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Title: Information%20Competence%20Development%20in%20Europe:%20trends%20and%20future%20prospects

Information Competence Development in Europe
trends and future prospects
  • Sirje Virkus
  • Tallinn University/Manchester Metropolitan
  • 1.07.2005

  • Context and Concepts
  • My research
  • Methodology
  • Survey preliminary findings
  • Multiple-case studies preliminary findings
  • Conclusions

Personal background
  • TPU student, Library and Information Science
  • ISTIER researcher, ICT, information systems
  • TPU, 1985 - teacher, administrator
  • ODL 1994 (WebCT, LearnLoop, IVA) learner,
    designer, teacher, tutor
  • MMU, 2001 student, researcher, teacher,
    designer, tutor (distance mode)

  • Debate of competencies
  • Transferable skills, key or core competencies,
    transversal skills, generic skills, soft skills,
    personal skills, general competencies, soft
  • Creativity, analysis, problem solving, self
    development, learning skills, communication.
  • Meta-competencies

Key Competence
  • Contribute to a successful life
  • Contribute to the development of the quality of
  • Apply to multiple areas of life (Gilomen, 2002).

OECD surveys of competencies
  • Adult competencies
  • - International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)
  • - Adult Literacy and Lifeskills (ALL) survey
  • Students at school (15-year-olds)
  • - Programme for International Student Assessment

Complexity of the topic (Gilomen, 2002)
Theoretical models and concepts
Cultural context, biographical variability
Visions of society and individuals
Political negotiation, consensus formation
HE and competencies
  • The general move is clearly towards a greater
    attention to employment prospects and the
    acquisition of core or transversal skills.

Transmission of competences
  • Not exclusive responsibility of the education
  • Other social institutions such as family,
    workplace, mass media or cultural organisations
    are important
  • but further research needed
    (Gilomen, 2002).

Assessment issues
  • Assessment strategies should include assessment
    of social contexts
  • More importance should be given to the
    competencies of acting autonomously and joining
  • Focus on critical aspects of key competencies
  • Cyclical structure of assessment program among
    adult population
  • Alternative methodologies have to be explored
  • ....but further
    research needed

Importance of Information use
Importance of information handling and use
  • Several reports have emphasized the importance
    of finding, evaluating, and using information in
    our modern society

Importance of Information use
  • The knowledge-based economy is characterised
    by the need for continuous learning of both
    codified information and the competencies to use
    this information. the skills and
    competencies relating to the selection and
    efficient use of information become more
    crucial... Capabilities for selecting relevant
    and discarding irrelevant information,
    recognising patterns in information, interpreting
    and decoding information as well as learning new
    and forgetting old skills are in increasing

OECD (1996). The knowledge based economy. Paris
Importance of Information use
  • The ability to produce and use information
    effectively is thus a vital source of skills for
    many individuals. So, the knowledge economy is
    based on the production and use of information
    and knowledge

OECD (2001a). Educational policy analysis 2001.
Paris OECD, Centre for Educational Research and
Importance of Information use
  • Having the competence to use information
    effectively has been suggested also by management
    gurus as essential to organizational success
  • Drucker, P. (1993). Post-capitalist society. New
    York, NY Harper Business.
  • Drucker, P.F. (1994). Managing in turbulent
    times. Oxford Butterworth-Heinemann.
  • Senge, P.M. (1994). The fifth discipline the art
    and practice of the learning
  • organization.
    New York, NY Currency Doubleday.
  • Grainger, P. (1994). Managing information your
    self-development action plan.
  • London Kogan

The report EU Policies and Strategic Change for
eLearning in Universities
  • Refers to the importance of using digital
    information they students should be enabled
    to learn using digital information sources.

Coimbra Group of Universities (2002). EU policies
and strategic change for elearning in
universities. Report of the project 'Higher
education consultation In technologies of
information and communication' (HECTIC).
Brussels, Coimbra Group of Universities.
Information literacy
  • Library and information professionals call
    these information-related competencies as
    information literacy.

Lots of definitions and
Information Literacy Umbrella
Patrica Senn Breivik.
  • IL cover the following experiences
  • the use of information technology
  • the use of information sources
  • executing a process
  • controlling information for retrieval
  • gaining knowledge
  • extending knowledge
  • gaining wisdom.

