Introduction.

Information and Digital Literacy: For education, employment and citizenship.

Information and digital literacy (IDL) enables engaged learning. It blends information literacies with digital capabilities transcending technological skills and tools to identify with learning, living and working in a fluid digital world. IDL enables learners to discover and absorb information in a critically engaged manner, innovate in active pursuits of creative scholarship, demonstrate integrity by acknowledging the work of others and make a contribution for others to share.

Information and digitally literate students are appreciative and discerning and are able to locate, evaluate and interrogate texts in a critical manner. They can produce, share, use and remix digital information within an ethical context. Intrinsic to this is the ability to understand and apply copyright regulations. IDL embraces a range of media, and engages with societal shifts towards a highly collaborative and hyper-visualised world. Information and digitally literate students are responsible and empowered citizens who develop positive and influential digital identities.

The IDL model, framework and animation presented here communicate the six broad literacies supported at the University of Sheffield, namely: discovering, understanding, questioning, referencing, creating and communicating. These literacies interconnect and develop throughout the curriculum, taking learners from novice to expert, supporting student transitions and underpinning a transformational learning experience. IDL is shaped by the context. It recognises and transcends conventions to enhance inter-disciplinarity.

Familiarity with a range of digital devices, and confidence in seeking out and applying guidance, when required, underpins IDL. Information and digital literacy is one of the core Sheffield Graduate Attributes. The University is committed to ensuring that all our students have the support to develop information and digital literacy to enable a research-led university experience. This will position them well for graduate level employment and will equip them with life skills which are transferable to the demands of an increasingly complex digital world.

Discovering.

Discovering is the literacy which enables learners to develop search strategies and utilise a broad range of generic and discipline specific resource discovery tools. Information discovery might be guided, inquiry based, or serendipitous.

Novice +
Intermediate +
Expert +

Understanding.

Understanding is the literacy which enables learners to find meaning and apply context. It encompasses academic reading from a broad range of media, both textual and visual, and intersects closely with critical literacy.

Novice +
Intermediate +
Expert +

Questioning.

Questioning is the literacy which enables learners to analyse, evaluate, interpret and think critically about information. Questioning, sometimes referred to as critical literacy, sits closely with the literacy of understanding.

Novice +
Intermediate +
Expert +

Referencing.

Referencing is the literacy which enables learners to acknowledge the work of others, building on their own analysis of existing knowledge. It also enables learners to attribute sources by creating citations and generating accurate bibliographies. These skills sit within a broad understanding of the legal and ethical context of information and help learners to manage their information and avoid plagiarism.

Novice +
Intermediate +
Expert +

Creating.

Creating is the literacy which enables learners to blend ideas and produce new knowledge. Knowledge is created through a range of sources and embraces textual, visual and auditory approaches.

Novice +
Intermediate +
Expert +

Communicating.

Communicating is the literacy which enables learners to succinctly summarise and share their work and ideas. It has a dynamic relationship with knowledge creation but focuses on the dissemination, rather than creation, of ideas. Communicating effectively creates a strong and influential public identity. Digital curation is an important element of this.

Novice +
Intermediate +
Expert +

Implementing the framework.

This framework supports the Sheffield Graduate attribute of information and digital literacy and is a useful aid for colleagues when integrating attributes into the curriculum. The input of Faculty or Liaison Librarians is therefore invaluable to curriculum mapping - find your contact here: https://www.sheffield.ac.uk/library/libstaff/sllist


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