Friday, April 24, 2015

Open University's Policy on Ethical use of Student Data for #LearningAnalytics

Interesting to see that the Open University has produced a few documents outlining its policy on ethical use of data that it collects about students' learning (e.g. all the information on which students has used what in a virtual learning environment or MOOC, student comments in discussion fora). They have a policy document, Policy on Ethical use of Student Data for Learning Analytics, an FAQ and a document aimed at the students' themselves, Using information to support student learning. This looks like a good development that others should follow.
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom in my garden this morning

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

#UNESCO seeks volunteers to support a #MIL MOOC

UNESCO is looking for 15-20 volunteers to be (unpaid I think) tutors on the Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) in media and information literacy (MIL) which it offers in partnership with Athabasca University and the UNESCO-UNAOC University Network on Media and Information Literacy and Intercultural Dialogue. The course is aimed at young people aged 15-25. The course runs for 2 months and tutors are expected to devote about 2 hours a week to giving feedback on students' journals, questions and assignments.
"The course is designed to enable youth to: Understand why media and other information providers are important to development and democratic societies; Recognise a need for information and to locate, access, organise and critically evaluate information and the content of media and other information providers; Use and share information and technology based on ethical principles or accepted standards of social behaviour – in light of opportunities and potential risks; Interact with media and other information providers to freely express themselves, share their culture and learn about other cultures, promote gender equality, and participate in democratic and development activities."
"If there are professors, associate professors or tutors in universities, independent consultants, experts, qualified MIL practitioners, and PhD students, pursuing a related field of study that would like to volunteer to please send your name, organizations affiliation, contact information and CV to"
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2015

Second Life infolit journal club: 22 April

Join us in the virtual world Second Life for a one-hour discussion of an open-access article. Marshall Dozier, Edinburgh University (Pancha Enzyme in Second Life) leads a discussion on:
Eckerdal, J.R. (2011). "To jointly negotiate a personal decision: a qualitative study on information literacy practices in midwifery counselling about contraceptives at youth centres in Southern Sweden" Information Research, 16(1) paper 466.

When: April 22nd at noon SL time (which is 8pm UK time, see for times elsewhere)

Where: Infolit iSchool, in the virtual world Second Life. You need a SL avatar and the Second Life browser installed on your computer. Go to

Everyone is welcome to join the one-hour discussion.

A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event.
Photo by Sheila Webber, taken in Second Life

Monday, April 20, 2015

The Future Scholar: Researching & Teaching the Frameworks for Writing & Information Literacy

There is a call for papers for a book: The Future Scholar: Researching & Teaching the Frameworks for Writing & Information Literacy. The two frameworks in question (both North American) are the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education ( from the Association of College and Research Libraries, and the Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing (, produced by the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project. The deadline for proposals is June 1st.
They seek chapters "that provide answers to the following, as well as other, questions: What do the particular abilities, habits, and practices of mind identified for reading, researching, and writing reveal about notions of literacy in a digital age? What priorities do they establish for us as writing teachers, faculty in English, English Education, and LIS, university administrators and college librarians, and citizens?; How do the ACRL Framework and the WPA Framework help us understand one another? What do we learn by viewing each through the lens of the other? How might they be put into conversation?; In what ways does your teaching—in the classroom, in the library, in the writing center, in the community—work to cultivate the desired abilities, habits, and practices of mind advanced by these framework documents?; What specific digital technologies allow for helping students achieve these abilities, habits, and practices of mind? In what ways have you used them? How might we use them? How could these tools be better?
We also encourage potential contributors to consider the Frameworks documents explicitly and directly, practical strategies for enacting and evaluating them, and ways in which new digital technologies (might) shape the Frameworks and these processes."
More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2015

Sunday, April 19, 2015

Information and Digital Literacy for Online Collaborative Design

A webinar on Information and Digital Literacy for Online Collaborative Design, led by Dr Mark Childs is being hosted by InformAll on 11 May 2015, at 16.00 UK time (which is, e.g. 11am US Eastern time, 8am Pacific time): it lasts 90 minutes. It will be chaired by Stéphane Goldstein of the Research Information Network and co-ordinator of the InformAll initiative.
The focus is on skills needed/developed by students who were collaborating with students at a different university, with findings emerging from two projects.  "Findings examined: The motivation of the students for taking part and their perception of benefits; The difficulties and issues that students faced and how these were addressed.; The learning that students gained about the skills required for online collaboration.; The skills and issues that students faced, and skills acquired, in their synchronous communication." More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: white cherry blossom, April 2015, photoshop effect.

