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Information literacy Read Me Reference

New CAIJ issue: innovation, uncertainty and perceptions

The Canadian Association of Information Science has delivered its latest issue of its Canadian Journal of Information and Library Science (via Project Muse on behalf of UT Press, the publisher), vol. 35 issue 4.

A few articles seem particularly interesting, such as:

Enhancing Skills, Effecting Change: Evaluating an Intervention for Students with Below-Proficient Information Literacy Skills / Renforcer les compétences pour induire des changements : évaluation d’une intervention auprès d’étudiants possédant des compétences informationnelles inférieures à la maîtrise
Don Latham
Melissa Gross
pp. 157-173


Subject Guides in Academic Libraries: A User-Centred Study of Uses and Perceptions/Les guides par sujets dans les bibliothèques académiques : une étude des utilisations et des perceptions centrée sur l’utilisateur
Dana Ouellette
pp. 226-241

Of course, all articles seem interesting, but there is so little time to read everything!

Information literacy Inspiration

Some MERLOT with PRIMO for inspiration

This post presents the PRIMO (Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online) and the MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Teaching and Learning) projects.

Under the ALA/ACRL umbrella, one can find the PRIMO Committee of the Instruction section. Of the many things they do, they offer a database of Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online – aka the PRIMO database.

Peer-Reviewed Instructional Materials Online Database

I remember in the past that a team at Concordia University Libraries (of which I was a member) was awarded the “site of the month” award for June 2006 from the PRIMO Committee for our InfoResearch 101 project.

I remember stumbling on the MERLOT (Multimedia Educational Resource for Teaching and Learning) repository about a year ago. It contained a few interesting sites relating to business, such as Stanford’s Educators Corner or the Beginner’s Guide to Business Research.

According to their site, MERLOT is a

MERLOT is a free and open online community of resources designed primarily for faculty, staff and students of higher education from around the world to share their learning materials and pedagogy. MERLOT is a leading edge, user-centered, collection of peer reviewed higher education, online learning materials, catalogued by registered members and a set of faculty development support services.

Assessment Concordia University Guidelines - recommendations

AACSB Accreditation Standards

I am very lucky to be a business librarian at Concordia University – this is true on so many levels! Of all the reasons, the fact that the John Molson School of Business is accredited by the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) may be a boon to work towards integrating information literacy in the curriculum.

As their website shows, the AACSB has Accreditation Standards to which JMSB must adhere to. These include the concept of total quality management – or making the most of the resources you have. It also assists in comparing business school together. Every so often, accredited schools must undergo a review process (audit), which serves as a nice entry point should you want to propose changes to how things are done – an external review fosters the feeling of continuous improvement.

For example, the “Assurance of Learning Standards” offers a few points where a library could have a positive impact… these are straightforward issues that school educators must report back on – so they are easily actionnable!

Information literacy

InfoLit under any other name…

Information literacy as a standard has been articulated in various ways, mostly drawing from the seminal work of Bloom and his taxonomy (classification) of learning objectives.

Beyond the ACRL standards, which are the omnipresent tool for academic libraries in North-America, one can find the SCONUL (british research libraries) has the 7 pilars model or the UNESCO Information Literacy indicators.

Schools can draw on the ALA has the Standards for the 21st-Century Learner and closer to home, a team at Concordia University’s Centre for the Study of Learning and Performance (CSLP) has developed the ISIS-21 model, which looks like this:
ISIS-21 Inquiry Process

In addition, the inspired researcher on the issue could look beyond the education world for a sense of information literacy. The Conference Board of Canada (a think tank) has developed the “Employability Skills 2000+” framework, which lists the desired skills one should have to evolve in the workforce. For example, it lists under “Fundamental Skills” :

Manage Information
• locate, gather and organize information using appropriate technology and information systems
• access, analyze and apply knowledge and skills from various disciplines (e.g., the arts, languages, science, technology, mathematics, social sciences, and the humanities)
Use Number

Or, the Government of Canada published in 2002 Knowledge Matters: Skills and Learning for Canadians, which highlights the imperatives for developing skills in the new economy. One can also find a trace on the importance of skills in the 2009 Business Plan for Indutry Canada, where strategy 2 involves “fostering the knowledge-based economy through enhanced research and innovation, training and skills” – all nice things one could broadly place in the catch all concept of information literacy.

