Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Vidar Gynnild keynote at CKVI

I am reporting from the #ckvi Creating Knowledge VI Conference being held in Bergen, Norway, 8-10 September, The second keynote speaker was Vidar Vidar Gynnild (Norwegian University of Science and Teachnology) who talked on Teaching and learning in higher education in regard to information literacy and diversity (abstract at and biography are here).
His main theme was the basic need for academics to take a less transmissive approach to teaching. He started by reviewing some different definitions of information literacy: which sounded good, but he was aware that his fellow academics were not terribly engaged in it and did not neccessarily see it as their job to teach. He identified two paradigms. The first was the "Instruction paradigm" e.g. that the mission was to deliver information, the teaching/learning structures consisted of covering the required material, funding was by hours of instruction and faculty were primarily lecturers. However in the newer paradigm, you put learning first. In this you aim to produce learning, structures consists of producing specified learning results, funding goes by learning outcomes, and faculty are primarily designers of learning methods and environments. This means you have to start with the intended learning outcomes.
He mentioned what he called "frame factors" that shape human agency (e.g. mentoring, learning activities, room facilities, social factors) which need to be thought about, and which may be of more or less important. Like Ralph Catts, he identifed the importance of assessment in this process, and how students tend to ask "How does this count towards my grade?".
He finished by emphasising how there needed to be collaboration between faculty and librarians to embed information literacy in the curriculum. He identified some key issues such as academic integrity that prompt such collaboration. He thought that academics such as he could be champions in helping this come about. They can work together to transform a teaching paradigm into a learning paradigm.
Photo by Sheila Webber: yacht in Bergen harbour, September 2010.

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