Tuesday, September 21, 2021

Older people's information literacy #ECIL2021

On the second day of the virtual European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL2021) I presented as part of a sesion focusing on older people and information literacy. My presentation, Older People in the “Post-Truth” Era: Countering Ageism by Developing Age Friendly Media and Information Literate Cities (#AFMIL), was co-authored with Bill Johnston and the slides are here https://www.slideshare.net/sheilawebber/older-people-in-the-posttruth-era-countering-ageism-by-developing-age-friendly-media-and-information-literate-cities-afmil. I will say more about this when I post the link to the video of the presentation. We were talking about the model that we outlined here

There were two other presentations. After me, Kristina Eriksson-Backa (Finland) presented on Everyday Health Information Literacy and Attitudes towards Digital Health Services among Finnish Older Adults (coauthored with Farhan Ahmad, Isto Huvila, Heidi Enwald, and Noora Hirvonen). It presents results from a study which was part of the project Taking Health Information Behaviour into Account (2015-2020). Eriksson-Backa quoted some previous findings about older people and the digital e.g. in a Swedish survey those aged 65+ thought digital health services useful, but thought tech was difficult to use; that in a Norwegian survey those 65+ used electronic health services less than younger people. For this project, 373 Finns aged 55 or over responded to a survey (25% response rate) to measure their Everyday Health Information Literacy (using the EHIL survey instrument, see reference Niemelä et al. (2012) below) and attitudes towards aspects of digital healthcare (see screenshot).

They tested the relationship between the participants' EHIL and positive or negative attitudes to digital health services (and in the presentation gave details of the statistical tests they used). They found that EHIL had a statistically significant positive impact on optimistic attitudes (and a significant negative impact on negative attitudes) towards digital health. Thus EHIL is a useful measure of older adults perceptions of their own ability to manage health information and engage with digital health. The researchers also concluded that more emphasis should be placed on creating a "positive information experience", paying attention to what makes people feel comfortable with technology, and identifying contexts where information is used and useful.
Reference: Niemelä, R., Ek, S., Eriksson-Backa, K., & Huotari, M.-L. (2012). A screening tool for assessing everyday health information literacy. Libri, 62(2), 125–134. https://doi.org/10.1515/libri-2012-0009 

The last speakers were Iva Zadražilová and Pavla Vizváry (Czech Republic), talking on Digital Literacy Competencies and Interests of Elderly People. They emphasised the importance of developing the ICT skills of this group, and that education and libraries can provide a crucial role. The aim of the research was to collect information on perceived digital IL and what the participants' interests were in further education about the internet etc - this could then be used to develop training sessions. A 27-item questionnaire was developed based on findings from previous qualitative research and administered to people aged 65+ and with basic computer skills. There were 717 respondents, average age 71, 81% female. Because of the latter characteristic, and also as the education level was not representative of the general population, thus the results cannot be generalised. 

Participants self-evaluated their skills - the lowest self-evaluations were for communication and content creation. The researchers had hypothesised that younger respondents would have higher confidence in their digital skills, and this was demonstrated by the data at a statistically significant level. The researchers also asked whether people had learnt through self-study, with help, or through computer self-study. Contrary to what they had expected, those who had taught themselves had the most confidence. The presenter connected this finding with being able to learn about what you really needed. Asked if they were interested in further education, those participants who were confident about their skills had the most interest, rather than those who had rated their skills lower (some had no interest, and some had interest but couldn't pursue further education for personal reasons). Additionally, the higher level of completed education, the more likely the person was to be interested in improving their skills. 

Asked to identify areas of interest for further education, the top 4 were: editing & sharing photos; evaluating information; dangers of information misuse; downloading photographs. Thus the interest was in active ageing topics and a recommendation was for classes which "positively reflect the elderly gaining skills to encourage active ageing". There is a role for libraries in adapting and tailoring their offerings to these more active topics, rather than just basic ICT classes.
1st image: Centre for Ageing Better: published under CC0 1.0 Universal (CC0 1.0) https://ageingbetter.resourcespace.com/pages/home.php 2nd impage: screenshot of the 2nd presentation.

Monday, September 20, 2021

Fake news: has it changed UK academic librarians’ ideas about teaching Information Literacy? #ECIL2021

Chris Thorpe (City, University of London, UK) and I presented on the first day of the virtual European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL2021) on Fake news: has it changed UK academic librarians’ ideas about teaching Information Literacy?  The slides are embedded below.