Bruce, C. S. (1997). The seven faces of
information literacy. Adelaide Auslib Press.
  • Information literacy is the adoption of
    appropriate information behaviour to identify,
    through whatever channel or medium, information
    well fitted to information needs, leading to wise
    and ethical use of information in society

Webber S. Johnston, B. (2002). Assessment for
information literacy. Paper presented at the
International conference on IT and information
literacy, 20th-22nd March 2002, Glasgow,
Information literate person
Recognizes the need for information
Identifies sources of information
Uses and presents information
Develops successful search strategies
Processes information
Accesses sources of information
Organizes information
Evaluates information and sources
  • Information Literacy encompasses knowledge of
    ones information concerns and needs, and the
    ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize
    and effectively create, use and communicate
    information to address issues or problems at
    hand it is a prerequisite for participating
    effectively in the Information Society, and is
    part of the basic human right of life long

The Prague Declaration (2003).
  • Information literacy - the ability to
    recognise when information is needed and to
    locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed

American Library Association. Presidential
Committee on Information Literacy (1989). Final
Report. Chicago American Library Association.
Concepts ?
The Concept of Information
  • Information seems to be everywhere. We talk of
    its being encoded in the genes disseminated by
    media of communication exchanged in
    conversation contained in all sorts of things
    Libraries are overflowing with it, institutions
    are bogged down by it, and people are overloaded
    with it yet no one seems to know exactly what
    information is.
  • Christopher Fox (1983,
  • Donald O Case. Looking for Information, 2002.

Case, D. (2002). Looking for Information A
Survey of Research on Information Seeking,
Needs, and Behaviour. Academic Press
The Concept of Information
  • Anthropologist Gregory Bateson (1972) defines
    information as any difference that makes a
    difference to a conscious, human mind
  • Summarizing 30 years of commentary, Levitan
    (1980) declared that 29 different concepts had
    been associated with the term of information

  • The ability to read and write (Concise Oxford)
  • Literacy has been seen as a concept, a process, a
    competency, a skill and a tool that has meaning
    in relation to the demand of the economy and
    society or individuals and communities
  • also a mode of behaviour, which enables
    individuals and groups to gather, analyse and
    apply written information to function in society
  • Gilster sees it as a fundamental act of cognition
    (Gilster, 1997).

  • The International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)
    defines literacy in terms of proficiency levels
    of usage information to function in society and
  • Literacy is defined as a particular capacity and
    mode of behaviour, the ability to understand and
    employ printed information in daily activities,
    at home, at work and in the community - to
    achieve ones goals, and to develop ones
    knowledge and potential (OECD/Statistics Canada,
    2000a, p. 12).

  • In IALS literacy is measured operationally in
    terms of the three domains
  • Prose literacy
  • Document literacy
  • Quantitative literacy

Levels of literacy
  • Level 1
  • Level 2
  • Level 3 is considered a suitable minimum for
    coping with the demands of everyday life and work
    in a complex, advanced society. It denotes
    roughly the skill level required for successful
    secondary school completion and college entry.
    Like higher levels, it requires the ability to
    integrate several sources of information and
    solve more complex problems.
  • Level 4 and 5 describe respondents who
    demonstrate command of higher-order information
    processing skills (OECD/Statistics Canada,

  • Several observers have expressed concern that
    putting two fuzzy terms together doesnt make the
    overall concept clearer.
  • Others assert that it doesnt matter what you
    call or define it, as long as it gets done.

Competencies and skills
  • Competence has two dimensions knowledge and
  • Knowledge may be seen as our understanding how
    our everyday world in constituted and how it
  • Skills involve the ability to pragmatically
    apply, consciously or even unconsciously, our
    knowledge in practical settings.
  • In this setting, skills can be conceived as the
    technical aspects of competence, emphasizing the
    aspect of how to do

Anttiroiko, A.-V., Lintilä, L. Savolainen, R.
(2001). Information society competencies of
managers conceptual considerations, In E.
Pantzar, R. Savolainen P. Tynjälä, eds. In
search for a human-centred information society.
(pp. 27-57). Tampere Tampere University Press.
  • Complex cognitive skills (problem solving,
    qualitative reasoning, self-regulation, learning
    to learn)
  • Highly integrated knowledge structures (e.g.
    mental models)
  • Interpersonal skills and social abilities
  • Attitudes and values.

Kirschner, P., Vilsteren, P., van Hummel, H.,
Wigman, M. (1997). A study environment for
acquiring academic and professional competence.
Studies of Higher Education, 22 (2), 151-171.
Alternative terms
  • information competence
  • information competency
  • information mediacy
  • information problem solving
  • information problem-solving skills
  • information fluency
  • information mastery
  • information literacy competence
  • information literacy competencies
  • information literacy and skills
  • information literacy skills
  • information handling skills
  • information handling competencies
  • skills of information literacy
  • Infoliteracy
  • information empowerment

  • Information literacy information skills
    information competence
  • IF information literacy competence THEN
    information literacy competence information
    competence competence
  • IF IL competence AND competence knowledge and
    skills and attitudes THEN WHAT is information
    literacy skills ???

