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information literacy



March 7, 2019

InfoSkills: New way of teaching information literacy skills at Tilburg University

By Anja Habraken

This blogpost describes the new way of teaching and testing information literacy skills to students of Tilburg University. Online training courses are now available in LibGuides with assessment modules in the newly introduced test software TestVision.

LIS as supplier of information skills training

Traditionally, the university library has played an important role in developing TiU students’ information skills through the provision of various types of instructions. For the most part these are introductory instructions that are embedded in the curriculum. In the academic year 2016-2017 LIS Research Support switched from hands-on information skills workshops to online tutorials that must be worked through individually. Completing the information skills tutorial and taking the accompanying test is compulsory for all first-year and premaster’s students (more than 3,200) and counts in the assessment of the course in which the tutorial is integrated.

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Content of the tutorial: from Blackboard to LibGuides

Initially the tutorials were accessible through Blackboard. It soon became clear, however, that this was a sub-optimal solution. The tutorials were not visible enough, testing was not flawless and maintaining the content was quite time-consuming. We decided to transfer the tutorials to LibGuides, a publication platform used by libraries worldwide. LibGuides contains a content management system, which makes maintaining the tutorials much easier. Apart from efficiency, there was yet another reason for adopting LibGuides. Since Tilburg University has committed itself to Open Science – which includes Open Educational Resources (OER) – we were determined to make our information skills materials available on the public internet.

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In the spring and summer of 2018 we worked hard to further develop the tutorials and transfer them to LibGuides. This resulted in seven ‘InfoSkills’ tutorials, partly generic, partly varying per school/study program. The tutorials can be used as course material, but also for self-study. The InfoSkills tutorials are available from https://libguides.uvt.nl/infoskills (the landing page for students who must complete InfoSkills) and https://libguides.uvt.nl (the page that provides links to all information skills materials the library has to offer).

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Assessment: from Blackboard to TestVision

TestVision, Tilburg University’s new test software, was chosen for the assessment of the material discussed in the InfoSkills tutorials. Luckily, we could participate in the pilot of the LIS project ‘Infrastructure Digital Assessment’ that ran during the academic year 2017/18. This enabled us to benefit from intensive support by two project members.

A test database consisting of 220 questions was created, allowing us to generate five unique tests for each student. From a test-technical viewpoint, this was a real challenge. 27 randomized test sessions were set up and linked to the students enrolled in over 40 first-year and pre-master courses taught in the fall of 2018.

Working with professional test software was a relief, compared to the sometimes inscrutable and error-prone Blackboard. TestVision is a fairly intuitive system in which we could easily manage a large number of tests. In total, more than 3200 students took an InfoSkills test between September 2018 and February 2019.

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Posts on research data management, open access publishing, copyright, and access to scientific information. For Tilburg University researchers - by the Research Support department of Library and IT Services. Read More