Thursday, March 16, 2006

Visit by Prof Dorothy Williams

Yesterday (Wednesday) Dorothy Williams, from the Information Management Department at Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen, Scotland, visited the Department. I had invited her to talk about her research to the students in my Information Literacy Research class, and also to give an open research seminar in the morning. In the latter seminar she talked about some recent qualitative research looking at school teachers' conceptions of information literacy and its relationship to learning. The data was collected from teachers in three phases: small focus groups, a reflective period, and then a 2nd round of focus groups. There were interesting similarities to and differences from our own research into academics' conceptions of information literacy.

In the afternoon, she shared experiences of data collection for a project investigating teachers' use of research in informing teaching practice. In particular, she highlighted the challenges of getting teachers to participate in research, and issues of questionnaire distribution and response rates. The full report for this project can be found linking from, as can a page with some information about the first project.

After this session she had a discussion with three other people in the Department, and the photograph on the right shows her with them. Form left to right they are:
- Yazdan Mansourian - PhD student, who is supervised by me and Prof Nigel Ford: I am presenting a talk about Yazdan's work at the LILAC conference the week after next. I have also mentioned his blog which is at
- Andrew Madden - Research Associate, working on an AHRC-funded project on Understanding the dynamics of information seeking: analysing researchers’ strategic changes over time
- Dorothy Williams
- Peter Stordy, University Teacher in the Department and also studying for a PhD on the subject of internet literacies.

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