Other terms and their relations with IL
  • Study skills
  • Learning skills
  • Learning to learn skills
  • Academic skills
  • Media literacy
  • Digital literacy.

Information literacy and learning
  • Information literacy is about learning (Bruce,
  • Information literacy is a way of learning
    (Kuhlthau, 1993)
  • In the literature the terms learning styles
    and cognitive styles are often used
  • Learning style refers to how a learner perceives,
    interacts with, and responds to the learning
    environment, it is a measure of individual
  • Cognitive style refers to a learners preferred
    way of processing information that is, the
    persons typical mode of thinking, remembering,
    or problem solving

Terms for IL
  • In Finland informaatiokompetenssi,
  • informaatiolukutaito
  • In Norway informasjonskompetanse
  • In Denmark informationskompetence
  • in Sweden informationskompetens
  • In Estonia infopädevus, infokirjaoskus,

  • In modern society everyone needs to develop
    increasingly sophisticated skills for information
    handling and use

Information handling and use
  • identifying, locating, gathering, storing,
    retrieving and processing information from a
    variety of sources
  • using a range of information-retrieval and
    information-processing skills confidently and
  • organizing, analysing, synthesizing, evaluating
    and using information
  • presenting information clearly, logically,
    concisely and accurately.

Why there is an increasing interest in
information literacy?
  • New learning approaches and new focus on student
    learning in a lifelong learning context
  • Expanding quantity - information overload
  • - In different forms/places
  • - E-everything
  • - Uncertain quality
  • - Plagiarism

Old and new paradigms of HE (Kathy Tiano)
  • Old Paradigm
  • Take what you can get
  • Academic calendar
  • University as a city
  • Terminal degree
  • University as ivory tower
  • Student 18- to 25-year-old
  • Books are primary medium
  • Single product
  • Student as a pain
  • Delivery in classroom
  • Multi-cultural
  • Bricks mortar
  • Single discipline
  • Institution-centric
  • Government funded
  • Technology as an expense
  • New Paradigm
  • Courses on demand
  • Year-round operations
  • University as idea
  • Lifelong learning
  • University as a partner in society
  • Cradle to grave
  • Information on demand
  • Information reuse
  • Student as a customer
  • Delivery anywhere
  • Global
  • Bits bytes
  • Multi-discipline
  • Market-centric
  • Market funded
  • Technology as differentiator

Responses of HE Institutions to Changes
  • New technologies
  • Student-centred learning approaches and
    constructivist models of learning
  • Improve and innovate traditional HE education and
    to provide new and alternative learning
    opportunities (DE)
  • On-line education and electronic learning
  • Open their doors to non-traditional learners and
    design new programmes and courses
  • Experiment with collaborative learning and
    teaching supported by ITC.

Collis van der Wende
  • The traditional lecture has still remained the
    core medium for many HE institutions with ICT
    serving as a complement to already existing
    instructional tools

Collis, B. Van der Wende, M. (2002). Models of
Technology and Change in Higher Education An
International Comparative Survey on the Current
and Future Use of ICT in Higher Education.
Report, December 2002, Center for Higher
Education Policy Studies (CHEPS), Twente.
Information overload
  • Personal information overload - personal stress
    and loss of productivity at work
  • Organizational information overload - overall
    productivity of the organization
  • 'information fatigue syndrome' (IFS)

Influence of overload
  • time is wasted - 38 of managers
  • decision-making is delayed - 43 of respondents
  • distraction from the main tasks - 47 of
  • stress
  • 42 leading to tension with colleagues,
    loss of job
  • satisfaction, illnness
  • 61 reduced social activity
  • 60 tiredness
  • Information overload recognised as a critical

Reuters Business Information (1996). Dying for
Information? An Investigation into Information
Overload in the UK and Worldwide. London
Reuters. Reuters Ltd. (1998). Out of the Abyss
Surviving the information age. London.
Different approaches can be used
  • develop a guide for students to use or for
    resource evaluation,
  • present a class sessions,
  • create a course Web site giving students a guided
    tour for searching the Web,
  • develop an assignment where students work on a
    search strategy appropriate to a problem
  • assist students in preparation of their
    literature reviews,
  • develop online tutorials or
  • integrate or embed IL into curriculum.

