Friday, December 19, 2014

Sponsored place at i3 conference

The i3 conference is sponsoring a place at their 2015 conference (which will be 23-26 June 2015 at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland). "Applications for this award are welcome from early career researchers and those in their first professional post. This award is to support someone who otherwise would not be able to attend the i3 Conference. The funded place includes all conference fees, university accommodation, reasonable travel costs to Aberdeen (up to a maximum of £600 for travel) and access to the social programme. If you are successful, you will be asked to write a short report for the conference website on your reasons for attending, experiences at the conference and the benefits you have taken back to your user community." The deadline is 2 February 2015. Go to the i3 website for further information http://www.rgu.ac.uk/research/conferences/i-2015
Photo by Sheila Webber: part of the breakfast spread at the Royal Ricc Hotel, Brno, November 2014

Thursday, December 18, 2014

Teachmeet: 6th Feburary, Sheffield

There will be a Teachmeet on 6 Feburary 2015 in Sheffield Hallam University, Sheffield, UK, 1.45-4.15 PM. "A chance for librarians from the region to meet up, share their experiences of teaching information skills and help each other out. Please bring along a success you would like to share, a resource to talk about, or an issue or problem you have encountered in your teaching with which you would like help. We will also have a short session on Flipping the Classroom in library teaching, led by Nicola Sayles." Book for this free event at https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/teachmeet-free-event-tickets-14975060810. The event is organised by CILIP Academic and Research Libraries Group (ARLG) Yorkshire and Humberside division. The teachmeet will be preceded by the ARLG: Yorkshire & Humberside committee AGM at 1.15-1.30 pm: email Jennifer Rowland (J.Rowland2@bradford.ac.uk) if you wish to attend that. 
Photo by Sheila Webber: winter trees, Sheffield, 2012

Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Information Research: bumper issue!

The new issue (vol. 19 no. 4) of open-access journal Information research consists of a normal issue plus a conference supplement, so lots of information behaviour research and some information literacy research too.
For the regular issue, go to http://www.informationr.net/ir/19-4/infres194.html where articles include:
- Arthur Taylor and Heather A. Dalal: Information literacy standards and the World Wide Web: results from a student survey on evaluation of Internet information sources
- Ágústa Pálsdóttir: Preferences in the use of social media for seeking and communicating health and lifestyle information
- Sanghee Oh and Soojung Kim: College students' use of social media for health in the USA and Korea.
- Remigiusz Sapa, Monika Krakowska and Małgorzata Janiak: Information seeking behaviour of mathematicians: scientists and students
- Miamaria Saastamoinen and Sanna Kumpulainen: Expected and materialised information source use by municipal officials: intertwining with task complexity
- Paul Margree, Andrew MacFarlane, Ludovica Price and Lyn Robinson: Information behaviour of music record collectors

Plus, in the special issue Proceedings of ISIC: the information behaviour conference, Leeds, 2-5 September, 2014 at http://www.informationr.net/ir/19-4/isic/isic.html papers include:
- Fatmah Almehmadi, Mark Hepworth and Sally Maynard, A framework for understanding information sharing: an exploration of the information sharing experiences of female academics in Saudi Arabia
- Gunilla Widén, Jela Steinerová and Peter Voisey, Conceptual modelling of workplace information practices: a literature review
- Ina Fourie and Heidi Julien, Ending the dance: a research agenda for affect and emotion in studies of information behaviour
- Jenna Hartel, Information behaviour illustrated
- J. Tuomas Harviainen and Reijo Savolainen, Information as capability for action and capital in synthetic worlds
- Elke Greifeneder, Trends in information behaviour research.
- Natalie Pang, Crisis-based information seeking: monitoring versus blunting in the information seeking behaviour of working students during the Southeast Asian Haze Crisis
- Ariadne Chloe Furnival and Nelson Sebastian Silva Jerez, The general public's access and use of health information: a case study from Brazil
- Lilach Manheim, Information non-seeking behaviour
Short papers
- Melanie Benson and Andrew Cox, Visual and creative methods and quality in information behaviour research
- Geoff Walton and Jamie Cleland, Information literacy in higher education - empowerment or reproduction? A discourse analysis approach
- Leslie Thomson and Mohammad Jarrahi, Contextualising information practices and personal information management in mobile work
- Graeme Baxter and Rita Marcella, The 2014 Scottish independence referendum: a study of voters' online information behaviour.
- Emma Dunkerley, David Allen, Alan Pearman, Stan Karanasios and Jeremy Crump, The influence of social media on information sharing and decision making in policing: research in progress.
- Chandramohan Ramaswami, Murugiah Murugathasan, Puvandren Narayanasamy, and Christopher S.G. Khoo, A survey of information sharing on Facebook
Photo by Sheila Webber: chalkboard at cafe Soul, Brno, November 2014

