Wednesday, April 30, 2014

What Makes an Online Instructional Video Compelling? and; temporal aspects of e-learning

Two online learning items:
- An article published earlier this month on the Educause website: Hibbert, M. (2014, April 7) What Makes an Online Instructional Video Compelling? "a team at the Columbia University School of Continuing Education examined analytics from the video hosting platform and recruited 10 students to participate in in-depth interviews." Lessons include: students mostly looked at the videos on computers, not mobile devices; videos were more popular if related directly to assignments; most students liked videos to look professional, but in fact the most important thing was having a lecturer who made the subject interesting. (and I recognise Marchand's Strategic Information Alignment framework; I used to use it when I was teaching business intelligence.... it was evidently the subject of a particularly popular video)
- The latest issue of E-Learning and Digital Media Volume 11 Number 2 2014 is a special issue on The Temporal Dimensions of E-learning
Photo by Sheila webber: crab apple blossom, photoshopped, Sheffield April 2014

Teachmeet: Information Literacy skills for Art and Design: 10 June

Last few tickets remaining for a micro presenter or a nano presenter at Seeing the Bigger Picture: Information Literacy skills for Art and Design at De Montfort University, Leicester, UK, on 10 June 2014 (14.00 to 16.30). "This teachmeet is aimed at information professionals working with students in creative disciplines, including Art, Design, Fashion, Textiles, Architecture and the Performing Arts. We would like participants to share innovative ideas and examples of good practice in teaching information literacy skills to these students. This will be an informal, friendly, interactive event combining short presentations, poster displays and individual and group activities." This event is free, but places must be booked in advance through EventBrite at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Gothenburg City airport, April 2014.

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Using the Empowering 8 infolit model

The Annals of Library Information Studies, one of India's oldest peer reviewed library journals has been made open access from its first issue in 1954. This is interesting historically because of substantial work done earlier in the 20th Century, notably by Ranganathan, but also there are recent articles relevant to information literacy. You can search the archive using free text or index terms: there is an index term information literacy but it looks like they only started using it in 2013, so free text is a better idea. The latest article I found was an interesting one on using the Sri Lankan "Empowering 8" Information Literacy model

Wijetunge, Pradeepa; Manatunge, Kalpana (2014) Empowering 8 in practice: information literacy programme for law undergraduates revisited. Annals of Library Information Studies, 61 (4), 24-32.
The open access database of the journal is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossom reflected in my bedroom window, April 2014

Monday, April 28, 2014

Information Literacy & the university: digital, reflective, focused: free event

On 15 May there is a free event in Sheffield, UK: Information Literacy & the university: digital, reflective, focused. It is organised by Sheffield University Information School's Centre for Information Literacy Research (CILR). It runs from 2.30-5pm. Please register for the free event at where there are full details.
Bill Johnston (Honorary Research Fellow, Centre for Lifelong Learning, University of Strathclyde) will keynote with insights into the Digital University model that he has developed with Sheila MacNeill and which is being implemented in two Scottish universities. Pamela McKinney and Barbara Sen (Information School, University of Sheffield) will talk about their framework for reflective practice in information literacy teaching (Supporting information literacy educators: reflective pedagogic planning improving information literacy practice). Finally, Evi Tramantza (Academic Liaison Librarian, Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, University of Surrey, and PhD student, Sheffield University/ SEERC, City College Thessaloniki) will update us on the research she is doing into the Information literacy needs of mechanical engineering students: insights from research in the UK and Greece. This is a free event. Mid-afternoon refreshments are provided. Any queries should be directed to me, Sheila Webber (Director of the CILR),

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Credo Reference digital award for Information Literacy winner

Congratulations to Georgina Dimmock (University of Northampton), who won the Credo Reference digital award for Information Literacy for the Skills Hub: This was announced at the LILAC conference last week.

Friday, April 25, 2014

Design researchers’ information sharing

Today I attended the successful “Disputation” (PhD viva) of Ola Pilerot, who teaches at the Swedish School of Library and Information Science, Boras. His thesis title is: Design researchers’ information sharing: the enactment of a discipline and you can find the first section of the online dissertation (which is in English) here. I have known Ola for a while, and some years ago we gave a seminar about workplace information literacy.

In the UK, PhD vivas are private things, with just the examiners (internal and external), the candidate and possibly supervisors present. However in Sweden it is an open event, though there are various internal hurdles first. At the public event there is a disputant (in this case Ola), an opponent (in this case Dr David Allen, Leeds University), a chair, and a panel of judges, the examining committee. The opponent has to start by providing a summary of the research, then going on to pose questions for a debate with the candidate. The examination committee asks questions, and then anyone else in the audience can pose questions. It was an interesting occasion, and with good celebration afterwards.

It was a thesis by publication, in this case in the actual form of a book. The first part (available online, as linked above) uses the structure of a conventional thesis, but referring to and summarising four publications which give the main findings between them. The publications (presumably due to copyright) are not included with the online thesis. I have cited some of these already on the blog, they are:
- Pilerot, O. (2012) LIS research on information sharing activities: people, places, or information. Journal of Documentation, 68(4), 559-581
- Pilerot, O. and Limberg, L. (2011) Information sharing as a means to reach collective understanding: a study of design scholars' information practices. Journal of Documentation, 67(2), 312-333.
- Pilerot. O. (2013). A practice theoretical exploration of information sharing and trust in a dispersed community of design scholars. Information Research, 18(4)
- Pilerot, O. (2014) Making design researchers’ information sharing visible through material objects. Journal of the American Society for Information Science and Technology. (in press)

Information Literacy Practitioner award winner #lilac14

Congratulations to Jane Secker (LSE), who won the Information Literacy Practitioner of the year award (a nice picture here) and Nazlin Bhimani (Institute of Education) who was runner up. These were presented last night at the LILAC conference dinner.

Thursday, April 24, 2014

More snippets from #lilac14

Links garnered from Twitterfeeds etc. from LILAC
- Preparing our users for digital life beyond the institution: a LILAC poster from Brian Kelly and Jenny Evans: this link also has a blog post from Brian explaining the issue
- InFlow (Information Flow): An integrated model of applied information literacy: Sarah McNicol:
- University of Manchester's My Learning Essentials website, with sets of tutorials about e.g. Writing Skills (e.g. Proofreading), Finding Information
Photo by Sheila Webber: lilac.

The right to e-read #bookday

I meant to blog this petition yesterday (which was World Book Day). EBLIDA (a European association set up by European Library and Information Associations to provide a voice in Europe e.g. for lobbying) has a petition about giving users the right to e-read, by legalising the lending of e-books by libraries.

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

#lilac14 spotted via twitter

A few links etc. that I have spotted on the LILAC conference twitterfeed:
- An Assignments tutorial/advice site from University Campus Suffolk:
- Skills For Learning publications from Leeds Metropolitan University (e.g. The Little Book of Skills for Learning; Quote, unquote (on referencing):
- Poster (not actually from LILAC): Social literacy, professional identity and the personal brand for the socially-impaired by Penny Andrews
Photo by Sheila Webber: Lilac, Charlton, April 2014

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

wikipedia @ #lilac14

The LILAC conference starts tomorrow (23rd April). I'm not there this year, although colleagues Barbara Sen and Pamela McKinney are, and one of my PhD students, Kondwani Wella is also presenting. You can follow using the hashtag #lilac14. A quick search on slideshare showed two presentations due to be given, both on Wikipedia (with one common author, Nancy Graham!)

