Thursday, September 27, 2018

Information Literacy self-efficacy of Medical Students: a longitudinal study #ECIL2018

I am chairing a session this afternon with two presentations focused on IL in higher education. The first is from Ann de Meuelmeester on Information Literacy self-efficacy of Medical Students: a longitudinal study. The development of the self-efficacy scale was already reported in:
De Meulemeester, A., Buysse, H. and Peleman, R. 2018. Development and validation of an information literacy self-efficacy scale for medical students. Journal of Information Literacy, 12(1), pp.27–47.
This presentation focused on a longitudinal study. They were aiming to integrate information literacy into the curriculum, and so looking at self-efficacy is part of identifying how the students develop through the medical programme. They followed four cohorts for consecutive years (some of them were followed for 4 years). They are looking at results at the cohort, rather than individual, levels. When they got the results, the researchers presented them to the students and the students had a good amount of constructive discussion about the results.
The results show that medical students' IL self-efficacy develops slowly - very slowly - over time. The scores for more general scales such as "evaluating and processing information" are higher than those for the specific scales "Using the library" and "Bibliography" (and e.g. the library one makes sense as the medical students don't have to use books much). It is evident for the results that there is a significant correlation between the points at which specific aspects of IL are taught and an upswing in self-efficacy. De Meleumeester said that the fact that their medical information literacy was broken down into identifiable skills (e.g. searching a particular database) made it easier to assimilate. IL development was also connected with the students' curriculum and activities within that were also connected e.g. a downswing when the students did internship in the hospital and felt lost (following on from this, there may be more support about finding information in the workplace - hospital - context in future).
De Meulemeester then presented a proposed framework for IL education (based on this project and another one, which took a case study approach). It has activation, personal practice, feedback and support on one matrix, and basic skills (in an integrated IL course), advanced skills (integrated into the disciplinary course, taught by the subject expert), and lifelong learning (collaborating with peer colleagues, e.g. discussing cases that they are dealing with on internship) on the other. Curriculum content, process and support needed to be aligned with each other. There were development needs implied by this approach e.g. educating the disciplinary experts.
Further, de Meulemeester looked at horizontal integration, concerning students following different pathways in the medical programme. It was important that the changes and intergration of IL should be incorporated in policy documents. THis is explained further in: Buysse H, Peleman R, De Meulemeester A. (2018). Information literacy in health sciences education: proposal of a new model in a multi-perspectivism setting. JEAHIL [Internet], 14(1).
"The key is practice throughout the curriculum, at appropriate time and level", plus "Communication and collaboration"

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