Teaching Information Literacy Skills Tom Adam, University of Western Ontario Stephan Beckhoff, London Health Sciences Centre
Teaching Information Literacy Skills Tom “Dewey Decimator” Adam Stephan “The Obtuse Kid” Beckhoff
A librarian should be more than a keeper of books; a librarian should be an educator…All that is taught in college amounts to very little; but if we can send students out self-reliant in their investigations, we have accomplished very much… Otis Hall Robinson, “Proceedings,” American Library Journal v.1, November 30, 1876: pp.123-124.
Question Did you ever think of yourself as an educator?
Goals To enhance your learning materials by applying theory and design principles To make an informed decision when evaluating instructional media To conceptualize information literacy To consider how information literacy shapes instruction
Objectives • Apply fundamental Instructional Design • Apply adult learning principles • Compare instructional media • Highlight design principles for a WWW instructional event • Investigate information literacy standards • Consider current practices in library instruction • Consider future trends in library instruction
Fundamentals: Instructional Design Three step process: Analysis • Learner • Environment • Needs, gap, task analysis Design Strategies Evaluation • Formative, summative
Fundamentals: Instructional Design Design Strategies Organizational Strategies • Structures • Sequencing (ID and Learning theory) Delivery Strategies • Media • Grouping Management Strategies • Scheduling, resources, etc
Instructional Design Theory Lesson Level Organizational Strategy Introduction Body Conclusion Assessment
Instructional Design Theory Lesson Level Organizational Strategy Introduction Gaining attention Informing the learner of the objective Stimulating prior recall Body Presenting “stimulus” material Providing guidance Eliciting performance Providing feedback Assessing performance Conclusion Enhancing retention and transfer (summarize) Assessment Nine Events of Instruction - Gagné-Briggs 1983
Instructional Design Theory Keller ARCS model for “motivating” instruction: Attention Relevance Confidence Satisfaction
Adult Learning Principles Androgogy: the art and science of teaching adults Arnold et al (1991) state that among adult learners, people retain: 20% of what they hear 30% of what they see 50% of what they see and hear 70% of what they see, hear and say 90% of what they see, hear, say and do
Adult Learner: Characteristics Have a variety of work and life experience Learning is a means to an end Response to life change events Highly motivated Cover material rapidly Appreciate respect View learning as a social process Fragile self-esteem Pre-occupied Diminished physical and perceptual capacities
Teaching the Adult Learner • Create an atmosphere of challenge, little threat, freedom of choice, respect and warmth • Set goals, meet needs. • Get learner involved in establishing and meeting needs
Learning Cycle People cycle through four phases: Concrete Experimentation Active Experimentation Reflective Observation Abstract Conceptualization Learning Style Inventory – D. Kolb, 1999
Learning Cycle Concrete Experimentation “Learning by experiencing…” • Learns from specific experiences • Relates to people • Sensitive to feelings and people Learning Style Inventory – D. Kolb, 1999
Learning Cycle Active Experimentation “Learning by doing…” • Shows ability to get things done • Takes risks (What if..?) • Influences people and events through action Learning Style Inventory – D. Kolb, 1999
Learning Cycle Abstract Conceptualization “Learning by thinking…” • Logically analyzes ideas • Systematically plans • Acts on intellectual understanding of the situation (How does it work…?) Learning Style Inventory – D. Kolb, 1999
Learning Cycle Reflective Observation “Learning by reflecting…” • Carefully observes before making judgments • Views issues from different perspectives • Looks for the meaning of things (Why?) Learning Style Inventory – D. Kolb, 1999
Instructional Media • Print • Internet/CBT • Instructor
Instructional Media: Print • Interactive, asynchronous • Cheap to reproduce • High production value • Limited versatility – stand alone or supplement • Easy to edit/update • 50 – 100 hrs of effort for 1 hr of academic media
Instructional Media: CBT/WWW • Highly interactive, asynchronous • Unlimited reproduction (web) • High production value • Versatile – can accommodate many learning styles • End-user needs equipment • Expensive to produce: 200 – 300 hrs for one hour of academic media
Instructional Media: Instructor led • Highly interactive • Accommodate different learning modes almost instantaneously • Needs extensive resource management and planning • Cheap to produce: 3 – 10 hours for 1 hour of academic media (i.e. lecture) • Extremely expensive to produce the content expert
Designing for WWW: Principles Know your audience Test your content Learn and use design principles for WWW Ensure design continuity Keep navigation simple Apply learning and ID principles to your teaching materials and teaching style
Web Page Design Principles • Text • White space - Hyperlinks • Graphics and graphic highlighting • Colours • Scrolling • Animation • Blend delivery solutions
Question Which is better…Print, Internet/CBT or Instructor?
How did you learn the library? What did you do? How did you feel? What were you thinking?
Information Explosion • Bombarded daily with information • Electronic journals & digital libraries • Connecting Canadians • SchoolNet, LibraryNet
Coping with it… • Computer proficiency skills • Technological competence • Information literacy • Common to all learning environments • All levels of education and beyond • Engage critically with content • Extend investigations
Information Literacy • ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000) http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/standardsguidelines.htm • CAUL Information Literacy Standards (2001) http://www.caul.edu.au/caul-doc/publications.html
Information Literacy at Western • equip students with the power to achieve straight A’s! A A ccess ssess A A ssimilate pply
A ccess • recognize the need for information • identify potential sources • question formation • develop effective search strategies • navigate resources
A ssess • critically evaluate information & sources • content • context • informed decisions • re-examine & refine searching strategies
A ssimilate • incorporate into knowledge base • classify, store, manipulate, manage • relate to how information generally is generated and stored • organize for practical application or purpose
A pply • use new information in critical thinking and problem solving • share information, create new knowledge • ethical, legal, socio-economic implications • responsible stewards
DANGER! DANGER! DANGER! • Static set of skills mastered once Information Literacy Standards must dynamically respond to the ever- changing information environment.
Where Does It Happen? • anywhere and everywhere • at the desk one-on-one assistance • integrated, assignment-based • course specific one-off sessions • demonstrations of specific tools • self-directed tutorials • embedded in the curriculum
About Western Libraries Seven locations across campus • Collection of 7,500,000+ • Digital Library 100,000+ e-resources
Where we were in 1998 • Upper Level and Graduate focus • Tool based teaching • Renovating Weldon • First year Programmes? • Field of Dreams
Our Plan • Look at what we needed to offer • Strategize a methodology • Develop an instruction model • Just do it!
Methodology • Develop an instructional model • facilitate standardized delivery of information concepts and skills • Promote the service • proactive, systematic • Deliver the instruction sessions • effective presentations • Evaluate • enhancement and improvement
Instructional Model • address core information skills, tools and Weldon collections • information literacy & searching skills • Library catalogue and key databases • concretely link to course objectives • interactively engage participants • foster a level of comfort • utilize current technologies • presentation software • hands-on approach (where possible)
Marketing and Liaison • concentration on 020 level • build on existing network • new faculty sessions, EDO, Residence Dons, Peer/Mentors • individual mailings • Pre-session meetings • clarify expectations and detail schedules • “Post-mortems” • evaluate and adjust
Politics 020 • Faculty liaison • Pre session meetings • Lecture • Tutorials • Exam Questions • Post Session evaluation and prep
So What’s Next? • Teaching Support Centre • Virtual Assistance • Ask Us Now