Integration of IL into learning
  • An integrated information literacy component in
    learning would have a positive impact on
  • students' mastering of context,
  • fulfilling research tasks and problem solving,
  • becoming more self-directed,
  • assuming greater control over their own learning,
  • enabling individuals to engage in a variety of
    learning situations and opportunities in optimal
    ways (Todd, 1995, George Luke, 1995)

The Role of Library in Education
  • It is believed that library and information
    professionals have an important role to help
    students in becoming information literate

New Skills
  • Sound pedagogical knowledge
  • Good technological skills
  • Advanced teaching skills
  • An ability to develop and deliver effective
    learning experiences.

New Skills
  • It also requires that the teaching librarian
    functions as an educational professional one who
  • engage in educational debate and decision-making
  • influence policy,
  • forge strategic alliances and
  • demonstrate diplomatic sensitivity.

Peacock, J. (2000). Teaching Skills for Teaching
Librarians postcards from the edge of the
educational paradigm. COMLA Seminar 2000 User
Education for User Empowerment Christchurch, New
Zealand 19 20 October 2000.
  • How many librarians are qualified for the role as
  • Is it not more likely that teachers will develop
    their own information expertise?

Brophy, P. (2001). The Library in the
Twenty-first Century New Services for the
Information Age. London Library Association
IL education
  • Whilst much attention has been paid to IL by
    American policy-makers, librarians and academics,
    the results are still relatively narrow, giving a
    potentially superficial guide to the nature of a
    curriculum for IL in HE.

Johnston, B. Webber, S. (2003). Information
literacy in higher education a review and case
study. Studies in Higher Education, 28 (3),
How are things in Europe?
  • References to IL initiatives in Europe are,
    however, quite rare and fragmented.
  • The majority of publications have come from the
  • Part of the problem of understanding European IL
    activities stems from the language barrier.

How are things in Europe?
  • EC funded projects EDUCATE and DEDICATE, from the
    Chalmers University of Technology in Sweden
  • a research project for a doctoral thesis on
    information seeking and use in a learning context
    by Louise Limberg, from the Swedish School of
    Library and Information Studies in Borås.
  • Webber and Johnston research
  • Albert Boekhorst, Claire McGuinness, Eva Ortoll
    Espinet, etc.

Online delivery
  • Virtual tours
  • OPAC tutorials
  • IL tutorials

  • About 50 universities have some form of
    electronic IL package
  • the contents of IL tutorials vary from basic to
    advanced searching skills, only some tutorials
    were subject specific and most of them in generic
    in nature.
  • Only 10 tutorials outlined the learning outcomes
    and and 4 gave an indication of how long the
    tutorial would take to complete (Stubbings
    Brine, 2003)

Electronic IL tutorials
  • Most rely heavily on text with only few make good
    use of colour, images and layout of text.
  • 14 tutorials allowed participants to navigate
    their own route through the packages.
  • Only 5 appeared to encourage reflection and
  • There had little inter-activity throughout the
    tutorials, but several provide quizzes at the end
    of each section or tutorial (Stubbings Brine,

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Seven pillars of information literacy

How are things in Nordic countries?
  • It is difficult to find national and Nordic
    development programmes where IL is the objective
  • Curriculum plans do not deal with IL directly
  • New pedagogic approaches contain such learning
    mode that support IL
  • A lot of skills compete with each other

Maria Schöder, Hankeet 2001-2003, 19.11.2002
The aim of the study
  • To investigate information competence
    development within European higher ODL in order
    to develop a framework that facilitates the
    effective delivery of information-related

  • Mixed methods
  • Survey
  • Multiple-case studies
  • Grounded theory approach

Philosophical assumptions
  • Interpretative and constructive paradigm
  • Ontology - relativism
  • Epistemology - subjectivism
  • Methodology - hermeneutic/dialectic

  • member
  • Institutions
  • map borrowed from EADTU
  • homepage

  • E-mail survey (policy, curriculum development,
    research, supervision, staff development)
  • The survey aimed to find out the size and scope
    of information competence development in EADTU
    member institutions and to explore the role of
    libraries within this process.
  • to identify the examples of good practice

  • Collection of data started in March 2003
  • EADTU member institutions 150 dual/mixed-mode
    universities 6 open universities.
  • persons who have overall responsibility for
    teaching and learning

Some preliminary results
  • 71 institutions responded, from 16 countries
  • Belgium
  • Denmark
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hungary
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Netherlands
  • Norway
  • Portugal
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • UK

Institutional policy
Some preliminary results
  • Policy documents in these institutions included
  • strategic plans in teaching and learning
    emphasising the integration of PBL and RBL into
    the curriculum (23)
  • lists of graduate attributes or qualities of
    graduates (16)
  • information literacy plans (19)