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Web IQ test

The Pew Internet project released results of a "Web IQ test" adminstered to a representative (of the US population) sample of 1,066 internet users. It includes 17 questions, some relating to the origins of the internet and some slightly random (that's random in the non-statistical sense) questions about some people and things seen as important to the internet. They present the results overall, and also by age (younger people did better on the social media questions) and educational level (graduates did better generally) http://www.pewinternet.org/2014/11/25/web-iq/
As the above page gives the answers you might want to try the quiz yourself before looking at Pew's results: you can take the quiz here: http://www.pewinternet.org/quiz/web-iq-quiz/
Snowflake created from words on http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Semantic_Web using Tagxedo

Friday, December 12, 2014

MOOC Completion and Retention in the Context of Student Intent

Interesting article based on analysis of "nine HarvardX courses, which had a total of 290,606 registrants and 79,525 survey responses". They use quantitative course data, plus responses from introductory course questionnaires in which MOOC learners were asked whether their intention was to complete the MOOC, to audit the MOOC, to browse it (plus there was an answer "unsure"). Although a larger proportion of people who said they were aiming at completion, did complete (22% of them), there were also people who said that they aimed just to browse or audit, but in fact completed (e.g. 6% who said they intended to browse). Another "takeaway" is that "Attrition happens early; course beginnings are important. Regardless of a student's stated intentions, attrition rates are highest in the early part of a course. Course developers should recognize that, for many students, a course's first unit is the only part some students will see. Course teams should consider allocating resources to making that beginning unit inviting and compelling."
Reich, J. (2014, December 8) MOOC Completion and Retention in the Context of Student Intent. Educause review.
http://www.educause.edu/ero/article/mooc-completion-and-retention-context-student-intent
Photo by Sheila Webber: December trees, December sky.

Preview of the Horizon Project 2015 #NMChz

There's a preview of the New Media Consortium's The Horizon Project 2015 "a high-level summary of an upcoming edition’s findings ... to provide a snapshot of the topics that will be explored in the final edition." The full report will be published in the new year. The Horizon report use panels of "experts" to identify what they think are trends in technology affecting education. It started with one report and now has a lot of different ones focusing on educational level and region (see http://redarchive.nmc.org/publications) e.g. most recently a European Schools edition.
Personally, I have got increasingly frustrated with the way in which the reports ignore the huge raft of research into learning, teaching and indeed the use of technology in learning and teaching, to focus on recent reports and news. Although there are new things to learn all the time, there are also always things to learn from the accumulated evidence base. Anyway, here are their headline trends:
"I. Key Trends Accelerating Ed Tech Adoption in Higher Education
"Fast Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in Higher Ed for the next one to two years: Evolution of Online Learning; rethinking Learning Spaces
"Mid-Range Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in Higher Ed for the next three to five years: Increasing Focus on Open Educational Resources; Rise of Data-Driven Learning and Assessment
"Long-Range Trends: Driving Ed Tech adoption in Higher Ed for five or more years: Agile Approaches to Change; Growing Importance of Open Communities and University Consortia
"II. Significant Challenges Impeding Ed Tech Adoption in Higher Education
"Solvable Challenges: Those which we both understand and know how to solve: Adequately Defining and Supporting Digital Literacy; Blending Formal and Informal Learning
"Difficult Challenges: Those we understand but for which solutions are elusive: Complex Thinking and Communication; Integrating Personalized Learning
"Wicked Challenges: Those that are complex to even define, much less address: Competition from New Models of Education; Relative Lack of Rewards for Teaching
"III. Important Developments in Educational Technology for Higher Education
"Time-to-Adoption Horizon: One Year or Less: Bring Your Own Device (BYOD); Flipped Classroom
"Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Two to Three Years: Makerspaces; Wearable Technology
"Time-to-Adoption Horizon: Four to Five Years: Adaptive Learning Technologies; The Internet of Things"
You can download a document with a paragraph on each of these from http://information-studies.blogspot.co.uk/2014/12/successful-event-on-research-in-virtual.html From the short paragraphs that are there at the moment, I find some of section II rather confused, but it isn't fair to judge from a preview, so I will reserve critique until I see the whole thing ;-)
Photo by Sheila Webber: I ponder how  adequately defining and supporting digital literacy is a solvable challenge which we understand and know how to solve, in the virtual world Second Life. Anything seems more solvable with a couple of animated virtual bunnies in your hair.

