Thursday, August 21, 2008

IL for health postgrad students

At the creating Knowledge conference today, Henrik Schmidt who is in the Karolinska Institute University Library talked about some reflections from a course in information literacy for postgraduate students. Helpfully he started with the main message: that it's good to integrate the IL course in a context that seems important and relevant for the students, to construct an alignment between parts of the course, and have learning outcomes that encourage deep learning.
The context was a one week IL course for a health care research programme. The course was appreciated by the learners and he and his colleagues running the course took the time to reflect on why - which resulted in the summary above. He has also written it up as an article in Infotrend (in Swedish, see below) . Key points which he elaborated on included:
Integration - this class was planned as part of planning for the whole programme including the pedagogic approach, so that links could be made.
Alignment - with learning outcomes for the rest of the programme, the school, and also as regards content and approaches to teaching and assessment. Schmidt cited Biggs' constructive alignment model. As well as using the latter in planning, they also used it for evaluation afterwards. Interestingly, the assessment included an oral assessment in which a group was presented with concepts on post-it notes and they had tomake a concept map with labeled links to identify relationships.
Learning activities - flowing out of the learning outcomes and also aligning up with the other elements (activities included buzz groups, snowballing exercise, concept maps etc.)
Climate - this includes organisation , how feedback is give, and the way in which the mode of teaching and learning is communicated to and understood by the students.

Biggs, J. and Tang C. (2007) Teaching for Quality Learning at University. 3rd ed. Open University Press.
Schmidt, H. (2007) "Constructive Alignment – en tankemodell för undervisning i informationskompetens." Infotrends, 22 (2) 47-57.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Decoration in Turku City Library, August 2008.

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