Some preliminary results
  • 26 of the institutions answered that library
    staff belong to the educational committees that
    make decisions about curricula and learning.
  • 34 of the institutions indicated that existing
    procedures for review of curriculum design in
    their institution require the incorporation of
    ideas about IL development
  • 50 referred to collaboration between librarians
    and the faculties to integrate IL into the
    curriculum. However, 31 institution noted close
    collaboration between librarians and faculty on
    planning learning

Some preliminary results
  • Librarians were involved in
  • developing courses (always 1, sometimes - 46),
  • providing online tutorial support, assessment and
    evaluation (always 3, sometimes - 39),
  • assisting students in the preparation of their
    literature reviews and (always 14, sometimes -
  • assisting students in the preparation of their
    assessed work (always 9, sometimes - 47).
  • were involved in developing Web sites for courses
    and subjects (2 40), self-paced IL modules (4
    34) and Web-based learning materials that may be
    used by staff and students (7 44).

Some preliminary results
  • A brief tour of the library (34)
  • a handout /or map (31)
  • verbal instructions from tutors or staff (30)
  • A section in a student handbook (23)
  • a lecture or seminar especially devoted to these
    topics (17)
  • a course or series of lectures devoted to these
    topics (6)
  • a phased programme of detailed induction by staff
  • several lectures/seminars on using the facilities

Some preliminary results
  • 13 of institutions indicated that their students
    earn credits for a unit or component on IL
    during their studies on a cross-disciplinary
    basis and 31 of institutions indicated that as
    part of a discipline specific course.
  • 17 institutions referred that there are some
    other programmes that foster IL or a range of
    generic attributes including IL

Some preliminary results
  • 30 of the institutions referred to some research
    in their institutions on IL,
  • Librarians and faculty partnership in the area of
    research (4)

Supervision partnership where librarians
  • and faculty share expertise and responsibility
    for helping students through the phases of higher
    degree research (26)
  • act as co-supervisors ensuring that literature
    reviews are relevant (15)
  • keep supervisors and students up to date with
    information resources and services (45)
  • participate in preparation of literature reviews
    and research proposals (19)

Some preliminary results
  • 42 of these institutions also noted that there
    have been several workshops or other activities
    aiming to introduce faculty to the idea of
    information literacy education.

Interpretative case studies
  • 2 national and 3 (1) dual/mixed mode ODL
    universities in Europe.
  • Site visits August 2003 September 2004.
  • Semi-structured interviews with students,
    academics, senior managers and librarians.
  • Document analysis, observations.

Interpretative case studies
  • 4-5 DL students
  • 3-5 academics
  • 2-5 librarians
  • 1-2 senior managers
  • 72 in depth interviews

Preliminary findings
  • University senior managers
  • 1 rector
  • 1 vice rector
  • 1 educational development officer
  • 1 sub-dean for learning and teaching, director of
    the school
  • 1 head of e-learning department
  • 1 head of IT unit
  • 1 international project coordinator
  • 1 leader of IT innovation

The concept of IL
  • Accepted and appreciated (4)
  • Accepted, but some hesitation about the term (3)
  • Unknown (1)

The concept of IL- Acceptance
  • Is the concept IL familiar to you and to your
  • A1 Yes, absolutely, this is very commonly used
    term in .. discussions, also we have not yet
    agreed what would be the . term or the right
    word for information literacy, because
    literacy can be translated in so many different

The concept of IL - Acceptance
  • Is the concept IL familiar to you and to your
  • A2 I think, in our University, during the last
    two or three years, this term has been used very
    often in different connections.

The concept of IL - Acceptance
  • Is the concept IL familiar to you and to your
  • A3 Yes. In this part of the University , we
    take, I think, information literacy quite
    seriously and recognize it as an important part
    of the curriculum for our students.

The concept of IL- Hesitations
  • Is the concept IL familiar to you and to your
  • A 4 I think that information literacy is a good
    concept because it shows what is important. But
    the word of IL doesnt say what IL is and.IL has
    been different things and IL now is another
    thing as it was just 20 years ago

The concept of IL- Hesitations
  • Is the concept IL familiar to you and to your
  • A5 its too broad and at the same time its
    not telling you very much when it wants to
    incorporate everything from getting or having an
    information problem to solving it and presenting
    the results to the outside world.

Importance of IL
  • A5 .presenting information in a good way is
    very important, because we have all this project
    work, you know, producing a good project,
    product, report or whatever you do, is very
    important. So, its the whole way from having an
    idea about what you need to know and find it, and
    use it and present it.