Monday, April 21, 2014

Information literacy skills and the new student: Wolverhamption, 10 July 2014

The University of Wolverhampton, UK, is organising a free event on the theme of Information literacy skills and the new student, on the afternoon of 4 July 2014. It is sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy group. "This Teachmeet is aimed at information professionals interested in bridging the transitional gap between Further and Higher education and all are welcome." You can be a presenter (5 or 10 minute slot) or audience member. Sign up here where there is more information: Questions to
Photo by Sheila Webber: cherry blossoms on my tree, April 2014

Saturday, April 19, 2014

Talking about our research methods: event in Second Life: 23 April

When: 23 April 2014 at 12 noon SL time (8pm UK time, see for times elsewhere)
Where: Infolit iSchool, in the virtual world, Second Life (you need a SL avatar and the software on your computer, to participate)
What: Talking about our research methods
Sheila Webber (Information School, Sheffield University; Sheila Yoshikawa inside Second Life (pictured, right), Marshall Dozier (Edinburgh University Library; Pancha Enzyme intside Second Life) and Ridvan Ata (Sheffield University Education School; Ridvan Atolia inside SL) will each briefly explain what research approach they have, or intend to, use in a research project and why they are using it. We hope for plenty of questions and discussion!
Marshall Dozier will talk about her plans to use constructivist grounded theory in a study of a multidisciplinary group’s research-related information practices.
Ridvan Ata will talk about using a case study approach with ethnographic texture to investigate approaches to teaching in Second Life (doctoral work which he has almost completed)
Sheila Webber will talk about her planned use of autoethnography to explore her experience of Second Life ... and her search for a research question!

A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event

Friday, April 18, 2014

London TeachMeet, 12 June 2014 #ldnlibtm

Health Information Specialist team of King's College London Library, UK, will be hosting a London LibTeachMeet on 12 June 2014 (afternoon)13.30-17.00. The theme this year is: Enhancing the student experience through interactivity and engagement. "Presentations will be 5 minutes in length, and can be about any aspect of using interactive tools and elements to increase student engagement and enhance their library experience. For example, you may use games, problem-solving activities, discussion groups, treasure hunts etc. Presentations from all library sectors are welcome." They are also seeking proposals for 2 x 20 minute sessions, and there will be 2 minute presentations you can sign up for on the day. You can register as either a presenter, activity facilitator or an audience member. More info at
Photo by Sheila Webber: pink cherry blossom, Sheffield, April 2014

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Creating Knowledge & Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education

An Easter treat (well, ok, only if you are mad for information literacy) are papers and filmed keynotes from the Creating Knowledge conference that took place at Lund University last August. Unfortunately, as it clashed with IFLA, I was not able to go, but I attended all of the previous CKs, I think, it it has always been an excellent conference. Some of the short papers are available full text as a special issue (volume 5, no. 1, 2013) of the Nordic Journal of Information Literacy in Higher Education. Some items are just abstracts, but full papers include:
- The value and impact of cross professional collaborations in developing student information and academic literacy skills at Sheffield Hallam University, UK. by Diane Rushton, Alison Lahlafi
- How does assessment affect learning: an example from a chemistry PhD-course in scholarly communication by Camilla Hertil Lindelöw
The journal home page is:
The filmed keynotes are from Olof Sundin, Gráinne Conole, Trine Schreiber and Christine Bruce and they can be accessed via the conference website at
Photo by Sheila Webber: blossom on my cherry tree, April 2014

Feedback on Information Literacy website wanted

The Information Literacy website is maintained by the CILIP Information Literacy Group (UK). They would like your opinion on its good and less good points so they can improve it further. You can enter into their prize draw for the chance to win £50 of gift vouchers for an online store of your choice. Go to for the website and to for the survey. The survey will close on 31 May 2014.
Photo by Sheila Webber: pink cherry blossom, Sheffield, April 2014

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

Teachmeet in Aberystwyth, Wales, 4 June 2014

There is a Teachmeet in Aberystwyth on 4 June (afternoon) 2014. "Everyone will have the chance to give short 5 minute presentations on what they’ve been doing (or what they’d really like to do!) with regards to information literacy ... All are welcome to present for 5 minutes, or be in the enthusiastic audience." The event is sponsored by the CILIP Information Literacy Group. The event is free, email More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Conwy Castle, 2010 (I realise this is not near Aberystwyth, but at least it is in Wales)

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Financial Literacy initiative in USA

This press transcript and an article in American Libraries give some information about a new pilot initiative in the USA where 9 public libraries are being used as hubs to develop citizens' financial literacy. April is Financial Literacy month in the USA.
Photo by Sheila Webber: Thessaloniki, April 2014

Monday, April 14, 2014

Libmeet in London, 26 April 2014

There is a Libmeet organised by CILIP School Libraries Group, London and South East branch, at Lilian Baylis Technology School London, UK, on 26 April. This is a full day variation on a Teechmeet, including workshop options (including one on teaching), a library surgery and networking. It costs £10 to cover lunch and refreshments. "An opportunity to meet other professionals in an informal and relaxed setting and to share good practice." Information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: sky, Thessaloniki, April 2014.

