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lris
Inflammatory statement: "Transliteracy" is what people who've been doing BI and calling it IL are now calling IL now that they're finally on board with IL's goals.
oh dear og! mean, on the one hand, if i never hear BI again.... but on the other, you know, just change your pedagogy already, not the word! - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
If this conference I attended last week on Transliteracy is right, then Transliteracy is Information Literacy. It's only "new" compared to stereotypical Bibliographic Instruction. - lris
do what now? - MoTO Moca Blend
MoTo, years ago, library instruction was called "Bibliographic Instruction." Typically people think of Bibliographic Instruction as "here is how you use an index, and here are the 4 best indexes for your topic, and here is the library catalog and here are the important parts of the library catalog." Very much about teaching the few, finite ways to find sources. Then about 20 years ago they said "enough of this, let's do Information Literacy, which is about teaching students how to recognize that they need information, find it, evaluate it, and use it well. And we want them to grapple with the politics of information production and publication, and we want them to be able to apply these skills to all kinds of tasks..." Then last year or the year before, people coined the term Transliteracy, which focuses on transferable skills and (they say) does this *rather than* teaching tools. I contend that Information Literacy was never primarily about teaching the tools and always about transferable skills. - lris
what Iris says is true. also, I do hear BI used - maʀtha
Thank you for the succinct recap, Iris -- Imma steal this (once I've memorized it) - awd
I do use "BI" as shorthand with other librarians for "I taught a class session where we talked about research in some form or another," but having said that, I totally agree with Iris. - Catherine Pellegrino
Iris, that was beautiful. I struggle to understand what the difference between IL and TL is. Every now and then, Lane Wilkinson says something that perks my ears and brains right up, and I grasp the difference for a minute (and it is in the area of transferability of skills, usually). But IL? Was clearly a response against "teach the tool"! - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
(what was last week's TL conference?) - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
Because I'm feeling feisty, I blogged it. Bring on the hate. http://pegasuslibrarian.com/2012... - lris
*admires Iris's big brain*.. thank you sweetie - MoTO Moca Blend
Love it. And while Transliteracy folks might not like it, I don't see a lot of room for hate: if they are really trying to stake out ways to enhance teaching and learning, they shouldn't care that you are fine with the old label. - Steele Lawman
You know, I probably mostly still do BI, then. Because typically I have one hour for the class, and it may be the only hour they have to see me in their *entire degree*, so as much as I want to talk about general transferable skills, they also really need to know that our catalogue, databases, standards collection, subject guides, and virtual reference service *exist*. When I know I stand half a chance of seeing them for an hour next year too then I can loosen up a bit. - Deborah Fitchett
I think a lot depends on the institution's over-all goals, Deborah. For mine, I'm in the same position in that I have no guarantee that any student will have any more than the hour (or even 15 minutes) that I get with their class. But my department's goals are more about sparking imaginations, hoping that gaining our students' interest will help them know when to seek help for more specifics. And we have a model to back that assumption up, with massive numbers of individual consults AND a reference desk for those follow-up questions. So I feel free and supported in my decision to concentrate on concepts. - lris
It only takes a minute to let them know that things exist, right? So then you have to decide whether to use the next 14 or 59 minutes teaching them how to use those things, or why they might need to use those things, or whatever other thing you feel you need to convey. - Steele Lawman
Yeesh, maybe that sounds preachy of me. I guess what I mean is that I feel tugged in both directions--the need to demonstrate some databases, but also the need to couch things in terms that will resonate with my students. I personally zone out when people try to train me on databases, but I get excited when people want to talk about how what we read and think and write works together. So I try and keep the demo part embedded in a discussion that I hope has larger relevance to their usual class sessions and the manner in which those sessions are held. - Steele Lawman
I'm with Iris, but the point she makes about the model to back up the instruction sessions with reference and consultations is KEY. Also, I really, really want to work somewhere with that model again. I try to do course integrated, info lit, instruction sessions, but I can't do follow up consultations, which just kills me. - maʀtha
A tangent: just came across another term, via Google, no less: "search literacy." http://www.google.com/insides.... Has anyone else looked through this "Search Education" site? - Megan loves summer
