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Comments on Information literacy Interventions in Nursing and Engineering Courses at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa. Project Sponsored and financed by: Western Cape College of Nursing Health and Wellness Faculty HOD: Mr. Shafick Hassen

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Comments on Information literacy Interventions in Nursing and Engineering Courses at the Cape Peninsula University of Technology, South Africa.

Project Sponsored and financed by:Western Cape College of Nursing

Health and Wellness Faculty HOD:

Mr. Shafick Hassen

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Dr. Oswald Franks :Dean Engineering

information literacy sa context
Information Literacy: SA Context
  • SAQA and the NQF.
  • Frier (2006:277) defines information literacy in a former paper.
  • Defining information literacy in SA.
  • SAQA and NQF – Infolit as a CCFO (critical cross field outcome) early 1990’s.
  • Sayed’s “The Segregated information highway”.
information literacy sa context1
Information Literacy: SA Context
  • Apartheid divisions still loom large over education landscape, although much has been achieved since 1994.
  • Language differences a barrier to imparting information and eventual knowledge generation.
  • Tertiary education in the mother tongue? Can South Africa afford it?
  • Some very vocal proponents of this approach, eg. Prof. Rhoda Kadalie and Prof. Wilmot James (former Dean of Arts Faculty, UCT)
information literacy in the classroom
Information Literacy in the Classroom
  • Two to three lecture periods per semester.
  • Curriculum already loaded with course-related matter.
  • Very little room left for anything else.
  • Infolit instruction sessions need to be timed well.
  • These should take place when propensity for information needs to solve problems students encounter in their assignments is high.
others concur with this approach
Others concur with this approach
  • Morgan et.al (2007:43)state that timing these sessions is of utmost importance
  • Should be presented in such a manner that the Infolit session does not always revolve around a “which button do I push next approach” to teaching these skills.
  • Not always easy to achieve this approach: emphasis on reading journals, professional newsletters and e-journals.
ground breaking infolit work in sa
Ground-breaking Infolit work in SA
  • Sayed's study, “The Segregated Information Highway”
  • Hands-on approach to infolit instruction.
  • Basic computer literacy skills assumed, not always the case though.
  • Difficulties as a result of this.
  • Financial implications for improved infolit education delivery, historical outline.
feedback from infolit study classroom action research
Feedback from Infolit study: Classroom Action Research

78% Engineering students do not have internet connectivity at home – previous study.

Compares to 84% Nursing students -2009 study.

This impacts directly on Infolit programs offered by library staff.

Blackberry being rolled out in Africa as a substitute to expensive PC internet connectivity.

Seacom Cable now active via Durban.

feedback from infolit study classroom action research1
Feedback from Infolit study: Classroom Action Research
  • Qualitative feedback indicates that students struggle to formulate ideas.
  • Many are unable to state even the basics about what they have learnt in the Infolit education sessions.
  • English is a 3rd sometimes 4th language.
  • No real knowledge of Dewey, 70% Eng and 82% Nursing do not understand how Dewey works at all.
feedback from infolit study classroom action research2
Feedback from Infolit study: Classroom Action Research

Website used during training session:

  • 97% of Engineering respondents surveyed could mention a website used.
  • 56% of Nursing School respondents

Use of reference materials:

  • 91% of Engineering respondents used these prior to coming to university and knew what they were.
  • 65% of Nursing respondents used these
feedback from infolit study classroom action research3
Feedback from Infolit study: Classroom Action Research
  • Use of libraries before and during university - Engineering students:1.1% Cited School Libraries

42.7% Cited a municipal or local library

41.6% Cited a University of Tech Library

6.7% Cited a University Library

2.2% of the answers were unrelated to the question.

5.6 % left this one blank

difference in teaching approach needing attention
Difference in teaching approach needing attention
  • Heavy reliance on class notes … library inundated with requests for photocopies of notes.
  • Chalk and talk
  • Textbook and teacher centred education
  • Outcomes based education (OBE) only taking root now.
  • Need for electronic repository of lectures.
  • After more than a decade, Infolit policy finally ratified by university senate & council.
recommendations and where we are heading
Recommendationsand where we are heading
  • Further investigate mother tongue education at all levels and its feasibility.
  • We have come a long way in past decade at CPUT – from 4 OPACs in LIS in 1997, and an HDI to important equal roll player in SA Higher Ed including campus-wide WIFI at present.
  • Great strides, even though slowly, in information literacy education, Mechanical Engineering dept to be applauded, particularly their bridging courses.
  • More & faster connectivity, broadband on the horizon if not already here for SA.
  • Further rollout and partnering with universities of “free” Blackberry devices for mobile internet.
the end
The End
  • My contact details

Mark Douglas Frier

B.A. (Amherst College), PGdipLIS (UCT),

B.Bibl. (Hons)(UCT)

Branch Library Manager: Athlone Campus

Cape Peninsula University of Technology

Cape Town, South Africa.

FRIERM@CPUT.AC.ZA