Thursday, December 11, 2014

The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases

Through a Guardian article I found out about a study which could provide useful evidence when looking at the issue of news credibility. The structured abstract of the BMJ article puts it succinctly and I copy it below (the article is open access, with a creative commons license). Briefly, the researchers compared original research papers, press releases and resultant news stories and found that in fact a lot of the hype was coming from the universities' press releases, rather than (as is e.g. assumed here) being added on by journalists. They have now been funded by the ESRC to do further research.

"Objective To identify the source (press releases or news) of distortions, exaggerations, or changes to the main conclusions drawn from research that could potentially influence a reader’s health related behaviour.

"Design Retrospective quantitative content analysis.

"Setting Journal articles, press releases, and related news, with accompanying simulations.

"Sample Press releases (n=462) on biomedical and health related science issued by 20 leading UK universities in 2011, alongside their associated peer reviewed research papers and news stories (n=668).

"Main outcome measures Advice to readers to change behaviour, causal statements drawn from correlational research, and inference to humans from animal research that went beyond those in the associated peer reviewed papers.

"Results 40% (95% confidence interval 33% to 46%) of the press releases contained exaggerated advice, 33% (26% to 40%) contained exaggerated causal claims, and 36% (28% to 46%) contained exaggerated inference to humans from animal research. When press releases contained such exaggeration, 58% (95% confidence interval 48% to 68%), 81% (70% to 93%), and 86% (77% to 95%) of news stories, respectively, contained similar exaggeration, compared with exaggeration rates of 17% (10% to 24%), 18% (9% to 27%), and 10% (0% to 19%) in news when the press releases were not exaggerated. Odds ratios for each category of analysis were 6.5 (95% confidence interval 3.5 to 12), 20 (7.6 to 51), and 56 (15 to 211). At the same time, there was little evidence that exaggeration in press releases increased the uptake of news.

"Conclusions Exaggeration in news is strongly associated with exaggeration in press releases. Improving the accuracy of academic press releases could represent a key opportunity for reducing misleading health related news."

Chambers, C. et al. (2014) The association between exaggeration in health related science news and academic press releases: retrospective observational study. BMJ, 349. http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bmj.g7015

Chambers, C. et al. (2014, 10 December) Science and health news hype: where does it come from? http://www.theguardian.com/science/blog/2014/dec/10/science-health-news-hype-press-releases-universities
Photo by Sheila Webber: tiny bit of snow this morning.

Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Making information accessible: an essential precondition for effective refugee protection?

CILIP asked Maurice Wren, Chief Executive at The Refugee Council, to blog about the importance of information literacy to refugees, as it is Human Rights Day today (10 December). He says "Denying refugees the opportunity to transcend their ‘victim’ status, to be their own best advocates, and to rebuild active and engaged lives, is to limit our humanitarian response to their plight to meeting only their most basic physical needs. We must humanise the way we provide refugee protection and one vital way of doing that is to give refugees access to the tools that will enable them to live a full life of the mind."
Although it may seem churlish, he does only talk about access to online information; I'm not sure that he is talking about information literacy in the fuller sense (e.g. using all kinds of information sources effectively, including people sources; being able to evaluate and create information collaboratively: this are also vital aspects in crisis situations and for empowerment).
There is an interesting link to the "Technology" issue of Forced Migration Review (2011) http://www.fmreview.org/technology which has articles about the use and impact of technology, including the impact on access to information.
Wren, M. (2014, 10 December) Making information accessible: an essential precondition for effective refugee protection? http://www.cilip.org.uk/cilip/blog/making-information-accessible-essential-precondition-effective-refugee-protection
Photo by Sheila Webber: fallen leaves, November 2014

