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A. Lantz, C. Brage

Linköping University (SWEDEN)
The aim of this paper is to highlight the importance of the adjustment of Information Literacy skills training according to the development of new social media and how to prepare current and future generations to live and work in an information and economy-driven society. We would like to present and discuss some ideas on the practice of teaching and learning in the field of Information Literacy by introducing a model suited for higher education and work settings (Lantz & Brage 2006 a; Lantz & Brage 2006 b; Lantz & Brage 2013 a).

The model covers different information seeking processes as parts of the contextual unit of Information Literacy heading towards transliteracy. Information Literacy implies that individuals know how to apply knowledge and this might lead to a deeper understanding conveyed by active learning techniques (Lantz & Brage 2013 b). The more information seeking and critical thinking skills the students develop the better prepared they’ll be in the future both for work and social life. By using the model we hope to instill a more comprehensive insight into how Information Literacy is related to quality improvement and organisational learning.

Despite the fact that business leaders know that their employees are lacking the skills to effectively handle information, it is not easy to promote information literacy in work settings (Gashurov & Matsuucki 2013). But the modern work-place requires employees who are confident and competent in interacting with all kinds of information in different formats to deliver maximum of business value. Information Literacy is to be seen as a critical success factor to create and sustain an effective knowledge strategy for quality improvement; a work-place information literacy focusing on teamwork, team-based decision-making and problem-solving skills.

To conclude, the model seems useful for students to arrive at a deeper understanding of the learning processes involved in their academic life and for future work. By using the model we are able to present a holistic theoretical framework and our students have gone from being passive consumers to active producers of information needed both for academic studies as well as future work. They have learnt skills that later hopefully will be transferred to the future workplace and all areas of lifelong learning.

Hopefully in the future Information Literacy will become a core essential skill that an employer would expect every employee to be qualified in, having in mind that the importance of information literacy in the workplace is still under-estimated. Decision making, strategic thinking, critical thinking, and problem solving ought to form the core of individual information literacy, components tied to creativity. Finally we still believe that true empowerment will ensure productivity for the organization as knowledge workers pursue information literacy. Now higher education is faced with the challenge to embed employability including Information Literacy into curricula.