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With great excitement and anticipation, we kicked off The Information Literacy Spaces project last week with our first hui held at the beautiful Massey University Manawatū campus. We are a mix of enthusiastic educators, researchers and librarians from both the secondary and tertiary sectors and the two days produced animated discussions, developed a shared understanding and initiated potential collaborations.  All of this bodes well for successful outcomes of our work together!

A key part of this action research project, as Lisa mentioned in her blog post last week, is collaboration and partnership and together, we laid the groundwork for the next steps which include surveying the current information literacy (IL) landscape and creating a foundation for research.

Some of our best discussions took place around how the Information Literacy Rubric can be used both as a source of information about students’ current Information literacy skills and as a valuable teaching resource. Teachers who were part of a previous TLRI funded project on IL and transition to tertiary study shared their feedback and experiences of using the rubric in the classroom with those for whom the rubric is completely new, and we discussed some of the changes that have been made to the latest version of the rubric. We are almost ready to share a new online rubric version with our participating schools. This latest version will incorporate previous feedback and the ideas discussed during the hui.

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Another focus was on developing a national survey of IL skills perception, which is to be rolled out to all vested parties later in the year. Results from this will be used to get an understanding of how information literacy is currently placed in schools and tertiary institutions and how librarians and teaching staff work together to encourage IL skills in their students. Incorporating the feedback from the team last week, the survey will be honed and piloted over the next few weeks through the interviews with staff from our participating schools around the country.

We also took the opportunity to begin developing a shared understanding of IL skills through a workshop for secondary teachers and librarians, identifying the implicit IL skills required for assessments at Level 2 & 3 NCEA and making the teaching of those explicit for our team – a good place to begin meaningful learning conversations between colleagues.

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After we reflected on our time together, it became clear that our hui had ignited a shared passion and excitement for the project, how that may develop in our own schools and how we might eventually affect the provision of IL skills for students all around New Zealand. Bring it on!

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