Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Games for Teaching Information Literacy Skills

A new article on information literacy has been posted at Library Philosophy and Practice. It is Games for Teaching Information Literacy Skills by Felicia A. Smith of the University of Notre Dame. There is no volume or issue number on this as it appears that this journal is now publishing an annual volume and posting articles as they are approved.

From the article:

Student boredom does not reflect negatively on the original information literacy instructor. Research shows this is a prevalent pedagogical obstacle. One explanation for boredom is inability to captivate students' attention. Mandatory classes can make students feel like academic hostages, resentful of classes they do not perceive a real need for (Adams, 1985). In 2001, more than thirty percent of libraries offered information literacy credit courses. Unfortunately, studies found that students ranked credit-courses as their least preferred means of getting library instruction, compared with individual instruction conducted at the point of need while students are actively seeking information (Davidson, 2001).

Active learning theorists encourage instructors to consider the motivational context for students during course design. The premise is that students learn best when they feel a need to know. Integrating exercises into the curriculum prompts this need to know. Activities which provide rewards or prizes serve as a motivational force. This new generation of students is characterized as having low thresholds for boredom as well as having short attention spans (Brown, 2002); hence, interaction, group activities, and levity have become essential pedagogical practices. Active learning also addresses distinct styles of thinking. The left and right hemispheres of the brain process information in different ways. People tend to process information using the dominant side of the brain. This dominance is commonly referred to as being either “right-brained” or “left-brained.” Left-brain scholastic activities focus on logical thinking, while right-brained activities focus on creativity.

No comments: