Implementation of IL into the curriculum

Theme: Implementation of information literacy into the curriculum

Author abstracts


Integrating reference practices and information literacy in academic writing: A collaboration between faculty and library


Anna Svensson and Karin Pettersson, Gothenburg University Library, Gothenburg, Sweden (Presenting authors) and Miguel García Yeste, Gothenburg University, Department of Languages & Literatures, Gothenburg, Sweden

The aim of our presentation is to show the advantages of collaboration between faculty and library when it comes to introducing students to different aspects of academic writing. We will share our experience on integrating reference practices, reference management software (Zotero) and information searching into the curriculum.

The English Studies section at the Department of Languages and Literatures and the University Library at Gothenburg University have a history of collaboration at all undergraduate levels in order to support the development of the students? information literacy. During 2014-2015 the courses in academic writing have been revised, which has led to rethinking the collaboration with the library. The syllabus has been redesigned following the principle of progression, so that students: (a) learn the formal aspect and style basics of academic writing (first term); (b) critically assess previous research and identify a gap for future research (second term); and (c) pose an original research question in the form of a research proposal (third term).

As a result of the close collaboration between faculty and library, the course progression described above is also reflected in the library sessions. In an attempt to address some aspects of academic and digital literacy more explicitly, the library sessions (offered to the students in the form of workshops) have been designed to: (a) use reference practices as a starting point to explore information searching and metadata; and (b) to integrate the use of digital tools specific to academia. In addition, specific tasks have been designed in collaboration between the teacher and the librarians for the students to work on during the library sessions. These tasks must then be submitted as part of the students? coursework.

In our presentation, we discuss and evaluate the outcomes of this initiative, as well as the students? perceptions.

Keywords: academic writing ; reference management


Doctoral students becoming researchers: An innovative curriculum


Deborah Garson (Presenting author) and E. McGowan, Harvard University: Graduate School of Education, Cambridge, USA

Creating a quality literature review is fundamental to doctoral student professionalization, yet research into how the literature review is taught, learned, or experienced is limited. Responding to this under-addressed but critical key to doctoral education, the focus of this mixed methods study is on students? perceptions of a year-long course, co-taught by a faculty member and embedded librarian, devoted specifically to addressing the literature review. Analysis of students? course evaluations and written reflections/feedback over an eight year period revealed four primary themes: 1) Entering students? technological know-how does not guarantee effective information literacy skill and without the requisite skills one-shot library workshops are insufficient for making learning whole; 2) Rather than conceiving of the literature review as a product, constructing a literature review represents a pivotal process in doctoral students? research and literacy skill development; 3) Creating a literature review, and the process it entails, signals in students the development of their professional researcher identity, involving movement beyond „how to? to address questions of „why? and „for whom?; 4) The literature review course was experienced as a substantively different course than is typical in the doctoral experience, mirroring the course?s foundational assumption that librarians, instructors, and learners share agency in creating the literature review process. The course curriculum is framed by two simultaneous learning streams: information literacy competencies and student research agenda. The course curriculum aligns information literacy competencies and research methodology with the goal of exploring and purposefully integrating creativity and curiosity in the search and research construction process.

Keywords: doctoral education ; embedded librarian ; doctoral


Teaching the next generation of information literacy educators: Pedagogy and learning

Sheila Webber and Pamela McKinney (Presenting author), Sheffield University Information School, Sheffield, United Kingdom

The aim of this presentation is to compare key aspects of learning in two core information literacy (IL) modules, one delivered to a face-to-face cohort (MA Librarianship) and one to distance learners (MA Library and Information Service Management). Graduates of these programmes (delivered by the University of Sheffield iSchool, UK) often pursue careers that require excellent personal Information Literacy (IL) and the ability to teach IL to others. Inskip?s research (2015) identified that these are subjects that library and information (LIS) students want to learn, and Saunders et al?s (2015) international study found that LIS students? IL requires development.

Our modules aim to develop the students? understanding of themselves as information literate citizens and teachers, and introduce them to theories and models in the fields of IL and information behavior, teaching and learning. The modules include a practical strand (searching, evaluating, using (etc.) information) and assessment is through coursework.