Blended Learning Information literacy Read Me

Case study on blended learning at McMaster U.

The most recent volume of the Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (CJSoTL) offers many interesting articles about new ways to teach and think about teaching. This one caught my eye:

Sana, Faria; Fenesi, Barbara; and Kim, Joseph A. (2011). A Case Study of the Introductory Psychology Blended Learning Model at McMaster University. The Canadian Journal for the Scholarship of Teaching and Learning, 2 (1).
Retrieved from

It caught my eye not only because of the title and abstract, but because one of the authors has presented the paper in a TEDx conference and the video is posted on YouTube:


Bibliographies Information literacy Open education Videos

Flip’n library instruction

“To flip” is getting a new definition in the education setting: that of delivering lectures via video or other out-of-classroom vehicles and using class time for exercises and other active learning exercises. At least, that’s my sense for a series of articles discussing the developments around Kahn Academy.

First off, Clive Thompson provides a fascinating description of the initiative in August 2011’s Wired Magazine. In a nutshell, Kahn Academy provides free training videos and exercises mainly in the math, sciences or economics fields and has been deploying classroom “operating systems” or dashboards that allow teachers to monitor in real-time the progress of each student. As Thompson points out,

Khan’s videos are anything but sophisticated. He recorded many of them in a closet at home, his voice sounding muffled on his $25 Logitech headset. But some of his fans believe that Khan has stumbled onto the secret to solving education’s middle-of-the-class mediocrity. Most notable among them is Bill Gates, whose foundation has invested $1.5 million in Khan’s site. “I’d been looking for something like this—it’s so important,” Gates says. Khan’s approach, he argues, shows that education can truly be customized, with each student getting individualized help when needed.

Not everyone agrees. Critics argue that Khan’s videos and software encourage uncreative, repetitive drilling—and leave kids staring at screens instead of interacting with real live teachers. Even Khan will acknowledge that he’s not an educational professional; he’s just a nerd who improvised a cool way to teach people things. And for better or worse, this means that he doesn’t have a consistent, comprehensive plan for overhauling school curricula.

More recently, The Economist offers a few articles this week on the subject of education reform (The great schools revolution ), education theory (The horse before the cart) and Kahn Academy (Flipping the classroom).

I have to admit that Kahn Academy is the main inspiration behind the library training videos I’ve built for the John Molson School of Business (with the invaluable help of John Bentley, at Concordia University’s Center for Teaching and Learning).

Information literacy

Attention in Education

CBC Spark’s Nora Young interviewed Cathy N. Davidson on education reform in the age of Twitter. The full interview is available on the CBC Spark blog (about 24 minutes). She is the author of Now You See It: How the Brain Science of Attention Will Transform the Way We Live, Work, and Learn.

I particularly enjoyed the discussion around the role of “attention” (as in, “paying attention”) in Education. With new social media, new kinds of attention is emerging, which do not follow the binary quality often attributed to attention (i.e.: paying attention: yes/no). New competencies are emerging, such as multiple attention.

In addition, the Internet and Social Media are presented as tools – and tools are developed to make things easier. This implies change and loosing some measure of knowledge involved with old versions of tools. We can drive a car, but who knows how to ride a horse? Great discussion!

Information literacy

Gamification of Libraries…

I was reading Wired Magazine on the train this morning, specifically Jason Fagone’s interesting account of the “Chain World” videogame, when I stumbled on the reference to “Gamification” :

McGonigal is the foremost evangelist of gamification; she wrote the best seller Reality Is Broken about the world-changing power of games and promoted it on The Colbert Report.

Following up, we do have Jane McGonigal’s book (Reality is broken : why games make us better and how they can change the world / Jane McGonigal / New York : Penguin Press, 2011) at the Concordia U library and you can find her appearance on the Colbert Report online (not available in Canada). Of course, this got me wondering about if and how gamificaiton can be helpful in libraries… and specifically, how the process of gamification can be applied in the context of information literacy programs?

But then, my train reached the terminus and I stumbled into work.