New Directions in Information Fluency

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Presentation on information literacy trends and research given at Augustana College, April 4, 2014 for the New Directions in Information Fluency conference.


  • 1. Metrics for Managing the Literacy Learning Process Sean Cordes, PhD Associate Professor, Western Illinois University

2. Past tense In 2000, the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education provided a framework for assessing the information literate individual in higher education Finding, evaluating, using, and citing information 3. Future Tense Complementary and Interacting Literacies Changes in technology, communication, and the information life cycle have changed the face of information literacy. Media Literacy-analyze, evaluate, create and participate with messages in a variety of forms print, video. internet. Seen as a basic human right, participative democracy, collective intelligence. Digital literacy encompasses understanding, evaluating and integrating digital information; creating digital content; and taking action to share knowledge and solve problems. Visual literacy enables an individual to find, interpret, evaluate, use, and create images and visual media. 4. Future Trends Most information literacy models developed in 1990s EVOLVING to include focus on: Multiple literacies, Affective outcomes, Creation, Collaboration 5. Alternative Information Literacy Models American Association of School Librarians Standards for the 21st Century Learner (2007) Multiple literacies, digital, visual, textual, technological crucial skills for this century Learning is affective, has a social context, students need skills in sharing knowledge and learning with others (collaboration) Society of College, National, and University Libraries (SCONUL) Seven Pillars of Information Literacy Core 2011, Information literacy is an umbrella encompassing information, digital, visual, and media literacies, information handling skills, data curation and data management 6. Beyond the classroom Students today may lack the skills for selecting the most relevant results they need for solving information problems in their daily lives (Head and Eisenberg, 2011). Recent graduates said they used for skills evaluating and managing content; yet employers felt most graduates still needed to develop adaptive strategies to save time and work more efficiently (Head et al. 2013). Within five years, information and communication technology skills will be a requirement for 90% of jobs, making these abilities vital for employment and work success (Kolding et al, 2009). 7. Trouble communicating in the team setting Lack ability to use multiple formats to provide context Trouble making meaning from multiple sources Fixated on finding answers quickly 1 2 3 4 Engaging team members in research process Retrieving information using multiple formats Finding patterns and making connections Exploring a topic deeply and thoroughly Information skills employers need Information skills many graduates have Head, A. J., Van Hoeck, M., Eschler, J., & Fullerton, S. (2013). What information competencies matter in todays workplace? Library and Information Research,37(114), 74-104. Retrieved from, 8. Study One The Foundation Gain insight into challenges students face building multimedia web sites Flanagans critical incident and standards used to benchmark student performance The Fit Message creation, diversity forms, sharing and collaboration, info handling, data curation, technological skills, affective outcomes 9. Constructivist Learning Example Web Site Develop a research question and develop a presentation web site using multiple content types and tools. 10. Findings Negative critical incidents were split about evenly for technology systems (54%) and Information search (46%) Students were effective identifying appropriate methods, retrieval systems, media types and sources, and using material ethically Implementing search strategies was a frequent problem. Google and database searches were effective. But problems occurred searching, sharing, and displaying, and connecting content with social network tools. In particular troubleshooting, using interfaces, and understanding how individual tools worked and how systems worked together. 11. Study 2 The Foundation Gather ratings of usability metrics to understand how useful and usable learners feel search systems are in general, and which search tools are most useful and easy to use The Fit Finding, evaluating, citing, and interpreting information, solving problems, technological skill, affective outcomes 12. Study Design 13. Findings When students found a tool easy to use, they also found it generally more useful, requiring less effort to control. Learners found the OPAC required more effort, and created more disorientation than the database or search engine But they felt the database most useful, while the search engine and catalog were equally useful, suggesting learners value good content over ease of use Interestingly, students thought the data base easy to use, but felt least confident using it 14. Study 3 The Foundation Uses online decision making experiment to explore how learners exchange information, develop feelings about group fairness, and foster strong group climate. The study helps shed light on factors that lead to more accurate group decisions, more effective collaboration, and positive feelings about the group. The Fit Collaboration, participation, evaluating and integrating digital information, knowledge sharing problem solving, collective intelligence 15. Study design Inputs Process Outputs Task Design Shared and unshared information between members Monitoring, Backup, & Coordination protocol vs ad hoc process Information Display Editable / collaborative document vs chat only Action Process Performance/ Affective The within-subject factor was the exclusive decision information set for each member. The between-groups factors were two independent variables, action process structure and information display structure. 15 Decision Performance Team Climate Procedural Justice 16. Hidden Profiles You are member of a four person pilot job search committee. D CB A All your team members have positive and negative information too. Some is the same. Some is different. The study uses a hidden profile problem 16 B C D AIf team members share all the information between them the initial worst choice becomes the best. Critical thinking, counterfactual mindset, listing 17. Findings Strong process for monitoring, feedback, coordination, interdependence increased decision performance, positive team feeling, and procedural fairness perceptions Collaborative display alone improved decision accuracy and team climate feelings at least some But collaborative display alone failed to improve fairness perceptions without strong process Also, participants who were very comfortable using internet technologies had more positive perceptions of procedural justice than persons with lower confidence levels 18. How can we teach these skills? Broaden the scope of search and gathering Develop perspective that information is preserved, yet different forms reflect a unique topology of deformations, twistings, and stretchings Focus on concept and content Stress similarities between tool interfaces and function, shift from teaching process to evaluation of fit and quality of content Offer Cross Media Examples Take a search. Do it in Ebsco, in Google for EDU sites, in a Diigo group, on Twitter, what results do you get, why? Develop topic centered support networks Provide support resources for lesson technology and processes, offer open class collaboration, integrate specialist Provide process structures for collaborative groups Create learning situation that foster interdependence, where students feel safe participating, contributions of all participants are recognized and valued, and decisions are made fairly 19. Questions?