Using Entwistle et al.?s (2004) model of the teaching learning environment (TLE), we will map key elements (e.g. learner characteristics, approaches of teachers, course design) relevant to the quality of learning. We will also look at three „layers? of teaching: (1) overall pedagogic beliefs and institutional policies, (2) Design for learning (overall planning for achieving learning outcomes) and (3) Techniques, tools and methods used. We will draw on documentation, reflection and (with cooperation from learners) material created by learners during, and subsequent to, the modules.

Through the use of the TLE model we will surface differences in the experience of face-to-face and distance learners and also differences in development of their personal IL and pedagogic knowledge for IL.

References at

Keywords: information literacy ; pedagogy ; curriculum


Constructive alignment as a mean for establishing lectures in information literacy


Frederik Eriksson, Lund University, Sweden.

Constructive alignment is the pedagogical principal which connects learning goals and learning activities with assessment. Learning goals should inform the student about what they?ll know once they finish the course. Learning activities is what the student needs to do to fulfill the goals. The assessment measures to what degree the student reaches the learning goals. The principal of constructive alignment permeates Swedish higher education. Regulatory documents at both national and local level talks about the importance of having a logical connection between the three parts that makes up constructive alignment. This made me wonder how constructive alignment affects lectures in information literacy which is offered at the humanities faculty. Can we use Constructive Alignment as a mean to establish courses in information literacy? At present lectures in information literacy is taken care of by respective liaison librarian. The quality of the lectures is usually based on the quality of the relation between the liaison librarian and the techer. But is there a way out of this? Can we in some way formalize education in information literacy using constructive alignment? I will also touch on the subject of the current pedagogical paradigm. The current pedagogical paradigm puts an emphasis on students constructing their own knowledge. This rather than the teacher being the transferor of knowledge. This change in focus leads to information literacy appearing more often in curriculums. But if the student is the active agent in her own learning, how do we make sure she has the right tools to learn? To construct the knowledge needed to reach the learning goals? This presentation will suggest a way to establish information literacy in higher education using constructive alignment as a means. The presentation is a result of a paper done within the course Pedagogics in Higher Education @ Lund University.

Keywords: constructive alignment


Embedded peer inquiry specialists: A gateway to information literacy


Danielle Salomon, Julia Glassman, and Simon Lee, UCLA, Los Angeles, USA (Presenting authors)

Introduction: Peer-assisted learning has been embraced by higher education as a way to increase students’ success during their first year of college. At the same time, academic librarians have lauded embedded librarianship as an effective way to improve students’ information literacy skills, but it is expensive and difficult to scale. The UCLA Library is testing a model that combines the benefits of embedded librarianship with peer learning, while solving some of the challenges associated with those models. The combined model appears to be an effective, affordable, and scalable gateway to information literacy. We propose to present our early results at the Creating Knowledge VIII conference.

Methods: The program embeds a student who has completed General Education (GE) lecture course back into the current year’s course to help students with research and writing assignments. The embedded student, called an „Inquiry Specialist,? is nominated by that course’s faculty. The program launched in 2015 in five courses that serve a total of 830 students. It is jointly funded by The Division of Undergraduate Education and the UCLA Library.

Assessment is ongoing and includes: 1. IRB-approved study that will compare data (grades, retention, first-generation status, etc.) from students who connected with an Inquiry Specialist with those who did not; 2. Information literacy skills pre- and post-assessments; 3. Analysis of course evaluations; 4. Surveys of students and instructors.

Preliminary Results: During the first six weeks of Fall, 830 students (15% of the freshman class) attended a 40-minute library orientation, a record level of interaction for our library. Approximately 23% of the 830 students sought individual help from the Embedded Inquiry Specialists. In one cluster, the addition of an Inquiry Specialist increased student consultations by over 66%. We will have more results to share in June as additional assessments are completed.

