Where does IT fit in?

tansygoobertownInternet and Web Development

Dec 8, 2013 (4 years and 7 months ago)


Where does IT fit in?

Approaches to integrating IT
skills into Information Literacy

Julie Adams

Information Services

28 February 2007

Where does IT fit in?

Approaches to integrating IT skills

into Information Literacy

Julie Adams

Information Services

28 February 2007


Who should IT skills training be for?

What content should be covered?

How to deliver IT skills

When to deliver training

What option best supports IL?

Who for?

Often assume students now have (enough)

IT Skills

Is this always the case?

Do they have the ‘right’ skills?

May be more extremes in skills now

Some very good, others very poor

Vary in background and subject area

Challenge is to bring all up to same level

But what is the ‘right’ level?

Problem might occur because students think they


What about staff?

Concentrating on students today (but are issues with

staff skills as well!)

What do students need to know?

Some staff (and students) think that IL = IT

Need to show that this is not the case

What are the core set of IT skills needed?

Should these be defined at an Institutional level?

Same skills needed for all?

Different subject areas, UG/PG may have different needs

What aspects of Info literacy do IT skills

need to support?

e.g.. Presentation of information, effective/appropriate
communication, managing/storing information

How to deliver IT Skills

Many options!

Accreditation schemes

Formal e.g. ECDL

house’ accreditation schemes

Taught courses


Electronic resources for self

Embedded within modules

Ad hoc support

help desks etc


Formal accreditation schemes

Several schemes available which cover range of IT skills

Allows candidates to demonstrate mastery of specific IT skills

Range from basic to advanced skills

Most popular is ECDL (European Computer
Driving Licence)

Other options:

Microsoft Office Specialist (MOS)

For staff: ITQ from the British Computer Society (BCS)

Formal accreditation


Know students will acquire specific knowledge (set syllabus);
external recognition; students may value it if get something
out of it; can buy in quality assured materials; increased
confidence and competence; reduced IT support costs


Expensive to take/run tests and buy in materials; Can be time
consuming to study; if taught sessions delivered take up a lot
of staff time; cost may not equal benefit; students may not
need to know all the required applications; can be high
out rates


What is ECDL?

A European
wide recognised qualification in computer competence

Controlled by British Computer Society in the UK

Flexible approach, take up to 3 years to complete

ECDL is non
application specific

Although most materials cover Microsoft products

7 modules covering
the key concepts of computing,
its practical application and use in the workplace
and society

ECDL modules

Basic concepts of IT

Terminology, Health & Safety, Legal issues

Using a computer & managing files

Folder structure, copying, moving, backup etc

Word processing

To mail merge level


Simple formulae, charting, multiple sheets


Forms, queries, reports


Develop a slide show

Information & Communication

Internet, email

ECDL in education

Used by many institutions for both staff and students

BSC survey in 2002 indicated 85 HE institutions offered it

More than this now, but can get low take up

Should it be compulsory: for some, for all?

Requirement for some subject areas

e.g.. Social Work

UCISA ECDL survey and conference



LSE Benchmarking report

July 2006


house’ accreditation

Some Universities develop own accreditation

May be mandatory for all, for specific student
Faculties/departments or optional


Ensure all students have specific skills/knowledge, students
value training as get something out of it, institutional buy


Can be time consuming and costly to plan and deliver, ideally
need institutional strategy, extra time needs to be found

Example ‘in
house’ scheme

University of York

ILIAD (Information Literacy In All Departments)

Designed by the Computing Service and the Library

Covers IT and IL

5 units: Intro to computing, Researching
and evaluating information sources, Word processing for
academic purposes, Using spreadsheets, Presenting
information using a computer

Optional: on
line TNA, then opt for appropriate modules



Example ‘in
house’ scheme

University of Glasgow

Certificate of Basic IT Competence

Run since 1994 by the Information Technology Education Unit

Mandatory for all new UG students: university regulation and a
requirement for graduation.

3 options: beginners course, standard course, on
line course.
Followed by test.

Topics covered include file management, email, word
processing, on
line library, location/retrieval/evaluation

of on
line resources, spreadsheets, using help systems, using
IT responsibly


Other approaches

Training courses/workshops/drop
in sessions

no recognition for attendance


Can be flexible, adapted to meet needs, easy to add new
sessions on new topics as they become relevant, less staffing


poor attendance, extra burden for students, may not get to
those who need it, not so easy to bring what it available to the
attention of students

Other approaches

Electronic support materials that students

use in own time, or to top
up existing skills

May be IT only, or combine other skills (IL, study skills etc)

Assignment Survival Kit:


Can buy in materials so less of a burden for staff to develop,
can study as and when required

or cover topics a number
of times if necessary


some people do not like this type of study, extra burden for
students, may not get to those who need it as rely on self
assessment/take up, need to promote range of what is

Other approaches

‘Ad hoc’ approach

no specific training courses: support through help desks, as
and when needed; self
help documentation; chat systems


Can seek help on exactly what they need when it is needed,
personalised approach.


extra burden for students, may not get to those who need it,
not so easy to bring what it available to the attention of

Other approaches

Embedding within modules

By academic staff e.g.. study skills modules

By Library/IT staff as part of other IL embedded sessions


In right context, delivered at appropriate time, no extra time


If some lack basic skills may need to top it up with other
things. May not be enough depth for some.

When to deliver IT training

Partly determined by how training delivered

Some basics covered by induction

e.g.. introduction to computer setup at the institution;

using library catalogue

Need to cover the basic requirements prior to
first assignments

also include study skills, key skills, information skills?

Build on basic skills at later stages

Not a ‘one
off’ exercise

Does formal IT training

help with IL?

Even if people do an accredited scheme (such as
ECDL) does this mean that it will help with IL?

Well, yes and no (or yes and maybe!)

May not complete relevant module when knowledge needed

May have the technical knowledge, so should know
to do
things but can they

this to their situation?

May still need to add context at appropriate time (embedded

What are the essential

skills student need?

Look at scenarios provided

identify the skills needed by the students in these situations

How would these skills be delivered in your institution?

Essential (IT) Skills

Windows and File management

Graphical user interface; creating/managing files and folders;
awareness of security/virus protection; legal issues

protection, copyright.

Word processing

Basic editing; changing fonts, line spacing, margins etc; page
setup/printing; page numbers, footnotes; tables; inserting
graphs/images; sharing data with other applications


simple formula; creating graphs, different types of graphs;
sharing data with other applications

Essential (IT) Skills

Using the Internet

Basic navigation techniques; favourites/bookmarks; searching;
printing/saving; copyright.


Basic techniques; managing email; using email appropriately



Creating presentations; guidance on appropriate style; simple
animation; including information from other applications.

What about new technologies?

May start to make use of Web 2.0 technologies/
software such as Blogs/Wikis

Do people need training in these?

Not so easy to teach these as ‘skills’

Do they have a role in IL?

Do accredited schemes offer the flexibility needed

to accommodate these newer technologies?

None of these newer technologies covered by standard accredited

Change too rapidly

More easily included in internal, less formal sessions

Best solution?

Is there a single best solution for all students and

Probably not!

May depend on institution type, structure and size

Flexible approach may deliver the best results

Accreditation can be useful, but is not the only answer

Embed where appropriate

Cover new technologies/topics as required

Ways for students of different ability to ‘top
up’ skills

Want to know more
about accreditation

Would you credit IT?

Approaches to IT accreditation

TLIG User Skills Development Group

Inaugural event

Monday 16 April

Austin Court, Birmingham