Information Discernment in the “Post-truth” World #ECIL2021

Today is the first day of the European Conference on Information Literacy (ECIL2021) which takes place virtually from today until Thursday. I am presenting in three sessions, and also chairing the doctoral forum, and I will be doing a little liveblogging. Today is busy as I am presenting with Chris Thorpe, and running a workshop with Pam McKinney. I will blog separately about those. So here's my first liveblog. The day began with introductions from the conference committee, Serap Kurbanoğlu (Hacettepe University, Turkey), Sonja Špiranec, (University of Zagreb, Croatia), Joumana Boustany (Paris Descartes University, France) and Fabian Franke (University of Bamberg, Germany, which was to have been the conference venue). It included an introduction to the conference theme Information Literacy in a Post-Truth Era which was set for the original (postponed) 2020 conference. The speakers noted that it could have been feared that this theme would have gone out of date, but (sadly!) that is not the case. 

The first keynote session was Information Discernment in the “Post-truth” World from Stephan Lewandowsky (University of Bristol, UK). He started by giving a "brief history of lies, taking the example of US presidents and explaining how he thought that the lies had changed both quantitively and qualitatively: from carefully curated "systematic lies" to "shock and chaos" information (so the shift is from creating lies which the president wants to be believed to creating noise and confusion). This can change the nature of truth itself, and enable people to ignore challenges. Lewandowsky cited Hahl who coined the concept of the "authenticity of the lying demogogue" - that you show you are "of the people" by rejecting elitist norms, including what truth is and how you tell what is truth (or even the meaningfulness of truth). This can happen if people are questioning a system's legitimacy (as many people are questioning the legitimacy of governments in various parts of the world). Lewandowsky showed results of an experiment in which 26% of highly educated Trump voters identified a photo showing Trumnp's inauguration as having more people in it than a photo of Obama's (when it is very clear there are more people in the Obama photo - so this has to have been a deliberate decision). 

Lewandowsky went on to discuss how "misinformation sticks" and he talked about experiments in which people say that they know something is false, but the experiment shows that the misinformation is still informing their decisions. He talked about experiments in "inoculating" people against misinformation through the means of short videos which focus on explaining the manipulation techniques that are used. So this focused on exposing the manipulative techniques, rather than providing "the facts". There were ones on emotional language, false dichotomies, scapegoating, incoherence and ad hominem (attacks on a person) techniques. The experiments Lewandowsky and his colleagues conducted showed that the participants' information discernment increased (see the graphic at the top). In response to a question after the talk, he also talked about "booster shots" (video reminders) and they needed to have more research into how long the inoculations lasted.
One of the publications from this research is here (I think I blogged this previously). A recent experiment has used Islamist radicalising and Islamaphobic material, and also showed that this approach had a positive effect. Lewandowsky talked about addressing the issue more widely, and other work in the area (e.g. "lateral reading" and work by Geoff Walton & colleagues) and how you can go about debunking lies and liars.

Further experiments showed that changing beliefs did not necessarily result in changes in actions and decisions (this was an experiments to do with beliefs and voting intentions in the USA). 

I was of course happy to see that "teaching information literacy" was listed as an element in the "toolbox of countermeasures" (plus inoculating and debunking) at the end of the talk. He also gave links to the Debunking handbook 2020 , COVID19 vaccine communication handbook, and a report Technology and Democracy: Understanding the influence of online technologies on political behaviour and decision-making

Friday, September 17, 2021

Webinar: Copyright, Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources in Virtual Instruction

There is a free webinar Copyright, Creative Commons and Open Educational Resources in Virtual Instruction on 29 September 2021, 12.30-13.30 (Hong Kong/UTC+8 time - so e.g. that is 5.30am UK time). "In this webinar, we would like to discuss the potential and affordances of Creative Commons (CC), Open Educational Resources (OER) and CC/OER-enabled pedagogies with some examples in training. Through the webinar, participants can reflect on better practices and design considerations in CC/OER-enabled pedagogies." "Through the training, participants can reflect on better practices and design considerations in CC/OER-enabled pedagogies. Upon completion, the participants will be able to: Identify copyright owners and avoid infringement; Identify the opportunities and challenges of adopting CC and OER in the curriculum; and Use CC and OER to facilitate classroom learning and assessment." Registration at https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSefVXaXW8t3JPw7Qtl5rTernyLvJFiZ6eUUUelVSJHvhnlOwg/viewform

Thursday, September 16, 2021

Webinars: Dialoguer, expliquer, débattre des médias et de l’information à la bibliothèque