Keywords: peer learning ; embedded librarianship


Variations on the theme of information literacy: Implementing information literacy into the first year curriculum at Åbo Akademi


Inf. spec. Eva Costiander-Huldén, Åbo Akademi University Library, Åbo, Finland (Presenting author)

Introduction: Åbo Akademi University (ÅAU) is a Finnish university with about 800 freshmen every year. This abstract concerns the information literacy instruction in three faculties. Since the 1990s, the first year students at ÅAU have been offered a general introduction to library services, as well as a general demonstration of the library online catalogue and the portal for electronic resources. Only some of the university programmes have included short courses in information search and retrieval in their curriculum. We have wanted to develop information literacy courses together with the faculties and their teachers. These courses would be integrated within larger compulsory courses in academic study skills tailor-made for each study program. 2015 these faculty courses were implemented at ÅAU, and the library became responsible for the Information Literacy part of each course.

Methods: We developed 8 different courses, called Academic study skills, worth 5 ECTS credits. The courses comprise study orientation, planning and techniques, information literacy. The courses were implemented indifferent ways, either as separate modules, or embedded in a project with a joint goal, e.g. to produce a poster or a report on a theme or a problem.This paper presents and discusses how the information literacy courses were implemented and carried out, the ?success stories? as well as the failures, and some of the interactive methods used to enhance learning. The courses and the learning out comes will be evaluated and analyzed during spring term 2016 based on the students’ evaluations and on discussions with the course planners, information specialists, and faculty teachers involved.

Results: We will present the results of the evaluations, especially one course, i.e. Academic skills for students of Chemical Engineering since this course was embedded in a project called and the information specialist was actively partaking in the course during the whole process together with the faculty teachers.

Keywords: embedded librarianship ; first year experience


Service management: A new organisation for achieving goals for information literacy?


Grethe Moen Johansen, Akershus University College for Applied Sciences, Oslo, Norway (Presenting author)

Equipping students to be information literate is a major institution-wide task of the Library and Learning Centre at Oslo and Akershus University College (HiOA). For many years the embedding of information literacy into the disciplines has been the responsibility of each department?s subject librarian. However, these librarians have to deal with the „siloed? nature of the faculties, and the work can therefore be dependent on personal working relationships with academics, and academics? receptiveness to this important work.

Service management was introduced in 2014 as an antidote to this „siloed? learning environment as it gives the Library a formal power to cut across faculties and departments and draw resources from the most appropriate parts of the institution. It is network-based working, calling on academics, administrative staff and even students, institution-wide, as both users and deliverers of information literacy teaching. One example is our work with developing an online ?starter?s package? (MOOC) in information literacy, study skills and academic writing, much inspired by the Library Online Workbook at the University of West of England ( This is a three year project involving the resources of academics and students in Department of Journalism and Media Studies (source criticism), Department of Archivistics, Library and Information Sciences (information seeking skills and source reference) and Department of Information Technology (technological development and user surveys). In addition, students from our Business school and Department of Vocational Teacher Education will try out the package.

This network-based model also has benefits in engaging staff to agree on academic standards, and in finding best practices on how to embed the teaching of information literacy into subject teaching. This presentation will discuss these aspects alongside the development of the network-based service management model.


Representation of information and media literacy in Icelandic educational legislation, policy documents and the curricula of upper secondary schools


Thordis T. Thorarinsdottir, University of Iceland/Menntaskolinn vid Sund, Reykjavik, Iceland (Presenting author) and Agusta Palsdottir, University of Iceland, Reykjavik, Iceland

Objectives: The main aim of this paper to study the representation of media and information literacy (MIL) in the legislation and education policy papers for upper secondary schools in Iceland, in the National Curriculum Guidelines, in the curriculum of the different secondary schools and further to look into if MIL is included in the description of the learning outcomes in the various subject curricula. The main research question is if there is a link between the presentation of MIL in the policy documents and in its mani­festation in school curriculum.