Yeah, I definitely try not to teach it in a *boring* way - I always start from asking what they already know and what they want to learn, and talk in the context of whatever assignment they have, and finish with a minute feedback paper and reminding them how to contact me for consults etc. (But our students don't so often followup in this way.) And with the content I focus more on when and how to use 'refine' options than on Boolean (! by special request only) and a bit on scanning title/abstract/keywords. So it's not purely mechanical stuff. But it's still a lot more telling students that tools exist, what they do, and how to find them than it is exploring things/ideas any deeper. - Deborah Fitchett
I'm smiling because I almost never teach refining options and nearly always end up teaching boolean (though I don't call it that -- I use it in conjunction with concept-mapping that generates potential related terms that would fall within items on a topic). But yes, this sounds to me like BI. And I think there is absolutely a time and a place for that. With my students (all undergrad, all at a little liberal arts college) it was never very successful when I taught that way. My students are generally motivated by ideas and concepts and patterns rather than by training, so I've gradually shifted to using databases as examples of whatever concept we're tackling rather than as the focus, which means they see the database, but the teaching of it is kind of incidental. This means that I cover fewer tools, for sure, but that we all generally come away with a more nuanced sense of how research works than they would have if they'd turned off their brains. - lris
(Oh, and if anyone's interested, Lane stopped by to clarify some points over on my blog post.) - lris
That exchange reminds me of Chomsky on Universal Grammar, i.e. "it is what I say it is (never mind that what I say it is changes by the millisecond)" - RepoRat
See, that's interesting, because I'm motivated by patterns that I see during practical use. More deductive than inductive, I suppose? This is why I am a terrible liberal arts major. - Meg VMeg
It may partly (but probably isn't only) that I'm working with science and especially engineering students who tend to be more practical/goal-oriented and less interested in general discussion of ideas. There are fantastic exceptions always, but as a trend. Also and I generally don't understand their research, which adds its own limitations... - Deborah Fitchett
Repo, I dearly hope you're not referring to me with your Chomsky analogy. I haven't changed my take on transliteracy since I first started in on it. You can Google that. Word. - Wilk
Lane is always great. And while I generally don't understand TL, I do love the emphasis on transferability of skills. It's sort of impliedin the IL standards, but library lit is really weak on the topic, and if calling IL TL gets us to talk and teach and write about the transferability of skills along with the ability to identify an info need, and determine the best tools for meeting it, and evaluating what you find and using it effectively and ethically, then I don't care what we call it. - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
Thanks Rudi! You know I don't sit kindly for bullshit. I'm just trying to see if TL has anything worthwhile behind it. - Wilk
I'm just glad you accept my inability to grok TL! And insistence I'll take from it what I want! - RudĩϐЯaЯïan
I accept the hell out of it. - Wilk
It's easy to see how I gave the impression that I was interested in talking to students about ideas as general things, or that the sessions I teach aren't grounded in practical work. I hope that neither of those things are true, though. For my part, I have the luxury of usually teaching small classes. I usually tell them that the library session is a chance for them to get real work done rather than just listen to me. But I also follow that up with questions like "what have you been discussing in class," or "so once you find these five sources, what are you planning to do with them?" or "who else would have asked your question already and written about it?" And so on. It's relentlessly practical (I hope); students whose classes last less than four weeks don't have time to mess around. It's practical because I'm trying to emphasize habits of mind that will help them understand how library work fits into research fits into writing fits into thinking, etc. - Steele Lawman
Enjoyed the talk last Friday, Lane - maʀtha
I do a bit of that, I think. It's just, there's a lot of questions of that kind where I ask it and I get blank stares in response. This depends on the class and the time of day of course. But for the undergrads I teach typically, "what have you been discussing in class" tends to get some version of "Dunno, stuff, I guess."; they're more likely to ask me what they're supposed to do once they've found the five sources; and they wouldn't know where to *start* on "who else would have asked your question already". [I dunno, maybe I'm somewhat underestimating both them and my own teaching. As I say, it does vary.] - Deborah Fitchett
I know some of my colleagues talk about having departmental cultures that don't really allow for much more than skills-conveying in class. I think that's part of what Steve was saying about giving them a classroom experience that is similar to what they've had in the rest of their course, as much as possible. I also know, though, that it took me a long, long time to learn how to set up a session in ways that actually got people to talk and participate. And there are times when, because of where the students are in their major (such as "this is the class you take when you declare and English major" or "this is your only session with me before your senior thesis proposal is due" where I sit them down and start off with, "Ok, you're used to me running discussions and having you explore things and generally being engaging and nice. We don't have time for that today. Get out your notebooks and I'm going to teach you the deep inner workings of MLA International Bibliography." At which they laugh... and get out their notebooks.) - lris
