13 April 2010

LILAC2010:Ralph Catts Keynote

Impact of Information Literacy in Higher Education
Ralph Catts
Stirling Institute of Education

Not a librarian, senior research fellow.
Specialists or practioners? As an academic, faculty should be practioners and librarians should be specialists. Interesting that no one wanted to speak up—are we uncomfortable with our own work or unsure of our value? Hm.

Substantial budget cuts impending.
Afterwards: the emergence of a Higher Education “Industry” with emphasis on efficiency and effectiveness through emphasis on design of learning resources; merging teaching and learning support roles; collaborative learning.
Universities need to come into the 21st century to realize they are not the bearers of knowledge.

What will the University of the 21st century look like?
Interchange between teaching staff
The end of the lecture: increase in asynchronous access to information.
Students need to be prepared to work independently but also collaboratively.

ANZIL Framework Principles.
In all of our frameworks, don’t just look past the principles to the guidelines. Remember why we are doing what we are doing.

Step pyramid: Hierarchical Model of General Skills for employment and general, lifelong education.
Move into achieving in situated contexts: education does not exist in a vacuum. Thinking about our outcomes for students: we need integration minimally. Ideally, embeddedness.

He is calling for Faculty Information Literacy.

Makers of our own knowledge: librarians need to be a part of that creation, facilitators.

Stakeholders: we must be able to articulate our value to others and provide evidence! All stakeholders are impacted by economic climate. We need to be convincing and specific.
If we truly offer increased retention: prove it. GREAT support for the work we are doing at Champlain. Return on Investment.
If it lowers unit cost per graduate: prove it.

If students get better grade: how can attribute that to embedded information literacy. Systematic evidence. Not anecdotal, not small scale results. LARGE projects need to be undertaken.

How to reach academics: what can we truly promise them and deliver on? Better grades? How can we prove it? Yes, that would be nice but wouldn’t that require faculty cooperation in a study in order to prove it?
Issues to raise with us about the quality of our research:
Ask help of education departments! We always are asking for cooperation and collaboration but only them working on our projects, not us asking for help! GREAT POINT! We should be called out! Talk to those that have experience in those issues.

Generic tests are not usable if you want to find effects because they are not relevant to students. Catts v. Brevick.
Kirkpatrick levels of evaluation.
Education research should be supporting us.

Different types of measurement that we should be examining. (Walton)

Can we think bigger? Some prerequisites:
Commitment and engagement from IL specialists and organizations.
Substantial funding
Phased approach and appropriate time scale

Define what we mean by embedded but also let a 1000 flowers bloom. There are ideals and reality. Learn more about pedagogic techniques. There is MORE that we can be drawing on and learning about. Ask for help.

A real question about what kind of training do librarians need in the 21st century? And what does professional development need to look like for us to meet the demands of our students and changes within higher ed?

Are we up for the challenge? It’s a great question. We talk a lot about research that needs to be done but are we willing to undertake it?

Funding: it takes a long time and the long view. How do we deal with lapse in time between when we seek funding and the relevancy or interest in projects once funding comes through?

We might like to participate in research but we don’t get sabbatical, we don’t have time devoted to research. How are we supposed to undertake these kinds of projects without that kind of support? How are we viewed within our institutions? As faculty but without true faculty elements.

Sheila Corrall: Sheffield does include the kind of interdisciplinary setting he is calling for. But is that the exception? Not sure but I am not sure I can think of examples in the States.

Really honest talk.

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