Informed Learning Applications: Insights from Research and Practice: Volume 46

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Table of contents

(11 chapters)

This chapter reports a six-year integrated information literacy instruction program in Taiwan that brought together concepts from informed learning, especially the six frames, with inquiry-based learning frameworks in schools. A total of eleven inquiry projects have been implemented from grades 1 through 6. Six projects selected for each grade are explained in detail. The themes of the projects are designed based on the essence of six frames, each project involving one to three frames depending on the integrated subjects. Through the descriptions, we present how the information literacy instruction is integrated into various subject matters via the framework of inquiry-based learning, such as the Super3 and Big6 models. Students’ performances in subject content and information literacy of the six projects are delineated quantitatively and qualitatively.


Christine Bruce (2008, Preface) has written extensively about informed learning. Informed learning is “using information, creatively and reflectively, in order to learn.” Bruce writes about informed learning as it relates to information literacy. Librarians, working collaboratively with professors, often develop research guides to teach information literacy skills, and to organize and present program, course, assignment, or topic-specific resources. Research is essential to documentary filmmaking. This chapter is a case study that describes how the History of Non-fiction Film Research Guide that we created aligns with the three principles and seven faces of informed learning.


Purpose – The purpose of this chapter is to assess the avenues through which traditional notions of information literacy skills shape oral communication curriculum and to identify steps that can be taken to transform the experience of students in the public speaking classroom so that they are offered an opportunity to develop understandings of how they use information to learn.

Approach – This chapter engages in an analysis of teaching materials and best practice scholarship used in the traditional college public speaking classroom. An informed learning perspective is applied to this corpus to identify the ways in which an information literacy skills approach is reflected in current practice.

Findings – The analysis highlights the prevalence of an information literacy skills approach throughout the oral communication curriculum. Textbooks, assignment types and guidelines, along with grading rubrics and instructor feedback all perpetuate a skills approach. Outside class support, including peer tutors and library instruction, also contribute to a focus on information literacy over informed learning.

Implications – Informed learners are better prepared to engage and apply information across contexts and to use information to continue learning. Informed learners are reflective on the knowledge they gain through information use. Therefore, this chapter concludes that public speaking courses, along with the communication centers and libraries that support oral communication instruction, should embrace an informed learning approach to the development of course materials, assignments, and teaching.

Originality/value – Suggestions for reframing public speaking curriculum and support from the informed learning perspective are provided.


Purpose – This chapter puts forth an approach for deeper understanding of the ways that information professionals learn, based on concepts and strategies that enable them to fulfill the varied roles they take on. It considers multiple facets in their experiences of using information to learn, the essence of informed learning (Bruce, 2008). The purpose of furthering this understanding is to develop approaches for designing enhanced curriculum to support transformative learning experiences.

Design & Methodology – To explore the learning experiences, roles, and strategies of information professionals, this chapter enlists two frameworks pertinent to transformative learning: first, the informed learning construct of Bruce (2008) and, second, the threshold concepts theoretical framework of Meyer and Land (2003). Both frameworks have been used to guide the design of curriculum, and this chapter discusses using them together to design higher education courses for information professionals. Learning activities from two courses in an online MLIS degree program – information retrieval system design and information architecture – are used as case illustrations for implementing a blended approach.

Findings & Discussion – The outcomes from implementing curriculum that has been designed based on informed learning principles and threshold concepts that were derived from learner experiences are discussed. A third construct, information experience (Bruce et al., 2014), which evolved in part out of informed learning, is brought into the discussion, providing an additional dimension for understanding the learner’s relationship with his/her information world.


This conceptual chapter sets the stage for how librarians can support informed learning. It looks at how the intersections between informed learning, Bakhtin’s philosophy of communication, and relational leadership contribute to a model of relational liaising. This chapter provides examples of practical applications, interdisciplinary collaboration, and shared leadership which librarians and other teachers can adapt for specific arts, humanities, or social sciences disciplines. Many of the illustrations are set within communication-related curricula but also include the arts.


