Using online courseware for information literacy skills development in a multinational program
Idea Group Publishing
Faculty of Computing, Health and Science
School of Computer and Information Science / Centre for Security Research
Information literacy skills are becoming a world-wide educational issue. Chalmcrs and Fuller (1996) suggest that wc should not assume students commence university with the ability to develop sustained learning strategies that are consistent with the type of ieaming we wish them to acquire. This often results in students' inability to make the best use of the learning opportunities with which they are presented. One skill of particular importance is information literacy. The advancement of telecommunications technology has provided increased opportunities to service a broader cohort of students without sacrificing quality, and providing greater technical specialization otherwise only afforded to local and on-campus students. Indeed "exporting courses can raise enroIlments to enable a school to teach more specialized courses than the economics in the local environment wilh allow" (Barnes. 20(4). Additionally, administration and delivery of content, learning objects, assessments, and tutor materials are made simpler and more consistent using new technologies. From a School and university perspective this fortifies the quality and accessibility of our programs. It allows for crossing of cultural and physical boundaries. Yet, this global nature of education presents potential issucs in both cultural, language and differing skill levels in relation to information literacy. Rader (2002) in a white paper prepared for UNESCO details the emerging global priority to create an information literate society for all countries in the world, in order to support the increasing digital information environment in which we live. This paper dcscribes how one university in Australia is using new technologies to promote information literacy and how this lifelong learning skill is embedded in its degree courses.