Creating a resource for information literacy


At NTNU, we have a great group of people who work with VIKO — NTNU’s online information literacy resource. The work that these people do includes the planning and execution of an extensive array of resources for students at lower levels (VIKO) and students at higher levels (subjectVIKO [mostly in Norwegian, but “Engelsk” is in English]).

The lower-level course focusses on general information literacy, providing information that helps students learn the skills needed when producing term papers / course work. You can disagree with the basic concept of “generalized information literacy” — and I often do — but you certainly can’t deny the value of VIKO as regards providing an understandable introduction to concepts that are essential when producing student work at university.

The higher-level course is under development, and is a collaboration between the subject librarians and the project group. As a subject librarian I have been a bit slow to respond to this task — part of the problem of not being at work as subject librarian for 50% of the time, however I have finally got my backside into gear and done something about this situation. The finalized version of the subjectVIKO for English Studies is ready, and the subjectVIKOs for Linguistics and Religion are under development.

The structure of the VIKO modules are standardized, which simplifies the process of creating VIKOs, and aids recognition of what the different modules provide (most students should be looking at the VIKO modules for different subjects because most courses of study are interdisciplinary). The information presented comes from different sources, and will need to be tweaked somewhat — especially as regards the description of the databases. An aside here is that the VIKOs for different languages (English, French, German) have been produced in the specific language, which I think is a nice idea that brings the VIKOs nearer the subjects they serve.

As I was writing the text for the VIKO modules, I wanted to provide a few services for finding books on the shelves at Dragvoll library. Ideally, I wanted to specify ranges of DDCs and use the mapping system we link to from our OPAC. The benefit of this is that it is a familiar visual representation, and the mapping system is updated centrally when the shelves are moved (something that admittedly happens on an irregular basis). I’m in the process of finding out whether or not this is actually possible; there are alternatives to this, so we’ll see.

Anyway, I think that the centralized approach to information literacy in many ways replaces the old subject web pages, effectivizing the work done by the library staff, and producing unified and uniform resources that students can use and recognize easily. A big step forward to my mind.

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One Response to “Creating a resource for information literacy”

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