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Learning Information Literacy and teaching: an action research project

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Presented by Sheila Webber and Pamela McKinney at the European Conference on Information Literacy, September 2017, Saint Malo, France.

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Learning Information Literacy and teaching: an action research project

  1. 1. Learning Information Literacy and Teaching: an Action Research Project Pamela McKinney and Sheila Webber Information School, University of Sheffield September 2017, ECIL, Saint-Malo
  2. 2. Outline • The module context • Mapping the modules against Entwistle’s et al. (2004) Teaching-learning Environments model • Aspects of course design • Action research cycle, and reflections on findings • Conclusions Title photo taken by Sheila Webber in the virtual world, Second Life (SL is TM Linden Lab) McKinneyandWebber,2017
  3. 3. The Information Literacy modules • Face-to-Face (F2F) and Distance Learning (DL course new in 2015) running in tandem • Learning aims: • understand from both theoretical and practical perspectives the concepts of information literacy and information behaviour; • develop their own information literacy and understanding of its application to their future lives; • compare different approaches to teaching and demonstrate awareness of implications for adopting different approaches to teaching and learning; • understand how the information environment is evolving, including both traditional and new media, and the implications for citizens’ information literacy; and • develop practical skills in searching, evaluating and presenting information. McKinneyandWebber,2017
  4. 4. The development of the TLE model • ETL project Enhancing teaching-learning environments in Undergraduate Courses • 5 case studies in different disciplinary areas • Gathered multi-institutional data and used multiple data collection methods – from students and from staff McKinneyandWebber,2017
  5. 5. The Teaching- Learning Environment Entwistle et al. (2004: 3) McKinneyandWebber,2017
  6. 6. Subject knowledge & pedagogical beliefs • Pam -Background as a learning developer working specifically to extend and develop Inquiry-based learning (IBL) at the university. Research intersection between IBL and IL • Sheila – expertise in TEL and IBL – 2nd Life, MOOCs; research experience in phenomenography • Have UoS teaching awards individually and as a team • Our joint understanding of IL and what it means from a theoretical and practical perspective in different communities and landscapes McKinneyandWebber,2017
  7. 7. What students are expected to learn and understand • Desire to bring about conceptual change in students and not just “develop skills”. • Develop a strong theoretical basis for their teaching McKinneyandWebber,2017
  8. 8. Validating bodies and academic community • CILIP accreditation and Professional Knowledge & Skills Base (PKSB) & QAA subject benchmarks • Views from employers and alumni • Research: Corrall & Bewick (2009); Wheeler & McKinney (2015); Hornung (2013) Departmental and institutional influences • Institutional procedures & policies • Drive to create new distance learning course McKinneyandWebber,2017
  9. 9. Entry characteristics • DL students part-time, mostly working while studying • F2F more “just” students (but all had previous work experience) • F2F students ¼ International; DL students 1/10 international • Range of Undergraduate degree subjects McKinneyandWebber,2017
  10. 10. Overall course design (linked with constructive alignment; Biggs & Tang, 2011) • Both modules share subject, sequence and assessment but the tools used to deliver and mediate the teaching are different in the F2F and DL versions of the module. • 2 overarching strands – what is Information Literacy, what is Teaching & Learning • Practical activities (e.g. use TEL tools, Dialog searching) that are linked to expected progress on assessment tasks • Theoretical material dealt with towards end of module to ensure students have had teaching that directly relates to the assessment McKinneyandWebber,2017
  11. 11. • Assignment 1: create an annotated bibliography on a topic negotiated with a tutor and reflect on how personal IL has been developed through this activity. • Assignment 2: Work in a group to design an IL learning intervention (not assessed). Critically reflect on the experience of designing and delivering IL teaching and their personal development as teachers. McKinneyandWebber,2017
  12. 12. 30/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield Principal tools we use McKinneyandWebber,2017
  13. 13. Principal tools we use 30/05/2017 © The University of Sheffield Flipped learning: Echo360, Camtasia etc. to record - for both modules One practice has informed the other (virtuous circle) McKinneyandWebber,2017
  14. 14. Example activity: Reflect on an experience of finding information and identify the sources used Face-2-Face • Pre-session students asked to post to a Blackboard discussion forum. • In the session students were given a short lecture and then asked to discuss their post with a partner or small group in the light of material covered on “Infomation Horizons”. • Plenary discussion led by the tutor where individual’s experiences were discussed and points of interest or comparison were surfaced. Distance Learning • Pre-session (week) students asked to post to Google+ group. • A lecture was recorded with audio & video components and made available on Blackboard • Students were encouraged to reflect on their original post in the light of material covered on “Information Horizons” and post again. • A short feedback video was created that discussed the student posts and this was also made available on Blackboard McKinneyandWebber,2017
  15. 15. Action research: was the distance learning module meeting goals in terms of students’ development as teachers? McKinneyandWebber,2017
  16. 16. Plan (another year...) Reflect Observe Act (delivery) Plan (setting aims; course design) Teacher’s observation in of teaching Student reflection in assignments Student evaluations Teacher’s discussion with co-teachers & others Informal student feedback Interviews with 3 students: transcribed and analysed Discussion fora etc. “reflection in action” Action research In context of TLE McKinneyandWebber,2017
  17. 17. Interviews drew on 2 phenomenographic studies • Hornung (2013): conceptions of Continuing Professional Development • Wheeler and McKinney (2015): librarians’ conceptions of themselves as teachers McKinneyandWebber,2017
  18. 18. Action research project: development as teachers • All participants had some teaching (training) experience but no theoretical back ground “I just did it or did what my colleagues did and tried to adapt it if I didn’t like it” (P1) • Theoretical focus of the IL module helped development as a teacher: “this was one of the big things about your module, that it kind of gave me more of this theoretical background, and I can use it”(P1) • Prompted P1 to do PG Certificate in teaching at their institution • P3 identified an increased desire for teaching qualifications in librarian job advertisements McKinneyandWebber,2017
  19. 19. Action research project: development as teachers • All participants reflected on moving from transmissive style of teaching to a more constructivist style of teaching • “you have to have a little bit of confidence when you try to be a bit more active, more active learning, and I think this is one of the things that improved, yeah, I have more discussions now with my students than I had when I started.” (P1) • “For me it was opening my ideas to probably some of the more modern theories about how we can engage people, and I can see how for me those would be good models to use with people when you’re trying to work with people with different skillsets and different ideas and different backgrounds, that allowing them to explore it is much more an empowering experience for them.” (p2) • But I have to say that before I did this module that was my only sort of concept of teaching, so in a classroom sort of giving information (p3). McKinneyandWebber,2017
  20. 20. Action research project: development as teachers Developing expertise in Technology Enhanced Learning and Teaching; “I was really worried ……I would naturally have a lot of strategies for getting to know my learners and talking to them and sharing, you know, and making sure that they’re feeling comfortable about joining in and understanding what it is that they want to get out of sessions and things like that, and I was looking at this electronic stuff thinking, I felt completely inexperienced and yeah [laughs], like I don’t know how I’m going to approach this, you know, so that was the really hard thing, and having to rethink stuff to try and convert it.” (P2) changing perceptions of TEL: In fact, you know, when I was looking for courses in librarianship I sort of avoided the distance learning ones because I thought, you know, how am I going to interact? But the fact that I did this module definitely sort of changed my way of thinking, that you know, the fact that you have Adobe Connect and you can see the lecturer and you can hear them, and that you have a variety of resources that you can look at in your own time as opposed to sort of face to face, having to do it there, and that was also quite good. (P3) McKinneyandWebber,2017
  21. 21. Helen Kiely's experience... (distance learner) Photo: Sheila Webber McKinneyandWebber,2017
  22. 22. "It’s eleven o’clock at night and I am sitting in bed with my laptop balanced precariously on my knees. On my screen, a PowerPoint document is undergoing rapid changes. Slide 3’s pictures are moving around, citations are being added to Slide 7, typos are being removed on slide 12 all at the same time. Through my headphones I can hear my fellow students chatting away about the changes we still need to make and at the bottom of the webpage a chat browser adds more comments to the conversation. One person says she will have to go soon, it is nearly teatime in Hong Kong, while the rest of us will soon be heading to our beds before it is time to get up for work the next morning. I never expected distance-learning group work would look like this!" (Kiely and Dawson, 2017) McKinneyandWebber,2017
  23. 23. Action research project– development of own IL • P2 – developing a broader conception of IL “So there’s a lot about not only the finding the information but that full assessment of information, what is information and what’s not information and what’s, you know, and from their context it would have been hearsay and things like that, but I think it was thinking about those things that was newer to me” • P2 – incorporating new IL understanding into student support “So actually, and so that’s something that I now show students to do quite regularly, is I draw them out a little table and go, “Look, think about what words you’re using and compare them,” because it’s surprising how differently you get results for just a tiny, you would almost think of it as an inconsequential change” McKinneyandWebber,2017
  24. 24. Action research project – wheeler model P1: Before module: “trainer” “Exactly, I am a trainer, I am a skills trainer, no, I show them something, I show them how to use a database, I show them how to type in a word, I show them how to use Refworks or whatever……It’s very much skills training session, I’m not a teacher.” After module: “Librarian who teaches” – increase in understanding of constructivism McKinneyandWebber,2017
  25. 25. Action research project – Wheeler model • P2: before – “Trainer” (relates assessment to teaching) • After: views “teaching” as a transmissive style and rejects it “I think the word teacher is too, yeah, it indicates a degree of formality and control and rigidity of presenting information that I do not subscribe to” McKinneyandWebber,2017
  26. 26. Action research project – Wheeler model •P3: Before ”I’m not a teacher and I don’t teach.” •After: “My whole concept has sort of changed, like it’s not standard, you know, being a teacher, being in a classroom, preparing something, having students do an activity, mark it, but it can be in other sort of ……it’s not just giving them the information they’re asking you for but understanding what they don’t get, and that’s sort of trying to, yeah, help them develop their skills or their knowledge” McKinneyandWebber,2017
  27. 27. Conclusions • Being in-work allows students to more immediately contextualise their learning through discussion and observation • Students enhanced their own teaching practice through engaging with teaching theory • Personal IL development has been fed through into improved support for their students • Models developed through phenomenography useful tools for stimulating reflection and development McKinneyandWebber,2017
  28. 28. Referencesat https://docs.google.com/document/d/1AStBnYqjwMn dpDoIL9aaJPh18ZgbjbH- J3cHZWG4Sbk/edit?usp=sharing Sheila Webber Information School University of Sheffield s.webber@shef.ac.uk Twitter: @sheilayoshikawa Second Life: Sheila Yoshikawa http://information-literacy.blogspot.com/ http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/ Pamela McKinney Information School University of Sheffield p.mckinney@shef.ac.uk Twitter: @ischoolpam

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