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Identifying and facilitating a community of practice in information literacy in higher education

McCluskey-Dean, Clare ORCID: https://orcid.org/0000-0001-7231-527X (2020) Identifying and facilitating a community of practice in information literacy in higher education. Doctoral thesis, Robert Gordon University.

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Final thesis Feb 20 - Clare Dean.pdf - Accepted Version

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Abstract

This research project focuses upon the role of the academic librarian in higher education. It explores the concept of communities of practice in information literacy in that sector via a study of a specific university in the United Kingdom, with an academic librarian investigating their own role as a practitioner in this context. It is founded on the assertion that information literacy practice is already evident and occurring in learning and teaching practice, but that it is often found in a traditional, skills-based form, owing to an absence of staff development opportunities for those involved in curriculum design and teaching (i.e. academic and professional staff), and that this, in turn, is impacting upon the student experience. Through an exploration of the literature, the concept of information literacy is investigated, and it is shown that this has moved on from a traditional skills model to one which is rooted in social construction (Lloyd 2010) and influenced by societal and political structures (Elmborg 2012). This links to an exploration of social learning in education, especially the theory of communities of practice (Wenger 1998), and a literature gap of research covering staff development in information literacy in higher education via social learning is revealed. It is this gap this research addresses. The research follows a pragmatic, action research approach, to allow for the investigation of a real-world issue, and employs mixed methods to explore the local situation. The outcomes reveal that there is shared practice in information literacy evident, that there is scope to move this from traditional forms to the emerging concepts in the curriculum, and that the community of practice model offers a chance for staff development whereby librarians, academics, and other professional staff, can learn from each other in linking pedagogy and information literacy, impacting curriculum design and delivery.

Item Type: Thesis (Doctoral)
Additional Information: A thesis submitted towards the fulfilment of Robert Gordon University’s requirements for the degree of Professional Doctorate in Information Science This research was carried out in collaboration with York St John University
Status: Unpublished
Subjects: Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z665 Library Science. Information Science
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > Z719 Libraries (General)
Z Bibliography. Library Science. Information Resources > ZA Information resources
School/Department: Library and Learning Services
URI: http://ray.yorksj.ac.uk/id/eprint/4561

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