Information Competence Development in Europe: trends and future prospectsSirje VirkusTallinn University/Manchester Metropolitan University1.07.2005
OutlineContext and ConceptsMy researchMethodologySurvey: preliminary findingsMultiple-case studies: preliminary findingsConclusions
Personal backgroundTPU student, Library and Information ScienceISTIER researcher, ICT, information systemsTPU, 1985 - teacher, administratorODL 1994 (WebCT, LearnLoop, IVA) learner, designer, teacher, tutorMMU, 2001 student, researcher, teacher, designer, tutor (distance mode)
CompetenciesDebate of competenciesTransferable skills, key or core competencies, [transversal skills, generic skills, soft skills, personal skills, general competencies, soft competencies]Creativity, analysis, problem solving, self development, learning skills, communication.Meta-competencies
Key CompetenceContribute to a successful lifeContribute to the development of the quality of societiesApply to multiple areas of life (Gilomen, 2002).
OECD surveys of competenciesAdult competencies
- International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS)- Adult Literacy and Lifeskills (ALL) surveyStudents at school (15-year-olds)
- Programme for International Student Assessment (PISA)
Complexity of the topic (Gilomen, 2002) Theoretical models and concepts Political negotiation, consensus formationVisions of society and individualsCultural context, biographical variabilityWHICH KEY COMPETENCIES?
HE and competenciesThe general move is clearly towards a greater attention to employment prospects and the acquisition of core or transversal skills.
Transmission of competencesNot exclusive responsibility of the education systemOther social institutions such as family, workplace, mass media or cultural organisations are important
but further research needed (Gilomen, 2002).
Assessment issues Assessment strategies should include assessment of social contextsMore importance should be given to the competencies of acting autonomously and joining groupsFocus on critical aspects of key competenciesCyclical structure of assessment program among adult populationAlternative methodologies have to be explored
....but further research needed
Importance of Information use
Importance of information handling and use Several reports have emphasized the importance of finding, evaluating, and using information in our modern society
Importance of Information use The knowledge-based economy is characterised by the need for continuous learning of both codified information and the competencies to use this information. the skills and competencies relating to the selection and efficient use of information become more crucial... Capabilities for selecting relevant and discarding irrelevant information, recognising patterns in information, interpreting and decoding information as well as learning new and forgetting old skills are in increasing demandOECD (1996). The knowledge based economy. Paris: OECD.
Importance of Information use The ability to produce and use information effectively is thus a vital source of skills for many individuals. So, the knowledge economy is based on the production and use of information and knowledge OECD (2001a). Educational policy analysis 2001. Paris: OECD, Centre for Educational Research and Innovation.
Importance of Information useHaving the competence to use information effectively has been suggested also by management gurus as essential to organizational success
Drucker, P. (1993). Post-capitalist society. New York, NY: Harper Business.Drucker, P.F. (1994). Managing in turbulent times. Oxford: Butterworth-Heinemann.Senge, P.M. (1994). The fifth discipline: the art and practice of the learning
organization. New York, NY: Currency Doubleday.Grainger, P. (1994). Managing information: your self-development action plan.
London: Kogan Page.
The report EU Policies and Strategic Change for eLearning in Universities Refers to the importance of using digital information: they [students] should be enabled to learn using digital information sources. Coimbra Group of Universities (2002). EU policies and strategic change for elearning in universities. Report of the project 'Higher education consultation In technologies of information and communication' (HECTIC). Brussels, Coimbra Group of Universities.
Information literacy Library and information professionals call these information-related competencies as information literacy.
Lots of definitions and models
Information Literacy Umbrella Patrica Senn Breivik.
DefinitionsIL cover the following experiences: the use of information technology;the use of information sources; executing a process; controlling information for retrieval; gaining knowledge; extending knowledge; gaining wisdom.
Bruce, C. S. (1997). The seven faces of information literacy. Adelaide: Auslib Press.
DefinitionsInformation literacy is the adoption of appropriate information behaviour to identify, through whatever channel or medium, information well fitted to information needs, leading to wise and ethical use of information in society
Webber S. & Johnston, B. (2002). Assessment for information literacy. Paper presented at the International conference on IT and information literacy, 20th-22nd March 2002, Glasgow, Scotland.
Information literate personRecognizes the need for informationIdentifies sources of informationDevelops successful search strategiesAccesses sources of informationIL PERSONEvaluates information and sources
Organizes informationProcesses information Uses and presents information
Definitions Information Literacy encompasses knowledge of ones information concerns and needs, and the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, organize and effectively create, use and communicate information to address issues or problems at hand; it is a prerequisite for participating effectively in the Information Society, and is part of the basic human right of life long learning. The Prague Declaration (2003).
Definitions Information literacy - the ability to recognise when information is needed and to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information American Library Association. Presidential Committee on Information Literacy (1989). Final Report. Chicago: American Library Association.
The Concept of InformationInformation seems to be everywhere. We talk of its being encoded in the genes disseminated by media of communication exchanged in conversation contained in all sorts of things Libraries are overflowing with it, institutions are bogged down by it, and people are overloaded with it [yet] no one seems to know exactly what information is.
Christopher Fox (1983, p.3)
Donald O Case. Looking for Information, 2002.Case, D. (2002). Looking for Information: A Survey of Research on Information Seeking, Needs, and Behaviour. Academic Press
The Concept of InformationAnthropologist Gregory Bateson (1972) defines information as any difference that makes a difference to a conscious, human mind
Summarizing 30 years of commentary, Levitan (1980) declared that 29 different concepts had been associated with the term of information
LiteracyThe ability to read and write (Concise Oxford)Literacy has been seen as a concept, a process, a competency, a skill and a tool that has meaning in relation to the demand of the economy and society or individuals and communitiesalso a mode of behaviour, which enables individuals and groups to gather, analyse and apply written information to function in societyGilster sees it as a fundamental act of cognition (Gilster, 1997).
LiteracyThe International Adult Literacy Survey (IALS) defines literacy in terms of proficiency levels of usage information to function in society and economy. Literacy is defined as a particular capacity and mode of behaviour, the ability to understand and employ printed information in daily activities, at home, at work and in the community - to achieve ones goals, and to develop ones knowledge and potential (OECD/Statistics Canada, 2000a, p. 12).
LiteracyIn IALS literacy is measured operationally in terms of the three domains:Prose literacy Document literacyQuantitative literacy
Levels of literacyLevel 1 Level 2Level 3 is considered a suitable minimum for coping with the demands of everyday life and work in a complex, advanced society. It denotes roughly the skill level required for successful secondary school completion and college entry. Like higher levels, it requires the ability to integrate several sources of information and solve more complex problems. Level 4 and 5 describe respondents who demonstrate command of higher-order information processing skills (OECD/Statistics Canada, 2000a).
ConcernSeveral observers have expressed concern that putting two fuzzy terms together doesnt make the overall concept clearer. Others assert that it doesnt matter what you call or define it, as long as it gets done.
Competencies and skillsCompetence has two dimensions knowledge and skills. Knowledge may be seen as our understanding how our everyday wor