Webinar brochure cover

We are half way through a series of free French-language webinars entitled Dialoguer, expliquer, débattre des médias et de l’information à la bibliothèque (Discuss, explain, debate media and information in the library). The next in the series is tomorrow 17 September 10.30-12 noon Paris time (which is, e.g., 9.30 UK time) La place de la presse et des journalistes dans l’éducation aux médias (the place of news organisations and journalists in media education) featuring Etienne Millien, journalist and director of de l’APEM (Alliance Pour l’Education aux Medias). On 22 October the topic is Fausses informations et questions de santé (misinformaion and health) 10.30-12 noon Paris time. The final webinar is on 19 November 10.30-12 noon Paris time Les fausses informations: une question politique (misinformation as a political question) featuring Jacques Oberti (président de la communauté d’agglomération du Sicoval, en Haute-Garonne). To sign up go to this page http://mediadoc.univ-toulouse.fr/programme/conference/373/68302 - it gives the start date of the series (14 April) which is obviously past, but this signs you up for the whole series, and if you click to register you will see that it lists the remaining webinars. Just to repeat, these webinars are in the French language. The brochure is here https://fadoc.univ-toulouse.fr/course/index.php?categoryid=70 together with links related to the previous webinars in teh series. The series is connected to the Savoir-devenir media literacy project

Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Call for papers: The playful library

There is a call for papers for a special issue of open access Journal of Play in Adulthood on The Playful Library: Playful attitudes, approaches and activities in library settings. "There has been increased interest in using games within library settings over recent years, but much of the literature has focussed on the games themselves as interesting interventions, rather than how they bring an element of play into library setting, and all that play entails. This special issue seeks to explore both scholarly and practice related understandings of what it means to be playful in library and information settings. This could be related to teaching practices, the use of space to encourage playfulness, play as personal or professional development, or anything else that we feel is related to play, games, or playfulness within the library and information world." Themes could include: The use of games and play within information literacy instruction; Escape rooms / boxes in library settings; Increasing engagement with resources through playful approaches. To see the full call and list of suggested themes go to https://www.journalofplayinadulthood.org.uk/news/125/ Deadline for submitting abstracts is 8th October 2021: Deadline for full paper if the abstract is accepted is 7th February 2022.

Photo by Sheila Webber: neighbourhood cat, September 2021

Monday, September 13, 2021

Outline programme released for Global MIL Week

The outline programme for the feature conference of Global Media and Information Literacy (MIL) Week has been released. The conference runs from 25th to 29th October 2021 inclusive, with the Youth Agenda Forum taking place in parallel on 27th-28th October. More information as it emerges - I've been invited to contribute to one of the sessions. You can register for the virtual conference free
There is also some information about nominations for the Global MIL awards and you can register Global MIL week events. Go to  https://en.unesco.org/commemorations/globalmilweek

Saturday, September 11, 2021

New articles: COVID information seeking; Telecentre initiatives; Machine translation literacy; Assistive technology; Inclusions strategies

The latest issue of open-access The International Journal of Information, Diversity, & Inclusion (IJIDI) (volume 5 no. 3)includes:
- Sources of COVID-19 Information Seeking and their Associations with Self-Perceived Mental Health among Canadians by Yanli Li
- Minding the Design Reality Gap: An Empirical Evaluation of Telecentre Initiatives in Rural Ghana by Daniel Azerikatoa Ayoung, Pamela Abbott
- Promoting Linguistic Diversity and Inclusion: Incorporating Machine Translation Literacy into Information Literacy Instruction for Undergraduate Students by Lynne Bowker
- Assistive Technology in Education: Conceptions of a Socio-technical Design Challenge by Vanesa Ayon, Andrew Dillon
- Digital Equity & Inclusion Strategies for Libraries: Promoting Student Success for All Learners by Jacqueline Frank, Meghan Salsbury, Hannah McKelvey, Rachelle McLain
- Learning from Pandemic Mode to Create a Sustainable Digital Future: Using a Tripartite Model of Information Access and Digital Inclusion with a Richland Library Case Study by Kim M. Thompson, Amanda Reed
Go to https://jps.library.utoronto.ca/index.php/ijidi/issue/view/2437
Photo by Sheila Webber: autumn rose, September 2021

Friday, September 10, 2021

Recent articles: IL education in the pandemic; Librarians as faculty; Question formulation; First year perceptions of libraries

I continue catching up with issues of the Journal of Academic Librarianship (a priced publication), this time Volume 47 issue 4 (July 2021) which includes the following:
- Question formulation for information literacy: Theory and practice by Davida Scharf & Joanne Dera https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2021.102365 "We introduce the idea that question formulation is critical to information literacy, and should be explicitly taught and studied to improve instruction. We investigate existing theoretical frameworks about question formulation and highlight the few practical studies and resources. We articulate a QF-IL Research Model, identify research gaps, and propose a research agenda for academic librarians."
- Information literacy education during the pandemic: The cases of academic libraries in Chinese top universities by Jinchi Guo, Jie Huang https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2021.102363
- A perspective on librarians as unexpected teaching faculty: The imperative of clear policy by Sharon Holderman https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2021.102343 (this relates to the North American context, where there is academic tenure, and academic librarians can become tenured).
- Similarly different: Finding the nuances in first year students' library perceptions by Sarah LeMire, Stephanie J. Graves, Sarah Bankston, Jennifer Wilhelm https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2021.102352 Photo by Sheila Webber: friend's cat, September 2021

