Optimising information literacy delivery to large classes: the contact or the online approach?
Meehan, David (2009) Optimising information literacy delivery to large classes: the contact or the online approach? In: AISHE International Conference Series 2009: Valuing Complexity: Celebrating Diverse Approaches to Teaching & Learning, 27-28 August 2009, NUI Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland.
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DCU Business School runs undergraduate programmes of varying sizes, from 40 to 200 students. Some modules cross disciplines and attract even higher numbers. One
such module is HR118: Skills for success which in the last year has exceeded 200. Even this number is restrained by the optional nature of the module. Were it to be an
obligatory module, the total would exceed 300.
The Library has been providing embedded information literacy sessions to HR118 since its inception, providing face-to-face training on essential resources and research
techniques, together with assessment. Generally the experience has been successful. There have been some problems, mainly organisational and logistical, but the Library and module co-ordinator have resolved these as they arise.
However, the recent class size increase, and the possibility that the module may sometime become obligatory, forced the Library to devise an alternative strategy for
2008-09 – a hybrid approach which has enabled the Library to combine new technological options with traditional face-to-face engagement. There are many elements to the new programme, all designed to inform students on content, test the process and obtain feedback.
This paper will assess the progress of Library input into the module. It will consider the key nature of relationships with academics, how organisation of the Library content element has been managed over time, and evaluate student response based on diverse evidence derived from online assessment, class feedback and survey. It will
examine how developments to date feed into communication with faculty and into future improvements in information literacy development. Finally, the paper will address how Library input has advanced the delivery of information literacy to business undergraduates as a whole, and consider whether libraries should actually invest more in online delivery of information literacy or keep the focus on face-to-face delivery to groups.
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