An Investigation of the Information Literacy Instruction Practices, Attitudes and Knowledge of University Faculty: Findings and Recommendations Based on Survey and Interview Research at York University
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This session will provide a critical review of key results from research conducted with full-time faculty in a wide range of disciplines at York University, Toronto. Findings regarding faculty perceptions of the meaning and value of information literacy instruction will be shared, in addition to results, shedding light on faculty behaviours and beliefs, when it comes to the practice of information literacy. Results obtained and recommendations made are based on a two-stage research process. Survey research formed the focus in stage one, and interview research (involving a semi-structured interview approach), allowing more in-depth investigation of selected issues, was the research method adopted in stage two. Relevant disciplinary differences will be outlined, with a focus on comparison of results between the Science and Engineering disciplines, the Social Sciences and Humanities disciplines, and the Professional disciplines. The session will also examine the extent to which the findings of this study either corroborate or differ from results of similar studies uncovered by a recent review of the Library and Information Studies literature. The session will begin by exploring faculty perceptions of the meaning of information literacy and the importance of information literacy instruction in fostering information literacy competencies. Faculty views on the relative importance of instruction in different information literacy skills areas in higher-level education are also summarised. Faculty perceptions and experiences of information literacy competency levels among their students will be discussed. Faculty opinions of student skill levels at different stages will be highlighted, i.e., lower level undergraduate students, higher level undergraduate students, and postgraduate students. Results indicating the approaches typically adopted by faculty to engage students and motivate them to learn information literacy competencies are shared. The role of the research assignment in fostering information literacy competencies, in faculty’s estimation, will be discussed. Findings regarding levels of faculty engagement in teaching information literacy competencies, either by themselves or in collaboration with a librarian, will also be summarized. Results will also be highlighted regarding the nature of information literacy instruction typically incorporated within the classroom by faculty, the amount of time typically allocated to this instruction, as well as their general experiences and estimation of it. Survey results showed that the number of faculty, who opt not to incorporate information literacy instruction within their classrooms, is nearly equal to the number who do. Therefore, examination of the reasons for the non-adoption of information literacy was critical in this study and key findings from both survey and interview research will be highlighted. Finally, faculty beliefs regarding appropriate roles, formats, pedagogies and methods for the effective teaching and learning of information literacy competencies will also be shared. Faculty views on how information literacy instruction might be more effectively promoted at York University will also be discussed. Based on this survey and interview research, the speaker's summary of implications for practice and research will be shared.
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