Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Collaborative Teaching as a Strategy for Imparting Information Literacy in Students: Faculty-Librarian Perceptions

Academic journal article Library Philosophy and Practice

Collaborative Teaching as a Strategy for Imparting Information Literacy in Students: Faculty-Librarian Perceptions

Article excerpt

Introduction

Acquisition of skills in effective use of information is seen as a necessary requirement for students' optimum performance in learning. The availability of diverse and more complicated information resources, occasioned by the advances in information and communication technologies (ICT), has brought about additional challenges on the students, who have to learn how to obtain and effectively use information from these sources for maximum performance. This has necessitated a shift in the method of teaching from the traditional approach to resource-based approach requiring the impartation of information literacy skills in students. Information literacy has been identified as the basic foundation of learning in an environment of abundant information resources occasioned by the advances in technological development. Igbo and Imo (2010), citing Bruce (2002), have observed that the complexities of the information and communication technologies (ICT) have brought about the realization that students need to engage with the information environment as part of their formal learning process. This now entails instructional activities tailored towards helping students to appreciate the rich information resources and learn how to locate, access and effectively utilize these sources.

Conceptually, information literacy has been defined by Zurkowski as the ability to locate, process and use information effectively, which equips individuals to take advantage of opportunities inherent in the global information society (Doyle:1994). Also the American Library Association--ALA (1989) defined information literacy as a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed, evaluate and use effectively needed information. Application of the principles of information literacy in learning would help an individual to have knowledge of what is happening around the world in terms of existing information. It will equally help the individual to identify, evaluate and use required information, develop in the individual the ethics of information use as well as help him to critically analyze and make use of information for his own benefit and the benefit of others. This is implied in Bruce's (2002) four pillars of learning in the context of ICT in a globalized world. These pillars include: learning to live together; learning to know; learning to do and learning to be. As revealed in the above two definitions, an information literate person is described as one who can recognize when information is needed, locate the information where it is stored, evaluate the available information when located, process the information usefully and use the information to accomplish a task or solve pressing educational problems.

It may be difficult for one discipline oriented teacher to impart the above orientation to students, hence the need for collaboration in teaching. Mohktar and Majid (2006) have defined collaboration as a mutually beneficial and well-defined relationship entered into by two or more organizations to achieve results they are more likely to achieve together than alone. Arguing along this line, Ushuel (2007), pointed out that for imparting information literacy skills to students, courses/learning experiences should be organized with cooperation among faculties of education, department of ICT education and instructional technologies, department of information management and university libraries. In the context of this work, imparting information literacy in students through collaborative teaching entails establishing a partnership between the faculty and librarians which will allow the librarian to teach the processes of information access to students as an integral part of the course. This implies that the librarian should be part of the overall teaching process from planning to evaluation of learning outcomes to ensure that information access aspect is reflected in the content. Theoretically this argument could be situated within the embedded librarianship model (Kwanya, Stilwell & Underwood, 2011). …

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