Teaching information literacy skills

  • Published on

  • View

  • Download

Embed Size (px)


Library satisfaction survey suggested improvements

Teaching information literacy skillsJo AkersFSTL16February 2016

Background: about meAcademic Liaison Librarian for:Communication Media & Culture, English Language & Communication, Religion & Theology, Philosophy, and Sport Coaching & PE at Oxford Brookes University

Background: why teach information literacy?One of the Brookes graduate attributes is

To be able to use appropriate technology to search for high quality information; critically to evaluate and engage with the information obtained (OCSLD, 2015)

Digital and Information Literacy

Theories behind need for information literacyIAKT I already know that (Bell, 2007 et al) BUT

Gross (2012) Simply stated, they tend to believe that they have above-average IL skills, when, in fact, an objective test of their ability indicates that they are below proficient in terms of their actual skills

Rieh (2016) students [...] believe that accessing, searching, using and evaluating sources of information are easy tasks that anyone can perform

Confirmation from some of our studentsFrom OBU Library satisfaction survey 2015 suggestions for improvements

The search tools for searching things online, for example I can't always be specific enough when searching for peer assessed journals

Find resources easier. I'm sure the system is easy but often you have to learn it first, it's not just straight forward

The second comment suggests that the correspondent feels IL shouldnt need to be learnt, it should be self explanatory. What other field of endeavour gets that sort of comment?5

Session for evaluationFirst year undergraduates, in week 4, 1 hour training session in the library. Already seen the group previous week for 1 hour.

19 students attended (not exactly the same 19 as the week before)

Lecturer wasnt present, but I was instructed to take a register and she had implied heavily that attendance was compulsory this can help counteract IAKT syndrome.

Session focused on teaching referencing skills

Methods employed: powerpoint slides

Brief exercise in groups

Demonstration of software

Outcomes as professed via powerpoint

Outcomes for my own purposesMaking them remember ME!

Making it relevant both in subject matter and timeliness for their course. This is helped by knowing the title and hand-in date of the assignment.

Making it student centred (Carbery, 2010)

I may never see them again and I want them to remember the library and the nice smiley librarian who can help them. The best ways to do this are by


Blooms taxonomy* and ILEvaluation being able to appraise and critically evaluate extracted information (Keene, 2010)Synthesis extracting information from those articles to use to back arguments in own assignment ie using them as evidenceAnalysis finding useful articles pertaining to those keywords/metaphorsApplication creating a search strategy from those keywords & metaphorsComprehension understanding the assignment, being able to pick out keywords and use metaphorsKnowledge the assignment that theyve been given

*taken from Butcher, 2014

How do the outcomes align?KnowledgeComprehensionApplicationRecognize different types of references

Understand the difference between a reference and a bibliography

Understand the importance of citing your sources

Understand the benefits of using reference management software such as EndNote


How do the methods align?Brief exercise in groups

EndNote software

Populating EndNote with

useful articles

Synthesis & evaluation would come from correctly referencing and using EndNote after the session has endedAnalysisKnowledge & comprehensionApplicationAnalysis

Evaluating the outcomes against BloomNeed to focus on progressing the synthesis and evaluation levels, but how?Follow-up on students. There will be an opportunity as Im seeing the group again this semester. Are any still using EndNote?

Devise a way of testing their knowledge for this second session maybe another exercise embedded plus opportunities for questions

Ask for feedback

Future actionsLiked the breakout session but try and elicit more participation/conversation

Promote materials (eg slideshows, videos, handouts) arising from the session more effectively via Moodle, social media, lecturer

Reiterate use Moodle forums, social media channels, rep forums to reinforce messages by repetition (Rothera, 2015)

Focus on feedback!

FeedbackSome formal feedback via surveys (OBU internal and external such as NSS)

Informally through other channels (subject committees, from lecturers, views of Moodle tools)

But do need to address, so may try Rotheras open questions (p.41-42)

Peer review of training sessions ask a colleague to sit in

Difficult to elicit! Handed out standard evaluation forms in the past and received very little data to work from generally positive but in a vague be nice to the librarian kind of way


RecommendationsSeek better channels for feedback

Employ more drop-in sessions (Rothera, 2015)

Create more online tools for use as-and-when some progress made already with video for Communication Media & Culture undergrads

Increase use of mixed methods in sessions


Bell, S. J. (2007) 'Stop IAKT syndrome with student live search demos',Reference Services Review,35(1), pp. 98-108.

Butcher, C. (2014) 'Describing what students should learn', in Fry, H., Ketteridge, S. & Marshall, S. (eds.)A handbook for teaching and learning in higher education: enhancing academic practice.4th ed. London: Routledge, pp. 80-93.

Carbery, A. and Hegarty, N. (2010) 'Think 'on' thebox: delivering engaging library database training to first year undergraduate students',SCONUL Focus,(50), pp. 52-56.

Gross, M. and Latham, D. (2012) 'What's skill got to do with it?: Information literacy skills and selfviews of ability among firstyear college students',Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology,63(3), pp. 574-583.

Keene, J., Colvin, J. and Sissons, J. (2010) 'Mapping student information literacy activity against Bloom's Taxonomy of Cognitive Skills',Journal of Information Literacy,4(1), pp. 5-17.

OCSLD and Oxford Brookes University (2015)Graduate attributes. Available at: http://www.brookes.ac.uk/ocsld/your-development/teaching-and-learning/graduate-attributes/ (Accessed: 15th February 2016).

Rieh, S. Y., Collins-Thompson, K., Hansen, P. and Lee, H.-J. (2016) 'Towards searching as a learning process: A review of current perspectives and future directions', 42(1), pp. 19-34.

Rothera, H. (2015) 'Picking up the cool tools: working with strategic students to get bite-sized information literacy tutorials created, promoted, embedded, remembered and used',Journal of Information Literacy,9(2), pp. 37-61.


View more >