Thursday, August 14, 2014

IL in early childhood; IL evaluation #iflalimerick

My 3rd post from the IFLA Information Literacy Satellite conference held in Limerick, Ireland will cover 2 talks in this track. The picture was taken at the coffee break.Firstly,  Information Literacy in Early Childhood was authored by Sonja Gust von Loh and Maria Henkel (presenter) (Heinrich-Heine University Düsseldorf, Germany). They started with the question of the information literacy in kindergarten children (3-6 years old), but it has broadened from that. The speaker noted that sometimes people talk about "Media Literacy" at that stage, but in fact it is generally "information literacy" as we understand it; however the authors preferred the compound Media and Information Literacy (MIL). The speaker showed Stock's (2012) Levels of competences in the knowledge society (sorry, I haven't immediately found a link for that) and identified some aspects of that framework which could still be related to very young children. Obviously at this stage children are not doing academic search, so the focus is on the things that the children want and do. This does include how they use the library, as well as how they search, how they judge true and false, and how they use information (which might be e.g. retelling stories). In terms of organising information, the researchers will use things like memory cards to see, for example, how children might sort things. In terms of creating information it can be things like children tagging a poster. The aspect of "responsible use of information" was seen as the province of the parents rather than children at that age.
Data collection techniques include use of puppets to create contact, and observation (although the speaker noted that the children might want you to join in games!) On the other hand it was a good idea to let the children get to know you so they were not shy or suspicious. The first stage is of this research is an online survey for parents with questions such as the devices being used by the children and whether and how the parents feel use of media is connected to use of information. The research is in progress, so watch for further results.
The Future of Information Literacy in Higher Education: Evaluation Models and Indicators was by Miguel Ángel Marzal García-Quismondo (presenter) and Saknicté Pisté Beltrán (Universidad Carlos III de Madrid, Spain). This included results from her ongoing PhD thesis, and was detailed, so I may not be capturing the points correctly. The context is the the "managerial" university which has student employability as a key target (with competency based curricula), and in that context digital and information competences can be seen a important. The speaker's focus was "web knowledge" - and identifying ways of evaluating this. It was felt that academic authorities needed "objective" information about impact in order to be convinced to include it staregically. The existing literature was reviewed. As part of this 3 key types of indicators were identified, concerned with skills, abilities and competencies.The next work is developing the evaluation framework.

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