cfp NAMLE conference

There is a call for papers for the NAMLE (National Association for Media Literacy Education) 2015 conference (which takes place June 26-7 2015 in Philadelphia, USA. The conference includes the UNESCO Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue (MILID) Annual Conference, and the theme is Celebrating Connectivity Across Cultures. Although they mention Media and Information Literacy in places, mostly they forget and revert to just mentioning media literacy (unsurprisingly, since that is after all the focus of this association). Unfortunately this clashes with the i3 conference (which I intend to go to) and the ALA conference (which some North American infolit colleagues will be going to), but it would be good (because of the MILID connection) to have some interest in the conference from experts in information literacy....
More information at http://namle.net/conference/2015-conference/
Photo by Sheila Webber: a corner of old Brno, November 2014

Event: Research relevance: K12 library instruction for the 21st Century

There is an event at Castilleja School (California, USA) Research relevance: K12 library instruction for the 21st Century. It will be held and there are a few days left (December 15th) before the call for contributions closes. Already, speakers/facilitators will include the schools' librarians Jole Seroff and Tasha Bergson-Michelson, and Debbie Abilock and Kristin Fontichiaro. http://www.castilleja.org/page.cfm?p=942570

Sunday, December 07, 2014

Journal if Information Literacy: new issue

Volume 8, issue 2 of the open access Journal of Information Literacy has been published.
It includes:
- Fostering the integration of information literacy and journalism practice: a long-term study of journalism students by Margy Elizabeth MacMillan
- Developing a new approach to information literacy learning design by Sarah McNicol, Emily Shields
- Faculty-library collaboration: two pedagogical approaches by Karen Marie Øvern
- The value of collaboration: raising confidence and skills in information literacy with first year Initial Teacher Education students by Sarah Purcell, Rachel Barrell
- Teaching information literacy - the role of the university libraries in Germany by Fabian Franke, Wilfried Suhl-Strohmenger
- Welsh Information Literacy Project: Phase 4 2013/14 by Andrew Eynon
- InformAll - information literacy for all by Stephane Goldstein

Special Section: Information Literacy in Schools with an introduction from Ross Todd
- An examination of information literacy instruction on the information seeking skills of primary school children in Jamaica: an experiment using grade six students by Kerry-Ann Rodney-Wellington
- Practices of ambiguity: becoming "information literate" in two Norwegian schools by Margrethe B. Søvik
- Professional self-efficacy and role perception of school librarians and their impact on the development of students' information literacy: an evidence-based study by Ruth Ash-Argyle, Snunith Shoham
Go to http://ojs.lboro.ac.uk/ojs/index.php/JIL
Photo by Sheila Webber: Advent zoo, Freedom Square, Brno, Czech Republic, December 2014

Saturday, December 06, 2014

Digital Inclusion survey

The (US) Digital Inclusion survey is a project carried out by American Library Association, Information Policy & Access Center & International City/County Management Association. The 2013 reports were published in July 2014, and include a report on Digital Literacy. It has useful statistics on US public libraries, infographics, an interactive map.
University of Maryland and College Park. (2014). 2013 digital inclusion survey results published. http://digitalinclusion.umd.edu/content/2013-digital-inclusion-survey-results-published
Photo by Sheila Webber: Blacksmith, Brno, December 2014

Thursday, December 04, 2014

Virtual worlds research: methodological issues: 9 December

Two research presentations and a discussion, taking place in Second Life. Date: 9 December 2014, Time: 12 noon Second Life time, (8pm UK time) see http://tinyurl.com/muua96f for times elsewhere (duration - 90 minutes)
Place: Infolit iSchool, Second Life http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/165/195/463

Sheila Webber (University of Sheffield Information School, Sheila Yoshikawa in Second Life) and Marshall Dozier (University of Edinburgh, Pancha Enzyme in Second Life) will present on Social, ethical, digital: issues in 3D worlds research
Evelyn McElhinney (Glasgow Caledonian University, Kali Pizarro in SL) will present on Qualitative research in Social virtual worlds.
There will then be a roundtable discussion with the speakers and Clara O'Shea (University of Edinburgh, Klara Otsuka in SL).

