Masters students at the University of Sheffield and b) introduce Second Life (which I am using with undergraduate students).

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Information Literacy for Masters students

  1. 1. Information Literacy education for Masters students Sheila Webber Department of Information Studies University of Sheffield November 2007
  2. 2. Structure • Context and aims for Information Literacy • Blended learning as approach • Focus on an extended activity in a core module • Second Life
  3. 3. “4. Demonstrate the core capabilities and skills of Character- information literacy, interacting istics of a confidently with the nature and structure of information in their subject and handling Sheffield Graduate information in a professional and ethical manner; (University 5. Explore the history of and challenge the Learning, processes of knowledge creation, applying Teaching and creativity, enterprise and innovation, to push Assessment Strategy) against the boundaries of current practicequot;
  4. 4. My aims • Students become self-aware (critical and confident) about their own information literacy and information behaviour • Students understand value of information literacy in their lives and work • I adopt a pedagogic approach which facilitates this, using whatever tools, techniques etc are appropriate
  5. 5. Student context Evidence from some student research studies & audit e.g. • Some students feel have had no IL training in 1st degree • Most of rest recall it being in 1st year • Students report variety of pedagogic approaches to IL by previous lecturers, but mostly that of facilitating access to resources, or seeing it as someone else’s job • Different aspects of IL brought into focus by different types of task/assignment • Mix in: disciplinary backgrounds, nationalities, future career goals
  6. 6. Blended learning Review observed 3 ways in which term being used: 1. Supplementary resources on a VLE 2. “Transformative course level practices underpinned by radical course designs” 3. “Students taking a holistic view of the interaction of technology and their learning, including the use of their own technologies” Sharpe, R. et al (2006) The undergraduate experience of blended e- learning: a review of UK literature and practice. York: Higher Education Academy.
  7. 7. Blended • Lecture and seminar rooms; office; Labs • Tools in rooms: computers, whiteboard, flipchart, copycam, post-its, data projector, video etc • Virtual Learning Environment “MOLE” (aka WebCT) inc discussion boards & journals • Email, conversations in corridor or after classes • [students peer-to-peer] Facebook, texting, phoning • Second Life…….
  8. 8. Information skills module (Library) covering searching, evaluating, avoiding plagiarism etc. – all students can access Includes Departmental-specific material May be incorporated into subject courses in whole or part
  9. 9. Will focus on an extended activity in a core module
  10. 10. Learning objectives Information resources and information literacy • By the end of the module inf6350 students will: – understand key aspects of information literacy and information behaviour including: the nature of information needs, information seeking strategies, and the complexities entailed in satisfying information needs; – understand organisational issues relating to the satisfaction of information needs and developing clients’ information literacy; – will be able to demonstrate and evaluate their information literacy, for example expertise in accessing, using, comparing and evaluating information resources such as Web of Science, the Internet and DIALOG. Slide used in Theoretical & practical side week 1
  11. 11. Assessment 1. Annotated bibliography 2. Literature review based on 1. 3. Reflection on achievement in information literacy using SCONUL 7 Pillars model Each lecturer in Dept. sets topics (& then acts as client and marks assignment), students select from list posted to VLE c.60 students – Information Management & Librarianship FAQ, discussion board and scheduled session on what assignment is about
  12. 12. Educating others in IL. Focus on information needs Reference services. Dialog etc. Search/ teach Individual search exercise Bibliography Abstracting Slide used in Literature review week 1
  13. 13. Search/ Teach Exercise “For this task you will produce a brief guide to searching a specific database, and publish a short list of other resources providing training and advice” (Not assessed: formative)
  14. 14. Search/Teach Exercise By the end of the activity you should: • Have better knowledge and skills in using WoK, Google Scholar, Emerald Library, LISA • Have created a guide to WoK, Google Scholar, Emerald Library or LISA • Know more about the skills and knowledge needed to produce and evaluate support materials to help people search • Have increased knowledge and skills relating to Squidoo or a weblog • Be aware of how these activities relate to information literacy and be able to reflect on your own strengths and weaknesses in these areas. This is relevant to the assignment for this module and for lifelong learning. [Also given a document “How this task relates to the SCONUL 7 Pillars of IL…”]
  15. 15. 1c. Examination of resource, 1b. Students sign up in searching groups 2-3, examine/ 1a Briefing, Between classes: Students, mostly evaluate resource, linked to individual. Questions to lecturers determine way group session on posed in various ways should function evaluation Students: In lab f2f; 2a. Short presentations on guidelines Lecturer using VLE (sign up and for learning & differences in learning & F2f + material group discussion board cognitive styles posted to VLE if wanted) Lecturers: F2f + material posted to VLE 4a.Groups paired to evaluate each others’ guides and give feedback 2b. Auditing Students: In Students: In lab f2f progress, posing lab f2f questions, working on task 3b. Lecture on 3c. Post guide 3a. Completing guide and blog/lens IL work in & link to blog/ 4b. Feedback practice Between classes: Creating blog or lens on exercise Speakers Squidoo; No f2f lab in week between Students Everyone from Open 2b and 4a. Questions to lecturers : to VLE f2f Uni and posed in various ways Unilever
  16. 16. Blog examples from last year
  17. 17. Second Life: virtual world • July onwards lent office by Eduserv for Centre for Information Literacy Research: started discussion series • Successful bid to Centre for Inquiry Based Learning for the Arts and Social Sciences to fund island for a year • Island delivered early October • Compulsory activity (feeding into assignment) for 1st year BSc Information Management students in Information Literacy class (20 students) starting 22 October • Aim is for students to undertake critical incident interviews with SL residents (a time when they had an information need relating to a SL activity) in SL itself • Work with 2 librarians: in Sheffield (Lyn Parker) & St Andrews (Vickie Cormie)
  18. 18. Observations • SL a learning (and play) space – more like a classroom space than a website – with new possibilities • Has to be pedagogic rationale or is just faffing about in SL • Students won’t automatically be engaged & there is a learning curve, even for gamers • Transmissive approaches even duller in SL than in Real Life – need activity rather than content
  19. 19. Sheila Webber Sheila Yoshikawa