This paper aims to investigate faculty conceptions of information literacy (IL) in a digital information landscape by examining faculty definitions of IL in the context of undergraduate education, as well as faculty perceptions of, and expectations for, undergraduate IL knowledge and abilities.
This is a qualitative research study with 24 semi-structured interviews of faculty in different disciplines at a large public research university in Toronto, Ontario.
Faculty view IL as fundamentally intertwined with other academic literacies and as central for the successful pursuit of much undergraduate academic research work including developing autonomous, engaged learners. Faculty place special emphasis on fostering higher-order cognitive skills, especially developing a questioning disposition and the ability to evaluate, contextualize and synthesize information sources. Faculty see considerable scope for improvement of undergraduate IL capabilities, and a large majority see a role for themselves and librarians here.
Findings of this and other studies align well with core elements in the new IL guidelines and frameworks for higher education both in North America and the United Kingdom. This includes highlighting a need for a strong faculty role in shaping IL in higher education in the future, a need for a holistic lens in developing multiple academic literacies, an emphasis on high-order cognitive abilities and a recognition of the importance of affective dimensions of learning IL.
This paper fills a gap in the literature where there is an absence of studies, especially of a qualitative nature, which explore faculty conceptions of IL. A majority of studies published focus instead on librarian conceptions and practice.
Bury, S. (2016), "Learning from faculty voices on information literacy: Opportunities and challenges for undergraduate information literacy education", Reference Services Review, Vol. 44 No. 3, pp. 237-252. https://doi.org/10.1108/RSR-11-2015-0047Download as .RIS
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