This is my final blog post from the second FOIL webinar , entitled Masters’ Class: Emerging Voices in Media & Information Literacy Research. The final presentation was: William Shire (working at Magdalene College, Oxford and dissertation submitted to University of Sheffield): The use of Web 2.0 tools to teach information literacy in the UK university library context
Shire's research questions included finding out what Web 2.0 tools were being used, why people were using them, whether they were connected with pedagogy and how they perceived the tools. He gathered 110 questionnaires from academic librarians and did three follow up interviews. Librarians were using a wide variety of tools, with Virtual Learning Environments, Libguides and quizes coming up most frequently. In terms of the intended use, improving student engagement was more frequently mentioned, closely followed by course delivery. When examining the link with pedagogy, the research revealed that some tools were used more intrumentally (e.g. for advertising) but many were using them in a more complex way: "79% use tools for student engagement, 48% to enable students to share information with the teacher" and the qualitative research revealed constructivist approaches.
A small minority of the respondents did not find Web 2.0 tools useful and did not use them, but the majority found them "useful" or "very useful" (and responding in this way correlated with reporting use of more Web 2.0 tools, in the earlier question). Some respondents said they would like to explore more use of Web 2.0 tools, but did not have time/ management support for this exploration. Shire finished by talking about the ways that his own library had used many more of these tools for the online delivery of services, induction etc. in the current pandemic.