Friday, April 17, 2015

cfp SEDA conference

There is a call for papers for the 20th Annual SEDA (Staff and Educational Development Association) Conference: Scholarship and Educational Development: The importance of using an evidence base for Learning and Teaching. This will be held 19-20 November 2015 in Cardiff, Wales. Posters, discussion papers and workshops can be proposed, deadline 15 May, 5pm UK time. The themes are: Scholarship which supports curriculum development and has important implications for the thinking and the practice of educators and developers; The integration of scholarship in the practice of both staff and students; Innovative practice in educational development which takes advantage of scholarship; Supporting and encouraging integration between research and approaches to learning and teaching; Strategies and techniques for the critical and effective embedding of new approaches which make appropriate use of subject pedagogic scholarship; Scholarship as a driver for change; Supporting colleagues to engage in scholarly activities through developmental activities; Raising the profile of the scholarship of Teaching and Learning within institutions. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry Blossom, April 2015

ACRL's Teaching Librarian of the month

Alicia Salaz (Reference and Instruction Librarian, Carnegie Mellon University, Qatar) is April's Teaching Librarian of the month. Q and A at

Thursday, April 16, 2015

Journal of Documentation: taxonomy of literacies; Sadomasochism; credibility judgements;

The latest issue (online early publication) of the (subscription-only) Journal of Documentation (volume 71 issue 3) includes an article by my colleague Dr Peter Stordy which provides an analysis of various kinds of literacy using a matrix:
Taxonomy of Literacies by Peter Howard Stordy
There is also a research article on a less usual topic: Information Literacies of Self-Identified Sadomasochists: An Ethnographic Case Study by J. Tuomas Harviainen
and one on a perenially interesting theme: As simple as that?: Tween credibility assessment in a complex online world by Mega Subramaniam , Natalie Greene Taylor , Beth St. Jean , Rebecca Follman , Christie Kodama, Dana Casciotti
Abstracts at
I haven't covered JDoc for a while, so I'll also pick some articles from the last couple of issues
Koltay, T. (2015) Data literacy: in search of a name and identity. Journal of Documentation, 71(2), 401 - 415.
Kostagiolas, P. et al (2015) Music, musicians and information seeking behaviour: A case study on a community concert band. Journal of Documentation, 71(1), 3-24.
Hampson Lundh, A., Francke, H. and Sundin, O. (2015) To assess and be assessed: Upper secondary school students’ narratives of credibility judgements. Journal of Documentation, 71(1), 80-95.
Savolainen, R. (2015) The interplay of affective and cognitive factors in information seeking and use: Comparing Kuhlthau’s and Nahl’s models. Journal of Documentation, 71(1), 175 - 197.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry Blossom, April 2015

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

How the Internet inflates estimates of internal knowledge

An article (Fisher et al., 2015) reports on a very interesting series of experiments, which explored the question of whether people feel that they have become more knowledgeable just through the act of searching. The answer is basically "yes", even when people don't find anything from the search.
"Searching for answers online leads to an illusion such that externally accessible information is conflated with knowledge “in the head” (Experiment 1a and b). This holds true even when controlling for time, content, and search autonomy during the task (Experiment 1c). Furthermore, participants who used the Internet to access explanations expected to have increased brain activity, corresponding to higher quality explanations, while answering unrelated questions (Experiment 2a). This effect is not driven by a misinterpretation of the dependent measure (Experiment 2b) or general overconfidence (Experiment 3) and is driven by querying Internet search engines (Experiment 4a-c)."

Fisher, M., Goddu, M., & Keil, F. (2015). Searching for explanations: how the Internet inflates estimates of internal knowledge. Journal of Experimental Psychology: General. (advanced online publication) There is a self-archived copy here:

I discovered this via: Novella, S. (2015, April 6). The Google University Effect. Neurologica blog. which in turn I discovered through a discussion post by Peter Tagtmeyer.
Photo by Sheila webber: cherry blossom, April 2015

LIBRES moves

The refereed open access journal LIBRES is now being hosted by Nanyang Technological University, Singapore. The current issue includes:
Khoo, C. (2014). Issues in information behaviour on social media. LIBRES, 24 (2).
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2014

