Student Engagement by Stealth: Embedding Information and Research Literacy Karin Brown, Social Work Faculty Michelle Morum, Social Work Faculty Lania Pohatu-Anderson,

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  • Student Engagement by Stealth: Embedding Information and Research Literacy Karin Brown, Social Work Faculty Michelle Morum, Social Work Faculty Lania Pohatu-Anderson, Educational Solutions Jade Furness, Library
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  • What is Information Research Literacy (IRL)? An understanding and set of abilities enabling individuals to recognise when information is needed and have the capacity to locate, evaluate and use effectively the needed information (Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy, 2004.)
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  • The information literate graduate Knows when they need information and are then able to identify, locate, evaluate, organise, and effectively use the information to address and help resolve personal, job related or broader social issues and problems (ANZIIL, 2004).
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  • What is embedding Information Research Literacy? Integrated, well designed activities to fit the learners study context in the blended learning environment. Open University Social Work Degree (Gosling & Nix, 2011).
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  • Why Embed? What the literature says. To engage student learning in IRL activities that are: Aligned to course learning outcomes Contextualised Scaffolded Reinforced through formative and summative assessments. Transferrable to students professional practice and personal life.
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  • Why do social work students need information and research skills? To inform their practice with evidencebased decision-making, problem solving and interventions in their clinical practice with their clients SWRB skills (paraphrased): professional literacy and numeracy, critical evaluation and application of knowledge and research. critical thinking, effective analysis, synthesise and application of information be well-informed Use critical reflection and analysis to make considered decisions in complex practice situations using multiple sources of evidence including: evidence from practice, the experience of people using social work services, professional colleagues and supervisors, and evidence from research (Graduate Profile)
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  • How did we embed the approach Identified and described outcomes using ANZIIL standards Wrote a plan that identified how and where the required skills would be acquired and assessed The relevant activities and assessments were then strategically allocated to individual courses across the curriculum Learning activities and summative assessment tasks at each academic level were then collaboratively created as part of the course development process
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  • Working across disciplines BSW includes psychology and social science courses Identify current IRL skills expectation and map to BSW IRL plan Identify current support for IRL skills development Where small amendments where possible and desirable, these were collaboratively created.
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  • Social Work Level 5 Approach Based on a similar project undertaken by the Open University for their Social Work degree (Gosling & Nix, 2011), we decided: To design generic IRL learning activities in advance of the course design process. At the initial course development planning meeting, meet with course writers, Faculty, Educational Designers and the Liaison Librarian and discuss contextualising the generic activities within the particular course. The embedding of the contextualised, sample activities would be undertaken by the Educational Designers. The Librarian would design the sample activities and assist with the embedding process. Also review the IRL skills content in the draft course learning material.
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  • Level 5 Approach Lessons Learned Importance of a multi-disciplinary team approach and ongoing collaboration amongst Faculty, Education Solutions, the Library and the Subject Matter Experts (SME). Agreement about roles and processes for development and embedding of IRL in learning material. Difficult to design generic learning activities without reference to the actual learning content.
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  • Social Work Level 6 Approach Review of process led to changes at level 6 in which: The writers have become more involved with creating and embedding IRL learning activities. It was anticipated this would stealthily engage the students in the learning content and would synthesise underpinning pedagogies: scaffolding, contextualising, using a range of practice based, relevant activities and assessments. Once the learning material has been developed to draft stage, the librarian works with the Educational Designer in an advisory capacity and recommends other IRL activities wherever identified. The librarian also sometimes reviews the IRL component of the learning material once it is completed.
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  • Matrix summarised LevelLearning OutcomeFormative Activities Summatively Assessed Level 5 Formulate information search questions, identify relevant sources, and find needed information All level 5 BSW courses Last level 5 BSW course Level 6 Analyse, organise and apply research findings All level 6 BSW courses Last level 6 BSW course Level 7Critically appraise research including ethical and cultural considerations All level 7 BSW coursesLast level 7 BSW course
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  • Examples of IR&L in our courses Level 5: PROMPT technique APA referencing Finding information Level 6: Critical reading Note-taking Data Analysis Applying research to practice Level 7: Critical evaluation of research Evaluation of cultural considerations Evaluation of ethical considerations
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  • IRL embedding in Action 77221 Professional Social Work Practice Summative assessment Learning Outcome 7 - Formulate information search questions, identify relevant sources and find needed information.
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  • IRL embedding in Action Formative Activity Finding a scholarly research article Summative Assessment What is your search question? List key words to conduct your search? Which sources did you use to answer your search question? Evaluating information using PROMPT
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  • PROMPT P resentation R elevance O bjectivity M ethod P rovenance T imeliness
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  • Lessons and Challenges Lessons Library Education Solutions Faculty Challenges Invisible from the outside Consistency Resourcing Collaboration
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  • References Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy. (2004). Australian and New Zealand information literacy framework: Principles, standards and practice (2nd ed.). Adelaide, Australia: Author. Beddoe, L. (2011). Investing in the future: Social workers talk about research. British Journal of Social Work, 41(3), 557-575. Gosling, C. & Nix, I. (2011). Supported open learning: Developing an integrated information literacy strategy online. In T.P. Mackey & T.E. Jacobson (Eds.). Teaching information literacy online (pp.91-108). London, England: Facet. The Institute for Research and Innovation in Social Services (IRISS). (2010). Making good decisions: PROMPT. Information literacy interactive tutorial. Retrieved from Social Workers Registration Board (2013). Competence. Policy Statement. Retrieved from
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