Programme for International Student Assessment: problem solving

PISA 2012 Results: Creative Problem Solving (Volume V)The Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA) "is a triennial international survey which aims to evaluate education systems worldwide by testing the skills and knowledge of 15-year-old students". This is a very large scale exercise. One of the aims of those aiming to develop international indicators for information literacy is that they might use elements from PISA assessments and/or incorporate IL into PISA. The latest set of assessments, published at the start of this month, is the PISA 2012 assessment of problem solving "which looked at the ability of 15-year-olds to solve problems that they have never encountered before and for which a routine solution has not been learned".
The full report (linked below or by clicking the picture) gives detailed information about the assessments which were set, and the scores by country. They found that high scores on this assessment correlated with high mathematics and science scores, which doesn't seem very surprising as the problems are (I would say) rather technical in nature. Perhaps unsurprisingly (given the nature of the tests and the ways they are marked) they did not include the human element which in reality often forms an aspect of a real-life problem.
Also collaboration and seeking outside information and advice were not allowed: I was pondering whether I was being illogical in thinking that this was more an integral element of problem-solving than of (say) literacy or ability in mathematics. Even on reflection I feel that an integral part of being a good problem solver is knowing how and where to get advice and information to apply to your problem, and that other qualities (such as "emotional intelligence") are needed to solve many everyday and workplace problems. I'd be interested to know others' views.

Sunday, April 13, 2014

Immersive Environments as Enabler for Blended Gamified Learning Experiences #vwbpe

Another of the presentations I attended at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education (VWBPE) conference yesterday was 3D Virtual Immersive Environments as Enabler for Blended Gamified Learning Experiences by Stylianos Mystakidis, e-learning Manager at University of Patras, Greece. 1500 school-age children have attended these sessions, which start with some games/challenges in the University's physical library, then involve watching a live, interactive quest and tour through locations in the virtual world Second Life, and finally producing a digital drawing which expresses their ideas about what they've done. The presentation is embedded below and teh picture was taken during his presentation yesterday.
Other interesting presentations included one on a collaboration between computer science and nursing students (creating 3D virtual simulations for training nursing: the nursing students specify the scenario and the computing students create it: videos here), and one on two 3D environments to encourage reflection on scientific ethics (one to do with genetically modified food, and one with the conflict of environmental and business/professional concerns).

Saturday, April 12, 2014

2nd Call for papers: Western Balkan Information Literacy Conference

The 2nd cfp is open for the Western Balkan Information Literacy Conference, to be held 11-14 June 2014 at Hotel "Opal" Bihać, Bosnia & Herzegovina. The conference theme is Embracing relentless change: Information literacy and lifelong learning in a digital age. The key topics are: Information literacy in the modern world, Librarians as support to the lifelong learning process, Media and information literacy – theoretical approaches (standards, assessment, collaboration, etc.), and New aspects of education/strategic planning, policy, and advocacy for information literacy in a digital age. Proposals for full paper, presentation, roundtable discussion, poster session, train-the-trainers workshop or PechaKucha should be made by 16 May 2014. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Thessaloniki, April 2014

Friday, April 11, 2014

Call for proposals for Library 2.014

The big free online conference Library 2.014 takes place on October 8 - 9, 2014. There is a call for proposals: the deadline is September 15th, but the organisers encourage people not to wait for that, since proposals get reviewed as they come in. The six conference strands are: Digital Services, Preservation, and Access; Emerging Technologies and Trends; Learning Commons and Infinite Learning; Management of Libraries and Information Centers in the 21st Century; User Centered Services and Models; Library and Information Professionals – Evolving Roles and Opportunities. More information at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Boats large and small, Thessaloniki, Greece, April 2014

