COLLABORATIVE ASSESSMENT OF INFORMATION LITERACY EDUCATION AT LINKÖPING UNIVERSITY LIBRARY
We would like to present how we assess medical students’ information literacy skills and how this is done in cooperation with university professors at the medical faculty. The key concept to this successful implementation is problem-based learning and a faculty that believes in the total integration of the library into the curriculum.
When this collaboration started the students were presented to different real-world cases collected from different health care centres. Nowadays the cases are still fetched from the real world but not directly from health care centers. The students work with their cases for one week and then they have to explain and defend their information seeking procedures and what they have done in order to solve the problem. The librarian and the university professor assess the students through qualitative interviews (approximately 30 min) and the questions asked revolve around e. g. sources; are they reliable or trustworthy; are they likely to be accurate; are they timely; the likelihood of bias; authority of the authors and also that conclusions are based on supporting evidence.
In order to accurately evaluate what an individual has learned an assessment method must examine his or her collective abilities (Lantz & Brage, 2006). This is often referred to as authentic assessment which presents students with real-world challenges that require them to apply their relevant skills and knowledge (Guba & Lincoln, 1989), which is the case with the medical students. The case may either illustrate a point or serve as a basic reference point, and students should be able to employ their knowledge and practice in ways that enable them to make a connection between the curriculum and real-world demands, and test their abilities in meaningful work-related contexts (Lantz & Brage, 2006). In this way the students acquire information literacy skills as they work on their academic tasks.
Secondly we would like to present another successful integration of the library into an international master’s degree program for sustainable development. A program that for some time had noticed a cultural clash regarding different academic styles and that this in some cases ended in severe plagiarism. The program director together with the librarian thought that with enhanced training and assessment of the information seeking process this cultural clash would decrease. In this program the librarian now teaches advanced information literacy skills, academic writing, citing and referencing and how to avoid plagiarism according to Swedish academic style and standards. The librarian also assess the information seeking process in papers and essays written by the students and report grades to the university professor who finally decides if the students pass or fail. One of the key concepts here is that the librarian’s office is situated at the institution and that she is actively involved in the department’s research and teaching.
Guba, E.G. & Y. S. Lincoln, (1989), Fourth Generation Evaluation, Newbury Park, CA.: Sage
Lantz, A. & C. Brage, (2006), Towards a Learning Society – Exploring the Challenge of Applied Information Literacy through Reality-Based Scenarios, Italics, 5:1, [http://www.ics.heacademy.ac.uk/italics/vol5-1/pdf/lantz-brage-final.pdf]