Lack of IL
  • A7 In general that we have seen in their essays,
    when they write essays, its clear that the
    ability to make use of information services is
    not very well developed, it is not so good
    developed than we would expect.

Lack of IL
  • A1 We frequently face situations when
    researchers who should be very skillful in using
    information tools can not fully make use of those
    opportunities that are available. We still
    should find better methods to support our staff
    members that they will make use of new
    opportunities for finding literature and using it
    and handling it.

Integration of IL into curriculum
  • Integration of IL into learning is in the
    beginning stage in all good practice
  • However, not all administrators are familiar with
    the extent the IL is integrated into learning in
    the whole institution

Integration of IL into curriculum
  • Please tell me to what extent IL is integrated
    into learning in your institution.
  • A3 I think, it would be too much to claim that
    it is fully integrated into learning, I think it
    is patchy across the different courses and
    different programs of studyI think its early
    days really.

Integration of IL into curriculum
  • Please tell me to what extent IL is integrated
    into learning in your institution.
  • A1 I cant say that we would have a situation
    which is sufficiently good or we can be satisfied
    with the IL skills of our students or our staff

Integration of IL into curriculum
  • Please tell me to what extent IL is integrated
    into learning in your institution.
  • A2 Even the concept is familiar to us and we
    have had this discussion, I do think that there
    is still a lot of work to do

Why IL is in this early stage and not integrated?
  • The modular nature of the programmes, each course
    is very free standing
  • University has used to provide the students with
    all the resources they need
  • It is very difficult in terms of economy of
    students and tutors time and effort

Why IL is in this early stage and not integrated?
  • A3 It puts on load on the student and their
    time, it also puts quite a load on tutors who are
    working with them, because the tutors then have
    to, if you like, a lot of sources of information
    they are not aware of. In that a sort of
    contained course, the tutors are pretty well
    clear about the material the students will have
    been using. We have to go certain way in that
    direction, but I dont think we can make the all
    course with that kind of open source approach.

Why IL is not integrated?
  • Lack of awareness
  • Lack of good examples
  • Lack of time
  • Lack of resources
  • Personal issues
  • High workload of staff

National Policy
  • National policy supports IL developments (in the
    context of information society developments,
    Bologna process, electronic or digital library
    initiatives, e-learning or key skills
    initiatives, lifelong learning agenda)

National Policy
  • A1 the most active discussions have now taken
    place as a part of the Bologna process, if we are
    developing a new university structure and new
    curriculum, the important part of new curriculum
    in different fields will be so called general
    skills, and now when we have started to talk
    about it, about these general skills, then of
    course information literacy has been one of the
    promising candidate that should be included into
    those general skills that should be taught in all
    disciplines in all degree programmes.

National Policy
  • A2 IL has been very hot topic in discussions
    at all levels of education and somehow it is also
    included into the new curriculum of our primary
    school and high school

National Policy
  • A3 I have seen information literacy referred to
    in a number of government documents, that are
    about the development of higher education, the
    development of education generally in the country
    at different levels.

Institutional policy
  • Some respondents refer to strategy documents
    which also emphasis IL, even the word IL is not
    always explicitly mentioned
  • Other institutions has no such kind of strategy
    documents, but the main strategy documents on IL
    are developed by the library

Institutional policy
  • A4 No, I dont think its written down in an
    official document, because in schools and also in
    university .. its agreed that the
    responsibility for all teaching activities is
    left for individual teacher .its integrated
    into culture instead, you now.

How do you know that your students are
information literate or have attained information
  • A3 I dont think we do know that. Im not aware
    of any studies that, from which we would be able
    to draw thatWe have so many other dimensions on
    which we have to assess students, if you like,
    that I cant image that very sort of that tight
    framework of information literacy skills is ever
    going to be the leading edge of a course

How do you know that your students are
information literate
  • Student essays
  • Student project work
  • Master Thesis

Role of the library
  • Dramatic changes during some last years related
    to the spread of digital materials
  • Very promising time for libraries
  • The role of the university library and good
    contacts highlighted
  • Library staff is well represented in the main
    learning and teaching committees and make good
    use of these committees

Role of the library
  • A3 the Internet took off and electronic
    library services then, I think that it allowed
    all the ideas about information literacy to

Role of the library
  • A3 I think they have been largely effective at
    making us think and telling us about some of the
    ways on which students ought to be behaving in a
    kind of knowledge society.

Staff development
  • A3 And the library is very good at putting on
    whole series of staff development events.The
    liaison librarian or subject librarian working
    with that faculty will organize things and push
    colleagues to take part in it. Other events are
    much more focussed on, if you like, topical areas
    and themes. And to my knowledge, I have been at
    least three events, quite well attended, which
    were getting over, if you like, the benefits of
    working with digital resources and online access
    to information and the associated skills what
    would be needed. So, I think there have been a
    plenty of staff development events.

