Thursday, April 25, 2019

Transitions in Information Literacy: Understanding the Role of Dispositions #lilac19

Sheila here, and the next presentation I'm attending at the LILAC Conference is from Nora Bird (University of North Carolina at Greensboro) on Transitions in Information Literacy: Understanding the Role of Dispositions.

Bird started by talking her background as a practitioner and researcher. She went on to talk about Lloyd's concept of an information landscape, showing us pictures of some different types of landscape to stimulate ideas of how the information landscape might appear to librarians and non-librarians (e.g. that non-librarians might feel happy with a crowded jungle landscape, that seemed disorganised to librarians). She associated Lloyd's "social modalities" element with dispositions (as described in the ACRL IL Framework).
After this, Bird explaned the US context; the levels of schooling and the ACRL Framework. She noted that the concept of knowledge practices and of dispositions had been incorporated in the Framework and that Carrick Enterprises ( recently developed the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TILT). This identifies three levels: conditionally-, college- and research-ready, with various dispositions associated. In the test, dispositions are scored based on students' judgements on behaviours associated with those dispositions.
In the research carried out by Bird, 233 students in an undergraduate LIS class took (I think) two test modules. She showed the pie charts of results for "mindful self reflection", "toleration of ambiguity" and "responsibility to community". For each of those, the largest number of respondents were in the middle scoring category. One notable finding was that students who attended middle college scored high on mindful self reflection. There were only 3 students with military experience, but they did score highly for community responsibility. Bird concluded that there are "intruiging ideas to explore" but no firm conclusions at this stage. There are big questions concerning, for example, whether librarians can educate for particular dispositions.

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