Integrating information literacy into higher education curricula : an IL curricular integration model

Wang, Xiaoli (2010) Integrating information literacy into higher education curricula : an IL curricular integration model. PhD thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


This study investigates a way to systematically integrate information literacy (IL) into an undergraduate academic programme and develops a model for integrating information literacy across higher education curricula. Curricular integration of information literacy in this study means weaving information literacy into an academic curriculum. In the associated literature, it is also referred to as the information literacy embedding approach or the intra-curricular approach.

The key findings identified from this study are presented in 4 categories: the characteristics of IL integration; the key stakeholders in IL integration; IL curricular design strategies; and the process of IL curricular integration. Three key characteristics of the curricular integration of IL are identified: collaboration and negotiation, contextualisation and ongoing interaction with information. The key stakeholders in the curricular integration of IL are recognised as the librarians, the course coordinators and lecturers, the heads of faculties or departments, and the students. Some strategies for IL curricular design include: the use of IL policies and standards in IL curricular design; the combination of face to face and online teaching as an emerging trend; the use of IL assessment tools which play an important role in IL integration. IL can be integrated into the intended curriculum (what an institution expects its students to learn), the offered curriculum (what the teachers teach) and the received curriculum (what students actually learn). IL integration is a process of negotiation, collaboration and the implementation of the intended curriculum. IL can be integrated at different levels of curricula such as: institutional, faculty, departmental, course and class curriculum levels.

Based on these key findings, an IL curricular integration model is developed. The model integrates curriculum, pedagogy and learning theories, IL theories, IL guidelines and the collaboration of multiple partners. The model provides a practical approach to integrating IL into multiple courses across an academic degree. The development of the model was based on the IL integration experiences of various disciplines in three universities and the implementation experience of an engineering programme at another university; thus it may be of interest to other disciplines. The model has the potential to enhance IL teaching and learning, curricular development and to implement graduate attributes in higher education.

Sociocultural theories are applied to the research process and IL curricular design of this study. Sociocultural theories describe learning as being embedded within social events and occurring as learners interact with other people, objects, and events in a collaborative environment. Sociocultural theories are applied to explore how academic staff and librarians experience the curricular integration of IL; they also support collaboration in the curricular integration of IL and the development of an IL integration model. This study consists of two phases. Phase I (2007) was the interview phase where both academic staff and librarians at three IL active universities were interviewed. During this phase, attention was paid specifically to the practical process of curricular integration of IL and IL activity design. Phase II, the development phase (2007-2008), was conducted at a fourth university. This phase explores the systematic integration of IL into an engineering degree from Year 1 to Year 4. Learning theories such as sociocultural theories, Bloom’s Taxonomy and IL theories are used in IL curricular development. Based on the findings from both phases, an IL integration model was developed.

The findings and the model contribute to IL education, research and curricular development in higher education. The sociocultural approach adopted in this study also extends the application of sociocultural theories to the IL integration process and curricular design in higher education.

Impact and interest:

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ID Code: 41747
Item Type: QUT Thesis (PhD)
Supervisor: Bruce, Christine & Hughes, Hilary
Keywords: information literacy curriculum, information literacy education, information literacy integration model, higher education, curriculum integration of il, sociocultural theories, Vygotsky, Bloom Taxonomy
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Past > Schools > Information Systems
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 20 May 2011 01:28
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 20:01

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