Presentation, speech or public appearance
Helping students develop information skills is everyone’s business: examining information contexts
Details
Start date: 24/10/2018
End date: 27/10/2018
Event name: International Society for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning 15th Annual Conference Toward a Learning Culture
Description
Information literacy (IL) is both a discipline and transdisciplinary skill (ACRL, 2015). Its transdisciplinary and context-dependant application, as well as its theoretical underpinnings, make it a natural fit within the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL). IL is broadly defined as the ability to search for, select, critically evaluate and use information for solving problems in various contexts (ACRL Framework, 2015; SCONUL 7 Pillars, 2015). Previous decades of expansion and diversification in higher education - with a growing interest in research on teaching and learning (e.g. SoTL), along with the rapidly changing information landscape – has highlighted IL as an important academic skill. IL is a vital skill for graduates’ employability, lifelong learning, and for being an engaged and informed citizen. Today, this conversation has been reinvigorated due to the rapid misinformation spread via social networks and the Internet. This panel is comprised of three librarians from three countries who will talk about how IL is viewed in different national contexts in North America and Europe. The panelists will outline how different national and institutional contexts affect how IL is viewed, highlight the importance of disciplinary context and how faculty approach IL, discuss how IL can be embedded into curriculum, and point to the dominant IL frameworks currently being used. The panelists will also summarize some of the common critiques of IL instruction and make an argument for why IL can be enhanced through SoTL research approaches. Time will be set aside, near the start of the panel, for participants to discuss how information works in their discipline (including creation, distribution, and evaluation) and how they teach IL skills in their classroom. Following an overview of the dominant IL frameworks and different national contexts, the panelists will lead a more general discussion about how these frameworks apply or do not apply to the participants’ disciplinary contexts. Constructivist approaches on learning IL have replaced instrumental pedagogical views inspired by behaviorism and its focus on generic and decontextualized skills. Learning is seen as constructed from learners’ own experiences and understandings of the object of teaching/learning. A social and contextual constructivist pedagogical view is put forward by researchers such as Vygotsky (1962) and Lave and Wenger (1991) who argue that learning is embedded in and part of social, ideological and physical contexts, situations and environments (e.g., academic disciplines). In IL research, such communities of practice are studied in information and learning practices (Limberg, Sundin & Talja, 2013) stressing IL as a context-bound and transdisciplinary skill and not only as a discipline in itself. The specific practices of both information and learning mean that instructors can reinforce the separateness of information and not support a cohesive understanding of information practices and environments. Much of the discourse around IL revolves around the situational context in which these skills are taught. There is evidence that curriculum embedded IL instruction is more likely to promote long-term skill development (Rosman, Mayer, & Krampen, 2016). Learning can be maximized when information literacy is underpinned by theory and taught contextually. This means that instruction needs to be tailored to the program, course, and assignments. While there are established threshold concepts (Christensen, 2015; Townsend, Hofer, Hanick, & Brunetti, 2016), a critique of IL scholarship is the overabundance of local, institutionally specific, and practice-based studies not rooted in theoretical literature. Through a SoTL lens, IL and its influence on learning is better understood. Furthermore, IL research can be strengthened by borrowing some of the established methodologies and linking research to theory. From this panel presentation, audience members will learn about the variance in approaches to IL instruction and why national, institutional, and disciplinary context is so important. Through discussion, participants will connect how SoTL studies can help faculty understand the nature of IL in their context and what IL skills their students possess and still need to learn. Studying IL through a SoTL lens has the potential to greatly aid the higher education learning community in understanding differences in how IL is contextualized, based on the differing international information landscapes. Panel session learning objectives:
Define information literacy in the context of their discipline;
Develop ideas for how information literacy could be integrated into their discipline and taught;
Identify how approaches and practices in SoTL can support and undergird information literacy theory and skills in various learning cultures.
Finding and evaluating information is a critical skill in higher education, regardless of the disciplinary, institutional, and national learning contexts. This panel session will provide an argument why teaching information literacy skills is everyone's business, and will get participants to think about how how information literacy is relevant to their own disciplinary context. Throughout the session, participants will have opportunities for dialogue and discussion about information literacy in their discipline and cultural context. Specifically, time will be set aside, near the start of the panel, for participants to discuss how information works in their discipline (including creation, distribution, and evaluation) and how they teach IL skills in their classroom. Following an overview of the dominant IL frameworks and different national contexts, the panelists will lead a more general discussion about how these frameworks apply or do not apply to the participants’ disciplinary contexts. By rooting information literacy skills within SoTL, attendees will develop new ideas for integrating and teaching information literacy skills.

Last updated on 2019-08-08 at 13:23