User Education: what is it and why is it important?

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Information about User Education: what is it and why is it important?

Published on July 15, 2009

Author: BLAlib



Keynote speaker presentation delivered at the 2007 BBSLG Conference hosted by the University of Northampton, 27-29 June

User education: what is it and why is it important? Ruth Stubbings Academic Services Manager Loughborough University

Overview of talk  what is user education?  is terminology important?  embedding ‘it’ into the curriculum  why ‘it’ is important  future trends

What is user education?

What do we mean by user education?  in groups of four:  discuss what user education means to you  be prepared to feedback to the rest of conference

User education  how to use the library  how to use the library catalogue  how to search databases  what we can & should do is much more!

Much more…  critical thinking  problem solving  literature search strategies  evaluation  current awareness  reading  note taking  communication skills

Is terminology important?  let’s vote:

Is terminology important?  YES!!!  library orientation  bibliographic instruction  user education  information skills training  information literacy  i-skills  e-skills  e-literacy  information fluency  use right terminology for your audience

What is information literacy? CILIP definition “Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.”

SCONUL 7 Pillars

‘it’ and the curriculum

The curriculum  what should be taught?  stand alone  when?  voluntary  by whom?  integration  assessed?  embedding  links with other skills?

Content of courses for staff and students  basics about the library  search techniques  understanding the question  literature search techniques e.g, combining keywords  subject databases (mechanics of databases)  ethics  reading & note taking  plagiarism & citation techniques  publication process  staff: impact factors, open source, copyright, etc.  students: essay and report writing, presentation skills

Embedding ‘it’ into the curriculum  can be difficult  do not give up hope  lots of different techniques  look to peers for ideas  see OU, Leeds Met, South Bank, Lboro  drip, drip, drip can work

Why is ‘it’ so important?

The Alexandra Proclamation: Nov 2005 ‘Information Literacy lies at the core of lifelong learning … Life long learning enables individuals, communities and nations to attain their goals and to take advantage of emerging opportunities in the evolving global environment for shared benefit. It assists them and their institutions to meet technological, economic and social challenges, to redress disadvantage and to advance the well being of all.’

UNESCO “Empowerment of people through information literacy is an important prerequisite for harnessing ICT for education and fostering equitable access to information and knowledge.” UNESCO Information Literacy

Jonathan Douglas “Information Literacy is more than a library or education issue. It is crucial to issues of economic development, health, citizenship and quality of life.” “Information literacy abilities are essential for social inclusion in today’s information-driven world.” Keynote at LILAC 2006 CF6CC9188439/0/Douglas.ppt

Future trends - 1  continual enhancement of teaching skills  more collaborative teaching  blended learning

Future trends – 2 online learning  choosing the right tools for the job  online tutorials  either in VLEs or on the web  Informs or Captivate  re-usable learning objects  web 2.0 – emperors new clothes?  wikis, blogs, discussion forums  Second life, Facebook

Future trends - 3  lobbying government  Scottish information literacy framework  DfeS

Conclusion  ‘it’ is important, no matter what we call it  buy in from academics essential  embedded into curriculum  knowledge of teaching & learning vital  interactive / innovative teaching  enhance student learning experience  YOU have an important role to play

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