Purpose – Academic librarians are well positioned to take on the role of the informed learning developer, working with teachers to design coursework in which students learn to use information as they engage with course context. This chapter aims to provide insights to academic librarians of how they may approach integrating information literacy into courses using an informed learning approach by identifying key aspects of this collaborative work.

Methods The literature on educational development, specifically outlining the core responsibilities, activities, skills, and models used by educational developers is reviewed and key aspects are identified and applied to describe the role of a developer working with teachers to foster learning through engagement with information in higher education.

Findings – Four key aspects of the work of educational developers are identified: collaborative, scholarly, contextual, and reflective. When adapted to describe the efforts of a developer focused on creating informed learning experiences for students, the four aspects include:

partnering with teachers to develop informed learning experiences by leveraging the expertise of the teacher and the librarian;

applying an informed learning pedagogic approach, and drawing from and sharing information literacy scholarship illuminating how information is used in the learning process;

creating informed learning experiences that are responsive to institutional and disciplinary perspectives; and

encouraging teachers to reflect on their intentions for content-focused learning and how learning outcomes may be shaped through interactions with information.

Implications – Drawing upon their expertise in how learners use information, academic librarians can use the findings to concentrate their consultative efforts to effectively partner with teachers to transform student learning experiences in higher education.


Purpose and Methodology – Championing a shared vision and strategy for informed learning (INFL) as an approach to information literacy (IL) education (ILE) centers on establishing a common understanding of IL/INFL that is sensitive to the variation in the ways stakeholders perceive their information context and conceptualize IL. Accordingly, the purpose of this chapter is to examine findings from a recent phenomenographic study of conceptions of IL that captures the understanding of IL held across multiple stakeholder groups in an international school community (Cunningham, 2017) and to use these findings to revisit Bruce’s (2008) RACER framework as a compass to champion INFL throughout an organization.

Findings and Originality – The phenomenographic study found that stakeholders did not hold one singular conception of IL but rather they shared a series of conceptions of IL to varying degrees, and that the variation in the ways IL was conceptualized prevailed across three continuums namely the individual-collective, affective-cognitive, and competency–personal mastery continuums. Furthermore, the comparative analysis of the series of conceptions of IL created the opportunity to develop a model of the common ground of conceptual understanding of IL thereby making an original contribution to knowledge. By undertaking a comparative analysis of this common ground model of IL with Bruce’s conceptions of IL/INFL and RACER framework for championing IL, the outcome is to present a new IL “without borders” model offering a blended strategic approach to advancing INFL/ILE based on a more representative understanding of the ways stakeholder groups perceive their information context and conceptualize IL.


Purpose – This chapter contributes to the development of informed learning pedagogy by examining its innately political character. Through examining issues of power that arise in a particular educational setting, the aim is to illuminate how power (and resistance to it) needs to be carefully considered by practitioners who engage with informed learning pedagogy.

Theoretical Approach – Foucault’s view of power, defining it as something that can be both generative and repressive, and which works only in combination with resistance to this power, is specifically drawn on to illuminate how dialogues between students give rise to changed information practices.

Design – Twenty groups of learners, each of five to seven students, engaged in a series of three complex informed learning activities, and generated extensive datasets as they recorded their dialogues to online discussion boards within the Blackboard course management system used on a postgraduate course in educational technology. These data were supplemented by interviews with a number of students and the course tutor.

Findings – The information practices of the groups developed in different ways depending on a number of factors consistent with informed learning. Students were motivated by achieving high grades, and data reveal that students respond to surveillance from teaching staff and each other by communicating outside of the official discussion board space. This is illuminating because by resisting power in this way students develop new practices that are specifically relevant to their group, and shows how dominant power and resistance to it help develop facets of informed learning.

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Advances in Librarianship
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Emerald Publishing Limited
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