Methodology: Content analysis in terms of using the methods of discourse analysis is con­ducted on the text of the legislation, the National Curriculum Guidelines and the curriculum of the different schools and their syllabi, especially of the description of the learning out­comes of the different subjects. The Teachers´ Union Policy on MIL is analysed. The study also seeks to answer the following survey questions, sent to upper secondary schools in Ice­land, about how MIL is taught in the schools and by whom: (a) Who is teaching MIL? (b) In which context is the teaching, for example as special courses or embedded parts of subject courses, id est as an integrated part of other courses? (c) What curriculum is used in the teaching of MIL? Is it in the general National Curriculum Guidelines or is there a special school curriculum for the teaching of MIL? (d) Is MIL included in the description of learning outcomes in the subject curricula?

Outcomes: The main findings of the paper is to compare and give the results of exploring the correlation of the presentation of MIL in the legislation and governmental policy documents on one hand and in the presentation and the programme of the individual schools on the other hand.

Keywords: information literacy; upper secondary schools


Not enough theory or not enough practice? Beyond the deficit model in academic skills training


Thomas Basbøll (Presenting author), Mette Bechmann, and Joshua Kragh Bruhn, Copenhagen Business School, Frederiksberg, Denmark

Information literacy and writing skills among university students are normally approached through a „deficit model?. It is assumed, by students or their teachers, that more knowledge is needed about how to carry out and present academic work. In this paper, by contrast, we argue that improving the literacy of university students depends on a sustained conversation with curriculum designers, not about the content of the classroom, but about the standards of examination. We do not need more theory to develop the academic skills of students, we need practice. Our argument is based on interviews with key people in the full range of undergraduate programs at Copenhagen Business School. The interviews were undertaken with the aim of mapping efforts to inculcate „academic skills? and develop best practices going forward. While our study found that there was in fact both great interest in academic skills among teachers and a significant amount of classroom activity to support their development, these efforts lacked coordination at the curriculum planning level. In particular, there was a lack of consistency among examiners in regards to rewarding good writing and referencing, which meant that classroom teaching was not being reinforced in the grading of written assignments. Simply put, literacy is too often approached as a theory of academic work, not an essential scholarly practice. Many students get through their studies, often even while getting good grades, without being required to train their academic skills. By returning these skills to a central place in the curriculum, it will once again be possible to incentivize student efforts to strengthen the skills by rewarding them with better grades for better writing and better referencing.  

Keywords: curriculum development , academic skills


From quest to conquer: Traversing general education at a diverse Alaskan university to integrate and assess transferable information literacy skills in foundational courses


Asst. Professor Anna Bjartmarsdottir (Presenting author) and Deborah Mole, University of Alaska Anchorage, Anchorage, USA

The University of Alaska Anchorage (UAA) is a northern region, open enrollment university that offers vocational, academic, and professional degrees. UAA serves a culturally and demographically diverse population. The majority of UAA students are nontraditional, and less than half are enrolled full-time (Student Profiles – Fall 2012). Given this diversity, students display varying levels of information literacy (IL) competencies. A 2014 GE assessment survey revealed that faculty consider IL a priority, second only to communication. With IL a GE outcome priority, teaching IL skills for retention and transferability is crucial. In the Association of College and Research Libraries? Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, the category of „Information Creation as Process? states, „Novice learners begin to recognize the significance of the creation process, leading them to increasingly sophisticated choices when matching information products with their information needs? (2015). Library Professors Anna Bjartmarsdottir and Deborah Mole partner with faculty teaching composition and communication courses to create increasingly sophisticated and transferable IL learning opportunities. Strategies include: assessing students? IL competencies; creating engaging activities; integrating IL throughout the semester; and developing reflection opportunities to reinforce IL skills. According to D.N. Perkins and Gavriel Salomon in „Teaching to Transfer? (1988), „proper attention to transfer will make the best of both [general and local knowledge] for the sake of deeper and broader knowledge, skill, and understanding“ (p. 31). In this session, discover how UAA librarians partnered with faculty integrate and scaffold IL activities in foundational GE courses to develop increasingly sophisticated, transferable IL skills and knowledge practices. From team-based learning application exercises to workshops for teaching assistants, learn how creativity partnered with initiative has helped to integrate transferable IL skill education at this diverse arctic university.​

Keywords: information literacy ; assessment