Thursday, September 09, 2021

Call for papers: International Conference on Communication & Media Studies

There is a call for papers for the Seventh International Conference on Communication & Media Studies which is a blended cconference taking place online and in Galway, Ireland, 25-26 August 2022. The theme is Democratic Disorder: Disinformation, the Media and Crisis in a Time of Change. They haven't identified information literacy in their call, but it is certainly relevant to the theme, and they say they are interested in crossing disciplinary boundaries! If travel seems an option by August 2022, Galway is a nice place to visit, too. Go to https://oncommunicationmedia.com/2022-conference

Tuesday, September 07, 2021

International #LiteracyDay

Tomorrow is UNESCO's International Literacy Day today and their theme is Literacy for a human-centred recovery: Narrowing the digital divide. The concept note identifies "the COVID-19 crisis amplified the centrality of literacy to people’s life, work and lifelong learning. Reading and writing skills are essential, for instance, to access life-saving information and sustain livelihoods. In addition, the need for digital skills, which are part of today’s literacy skills, have been recognized for distance learning, a digitally transformed workplace, and participation in a digitalized society." 

They also bundle some media and information literacy into their definition of literacy (being able to "manage, understand, integrate, communicate, evaluate and create information safely and appropriately", though sadly without making the explicit connection with UNESCO's MIL programme. An important central message is how essential literacy is to living one's life, and how many people throughout the world are not provided with the opportunity to become literate in any medium. They pose some key questions for critical reflection - such as:
- How can we mobilize adequate technical and financial support for the promotion of literacy programmes, including the ones that integrate digital skills learning?
- What are the kinds of partnerships and governance required to enhance technology enabled literacy programmes for youth and adults?
You can watch a livestream event on 8 September (starting at 1.30pm Paris time) here in English, here in French, here in Spanish

Monday, September 06, 2021

Articles: scavenger hunts; chemistry; government documents in open education

I've some catching up to do with issues of the Journal of Academic Librarianship, and I'll start with Volume 47 issue 3 (May 2021) which includes the following (priced publication - though one article, marked below, is open access):
- Scavenging for evidence: A systematic review of scavenger hunts in academic libraries by Rachel Keiko Stark, Eugenia Opuda, Jenessa McElfresh, Kelli Kauffroath (open access) https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2021.102345 (finishes with some recommendations for future research - though the authors do seem to be assuming that quantataive methods are the best, and they don't mention the absence in many articles of a detailed description of the learning design and pedagogic approach. Nevertheless, this article is very useful in summarising and critiquing this approach.)
- Seizing the opportunity: Collaborative creation of academic integrity and information literacy LMS modules for undergraduate Chemistry by Arielle Lomness, Sajni Lacey, Amanda Brobbel, Tamara Freeman https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2021.102328
- A process of engagement: Using government documents in open pedagogy by Stephanie Hallam, Pat Willingham, Kris Baranovic https://doi.org/10.1016/j.acalib.2021.102358
Photo by Sheila Webber: Greenwich Park flower bed, late July 2021

Saturday, September 04, 2021

Digital Media Literacy and Youth Civic Reasoning in Kenya @TheYouthCafe #MILCLICKS

Published by the Youth Cafe on 4 August are a set of reports on digital and media literacy of young people in Kenya. The baseline report provides a literature review, and summarises findings from two focus groups and two interviews, finishing with recommendations. Two further reports go into more detail about the findings from the focus group and interviews. 

Their goal was to gather evidence and guidance to prepare a media literacy handbook for Kenyan young people. There are recommendations to Government (the first of which is "The national government should make digital-media literacy a segment of ICT education at all levels and incorporate it into the new curriculum" - a straightforward recommendation lacking in the UK's recent media literacy strategy), Youth organisations, Multilateral organisations, young people themselves (thus putting responsibility on youth, as well as responsibility on others), and for the design of the proposed handbook. A recommendation for the handbook that caught my eye was that "While civic reasoning is the goal for the media literacy handbook, media literacy also affects other areas such as mental health and employment. It is necessary to design the handbook for ease of adoption for such themes as a sustainability strategy." 

