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Information Literacy as a discipline: a contemporary perspective


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Presentation given as an invited talk by Sheila Webber and Bill Johnston at the European Conference on Information Literacy, 22 October 2014, In Dubrovnik, Croatia.

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Information Literacy as a discipline: a contemporary perspective

  1. 1. Information Literacy as a discipline: a contemporary perspective Sheila Webber Bill Johnston Dubrovnik, October 2014
  2. 2. Outline •Beyond definitions and descriptions •The indicators of a discipline and IL •Disciplines and pedagogical research •ACRL Framework 2014/15 •The discipline and the person Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2014
  3. 3. “There are more than enough definitions which enumerate characteristics of information literacy. What is needed is further analysis of information literacy as a coherent field of study” Webber and Johnston, 2000: 395 Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2014
  4. 4. IL and the indicators of a discipline •Becher and Trowler (2001) identify indicators of a discipline –The existence of professional associations and journals –The degree to which an international community has emerged –The existence of academic departments (not yet!) –Graduate students –Identification with the discipline –Distinctive language –Knowledge and research base •We identified IL as a soft applied discipline See: Johnston and Webber (2006); Webber (2010) Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2014
  5. 5. Threshold Concepts Thinking & Practising in the disciplines Variation Theory Phenomenographic Research Pedagogical research on disciplines’ teaching and learning: some key strands Approaches to Learning Entwistle & Tomlinson (2007) Marton, Hounsell and Entwistle (1984) Meyer & Land (2003) Teaching- Learning Environment Akerlind, McKenzie, Lupton, and Trigwell (2010) Constructive alignment Biggs & Tang (4th ed.) (2011) Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2014
  6. 6. ACRL revisions as stimulus •ACRL’s proposed IL Framework for Higher Education identifies Threshold Concepts (TC), throwing a contemporary focus on the discipline of IL •You cannot have TCs without having a subject or discipline within which the TCs reside: they are identified by disciplinary experts •By accepting the TC account of disciplines and disciplinary teaching, ACRL has provided further substance to the case for IL as a discipline in its own right and not a package of personal information skills Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2014
  7. 7. Knowldege & research base: Core elements •Information Literacy •Information behaviour •Learning •The diagram in the next slide also indicates areas of research activity Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2014
  8. 8. Information literate person Information economy: •Law •Changes in media •Pricing etc Organisational culture: •Mission; Values; Norms •Management style; ways of working •Information strategy Personal goals, relationships, habits, special needs Local & national culture & society Technical changes The information literate person in a changing information culture and society Johnston & Webber 2013 Based on Webber and Johnston, 2000
  9. 9. Sheila Webber Information School University of Sheffield Twitter: @sheilayoshikawa Photo and graphics:Sheila Webber Bill Johnston Honorary Research Fellow University of Strathclyde
  10. 10. •Akerlind, G., McKenzie, J., Lupton, M., Trigwell, K. (2010) Threshold Concepts and Variation Theory. •Association of College and Research Libraries. (2014). Draft for comment. •Becher, T. and Trowler, P. (2001). Academic tribes and territories: intellectual enquiry and the culture of disciplines. (2nd ed.) Milton Keynes, England: Society for Research into Higher Education and Open University Press. •Biggs, J. and Tang, C. (2011). Teaching for quality learning at university. (4th ed.) Milton Keynes, England: Open University Press. •Entwistle, N. and Tomlinson, P. (Eds.) (2007). Student learning and university teaching. (pp. 73-90). Leicester, England: British Psychological Society. •Johnston, B. and Webber, S. (2006). As we may think: Information Literacy as a discipline for the information age. Research strategies, 20 (3), 108-121. •Marton, F., Hounsell, D. and Entwistle, N. (Eds.) (1984) The experience of learning. Edinburgh, Scotland: Scottish Academic Press. •Meyer, J. and Land, R. (2003). Threshold concepts and troublesome knowledge: linkages to ways of thinking and practicing within the disciplines. •Webber, S., Boon, S. and Johnston, B. (2006). Comparison of UK academics’ conceptions of teaching information literacy in different disciplines. In Actes des 5èmes Rencontres Formist: Lyon: 2005 (pp.1-17). Lyon, France: ENSSIB. •Webber, S. (2010) La culture l’informationnelle: un domain d’etude international. In: Chapron, F. and Delamontte, E. (Eds) L’education a la culture informationnelle. (pp 102- 113) Villerbanne, France: ENSSIB. Sheila Webber & Bill Johnston, 2014 References