Problem-Based Learning at University College Dublin Supporting Information Literacy in different educational approaches Ursula Byrne Head of Academic Services, Humanities & Social Sciences, University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland Urusla.Byrne@ucd.ie Lorna Dodd Liaison Librarian Human Sciences University College Dublin, Belfield, Dublin 4, Ireland Lorna.firstname.lastname@example.org
Background • Largest university in Ireland • Problem-Based Learning (PBL) currently in practice within several programmes • Government funding (SIF) to support development of further initiatives across campus
Centres on the student Work in small tutorials Presented with complex, real-life ‘problems’ Identify what they know from their existing knowledge Identify gaps in their existing knowledge Formulate ‘learning issues’ for next session What is PBL?
Self-directed learning Development of life-long transferable skills Critical and reflective thinking Why is Information Literacy important in PBL?
Identify an information need Identify most appropriate source Convert Learning Issues into search strategies APPLYING INFORMATION LITERACY TO PBL Apply information to problem & integrate into existing knowledge Identify kind of information & resource Use the information in an ethical way Evaluate reliability, relevance, currency & appropriateness Effectively retrieve relevant information
The Coughing Horse • Anatomy of the lung • Factual Information – Textbooks • Allergens and treatment • Current Research – Journal Articles or Websites • Is the information reliable? • Is the information relevant to problem? • Location • Availability of treatment
Traditional lectures clashes with philosophical foundations of PB L Usefulness of traditional workshops In PBL context students need to use a range of information resources in order to find a range of information types Often need to explain to academics that a change in educational approach requires ALL aspects of student instruction to change Information Literacy Instruction in PBL
Keep students in their PBL groups Identify common “Learning Issues” across all groups Let students search for information without any guidance or instruction Each group reports back Which resources they used Why they chose each resource How useful each resource was What strategy/language they used Workshop approach
Librarian then looks at “Learning Issue” Identify which ‘type’ of information is required Identify appropriate sources Think about language, keywords, alternative terms Students then repeat exercise and report back Students also asked how the information they find applies to the problem Workshop approach
Using a ‘problem’ approach The M50 - Europe’s Largest Car park?
Psychology/sociology Research on stress associated with long commutes Environmental Studies Comparative literature on impact of new motorways on developing countryside Planning & Policy Government reports in infrastructure planning Economics Current Irish & European statistics Using a ‘problem’ approach
Conclusion • Information Literacy is increasingly consciously developed • encourage students to think about information they need • challenge students to critically evaluate the information they find and the source • Information Literacy is often: • Included as a learning outcome • An assessment criteria • Librarians are more involved in curriculum development: • Ensure there are sufficient resources • Help students develop necessary skills
Introduction of PBL can dramatically change library & librarian’s role Librarians often act as group facilitators in PBL Significant departure from their traditional role New skill set Information literacy essential component Many academics begin to understand the importance of IL and librarian as a result of PBL This often leads to a ‘spill over’ effect Conclusion
How do we strike the balance between taking advantage of new opportunities and managing growing workloads?