Altogether it is an interesting set of documents, and it is only a pity that the potential role of librarians doesn't get mentioned. The baseline report's reference list is useful in focusing on the Kenyan context (since so many studies of critical media literacy look at Western contexts).

Digital Media Literacy and Youth Civic Reasoning in Kenya: Baseline report: https://www.theyouthcafe.com/tools-and-publications/digital-media-literacy-and-youth-civic-reasoning-in-kenya-baseline-report 

Digital Media Literacy and Youth Civic Reasoning in Kenya: focus group discussion report: https://www.theyouthcafe.com/tools-and-publications/digital-media-literacy-and-youth-civic-reasoning-in-kenya-focus-group-discussion-report 

Digital Media Literacy and Youth Civic Reasoning in Kenya: Key informant interview report: https://www.theyouthcafe.com/tools-and-publications/digital-media-literacy-and-youth-civic-reasoning-in-kenya-key-informant-interview-report

Thursday, September 02, 2021

Call for chapters: Unframing the Visual: Visual Literacy Pedagogy in Academic Libraries and Information Spaces

There is a call for chapter proposals for a book to be published by ACRL Press in 2023: Unframing the Visual: Visual Literacy Pedagogy in Academic Libraries and Information Spaces, "As the first major work on visual literacy pedagogy for academic librarians since the publication of the 2016 Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, this work aims to offer innovative ideas about, perspectives on, and approaches to visual literacy instruction across the disciplines in higher education. We are seeking proposals for chapters for each of the book's four thematic sections: Participating in a changing visual information landscape; Perceiving visuals as communicating information; Practicing visual discernment and criticality; Pursuing social justice through visual practice".
There is a lot more detail at https://sites.google.com/view/unframingtheviz/home#h.ghwfm2uthorv Proposals should be about 500 words, submitted by October 15, 2021 via their website https://sites.google.com/view/unframingtheviz/home. First chapter drafts are expected in February 2022.
Photo by Sheila Webber: from the bear pit, July 2021

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

Recent articles: Health literacy; Nurse evaluation skills; IL education in Pakistani universities; Information access in Ghana

- Naughton, J., Booth, K., Elliott, P., Evans, M., Simões, M. and Wilson, S. (2021), Health literacy: The role of NHS library and knowledge services. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 38, 150-154. https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12371 [open access]
- Schvaneveldt, N, Diekema, AR, Hopkins, E, Patterson, B. (2021). New nurses apply only basic source evaluation criteria but realize their skills are lacking: More sophisticated approaches to teaching evaluation skills are required. Health Information and Libraries Journal. [Early online publication: Priced] https://doi.org/10.1111/hir.12395 "A questionnaire asked recently graduated nurses from four institutions in the Intermountain West (USA) to rate their confidence in evaluating information and to provide examples of evaluation criteria they typically applied. The quality of these criteria was rated by nursing librarians, then compared with reported confidence in evaluation, years employed as a nurse and highest degree level.... While nurses’ self-reported confidence levels about source evaluation largely matched their ability, their evaluation criteria showed a low level of sophistication and did not match the recommended criteria by professional organizations. Graduate education, not years of work experience, was predictive of the quality of criteria used by nurses, suggesting the importance of more instruction on source evaluation for nursing students."
- Iqal, S. & Idrees, H. (2021) The Current Status of Information Literacy Instruction in University Libraries of Pakistan. New Review of Academic Librarianship, https://doi.org/10.1080/13614533.2021.1964547 [Priced publication.] "The purpose of this study was to explore the current practices of information literacy instruction in the libraries of universities in Pakistan. The research method consisted of a quantitative approach using a structured questionnaire for empirical data collection, which was sent to the universities and degree awarding institutions recognized by the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan. The collected data was analyzed using the Statistical Package for Social Sciences software ... The findings of the study show that 63% of the responding university libraries offer information literacy (IL) education mostly to new students and this ranges from basic to advanced skills. Face-to-face delivery is the most popular IL delivery method. The IL instruction appears to take place in library training rooms."
- Adjoa Yebowaah, F., & Sanche, S. (2021). Information Literacy, an Investigation into Students’ Access and Use of Information in an Academic Institution in Ghana. Open Journal of Educational Research, 1(1). https://www.scipublications.com/journal/index.php/ojer/article/view/109 [Open access.] The authors administered a questionnaire to students in (mainly) departments in the faculty of Education, studying at the University for Development Studies in Tamale, Ghana. They investigate students’ access to, and use of, information and the library, including their use of information literacy training. [not sure how reliable this journal is - this is the only article so far - but I still thought the article was worth noting]
Photo by Sheila Webber: One white rose, August 2021.