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Information literacy at the OU

An overview of current work in IL at the OU

Cloud created by:

Katharine Reedy
12 March 2010

OU Library staff support the OU's Learning and Teaching Strategy by working towards the integration of information literacy into the curriculum.

We have also developed our own courses with OU colleagues, such as The evolving information professional  and TU120 Beyond Google (which has now finished presentation). Current work includes:

  • a levels framework for IL at masters level, which builds on the undergraduate levels framework now in use by OU module and programme teams,  and aims to encourage progression
  • supporting Open University tutors in their IL skills development, to enable them to help students develop IL skills
  • producing an evaluation and benchmarking framework for IL materials
  • creating guidelines for authoring IL materials, and assessing IL 
  • together with other key OU partners, investigating digital literacies and mapping the overlaps between information and digital literacy

Extra content

Embedded Content


Gráinne Conole
8:57am 19 March 2010

Hi Katherine

Have you seen Jenkin's report on participatory cultures? In it he sites 12 new skills needed to participate in today's technological environment.

  • Play - the capacity to experiment with one’s surroundings as a form of problem-solving
  • Performance - the ability to adopt alternative identities for the purpose of improvisation and discovery
  • Simulation - the ability to interpret and construct dynamic models of real-world processes
  • Appropriation - the ability to meaningfully sample and remix media content
  • Multitasking - the ability to scan one’s environment and shift focus as needed to salient details
  • Distributed Cognition - the ability to interact meaningfully with tools that expand mental capacities
  • Collective Intelligence - the ability to pool knowledge and compare notes with others toward a common goal
  • Judgment - the ability to evaluate the reliability and credibility of different information sources
  • Transmedia Navigation - the ability to follow the flow of stories and information across multiple modalities
  • Networking - the ability to search for, synthesize, and disseminate information
  • Negotiation - the ability to travel across diverse communities, discerning and respecting multiple perspectives, and grasping and following alternative norms
  • Visualization - the ability to interpret and create data representations for the purposes of expressing ideas, finding patterns, and identifying trends (Jenkins  et al 2006: np.)

 I'll add a link to the paper.

Katharine Reedy
10:35am 19 March 2010

Hi Grainne

Thanks for this - I haven't seen this report but will certainly have a read.  I think this is relevant to digital and trans literacy too, and a really helpful contribution to the discussion around these.

Gráinne Conole
10:46am 19 March 2010

Glad its of use. I think it's an excellent report and the list of 12 literacies is a valuable starting point.

Fred Davies
10:24am 19 May 2010

Hi Katharine

I dio think a levels framework for IL will be useful but  perhaps it is best integrated into the Information Literacy Toolkit  and perhaps also SAFARI so it reaches the end users

Katharine Reedy
3:31pm 19 May 2010 (Edited 3:32pm 19 May 2010)

Hi Fred

Thanks for your comment. I agree that the IL Levels Framework will be useful when integrated. We're working with programme and module teams to get the skills written into courses. There is a VLE site, Library Information Literacy (LIL) which is gradually being developed, and will contain a resource bank of activities to support development of the skills:


Fred Davies
4:54pm 19 May 2010

Hi Katharine

Thanks for the link to the VLE site, Library Information Literacy (LIL). Even if it is 'gradually being developed' can I use it for my students?

Katharine Reedy
7:12am 20 May 2010

Hi Fred

Yes, it's freely available now and open to anyone, staff or students. It contains mostly generic activities - if you can make use of any of them please do.


James Atkins
4:00pm 15 November 2014 (Edited 4:01pm 15 November 2014)

Hi Katharine

Just wanted to say thanks for the link to the VLE site... I appreciate it!




luk karpo
6:11pm 24 March 2016

I want to say big thanks!!!

Michel Jeanpierre
12:15am 19 February 2017

Very helpful guidelines, thank you to the commenters

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