Creativity in Second Life

Ridvan Ata, one of my PhD students, just presented about an aspect of his work at the Virtual Worlds Best Practices in Education conference (which takes place in the virtual world, Second Life). He has been investigating teaching in Second Life (he has almost finished). He also put the presentation on Slideshare:

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Journal of Academic Librarianship latest articles

Articles in the latest Journal of Academic Librarianship (priced publication), volume 40 issue 1, include:
Using Games to Make Formative Assessment Fun in the Academic Library, by Mary J. Snyder Broussard
Library Anxiety Among Chinese Students: Modification and Application of LAS in the Context of Chinese Academic Libraries by Zhiqiang Song, Shiying Zhang, Christopher Peter Clarke
Stacks, Serials, Search Engines, and Students' Success: First-Year Undergraduate Students' Library Use, Academic Achievement, and Retention by Krista M. Soria, Jan Fransen, Shane Nackerud
Library Space Assessment: User Learning Behaviors in the Library, by Susan E. Montgomery
The webpage for abstracts is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: Sparrow, Thessaloniki, April 2014

Wednesday, April 09, 2014

3rd Annual Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium

There is a call for proposals for the 3rd Annual Indiana University Libraries Information Literacy Colloquium which takes place August 1 2014 in South Bend, Indiana. The conference theme is Metaliteracy: Seeking Connections and Challenging Traditions. "This year’s Colloquium invites you to investigate the implications metaliteracy has for library instruction theory and practice. Questions to consider include, but are not limited to: What do instruction librarians need to know about metaliteracy? What does metaliteracy look like, and what does it entail? How does it influence what we do in the library instruction classroom? How does this shape our learning outcomes and pedagogy? How do we assess metaliteracy?" Proposals for presentations or roundtable discussions should be no more than 250 words in length and should contain at least two learning outcomes. Submit proposals by May 16 at The conference website is at
Photo by Sheila Webber: feral cats, Thessaloniki, April 2014

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

Next blog-post journal club: 14 April on draft ACRL framework #acrlilrevisions #ilread

The next Information Literacy Journal Club blog-post discussion will be on 14 April 2014 at 8pm UK time (3pm US Eastern time), on the draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education which will update the Association of College and Research Libraries' Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (commonly called the ACRL information literacy standards). As previously blogged here, the first draft document contains the Introduction and three Threshold Concepts plus a glossary and bibliography, and the second draft document contains two additional threshold concepts. Go to the following page for more information and links to the two documents and information on how to contribute to the consultation.
To participate in the discussion go to the following page, where you can join in via blog posts on the day (14 April), or add comments before or after the real-time interaction
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry blossom,Sheffield, April 2014

Monday, April 07, 2014

2nd part of ACRL draft framework published #ACRLILRevisions

The 2nd part of the ACRL's draft Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education has been published. It introduces two more Threshold Concepts, Authority is Constructed and Contextual and Search is Strategic. With both of them there is an introductory explanation, and lists of Knowledge Practices, Dispositions, Self-Assessments and Possible Assignments/Assessments. Comments on the draft have to be submitted by 15 April 2014. You can find both parts, and information on the consultation process, linked from
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry blossom, Sheffield, April 2014

Sunday, April 06, 2014

Show me your search strings!

A short article describes analysis of 20,000 searches of the federated system at the University of Tromsø, Norway. They found that "60% of all the searches ended up with no hits at all", with incorrect spelling and misuse of boolean (e.g. ANDing Norwegian and English versions of the same word) accounting for many of the problem. I'm not sure about the conclusions, though; don't the results show that you can't just rely on allegedly "user friendly" systems? The article concludes as follows: "Should the library provide the actual searching for the patrons, or is it simply more cost efficient to increase focus on user instruction? So far, the debate has leaned heavily on the second solution. With library systems becoming increasingly user friendly (we hope) it is quite difficult to see how we could persuade library patrons to learn more about searching. To justify spending a large part of the library budget on databases that users find difficult or even unnecessary requires us to sit down and properly discuss the library’s role in information searching and how to best assist students and staff in their research process."