Infolit iSchool is in the virtual world Second Life. You need a SL avatar and the Second Life browser installed on your computer. Go to http://maps.secondlife.com/secondlife/Infolit%20iSchool/134/47/22
Event is free, no registration required. Presentations will be in voice, discussion in text chat.

A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event

All welcome!

Wednesday, December 03, 2014

Health Information and Libraries Journal: HIV/AIDS; health info kiosks; information behaviour, literacy and needs.

One of my current PhD students has just had an article published about his PhD research. This journal is a priced publication:
Wella, K. (2014) The information experience and learning needs of couples living with HIV in Malawi. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 31 (4), 325–329 http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/enhanced/doi/10.1111/hir.12086/

Other articles in this issue include:
- Lê, M. (2014) Information needs of public health students. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 31 (4), 274–292.
- Joshi, A. and Trout, K. (2014) The role of health information kiosks in diverse settings: a systematic review. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 31 (4), 254–273.
Contents page at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hir.2014.31.issue-4/issuetoc

In the previous issue of the journal, articles included:
- Kelham, C. (2014) Health care librarians and information literacy: an investigation. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 31 (3), 235–238. This is based on her dissertation, which she did here at the iSchool and the full text of the dissertation is at: http://dagda.shef.ac.uk/dispub/dissertations/2012-13/External/Kelham_C_Y67.pdf
- Spring, H. (2014) Health information, what happens when there isn't any? Information literacy and the challenges for rare and orphan diseases. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 31 (3), 243–246.
- Brennan, N. et al (204) Qualified doctor and medical students' use of resources for accessing information: what is used and why? Health Information and Libraries Journal, 31 (3), 204–214
The contents page of this issue is at http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/hir.2014.31.issue-3/issuetoc
Photo by Sheila Webber: old town hall in Brno (view from hotel window)

Information Literacy Assessment & Advocacy Project (ILAAP)

Librarians at Red Deer College, MacEwan University and the University of Alberta Augustana Campus collaborate on a project, the Information Literacy Assessment and Advocacy Project (ILAAP) in order "to build a robust model for promoting and assessing information literacy skills required for student success." ILAAP is "an assessment tool designed to investigate the information literacy (IL) skills of first and second-year post-secondary students. They are making the ILAAP assessment tool available to other institutions to use with first and second year undergraduate courses. Go to http://tinyurl.com/nmk35tk to express interest and go to http://ilaap.ca/invitation-to-use-the-ilaap-assessment-tool/ for more information. "Please note that depending on the level of interest, we may limit participation based on capacity, and so the tool may not be made available to all interested libraries at this time."

Monday, December 01, 2014

MOOCs and Information Literacy

Last week I was invited to deliver an expert talk on information literacy(as blogged already http://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/webber-brno-2014) and to provide a workshop for Masters students taking an information literacy option at the information and library school, KISK, at Masaryk University in Brno, Czech Republic. It was a very enjoyable visit meeting the lively students, and staff, and also getting to know the city (which I would recommend visiting!).
This is the presentation part of the workshop I carried out with the students. In fact there is really more emphasis on thinking about library and information professionals roles in MOOCs than specifically "information literacy", but obviously developing or supporting information literacy in MOOCs are key activities for librarians. I start by talking about types of MOOC, and discuss pedagogy a little, and then provide some examples of possible LIS roles.


Saturday, November 29, 2014

Blended information behaviour and information literacy for 21st Century life

I was invited by KISK, Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic, to give a workshop to Masters students and a presentation as part of their Expert series. This is the presentation I gave on 27 November 2014. I will post my presentation for the Masters students on Monday. My abstract for my Expert talk was that I "argue that there is no need to invent a new literacy, just because people are making increasing use of digital media. Sheila outlines her perspective of a holistic information literacy that takes account of the blended information behaviour of today's citizens, sourcing information digitally, in print and through people and the environment. She draws on research in information literacy and information behaviour, including her own work."