Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Professional Information Literacy From Workplace to Profession #ecil2015

After a pleasant lunch, the first talk I attended at the European Conference on Information Literacy 2015 was Professional Information Literacy From Workplace to Profession: New Focus for the Information Literacy Discourse. Elham Sayyad Abdi presented (with Christine Bruce as co-author). Abdi started by saying that the idea for this presentation had grown out of her PhD research. The focus was looking at professional and workplace information literacy as different things.
She identified that workplace information literacy has been examined before, and workplace information literacy researchers have emphasised to look at IL in context, with the need to examine different types of workplaces. Therefore she agreed that IL is shaped by context (people, spaces and the interactions). The focus here was on level of interaction. Workplace was distinguished from professional in focusing on location (with local colleagues) rather than looking at the group/community that form a profession (with interactions within the profession).
Abdi's PhD was a phenomenographic investigation the IL of web professionals. She had not started out by distinguishing between workplace and profssion, but the participants were articulating their IL more as professionals (rather than relating it to their physical worlplaces). The categories that she discovered were staying informed; building a successful website; problem solving; and participating in a community of practice.
This prompted the focus on professional IL. In the case of web authoring, there is a virtual working aspect that might put more emphasis on professional rather than physical workplace settings.
This is the start of this research and there werre intersting questions about the differences between the two concepts and where Communities of Practice fitted in, following the talk.
Photo taken at lunchtime today

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