Staff development
  • A3 Course teams are so busy, so under pressure
    that staff development events of that kind often
    take a quite a low priority.


Interviews with students
  • 4-5 students from each case study institution
  • Limited interest to participate in this study
  • 24 students participated in the main study and 8
    additional students answered by e-mail

  • 10 male and 14 female (1 M 7 F)
  • Age 18-69
  • Level BA, MA, PhD
  • Subjects law, languages, management, history,
    business, geography, etc.

The concept of IL
  • Is the term information literacy familiar to
  • Unknown (7)
  • The majority of students can understand what the
    term IL means but do not use it or have
    hesitations about its meaning
  • Some students connect IL mostly with ICT literacy
  • Some students offer other terms

The term IL - Unknown
  • A7 No, no. I have never heard it.
  • A9 No, that term is not familiar to me.
  • A18 Not familiar with this term

The term of IL - not used, but they can
understand it
  • A8 It is not a term I have heard beforeBut I
    think I can understand what it means the
    ability to search, read and understand after
    required information.
  • A4 Actually thats not so well known, its not
    part of my vocabulary, but if I think it could
    be its like collecting information from
    different points and like teaching how to do it
    the best way and what different places you can
    use for that

The term of IL not used, but they can understand
  • A2 Yes I know what it is but it is not an
    expression I would use in everyday language.
    When telling people about my course recently
    taken IL course I would just say it was learning
    to use the internet properly and search for
    information about a particular subject.

The term of IL - not used, but they can
understand it
  • A6 Yes. I have probably heard it from . ?. I
    have been in his lectures and so the concept of
    information literacy is familiar to me, but what
    its actually means is not so familiar. Im aware
    that its very broad concept that has many
    different kinds of meanings. If I think what I
    myself think what it means, its, I feel it is
    related to the fact that nowadays there is such a
    vast input of information from everywhere and it
    is getting more difficult to find a piece of
    information you need

The term of IL - not used, but they can
understand it
  • A 15 Yes, I have heard the term, but I find it a
    bit confusing. It means nearly everything and it
    is not possible to draw its exact borders, it is
    connected with learning, thinking, problem
    solving, analysing, is a part
    of everything and you learn it through all your
    education and through all your life at different
    level of your education and in different ways

Other terms
  • A 20 The term information literacy is not
    very familiar to me, but it sounds like
    information competence, which Ive read
    sometimes in web sites and other electronic
    resources and is maybe related to the same
  • A 24 I have not used this phrase previously,
    preferring to use terms such as Knowledge
    acquisition, knowledge audit, research analysis.
  • A 71 It means knowledge management

Information literacy is a good term
  • A 22 Yes the term information literacy is
    familiar to me but I guess the term information
    skills is also used in HE. I feel information
    literacy is a good term as it implies skills
    beyond formal education skills that could be
    used in the workplace by professionals, managers

The nature of their motivation
  • It was obligatory in their studies
  • It enabled to develop new skills or update skills
  • It enabled to support their career prospects
  • It was CPE course and paid by the institution
  • Personal reasons

The nature of their motivation
  • A 4 It was part of the study .. so you didnt
    have a choice
  • A 76 I want to join the police force eventually
    as an information analyst and this was the
    closest and simplest course I could find that may
    demonstrate that I know how to find data, analyse
    and report it. My main study is in psychology and
    this course fit nicely between years.

The nature of their motivation
  • A 16 so I thought it would be useful to go to
    the course also and you can get some training
    from the University and the pay for it. So, I
    applied for the course as far I could get it free
    and I did leave it to the last minute, but I did
    the degree anyway and I did get it, I did get it

How competent our students think they are in IL?
  • Novice, advanced beginner, competent, proficient,
  • All categories were covered, but the competent
    user was the most dominant
  • Usually their level of competence increased one
    level after participating in courses/programmes
    with IL component

  • Generally satisfied and believe that achievement
    of IL has influenced their general learning
    outcomes, academic performance, course completion
    and success

  • A 17 It helped me in broadening my awareness of
    development in online databases, electronic
    journals etc. I found it useful for my
    continuing professional development.
  • A14 Yes. Now I am an information co-ordinator
    for a help centre at a local hospice. Having
    completed the course recently helped my
    application for the position and gave me
    confidence in taking on the job

  • A 15 I believe it has affected the whole results
    in two main ways there is usually a well
    distributed amount of references in my works and
    there is also a clear connection between them.
    This is mainly due to a hard previous work in
    searching, selecting and distributing data
    (sometimes I think this is what really guides the
    order of the writing, somehow, the logic of the
    contents -which its probably not bad).
  • A 4 It has saved me researching time that I
    was then able to spend on writing the essays

  • A 5 Probably not, Im not doing as well this
    year as last year though the course is harder but
    also I probably have too much information now
    that I struggle to make an essay from it that is
    flowing and logical.