Lokse, M. and Magnussen, M. (2013, November 14) Show me your search strings! Information today.!--93283.aspx
Photo by Sheila Webber: Cherry blossom, Sheffield, April 2014

Friday, April 04, 2014

Making Google Behave & The end of Google's supremacy?

Making Google Behave is a priced workshop from Karen Blakeman in London, UK, on 9 April 2014, organised bu UKEIG. "There are many tricks we can use to make Google give better results and this workshop will look in detail at the options that are currently available to us." More information at
Karen also just put up one of her excellent presentations, on Slideshare, How we really search: the end of Google's supremacy?, a presentation given at the AGM of CILIP Hants & Wight on 2 April 2014.

Wednesday, April 02, 2014

Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth #cscy

Yesterday I attended a launch event for an exhibition put on by the Centre for the Study of Childhood and Youth here at Sheffield University. The pictures are from the research exhibition. The Centre's website is at
There were short presentations about three interdisciplinary projects. Firstly, Kate Pahl talked about a project funded by the AHRC's Connected Communities programme, Communication wisdom: a study of the uses of fishing in youth work. Their aim is to consider the role of fishing in youth work. It is participatory research, including working with young people to make films and online texts to produce a "Compleat Angler 2.0". They identified that the calm and concentration experienced whilst fishing was helpful to the young people, and indeed to the adults working with them. There was also an intergenerational angle, in that older, experienced anglers were teaching the young people to fish.

The second project was Beyond Family Centred Care, which Penny Curtis introduced. This focuses on the care of children in hospital, where "family centred care" has been the approach for some time in the UK: in other words involving parents in care and decision making. However "parenting in public" like this can be stressful, and nurses can find it difficult to share decision making. Additionally, there is still a lot to be discovered in terms of what children want and how they experience the care.
The project aims to get three perspectives (children's, parents' and nurses') through an ethnographic study. From initial findings: there seems to be a division between clinical care (done by nurses) and everyday care (done by parents). The parents seem to feel that they should be, and they are expected to, look after their child in hospital 24/7, which can be very stressful when the parents cannot do this. The children perfer a parent to help with basic care, but if they are in hospital for longer, they would like more (different) company, which means they have to be proactive in finding someone. There is limited information given to parents and children when they're on the ward (it might be assumed by nurses that people would remember from a previous admission, but that's not necessarily so).

The final presentation was from Rosie Parnell, on Designing with Children, funded the Leverhulme Trust. The research question is: what do spatial designers learn from creative dialogue with children and what impact does this have on the design process? There is a nice website at and are looking for more examples where designers have involved children in the design of spaces. If any blog reader knows of one (e.g. in designing a children's library or school library) do contact them! The researchers then follow up to find out how the children were involved and what the impact was on the designers and the ultimate design. Some early findings included: that designers valued the children's lack of attention to the conventions e.g. saying if they didn't like something, and being less constrained by issues of cost or social convention. They also felt that it, for example, gave the designers possibilities to be more playful in design.

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

Second Life Journal Club: 2nd April: Discussing Diehm & Lupton's Learning information literacy

Join us in the virtual world Second Life for a one-hour discussion of an open-access article. Led by Ridvan Ata (University of Sheffield, Ridvan Atolia in Second Life) we will be discussing:
Diehm. R. & Lupton, M (2012). Learning information literacy.  Information Research, 19(1) paper 607.

When: 2 April 2014 12.00 noon SL time (which is 8.00pm UK time and the same as US pacific time)

Where: Infolit iSchool Journal Club room, in the virtual world Second Life, You need a SL avatar and the Second Life browser installed on your computer. The picture shows last month's Journal Club.

Everyone is welcome to join the one-hour discussion.

A Sheffield iSchool Centre for Information Literacy Research event.