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Strengthening information literacy interventions: creative approaches to teaching and learning

Published on 20 April 2011

Given the wide range of initiatives being carried out on information literacy in higher educational and research institutions in Southern Africa, there is a need to consolidate and share their learning.

This report discusses some of the latest innovations and approaches being used in this area. It is based on a workshop organised by the Institute of Development Studies (IDS) and Information Training and Outreach Centre for Africa (ITOCA) as a pre-conference seminar to the Standing Conference of the Eastern, Central and Southern Africa Library and Information Associations.  

The workshop focused on three themes that institutions working on information literacy programmes have identified:

  • Institutional Context: There is a need to embed information literacy programmes institution wide and not just in libraries. One of the overarching recommendations is that information literacy interventions need strong buy-in from professors, ICT staff and, in particular, senior management who can champion the initiatives and make them part of their overall institutional strategy.
  • Student-Centred Approach: Workshop participants discussed the need for a participative, student-centred approach to developing course materials, teaching and student assessment.
  • Appropriate Technology: Too often technology is implemented for its own sake or for greater prestige. The importance of new technology in information literacy is self-evident, but only when it is implemented with institutional buy-in, when it is relevant to need, and with the required training for its effective use.

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