26 April 2006

How do you define the different types of information literacy course content? Integrated, implanted, complementary.....

Quote of the week – “A man who reviews the old so as to find out the new is qualified to teach others.”
Confucius 551-479 bc: Analects

How do you define the different types of information literacy course content? Some suggestions below drawn largely from my own experience and my observations of the 'infiltration' within my workplace:

1. FULLY Integrated (synonyms: blended, combined):
a Content: Information literacy (IL) competencies are discipline specific and scaffolded throughout a program or degree
b Learning outcomes: IL outcomes are explicitly stated within course learning outcomes of every course in scaffold
c Assessment: Information literacy competencies are explicitly assessed
d Marking criteria: IL marking criteria are linked to assessment and covered in course content. Marking is completed by academic.
e Teaching: can be delivered by either the academic or librarians. Team teaching is the ideal whereby academic discusses any discipline specific and assessment issues and librarian covers ‘library specific’ issues such as ‘search tools’, etc. Ideally, an academic would always be present for all tutorials.
f Example: Bachelor of Education taught with Blackboard. Each core course across the program has week by week IL course content. The content is not duplicated between courses, but is scaffolded, so that students progressively learn the information literacy competencies (standards).
2. PARTIALLY Integrated (synonyms: blended, combined):
a Content: Information literacy competencies are discipline specific and covered sporadically in a program or degree. i.e. only particular courses are targeted.
b Learning outcomes: IL outcomes are explicitly stated within course learning outcomes of particular courses.
c Assessment: IL competencies are explicitly assessed
d Marking criteria: IL marking criteria are linked to assessment and covered in course content. Marking is completed by academic.
e Teaching: can be delivered by either the academic or librarians. Team teaching is the ideal whereby academic discusses any discipline specific and assessment issues and librarian covers ‘library specific’ issues such as ‘search tools’, etc.
f Examples: Specific courses within a program have IL content in either a Study Guide or Blackboard course, or other week by week course content. Some courses within a program have no IL course content. Infolit content, activities and assessment in an Honours research methods study guide which are allocated marks or explicitly assessed is an example of partial integration with assessment.

3. PARTIALLY Integrated (synonyms: blended, combined) NOT assessed:
a Content: Information literacy competencies are discipline specific and covered sporadically in a program or degree. i.e. only particular courses are targeted.
b Learning outcomes: IL outcomes are not necessarily explicitly stated within course learning outcomes of particular courses.
c Assessment: IL competencies are not explicitly assessed.
d Marking criteria: IL marking criteria are linked to assessment and covered in course content. Marking is completed by academic.
e Teaching: can be delivered by either the academic or librarians. The academic is not necessarily available in library specific tutorial sessions.
f Examples: Specific courses within a program have IL content in either a Study Guide or Blackboard course, or other week by week course content. Some courses within a program have no IL course content. Infolit content, activities and assessment in an Honours research methods study guide which are allocated marks or explicitly assessed.

4. Implanted (synonym: attached) AND assessed:
a Content: Information literacy competencies are linked only to some components of course content or covered sporadically in course content,
b Learning outcomes: IL outcomes are not necessarily state within the course learning outcomes of the course.
c Assessment: The IL outcomes are assessed, but not necessarily explicitly.
d Marking criteria: IL marking criteria may or may not be linked to the assessment or covered in course content. Marking is completed by academic.
e Teaching: can be delivered by either the academic or librarians. The academic is not necessarily available in library specific tutorial sessions.
f Examples: IL content is covered at ‘specific’ times, or ‘specific spots’ in course content; Week 6 or Week 8, or some other specific ‘week’ of a course. A course within a program may have an assignment(s) with marking criteria which includes ‘specific’ components of IL content, but only assesses ‘targeted’ or specific IL competencies. A course on ‘Communication and writing’ which has a specific ‘module’ in Week 3 of term covering some IL competencies, with some, not all of these, assessed in marking criteria. The marking criteria may or may not include all of the IL competencies covered in course content.
5. Implanted (synonym: attached) NOT assessed:
a Content: Information literacy competencies are linked only to some components of course content or covered sporadically in course content,
b Learning outcomes: IL outcomes are not necessarily stated within the course learning outcomes of the course.
c Assessment: The IL outcomes are not assessed.
d Marking criteria: There is not necessarily any IL marking criteria, but may be implicit as part of course assessment.
e Teaching: The IL content can be delivered by either academic or librarian and is usually librarian. The academic is not necessarily available in library specific tutorial sessions.
f Examples: IL content is covered at ‘specific’ times, or ‘specific spots’ in course content; Week 6 or Week 8, or some other specific ‘week’ of a course. A course within a program may have an assignment(s) with marking criteria which includes ‘specific’ components of IL content, but the IL component are not assessed. A course on ‘Communication and writing’ which has a specific ‘module’ in Week 3 of term covering some IL competencies, but none are assessed in marking criteria. The marking criteria does not include any IL competencies covered in course content.
6. Complementary:
There is no IL content or IL assessment in course. Some IL topics may be covered in library session, but usually focuses on ‘tools’ such as databases. These are usually one-off library tutorial sessions (eg. residential school workshops, lecturer request for specific databases for specific course)
7. General (also known as generic or non-specific):
There is no discipline specific content or discipline specific assessment. The Information Literacy content may or may not be based on Standards; for example an online information literacy tutorial, voluntary face-to-face tutorials which mostly cover ‘search tools’. [Whatever you do, don’t underestimate the value of online information literacy tutorials, especially if they are built on the IL standards/rubric, as these are great for Faculties with large Flex or Off-Campus offerings. It can also be used to conjunct with Introduction to University programs, such as ‘Study Abroad’ students, TESOL, or Tertiary Preparation programs.]

Your ultimate goal is to achieve number 1, but it’s not always possible. Whichever way you choose to define these, be sure that it ‘gels’ with all of the IL initiatives currently occurring in your institution.
1. Regularly ‘re-visit’ your definitions to ensure that they are still applicable to the current environment, particularly if your reference services or instructional librarian team gains new team members. All of the librarians on your team need to understand the ‘terminology’ and be able to work with this. If people don’t feel comfortable with a particular definition or feel it means something else, consensus needs to be reached.
If you use the above ‘definitions’, please acknowledge your source, similar to the “Creative Commons” licence – © Suzanne Yule: The Lateral Literal Librarian http://lllibrarian.blogspot.com/

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