Information Literacy Education as a Lens to Understand Inquiry-based Learning amongst Universities in East Asia
University of Tsukuba, Japan
Recent shifts in educational paradigms, coupled with rapid technological developments have revolutionized the way students consume knowledge. All these changes have created the need for a reconceptualization of the roles and responsibilities of libraries and librarians. Being the heart of the university, library and librarians support curriculum development, guide instructors to appropriate learning content, and assist with research. In this context, information literacy (IL) education has become an issue in many academic libraries.
Similar to Liu, et al. (2018), the current study was set out with the same belief that “Inquiry- Based Learning (IBL) should be made an integral part of any student’s learning, especially at the university level, that is one simply has to be a skillful, and effective user of the library in order to become a true independent learner” (p. 1). In other words, IBL and active/competent library use simply go hand in hand. The ability to synthesize information, and create new knowledge are competencies that lie at the heart of IBL, where students ideally are given the space to generate genuinely new knowledge through the process of research (McKinney, 2010). Alongside the ongoing shifts from traditional delivery learning and teaching modes to more student-centered approaches, IL is moving up some institutional agendas as a focus for strategic and pedagogical development (McKinney & Levy, 2006).
The research design was the mixed method with the questionnaire and interview. The questionnaire and group interview will be conducted with students from Peking University and the University of Tsukuba. Also, a semi-structured interview will be conducted with the librarians in order to develop a deeper understanding of IL and its relation with IBL practices. This study was set up with the aim of revealing the practice of IBL and its relations to IL in the context of higher education in Asia. The theory used in this research is authentic learning theory and mode of inquiry-based learning (Levy, P., & Petrulis, R., 2012). This study is guided by the following research questions:
• RQ1. To identify students’ overall attitudes and perceptions towards the series of IL education programs carried out by their respective university libraries;
• RQ2. To examine if there are significant differences in students’ perceptions towards the series of IL programs and the IBL practice;
• RQ3. To what extent these students at the three universities are incorporating the services and resources provided by their university libraries into their current research practices and formal learning in the context of IBL.
The researchers plan to report on a pilot study and discuss in detail the various sociocultural and educational factors affecting students’ perceptions of the importance of these IL services. The results obtained from this study will help library managers in understanding users’ own perceptions of their needs in IL – thereby reducing the gaps between user perceptions and expectations of the desired quality of library services from a cross-cultural view.
Levy, P., & Petrulis, R. (2012). How do first-year university students experience inquiry and research, and what are the implications for the practice of inquiry-based learning?. Studies in Higher Education, 37(1), 85-101.
Liu, Q., Lo, P., & Itsumura, H. (2016). Measuring the importance of library user education: A comparative study between Fudan University and the National Taiwan Normal University. The Journal of Academic Librarianship, 42(6), 644–654.
Liu, Q. et al. (2018). Library user education as a window to understand inquiry-based learning in the context of higher education in Asia: A comparative study between Peking University and the University of Tsukuba. College and Research Libraries [Accepted for publication].
McKinney, P., & Levy, P. (2006). Inquiring-based learning and information literacy development: A CETL approach. Innovation in Teaching and Learning in Information and Computer Sciences, 5(2), 1–13.
McKinney, P. (2010). Inquiring-based learning and information literacy: A meta-analytical study. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/polopoly_fs/1.122797!/file/IL_meta-analysis_PM-FINAL.pdf
Why Information Literacy Integration Doesn’t Work: Exploring the Experience of Academic Staff
UCL Institute of Education, London, UK
This research explores the idea of ‘integration’, which focuses on incorporating IL into the HE curriculum. Major frameworks and relevant research (e.g. ACRL, 2000; Derakhshan & Singh, 2011; SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy, 2011) have proposed approaches for integration into disciplinary curricula, and collaboration between librarians and academics. However, in these frameworks, the process of how to incorporate IL within disciplinary curriculum development has been underspecified. Research has primarily been practice-based, describing individual cases and lacking a wider theoretical foundation in curriculum theory. In this research, I will criticize these models, and then use new empirical data to offer an alternative perspective. In this paper, I will analyze the verbal accounts of academic staff for specifying processes of curriculum development, and propose new theories to guide practice. I will suggest the perspective of integration for academic librarians to design the curriculum.
I employed a case study methodology in a single social science institution in the UK. Semi-structured narrative interviews were conducted with academic staff involved in teaching a core undergraduate course to see how they implement IL in the core course and also in other disciplinary curriculum. The participants were recruited by snowball sampling. Five academic staff were interviewed (all from the field of social science). The interviews were audio-recorded and lasted for about 30-45 minutes. The interviews were transcribed and analyzed thematically, with themes emerging from the close reading of transcripts. This study received institutional ethical clearance and followed approved procedures for informed consent, including guarantees of anonymity and confidentiality.
IL was mainly discussed in team meetings, at which librarians were not present. During these meetings, IL was recognized as significant by the module leader. In reality, however, each academic teaches IL in their own module, and does not prioritise IL over disciplinary content or research methodology. For graduate courses, however, the academic staff sought to incorporate IL into their modules or tutorials. A convener in a particular discipline attempts to integrate IL aspects of a workshop into the course methodology, but in the end, she encourages colleagues to integrate those IL aspects into the tutorial, instead. As this illustrates, curriculum development is strongly rooted within the disciplinary culture and enhanced through informal chat among colleagues (Burrell, Cavanagh, Young, & Carter, 2015). For academic librarians, the lack of attention to the prioritization of content over IL has not been addressed in current frameworks. However, for academic staff, ‘espoused theory’ (IL frameworks) and ‘theory-in-use’ for IL development are disjointed in this institution (Argyris & Schön, 1974). For mutual benefit, academic librarians need to join team meetings in order to influence decision making. Building on such informal communication, theory construction should deductively be conducted at each institution level toward constructive integration.
ACRL. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from https://alair.ala.org/bitstream/handle/11213/7668/ACRL%20Information%20Literacy%20Competency%20Standards%20for%20Higher%20Education.pdf?sequence=1&isAllowed=y
Argyris, C., & Schön, D. A. (1974). Theory in practice: Increasing professional effectiveness. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
Burrell, A. R. et al. (2015). Team-based curriculum design as an agent of change. Teaching in Higher Education, 20(8), 753–766.
Derakhshan, M., & Singh, D. (2011). Integration of information literacy into the curriculum: A meta-synthesis. Library Review, 60(3), 218–229.
SCONUL Working Group on Information Literacy. (2011). The SCONUL seven pillars of information literacy: Core model for higher education. Retrieved May 14, 2018 from https://www.sconul.ac.uk/sites/default/files/documents/coremodel.pdf
The Role of Intuition in the Development of MIL as a Cultural Practice
Universidad Veracruzana, Veracruz, Mexico
UNESCO (2017) has promoted and studied media and informational skills (MIL) as part of its mission to promote the free flow of information (UNESCO, 2017). Nevertheless, despite the varied efforts generated, among them the creation of indicators for the evaluation of said skills in the Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Framework (UNESCO, 2013), UNESCO (2017) estimates that citizens do no’t know how to recognize on their own the importance of information and means of communication as part of their daily activities. This is because individuals are generally consider information literacy in terms of technological applications. With this in mind, we proposed the study of MIL taking as a backbone Gladwell (2005)’s ≪Thin-Scling≫ with the objective of describing the conduct of making quick decisions under limited information. The goal was to study the formation of competent citizens who might detect, analyze, and solve problems in a rational and immediate manner.
The present proposal has as a goal the construction of a new MIL conceptual framework that identifies the determining factors for the development and measurement of a culture of intuitive information at an institutional and community level. We followed a mixed methodological perspective (qualitative and quantitative)/. We selected our sample from the population section with the highest educational attainment. The sample size will be made up of conveniently chosen institutions with different characteristics in regards to their financial and nationality. We will conduct the investigation through five phases: 1. Construction of the conceptual framework MIL and measuring instrument; 2. Observation of the MIL practices in the selected cases; 3. Application of the MIL conceptual framework in the selected cases; 4. Stratified surveys that will be given to the various different groups that make up the institutions; and 5. Collection and analysis of data. We will analyse the data collected from the interviews with descriptive and inferential statistics. We will follow a qualitative analysis of the observations.. We hoped that, through the application of the conceptual framework MIL, the superior education institutions will have a conceptual framework of factors of an informative culture. This will be seen in the presence of citizens who will be able to identify their informative needs and satisfy them through the access, evaluation, and critical use of media and information.
Gladwell, M. (2005). Inteligencia intuitiva: ¿Por qué sabemos la verdad en dos segundos?. Madrid: Taurus Ediciones.
UNESCO. (2013). Global media and information literacy assessment framework: Country readiness and competencies. París: UNESCO.
UNESCO. (2017). R&D for media information literacy expansion and media – information – communication of next standard [Unpublished]. París: UNESCO.