Where does IT fit in?

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Dec 8, 2013 (3 years and 9 months ago)

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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

Topics



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
are

competent




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


‘In
-
house’ accreditation schemes



Taught courses


informal



Electronic resources for self
-
study



Embedded within modules



Ad hoc support


help desks etc



How?


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


Advantages


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



Disadvantages


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
-
drop
out rates
.

ECDL


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


Spreadsheets


Simple formulae, charting, multiple sheets


Databases


Forms, queries, reports


Presentation


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
-

2002


http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/groups/sdg/ecdl/survey.htm



LSE Benchmarking report
-

July 2006


http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/groups/tlig/usdg/ECDL_benchmarking.pdf


‘In
-
house’ accreditation


Some Universities develop own accreditation
schemes



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



Advantages:


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



Disadvantages


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


http://www.york.ac.uk/services/cserv/iliad/itlit.html



http://www.york.ac.uk/services/cserv/iliad/itlit.html




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



http://www.iteu.gla.ac.uk/students/itcertificate.html


Other approaches


Training courses/workshops/drop
-
in sessions


no recognition for attendance



Advantages


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



Disadvantages


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:
http://www.staffs.ac.uk/ask



Advantages


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



Disadvantages


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
available

Other approaches


‘Ad hoc’ approach


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



Advantages


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



Disadvantages


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



Embedding within modules



By academic staff e.g.. study skills modules


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



Advantages


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



Disadvantages


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
how
to do
things but can they
apply

this to their situation?



May still need to add context at appropriate time (embedded
sessions)

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
-

data
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




Excel


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.



Email


Basic techniques; managing email; using email appropriately


netiquette



PowerPoint


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
courses.


Change too rapidly



More easily included in internal, less formal sessions

Best solution?


Is there a single best solution for all students and
institutions?


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
schemes….?

Would you credit IT?

Approaches to IT accreditation

UCISA
-
TLIG User Skills Development Group


Inaugural event


Monday 16 April

Austin Court, Birmingham


http://www.ucisa.ac.uk/groups/tlig/usdg/events/accredit.htm


Questions?