The CILIP Information Literacy Group are pleased to announce a new workshop, “Weighed down by words”, which will take place at “The Circle” in Sheffield on 15th November, 2018. The workshop introduces an approach to help students develop their academic writing and information literacy skills, and will be led by Stewart Hilland of Sheffield Hallam University.
About the workshop
In their time at university, students are expected to develop the skills that will enable them to identify, classify, critically analyse and interpret published academic information and to apply the competences acquired in this process to subject-related tasks. Although information literacy is a fundamental component of their studies and a major determinant of their academic performance, anecdotal evidence suggests that the teaching of such skills usually takes a distant ‘back seat’ in university classes: it is assumed by many academics that university students will simply assimilate higher order information literacy skills through a process of osmosis.
Many university students are not only daunted by the volume of information that they face, they have little or no strategy for using the information effectively. To help them succeed, a toolkit of materials has been developed at Sheffield Hallam University that employs conceptual approaches like gamification, visual metaphor representations, colour coding, text simplification and text scaffolding. What sets these teaching tools apart from others is that they are based on non-academic contexts and subject matter that have real meaning and relevance to students. Using what is engaging and familiar encourages skill acquisition and practice. The response to these tools by students at Sheffield Hallam has been very positive and feedback indicates that the experience gives them the confidence to go on and apply the skills in their academic studies.
Workshop participants will be introduced to the toolkit and have the opportunity to use some of the materials. For example, an interactive challenge using a theme analysis game (based on the popular Grand Theft Auto) will kick off the session. Questions will be posed about the learning that is taking place and then, in the discussion that follows, the application of gamification will be considered and further practical ideas explored.
About the trainer
Stewart Hilland is a Senior Lecturer at Sheffield Hallam University, where he has taught in the Business School for the past 10 years. Prior to this, he worked in primary and secondary education both here in the UK, in Europe and in Singapore. During his time in schools, he held a number of senior positions including two headships. Stewart’s professional career has given him a unique insight into the educational system and a deep interest in how young people learn. At Hallam, he has won two Teaching Excellence Awards and received the Vice Chancellor’s Award for inspirational teaching.