The University of Malaya has made it compulsory for all first year students to attend a one hour credit course, ‘GXEX1401 : InformationSkills Course’ since 1998. It was the first public university in Malaysia to implement a mandatory information course. Other universities like UPM and UKM, offer a similar course but on an elective basis. At UM, students are assessed throughout the course via a test, project paper and final examination. The project paper is to ascertain students are able to apply the skills taught to locate and retrieve information. In the absence of a search topic or feedback from the faculty, the library provides topics independently. Students will be assigned a topic each and taught the following :
By and large these developments have been received very positively, but a growing concern by many academic staff that they have “lost touch with the library” is also evident. The making of fewer visits to the library as a result of electronic journal provision is an obvious and universal example and there is consequently less opportunity for casual contact with library staff that in the past, went along with information or serials desk enquiries. Massey, like many libraries, introduced a liaison scheme giving librarians specific responsibility for groups of academic staff and postgraduate students in order to counter this trend and to follow the information out of the library. As well as formal training they have provided individual research consultancies which have been taken up more enthusiastically by postgraduate students than by staff. Many staff will recommend that their PhD students take a research consultation with a member of the library staff much more readily than they will request one for themselves. Academic staff, following the “principle of least effort”, seek no more than a minimal toolkit of techniques. The task of informationskills trainers is to help these staff to develop the most effective toolkit consistent with the principle.
In 2009, Dundee College libraries had no formal literacy skills program despite having trained library staff with a variety of abilities and backgrounds. At the same time, the curriculum manager for Special Programs was keen to improve the information and digital literacy skills of specific groups within this area, but was unsure where to find support. Through open discussion with the library team, the possibility of using specialist library skills to develop an information literacy program was considered, with the official launch of the Literacy InformationSkills project in the same year.
In 2001-2002 the Big Blue Project investigated informationskills training for students studying in further and higher education. As a result of the highlighted training gap in this area, MMU Library established a dedicated informationskills project team, InfoSkills, in 2002. By creating a generic teaching toolkit, the team aimed to embed informationskills training in all first year undergraduate degree programmes at the University. The teaching toolkit created includes a PowerPoint based presentation, workbook and virtual training tutorial. With 325 undergraduates enrolled on the first year programme, using a workbook would pose similar problems faced already by small computer based training sessions: too many students, small teaching rooms and too time consuming to deliver. Through discussion with academic teaching staff on the first year law programme the generic online WebCT based module was tailored to include legal specific examples and information. ‘InfoSkills for Law’ [figure 5] takes first year students studying on the Legal Research Methods module through a 5 step process of research:
The GAELS courseware was developed in the late 1990s as part of a collaborative project between the Universities of Glasgow and Strathclyde, with funding from the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council. The courseware was designed to teach higher level informationskills and was initially developed for use with postgraduate engineering students; it has subsequently been adapted for use with students in other subject areas, including biological and physical sciences, and has been embedded for several years now in workshop sessions undertaken with postgraduate and undergraduate students across the Faculties of Science and Engineering at the University of Strathclyde. The courseware is introduced at the start of the academic session and made available on the Web so that students can use it as needed during their course and project work.
programme have worked hard to build a community spirit. As Grasman (2002) noted: ‘Communication is the key to a successful internet-based course.’. We are both enrolled as instructors on the modules and, alongside the academic staff, we are able to add any material we feel is appropriate. The material we provide on Blackboard complements what we do using Live Classroom and includes interactive tutorials covering information search strategies, Boolean and critical evaluation. We also provide links to user guides and other ISD services. In addition, there is a link to our dedicated email address, which is monitored daily and which students use to contact us for advice and assistance.
If you wish to make a copy of a source of information it is your responsibility to ensure that you do not infringe copyright law. If you are making a single copy of information for your own use it is likely that this copy can be made under the “fair dealing” guidelines. Many libraries and institutions own licenses that allow additional copying under certain guidelines. More information about these licenses is available from several sites listed in the further reading section of this chapter. Copyright applies to all types of information, including print and electronic information, sound recordings, sheet music, art and drama.
This view is backed up by other research, such as that by Rosenberg (2002, cited in Lloyd, 2010) and De Saulles (2007) which highlights both the importance of information literacy skills – for example, evaluating information found on the internet – and the gaps which exist for employees in SMEs. Christine Irving (2006) in her interviews with employees from a variety of workplaces, including some from SMEs, found that workplace learning generally needs to be work- related and task-specific in order to be granted time during working hours. Some interesting issues arose around the mobile learning objects, in relation to people‟s preferred mode of learning and also to technological barriers.
Critical thinking is by no means restricted to academic matters. At certain points in our lives, each of us faces some decisions in which it is not clear how we should proceed. Examples can include career choices and educational choices. The act of purchasing a car involves critical thinking to a certain degree. Without thinking carefully, you may make spur of the moment decisions. In order to think critically you need to have sufficient background information concerning your subject. The information found in this chapter will assist you with the decision making process.
Table 3 suggests an interesting indication of the timeliness of information literacy support, in the way that access fluctuates in different months. Assignment deadlines were in November and January, which suggests that students were using the resources close to the assessment deadlines. The low number of users in October could suggest that information literacy skills are best taught at the point of need and/ or that the traditional teaching sessions the students attended were sufficient for that time of year. The number of hits in December was quite high considering students are on holiday for two weeks of the month; this suggests they were preparing for the assessment due to be submitted in January. By December students would have received feedback from the first assignment submitted in November, and the December number may indicate that students were using the resources in preparation to improve their assignment standard.
commenced in September 2000, is using the ubiquity of the web to produce a series of units, each of which will help users to acquire the necessary skills to find and use quality information sources. The first phase of the project is concerned with identifying relevant subject modules and academics with whom to work, specifying and developing the interface, and examining the functionality of the materials. An underlying principle which has emerged in the early stages of the project is that the materials will use live (rather than screengrabbed) DNER content such as BIOME and the Virtual Training Suite as well as locally available databases such as Cinahl. As new DNER services become available the materials will also incorporate these, ensuring currency and a cycle of continuity. Phase two of the project will concentrate on transferring the INHALE methodology and system architecture to other subject areas such as business.
This study has several important implications. Firstly, the poor test results should initiate a probe into the causes so as to identify appropriate actions by all concerned. It may be a consequence of the lack of awareness among students on the importance of developing good informationskills. Students should be encouraged to use more scholarly resources in both print and electronic format. Another important implication of this study is that it is crucial to assess students’ information literacy skills as a proactive action to evaluate and improve the effectiveness of an information literacy programme. Constant assessment and constructive efforts should lead to a more integrated curriculum and collaboration between academicians and information literacy specialists to produce a well-designed programme and ultimately information literate engineers.
Looking at the informationskills it appears that roughly 2/3 of all respondents were able to locate information and of this group another 2/3 used a reliable website. These numbers differ between the different educational levels, where a higher educational level seems to indicate better informationskills.. All respondents but one, used a single source of information. Adolescents don’t seem to question the source they find. Respondents all used Google as their search engine and mostly used a query of 2 to 5 words. Some respondents literally copied the question stated in the assignment, which mostly resulted in unusable or irrelevant search results. Also none of the respondents looked further than page 1 of the search results. If they didn’t find it on the first page, people restate their search query. The use of Boolean commands in a search query was not performed at all. When taking the previous studies in account, where adolescents and children are said to be a bit naïve and miss critical judgment (Digivaardig & Digibewust, 2010) one can see the resemblance to the research at hand. Proper development and training of this skill is certainly needed to create users who know where to find information, and are capable of determining if certain information is valid and reliable. Here lies a important role for primary and secondary schools.
Student feedback indicated they wanted more time in a supportive environment to explore the internet as a research tool and develop their skills. So in the following year this was developed into three computer laboratory sessions, one informationskills session where students found information which they then developed into a poster in the next two sessions. Further recent initiatives have included researching of copyright-free images and students producing digital posters rather than print posters.
skills as demonstrated in their assessment. Students were encouraged to complete the IRQ in the first or second week of classes, so this formed the first learning activity that taught students about Inquiry/Research skills, but it was also an assessment of their baseline skill level. Students then practiced and demonstrated what they had learned in the first low- stakes written assessment for EDU1CW (Stage 1, described below). Finally, students were formally assessed on whether they met the cornerstone standards for Inquiry/Research in their Stage 2 assignment (Theoretical and Background Plan, described below) due in week six, and were given formal feedback on their Inquiry/Research skills on a rubric in week eight. The rubric that we used was based on the La Trobe University Information Literacy Framework (La Trobe University, 2011b). The Framework has six standards, which articulate learning outcomes at cornerstone, midpoint and capstone levels and is based on a standardised Australian Framework (Bundy, 2004). The cornerstone outcomes from the Framework were transferred to the rubric and used to assess students’ assignments in terms of meeting, not meeting, or exceeding the standard.
At a graduate health sciences university, the authors investigated using an information literacy rubric to track student progress in information literacy skills for various degree programs. We based the design of our information literacy rubric on the Association of American Colleges and Universities’ (AAC&U’s) information literacy Valid Assessment of Learning in Undergraduate Education (VALUE) rubric, which was developed by a national team of faculty who were content experts or closely involved in outcomes assessment. According to Finley, the VALUE rubrics have face validity and content validity . Though the VALUE rubrics were designed to assess undergraduate learning, Gleason, Gaebelein, Grice, Crannage, Weck, Walter, and Duncan found a VALUE rubric to effectively track progression of critical thinking skills among graduate-level students . Additionally, the information literacy VALUE rubric is heavily based on the ACRL ‘‘Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education,’’ which apply beyond undergraduate populations. We, therefore, decided that the structure of the information literacy VALUE rubric was appropriate for graduate
The knowledge and abilities of ICT users have evolved as fast as the very ICT did. During the 1990’s, an average ICT user was supposed to be proficient in using an operating system (specially managing files and folders), in writing with a word processor, in working with spreadsheets and having some knowledge of multimedia formats , . Notwithstanding, with the wide adoption of the Internet and its related technologies, some more skills were added to the former list (for instance, sending e-mails and surfing the web), and the list of skills and common ICT activities keeps growing with each passing day. Unfortunately, security and privacy issues have been traditionally considered out of the scope of the average ICT user. That started to change in the beginning of 2000, when the concept of security of ICT users gained importance; especially after the publication of several reports , , ,  that captured the attention of governments and institutions , .
Curation is an active process whereby content/artefacts are purposely selected to be preserved for future access. In the digital environment, additional elements can be leveraged, such as the inclusion of social media to disseminate collected content, the ability for other users to suggest content or leave comments and the critical evaluation and selection of the aggregated content. This latter part especially is important in defining this as an active process (Antonio, Martin & Stagg, 2012). In response to the over-abundance of information now readily available on the internet, a suite of digital curation tools have emerged and are aligned with the need to locate, select and synthesise web content. Scoop.it is one such tool that allows the user to select, preserve, maintain, collect and archive digital assets in one place. In this study, Scoop.it was incorporated into the curriculum to provide a more interactive and engaging learning experience that was more closely aligned with the expectations of this particular cohort of ICT students. The assessment task was also designed to assess the students’ digital information literacy skills. By enabling the students to curate digital content on their Scoop.it pages, and justify their inclusion of this content, we were able to observe how the students determined whether or not a particular piece of content was credible and, by extension, if they exhibited digital information literacy skills. The researchers selected Scoop.it for this task as it adheres most closely to the aforementioned definition of curation.