Information literacy skills & new students: perceptions, practices & potential across the UniversityMadeleine RogersonLibrarian (p/t), Bamford LibraryMadeleine Rogerson part-time librarian at the Bamford Library at Harper Adams University. 5 minute presentation to explain about a series of structured conversations held with managerial, academic, student services, library and learning support staff about this perennial issue of information skills and the new students1Harper Adams UniversitySpecialist agri-food chain and rural sector 2,500 fte students plus .
Harper Adams is a specialist institution for agri-food supply chain and rural sector. Small with 2500 fts but in addition 2
commercial farm 400 dairy cows, accommodation for 200 pigs, 7500 free range birds contributing to a large scale egg operation complete with our own anaerobic digestion plant 3Starting pointsInternal policies, strategies, aspirationsEntry requirementsEmployment statistics NSSCourse structure and assessmentStarting points are different in different institutions. In HE issues to consider include range of internal policies and plans, aspirations, structure of courses and assessment methods, final destinations of students etc4Key driversProfessional development Current provision / gaps in engagementCourse structurePopularity of academic guidance sessions2014/15 Library objectives: seeking new opportunities for developing information literacy skills
Why have these conversations? Structured conversations not interviews, intended to gather information about activity across the university that we may consider to be information literacy skills activities. Why I was new to the institution in the last academic year and didnt know enough about the points listed on the previous slide and it is always worth stopping to consider where your piece of the jigsaw fits in with the wider institutional activities; along with Jackie McCarthy (later in programme today) we had noticed a lack of engagement with certain groups of students, most notably international students who attend HAU to complete final year of degree. We had also noted success and popularity of sessions by academic guidance colleagues so wanted to build into objectives for the coming year new opportunities for delivering information literacy sessions.5Structured conversations
Director of Learning and Teaching Academic Guidance Tutors Careers and EmployabilityE-Learning teamIT Service Desk ManagerStructured conversations intended to provide us with a flavour of where people Library Services slotting in to support learning and teaching. Also offered the opportunity to reopen dialogue with academic staff in particular to re-inforcing what we can do and support . Most importantly the information can influence our ILS teaching practice. Selecting participants6Understanding of the terminformation literacyAsked academics / managers / e-learning / study adviser their use of the term information literacy most commented not a term they would use but of course understaood the meaning. Not currently explicit in L&T strategy. General understanding i. How to find things. ii. Most likely to include an ICT component . Gizmos gadgets comfortable to find . JISC part of digital skills . Linked to media literacy. iii. Finding the right things/ evaluating and making judgements about information / using the information to broaden subject knowledge iv Using the information paraphrasing / communicating the information ethical elements/ referencing sources
7Key attributes of a Harper Adams Universityinformation literate
Key attributes necessary to take a 2-3 year vision/ future proofing / looking to employers to help with this (more significant in some areas than others)Comfortable with a range of resources / tools : Evaluative in nature; Critical ; reflective; reading for meaning; recognise bias; distinguish between resources; Accuracy; Discerning; information curious. Applying information in workplace 3rd year work placement year/ employability. Mindful of digital footprint. Attributes may vary across disciplines and at different stages in the academic career. Minimum spec / higher spec of a HAU information literate (reference SCONUL novice to expert). Link this to HAU 20 point marking scheme.
8What / drives and supports this?What policies / procedures /mechanisms need to be in place to produce/ support the HAU information literate student? All staff expected that students were IL / used variety of methods : Written into assignment briefs eg making sure use a book journal / x no journal articles/ referred to 20 part marking scheme/ the Engineering library walk / IT Service Desk Analysis of help desk calls to devise particular sessions / reference in new T&L strategy?/ Careers and employabiloty sessions/ Destinations survey
9Gaps / potential
What more can we University and/or Library Services do? Some responses at institutional level eg build a strong infra- structure to support information needsListening to schools and colleges / necessity to be informed about IL activities at compulsory/ post compulsory level to onsider students prior learning experiencesLook at what is happening to schools and at 16-19 developments what does IL look like there?/ Bite-size sessions to reinforce front-loaded first year / first term sessions / measure the impact of ILS interventions/ Explain marking system / eg prior to careers guidance session build awareness of labour market company information/ be in tune with pressure points & deadlines
10Where nextLearning Innovations GroupSenior tutor / bite-size slots1st, 2nd 4th year studentsNew LMS / staff sessionsCollaborationTurnitin
ReferencesDubicki, E. (2013) Faculty perceptions of students information literacy competencies. Journal of information literacy, 7 (2), pp. 97 - 125Probert, E. (2009) Information literacy skills. Computers and education, 53, pp. 24 33
Must give credit for the approach to references above12