Some more complains Interaction
  • A 10 I was also disappointed to the extent,
    there was an e-mail discussion list.., what they
    call it., conferencing or conference room And I
    was rather disappointed with that also because it
    was supposed to be students, you know, exchanging
    ideas and things about the course and trying, I
    suppose stimulate what would you get if you work
    doing things face to face and it didnt really.

Face-to-face meetings
  • A14 I did miss the face to face things, and I
    think I would have got even more out of it with
    the opportunity to meet some of the course team,
    maybe face-to-face, even for an afternoon, even
    for two or three hours when I could just, you can
    just go and say what I dont like, I think this
    resource you suggested is dreadful, I cant get
    one with it and they could say, no it isnt if
    you look it in this way or if you look it in that
    way and when they would suggest something

Knowledge finding
  • A17 the course seems to me not to have
    understood why somebody would want to be doing
    research, it .., the model that they had of
    learning was the knowledge is out there, all you
    have to do is to go and hunt for it. This is a
    librarians view of the world, its not the
    researchers view of the world, the researchers
    view of the world is I have some interesting
    questions and I want to know is there any good. I
    want to know how can I develop my questions, I
    want to know if anybody else is similarly

Personalized tasks
  • A 19 there is no need at all, it seems to me,
    for you to determine what it is that should to be
    investigated as a main project, because if you
    really do have the expertise that you claim by
    virtually publishing this course you would be
    able to check very quickly whether or not there
    is any particular search, any particular project
    was satisfactorily done, it would only take you
    10 minutes to do it. So, why not allow your
    students to investigate the matter of their
    interest and curiosity

Personalized tasks
  • A 8 I didnt like the assignment, it wasnt what
    I wanted to doI was not interested in research
    on it and we had to research it and we had to
    look up and I thought it was too descriptive, you
    know and I only did it, because, I just felt I
    wanted to complete it and also because it was
    paid for

Library support
  • Do you usually contact library staff for help
    or advice? In what circumstances?

Library support
  • A8 I have only contacted library staff when
    there were serious difficulties for finding basic
    data (when I had quite nothing to start with,
    only a few unknown references) or problems to
    access online resources.
  • A9 Yes only in cases of technical difficulties
  • A18 Yes, if I cant locate something, to arrange
    book loans via post

Library support
  • A 22 I have only used the resources available on
    the Library web page, I havent contacted the
    Library staff, no.
  • A 24 Very seldom. They have been a presence on
    the FirstClass conference for the Masters course
    Generally theyve come up with answers long
    after certain clever students have presented
    solutions on the course conference, but good that
    they are there.

Library support
  • A10 because when you go to the university
    library, there is obviously the desk, on which
    you take the books and you return loans also, and
    I think, those people there, there are always
    long lines of people with their books and in a
    hurry and people who could have the time and to
    help us in research, I dont actually know where
    they are

Library support
  • A 8 I know one particular, when I had loans from
    university libraries in Sweden and when I had to
    renew them, then I knew that OK I go to that
    holeway and then there is the door and I know the
    person who will renew my loans is sitting there,
    but I wouldnt contact her and ask for help in
    searching information from the Swedish library
    databases from the library where I got the loan.
    No, they are not very visible, at least in here,
    so I wouldnt just go to the holeway and knock on
    the door and, hey, can you help me search

Library support
  • A74 We have a very helpful library/info centre
    at work on the same floor as me so often consult
  • A 14 Yes if I have queries about using
    databases on or off campus etc.
  • A 16 Yes when I am stuck and dont know what
    to do next.

  • IL is a complex phenomenon and may be approached
    from a variety of perspectives.
  • Multiple meanings of IL
  • The importance of IL is acknowledged in Europe
    even the term is not always used and some
    confusion with the term
  • IL initiatives in European ODL are quite
    fragmented and further exploration is needed
  • IL development still at beginning stage

Carol Kuhlthau
  • Kuhlthau said "We do not have the information
    literacy problem solved. More work is needed."
  • The fourth Libraries in the Digital Age (LIDA)
  • held May 2124 at the Interuniversity Centre in
    Dubrovnik, Croatia.

Thank you for your attention!