Monday, April 13, 2015

#lilac15 powerpoints and more

There are loads of the presentations from last week's LILAC conference going up at - really quick work by the LILAC team! Explore for yourself: a couple that caught my eye were:
- New horizons: taking information literacy teaching from the classroom to the MOOC by Karina Bradshaw
- Embedding information literacy into second level school curriculum: experiences of Maynooth University by Elaine Bean
And here's a presentation in another format that might not get onto Slideshare - from Lily Todorinova on Wikipedia in library instruction

Also a couple of substantial storifies of the conference
Paul Gray
Vicki Cormie
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom in Crookes Valley park, April 2015

Saturday, April 11, 2015

ALA Instructional Design Essentials ecourse

The ALA Instructional Design Essentials ecourse runs May 4-29. "In this ecourse, instructional librarians Nicole Pagowsky and Erica DeFrain will provide you with a foundation in instructional design. Whether you teach face-to-face, online, or develop online tutorials, this course will help you hone your teaching skills and prepare you for your instructional needs. Throughout the course, you will be developing an instructional design plan for one of your upcoming workshops, courses, or tutorials, and will receive feedback on it from the instructors and fellow participants. This project will build on itself each week with a revision and reflection as part of the final assignment."
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom in the grass, April 2015

Friday, April 10, 2015

Teens, Social Media & Technology Overview 2015

Yesterday Pew Internet Research published a report on (US) Teens, Social Media & Technology. They administered an online survey, in English and Spanish, to a nationally (USA) representative sample of 1060 teens ages 13 to 17 and a parent or guardian, with the bulk of the data collected in autumn 2014. Some snippets:
"88% of American teens ages 13 to 17 have or have access to a mobile phone of some kind, and a majority of teens (73%) have smartphones."
"87% of American teens ages 13 to 17 have or have access to a desktop or laptop computer, and 58% of teens have or have access to a tablet computer."
"81% of teens 13 to 17 have or have access to a game console such as a Playstation, Xbox or Wii." "72% of teens play video games online or on their phone"
"92% of teens report going online daily — with 24% using the internet “almost constantly,”"
"The number of text messages sent or received by cell phone owning teens ages 13 to 17 (directly through phone or on apps on the phone) on a typical day is 30."
"When asked to rank social media sites by their frequency of use, Facebook is the platform that teens report that they use most often, with 41% of youth saying they use it most. Instagram is the next most often used social media platform, with 20% of teens saying they use it most often."
14% use tumblr, 24% use Vine, 33% use Google+, 11% use anonymous sharing apps, 47% use video connections such as Skype,
There are some differences according to gender, ethnicity and household income (e.g. more African-Americans have smartphones, wealthier homes have higher access to PCs, more boys than girls have access to a game console).
The report is free online at
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom, April 2015

#lilac15 winners

Yesterday the Credo Reference Digital Award for Information Literacy 2015 was awarded to Andy Horton and Chris Rowell, Regent’s University London, for the Twelve Apps of Christmas (12AOC)
The CILIP IL Group/TALIS Information Literacy Award 2015 went to Katharine Reedy (Acting Library Services Manager – Digital & Information Literacy, Open University)
The student sponsored places were awarded to Lucinda May and Maria Nagle

Thursday, April 09, 2015


Yesterday was the first day of the LILAC conference. There are loads of tweets, so you might want to follow it today and tomorrow Skimming through the tweets, I picked up a couple of links
- Isla Kuhn blogs about the library tour of the Walton Library (library of the Medical & Dental School of Newcastle University)
- Keynoter Barbara Fister blogs about one of her fellow keynoters, Ray Land:

Tuesday, April 07, 2015

Engaging with the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy

Another online ACRL FRamework event (free)! This is on 6 May at 2pm US Eastern time, 11am US Pacific time, which is 7pm UK time: the Georgia Library Association--Carterette Series Webinar, Engaging with the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy. To register go to A URL for the event will be emailed to you after registration.
"Trudi Jacobson and Craig Gibson, co-chairs of the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education Task Force, will identify the ideas underpinning the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy, which creates new opportunities for collaboration on campuses around student engagement with the information ecosystem. ... The presenters will identify principles for instructional design supporting the Framework, as well as assessment methods that address developmental aspects of learning the information literacy concepts and practices comprising the Framework."
Photo by Sheila Webber: willow, canal, Amsterdam, April 2015