Maybe it's too simplistic, but my reading of the differences between 'transliteracy' and 'literacy' is that TL encompasses visual culture as well as the written word. For example, if a person wanted to create an endorsement for a particular political issue but didn't know how to make an online video, you could say that person had a particular form of illiteracy. Or, more controversially, someone who could read but couldn't use the Internet also has a form of illiteracy. - copystar
I'm not suggesting that everyone should teach like me. Sometimes I don't think that I should teach like me. But my goals are to help students fit the library research part of their class into what they are are learninig in their regular class time, rather than seeing it as something totally separate. I also want them to see research as an engaging way to get from ideas to writing and not as a mechanical process. - Steele Lawman
I would argue that "information" is broader than "published written literature." We've concentrated on that because that's a lot of what we do, but I think that if we think of information in that very foreshortened way then of course we'll start coming up with new literacies right and left. - lris
Iris: I agree. WRT semantic information, I think it's best to follow Floridi's general definition: information is well-formed, meaningful data. - Wilk
Copystar's raising my personal issue with how I see "transliteracy" defined. By that definition, lack of competence in *any* area could be considered illiteracy--which makes every one of us illiterate, which renders the term meaningless. I'm oil-painting-illiterate, recognizable-drawing-illiterate; many librarians are statistics-illiterate (including many who use statistics)... It really does negate the term "illiterate" or redefine it as "human." - Walt Crawford
Copystar: I agree completely re: various illiteracies. But, information literacy standards do not mention or limit media formats. We do that. IL says have an info need, determine best way to fill it, fill it effectively and ethically. - RudĩϐЯaЯïan from Android
Wait--using information effectively: does that cover the production of the final product, in whatever format?or did I just notice that IL is about consumption, not production?? - RudĩϐЯaЯïan from Android
I believe it does cover the production of the final product, at least insofar as it involves the integration of research materials to one's argument or existing knowledge. - Steele Lawman
Copystar's example specifically says production, not just consumption. (Although where statistics and numbers are concerned, I think you can make the case for broad "illiteracy" anyway--but that's why some of us use "innumeracy," to keep "literacy" a discrete, clearly-definable term.) - Walt Crawford
Information Literacy does not just include consumption, though. The standards include *using* information effectively. And I'm kind of at a loss about your innumeracy vs literacy point. "Literacy" has already been appropriated for far more than written text, so I think that ship has sailed, decades ago. My point is that *information* is not about just written, published text. Numbers and visual information are also information. - lris
OK, the ship has sailed. But it really does strike me that Copystar's definition means that everybody's illiterate--which may be a good thing, but also means that illiterate and human become synonyms. Certainly true that information isn't just text. - Walt Crawford
[Oh, and if I had a horse in the "IL doesn't need to be renamed TL" race, I think I'd be on your side.] - Walt Crawford
Only if you think of there being two states: literate and illiterate. I think all of this assumes that people are varying degrees of literate in varying circumstances. - lris
I can't imagine that anyone really likes to think of themselves as "illiterate" or see themselves referred to as "illiterate." So while I sometimes may use the term "information literacy" because it's the term that has traction with (some) faculty, I think I'd avoid implying that anyone is information "illiterate." No one is starting from zero, everyone has a context from whicih to build. - Steele Lawman
^ Steve's point here is why I like to use terms like"novices" and "experts" when discussing people's abilities. - Katy S
Yes, Katy. I'm particularly enamored of John Bean's "expert insider" construction, since it gets at that while also including important elements of genre/discourse theory - lris
And Steve just said it: The real reason I regard expansion of "illiterate" as unfortunate. - Walt Crawford
interestingly, the education field is calling this 'multi-modal literacy' with a slew of publications and rubrics - awd
*plugs fingers in ears* LALALALALALALALALALALA I CAN'T HEAR YOU LALALALALALA WE ALWAYS HAVE TO INVENT EVERYTHING OURSELVES LALALALALALA - Meg VMeg
the writing instructors also call multi-modal multimodal. http://multimodal-research.wikispaces.com/ - Joe - Systems Analyst
I am pretty sure I do BI. My experience is closer to Deborah's. The one time I tried to be diff, i got comments to just teach the database! That said, i heard from colleagues who were teaching the UPS peeps (basically kinda Liberal arts) , they did manage to pull off the encourage thinking , discussion type sessions so it all depends on the audience. Oh well next up is the Yale-NUS peeps..So we will see... - aaron