05 March 2006

Why teach an 'old dog' tricks they already know?

Isn't this insulting to the dog? How about University students? Wouldn't you be insulted if you had to re-hash 'information skills' that you already developed, because at the age of 45 years, having held a number of jobs in your time, one of which was in public relations, you now find yourself back at Uni to do a Teaching degree and spend time learning skills you already know. This is just one of many students who may be enrolling in University courses [subjects] and whom have Intermediate Information Literacy skills but are required to start at beginner level. This is a case in point for Pre-testing, or Entry Level testing of Information literacy Skills in Undergraduates. The article by O'Connor, accessed 3 March 2006, showcases methodology and instrument types which could be useful. Is it sensible for an Intermediate infolit level student to be doing 2 first-year courses which both have 'embedded' or 'incorporated' infolit skills? This gives credibility to the 'Generic Information Literacy' case, whereby students could be 'credited' for skills they already have. They could start a Bachelor of Education and alongside this, begin the Intermediate or Advanced Information Literacy Skills course. Throughout the year students could undertake the Assessment activities and then at the end of the year a more 'formal' type of assessment which would indicate the success of the student and the success [or otherwise] of the Information Literacy course. At the end of the degree, students could undertake an 'Exit-test' of information literacy skills. Wouldn't it be nice?
O'Connor, L; Radcliff, C and Gedeon, J. Assessing Information Literacy Skills: Developing a Standardized Instrument for Insitutional & Longitudinal Measurement.
Manuel, K. (2003) Assessing student learning: Strategies and lessons from the library instruction classroom.
Another interesting approach - Mogg, Rebecca

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