IFLA World Library and Information Conference in Helsinki, Finland
The next talk in this session on e-learning and information literacy was Micro-E-Learning in Information Literacy from NICOLE KRÜGER (my phot of her, right). To quote her paper "The term "Microlearning" refers to the acquisition of a given information or learning
material in small units that can be absorbed quickly." She started by explaining why microlearning is useful - with some arguing that some e-learning is too long and ineffective, and microlearning seen as appropriate for digital natives by commentators such as Prensky.
So in her library, firstly they have an online reference service, so that users can interact via chat and email. The librarians aim to give short clear answers, but obviously this short answer may not answer the complete information need.
The second microlearning option is LOTSE, a modular online tutorial. It has multimedia content, interactive learning in a Moodle section. However, the speaker observed that this still might be too macro for the users.
Therefore they tried to merge the advantages of the two services. Thus on the reference desk they still give short answers, but also provide a link to the relevant bit of LOTSE and point out other multimedia content. For LOTSE, there is now a personal tutor available to help people orientate themselves in LOTSE. Further ideas are: making the e-learning content searchable, offering service on Facebook, forums where people can discuss their questions and publication on Youtube.
There were a number of questions afterwards, including one person troubling the notion that you have to acceed to a microlearning approach, when people still need to learn to engage more deeply (this was a point that came to me, too, as I am not happy with teh "digital native" discourse either). The speaker admitted this was a problem, but felt that since IL was so essential and the IL was not compulsory, it was at least a way of getting the information to those who would not otherwise be engaged with IL at all.
I blogged about LOTSE in more detail before: http://information-literacy.blogspot.fi/2010/09/slavic-information-literacy-tutorial-at.html
The full text paper is at: Micro-E-Learning in Information Literacy
Translations: [Français] NICOLE KRÜGER (ZBW - German National Library of Economics, Leibniz Information Centre for Economics, Kiel/Hamburg, Germany)