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The Using Information Community (and beyond!): Exploring the potential of online communities in delivering information literacy. Neil Ford Subject Librarian – School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University. Bournemouth University context. Student and Academic Services.

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The Using Information Community (and beyond!): Exploring the potential of online communities in delivering information literacy

Neil Ford

Subject Librarian – School of Health and Social Care, Bournemouth University

bournemouth university context
Bournemouth University context

Student and Academic Services

Library and Learning Support

Subject Librarian Team

School of Health and Social Care


Social Work

Midwifery, Health and Rehab. Sciences



  • Why is Information Literacy important?
  • Challenges to Information Literacy education

Online community for developing information literacy skills within our virtual learning environment

information literacy
Information Literacy

“the skills that students lack when they arrive at university are much the same as those students have always needed to develop; the capacity to filter and analyse sources and to access the validity and authority of the material” (Bradwell, 2009, p. 55)

  • Important to health students?
  • Changes to health education (e.g. NHS Key Skills Framework, 2004)
  • Online learning and health education
  • Changes to health information professional role
  • (Bury et al, 2006)
il a core competency for health professionals
IL - a core competency for health professionals

NMC Standards of Proficiency for Pre-Registration Nursing Education:

  • “provide relevant and current health information to patients, clients and groups”
  • “ensure that current research findings and other evidence are incorporated in practice”
  • “identify, collect and evaluate information to justify the effective utilisation of resources”
  • “interpret and present information in a comprehensible manner”

(NMC, 2004)

Translates to our curricula and ILO’s!

challenges higher education
Challenges – Higher Education
  • Changing demographic - “2/5 students part-time, 59% mature, 15% from overseas” (Bradwell, 2009)
  • Funding constraints - “focus…resources where they can have the greatest return” (Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, p. 4)
health student demographic
Health student demographic

We are already used to the changes to student demographics!

Need to support technology use

Lack of contact time

Need for remote support


Mature students

Distance learners

Care responsibilities

Time poor

institutional challenges
Institutional challenges
  • Shorter units – larger cohorts
  • Closure of academic development unit
  • Lean working
information literacy has to happen
Information literacy has to happen…
  • Outside of the classroom
  • At a distance
  • When the student needs it
  • In a graduated way depending on need
using information community
Using Information Community

Trusted brand

Link from staff/ student homepage

Task oriented menu

Embedded user support

Links to further support

using information community1
Using Information Community

In-house and external materials

Authority control

Communication tools

Community tools

using information community2
Using Information Community

Embedded in Blackboard (VLE)

  • Trusted brand
  • Allows authority control
  • Tools for publicity
  • Educational tools (assessments etc.)
  • Links to other communities & academic units
  • Further support embedded (workshops, tutorials)
beyond using information
Beyond Using Information

"The only constant is change, continuing change, inevitable change, that is the dominant factor in society today. No sensible decision can be made any longer without taking into account not only the world as it is, but the world as it will be."

Isaac Asimov

academic skills community
Academic Skills Community

Task oriented navigation

Academic skills

Graphical interface

contact information
Contact Information
  • Neil Ford - Subject Librarian
  • Bournemouth House Library
  • Bournemouth University
  • Old Christchurch Road
  • Bournemouth, BH1 3LH
  • [email protected]
    • 01202 967350

Bradwell, P. 2009. The edgeless university: Why higher education must embrace technology. London: Demos.

Brettle, A., 2007. Evaluating information skills training in health libraries: A systematic review. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 24, 18-37.

Bury, R., Martin, L., and Roberts, S., 2006. Achieving change through mutual development: Supported online learning and the evolving roles of health and information professionals. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 23, 22-31.

Cobus, L., 2008. Integrating information literacy into the education of public health professionals: Roles for librarians and the library. Journal of the Medical Library Association, 96 (1), 28-33.

Craig, A., and Corrall, S., 2007. Making a difference? Measuring the impact of an information literacy programme for pre-registration nursing students in the UK. Health Information and Libraries Journal, 24 (2), 118-127.

Department for Business Innovation & Skills. 2009. Higher ambitions: The future of universities in a knowledge economy. (09/1447). London: Department for Business Innovation & Skills.

Ford, P. J., Foxlee, N., and Green, W., 2009. Developing information literacy with first year oral health students. European Journal of Dental Education, 13 (1), 46-51.

Godwin, P., 2009. Information literacy and web 2.0: Is it just hype? Program-Electronic Library and Information Systems, 43 (3), 264-274.

Grant, M. J., and Brettle, A. J., 2006. Developing and evaluating an interactive information skills tutorial. Health Information & Libraries Journal, 23 (2), 79-88.

NHS. The NHS knowledge and skills framework (nhs ksf) and the development review process (october 2004). London: Department of Health. Available from: [Accessed: 19 July 2010].

Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2004. Standards of proficiency for pre-registration nursing education. London: Nursing and Midwifery Council. Available from:

Nursing and Midwifery Council, 2010. The code: Standards of conduct, performance and ethics for nurses and midwives. London: Nursing and Midwifery Council. Available from: [Accessed: 16 July 2010].

Rethlefsen, M. L., Engard, N. C., Chang, D., and Haytko, C., 2006. Social software for libraries and librarians. Journal of Hospital Librarianship, 6 (4), 29-45.

White, S., and Stone, G., 2010. Maximising use of library resources at the university of huddersfield. Serials, 23 (2), 83-90.

Wilkinson, A., While, A. E., and Roberts, J., 2009. Measurement of information and communication technology experience and attitudes to e-learning of students in the healthcare professions: Integrative review. Journal of Advanced Nursing, 65 (4), 755-772.