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Ethics in information literacy education Susanne Holmlund, Marja Mikola, Olli Mäkinen www.tritonia.fi Creating Knowledge V 20-22.8 2008 Ethics in the virtual world changes in the individual’s ethical understanding

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Ethics in information literacy education

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Ethics in information literacy education l.jpg

Ethics in information literacy education

Susanne Holmlund, Marja Mikola, Olli Mäkinen

www.tritonia.fi

Creating Knowledge V 20-22.8 2008


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Ethics in the virtual world

  • changes in the individual’s ethical understanding

  • our ethical sensitivity has weakened, when we no longer meet our fellow men face to face

  • plagiarism and other types of unethical behaviour is ”easier”. Therefore ethics has an important position in the teaching of information literacy


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Plagiarism, a serious problem

  • Plagiarism is a serious problem in higher education. Essays and theses for purchase are easily found on the Internet

  • In Sweden cases related to plagiarism increased with 90% from 2002 to 2003. Plagiarism has become the most common cause for expulsion in higher education (Source: Report by the Swedish National Agency for Higher Education 2004:17 (Sammanställning av beslut och domar i disciplinärenden som rör studerande vid universitet och högskolor från 2003)

  • Software that detects plagiarism


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Ethics in IL Standards

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

(American Library Association, Association of College and Research Libraries)

www.ala.org


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3rd standardThe information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.


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5th standardThe information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.


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IL in Finland

Council for University Libraries in Finland: Recommendations for IL in higher education:

  • New students: basics of the ethical use of information

  • Bachelor’s level students: Deeper insight into the ethical use of information

    Source: http://www.nationallibrary.fi/libraries/council/presentationsandarticles/Files/liitetiedosto2/il_markkinointiesite_en.pdf


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Tritonia

  • Academic library and learning centre combined

  • 3 universities

    • University of Vaasa

    • Swedish School of Economics and Business Adminisitration’s (Hanken) campus in Vaasa

    • Åbo Akademi University in Vaasa

  • Disciplines: Education, social sciences, caring science, technology, language studies

  • Information literacy education in 3 languages


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IL education at Tritonia

  • 3 universities = 3 different organizational cultures and approaches to information literacy, 3 different curricula, 3 different licenses for electronic information resources

  • Tritonia aim to offer the same education in information literacy at all three universities, but in fact ends up arranging tailor-made courses and workshops for the different universities

  • Systematic education in information literacy for the students at the University of Vaasa was introduced in 2004


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Information literacy courses at University of Vaasa

  • All students participate in two courses in information literacy

  • Course I (1 ECT)

  • Course II (1 ECT)

  • Participation:

    • Course I: 450 students/year

    • Course II: 350 students/year

  • Course in research ethics for doctoral students (3 ECT)


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Course 1

  • Compulsory for all 1st year students

  • Pre-exam

  • Content, ethical issues: Plagiarism, research ethics, information and data protection, evaluating sources

  • Documents in the virtual learning environment Moodle

  • 1 workshop

  • Web-discussion on different ethical issues (e.g. plagiarism)

  • Online exam consisting of multiple choice questions, including questions covering ethical issues in information retrieval


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Course 2

  • Compulsory for students writing their first seminar paper

  • Students are expected to already have attained critical thinking in regard to evaluating information and should now be able to use their skills in practice

  • Web course in Moodle + a introductory lecture

  • Content:

    • Html documents about retrieving academic information and ethical issues

    • Information retrieval assignment in which the students collect relevant and scholarly sources for their seminar paper

    • Online exam consisting of multiple choice questions, including questions covering ethical issues in information retrieval.


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Evaluation and development

  • the courses are continuously evaluated and developed

  • e-learning not be best option for studying ethical issues?

  • feedback given by the students

  • how develop the students’ critical thinking in relation to sources and information? Is one way to let them evaluate documents on different levels?


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Development and staff resources

  • Teaching and managing the courses ties up the staff considerably. Redirection and use of resources is a central and controversial issue

  • Could the student tutors (senior students) teach research ethics?

  • Assignments using e.g. wikis?

  • Course III, IL education for students at master’s level

  • Course 1 & 2 will be given in English as well next year…


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Feedback from students

  • Course evaluation (is the course useful, interesting, the content appropriate)

  • Teacher evaluation (competence of the teacher, interaction between teacher and student, teaching methods. Relevance of assignments, teaching material)

  • Self evaluation (learning something new, learning something useful, participation)

  • Course arrangements (course information adequate, guidance, facilities and equipment)

  • The students could also give feed-back in their own words on what was good and bad about the course and on how it could be developed.


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More feedback…

”There is so many information sources on the Internet and it’s difficult to know which ones are reliable. The course has helped me to evaluate information. This is a very important course”

”The web discussion was useful and gave me the chance to discuss with others and hear their views on ethical matters”


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Who is hurt by plagiarism?


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