How the course works, academically

The library at Kumpula campus, University of Helsinki, Finland
The library at Kumpula campus, University of Helsinki, Finland

Summary of objectives

In the broadest terms, this course has two objectives:

  • To help you, as a student, attend to your own media and information literacy skills, knowledge and capacity
  • To help you become educators in media and information literacy, using a variety of media.

However, this course takes a particular view of the subject, one which is rather more comprehensive than is usual for, at least, information literacy courses (media literacy courses tend to be more broad-ranging, but it is also unusual to link the two subjects as explicitly as this course does). We will be looking at media and information literacy not just as skills which can help someone with their studies in HE, and should be delivered by the library (though there is certainly a great deal of the IL literature, and practice, which is library-based: and we will acknowledge this). Instead, we take a broad view of M&IL as skills that are useful, indeed essential, throughout society – in the workplace, in the community, in citizenship, and at all levels of education. Also, instead of simply presenting a set of principles or standards of IL (or ML) and encouraging you to conform to these, we set out to investigate, and then critique, a wide range of approaches that, over the years, have been adopted.

Summary of the course structure

This is a deliberately brief summary: there is more information on other pages. Indeed, this is a short course, in terms of what is actually on this web site. There are certainly not long web pages to read, nor a rigorous course structure which you must follow. Mostly, the learning objectives of this course are achieved in three ways:

  • Through your watching short presentations, a mixture of a Prezi and an audio commentary that we call ‘Prezicasts’;
  • Through activities that have various aims, including establishing your early opinions of, and level of, media & IL, and the analysis of various kinds of text;
  • Through the reading, and critical review, of papers and book chapters in the field.

Assessment is through a portfolio, which contains summaries of all activities undertaken and a set of further teaching & learning activities, wrapped up by a commentary. There is plenty of information about all of these available elsewhere on the site: just carry on reading the introduction.

Drew, January 2012
Drew Whitworth, January 2012. (Photographed at the BOBCATSSS conference. No digital trickery required 🙂 )

The course leader and helpers

In case you don’t know me, the picture on the right should be enough to put you off the face-to-face version of the course. But you can still take the distance version, if too offended.

If you want to contact me, use e-mail, Skype (ID drew.whitworth); or follow me on Twitter (@DrewWhitworth1 – the course hashtag is #MediaIL). Remember I don’t use Facebook for work and don’t friend current students. No offense.

I also want to acknowledge the help of Mike Toyn (who worked on the Prezicasts) and Marilena Aspioti (who helped put together the web pages and other online materials). Thanks to both.

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