Teaching and Assessing for Information Literacy Learning: A United Arab Emirates Case Study
Julie A Ross
This thesis reports on a qualitative case study that explored how instructors of Advanced Academic Writing working in a higher education teaching environment in the UAE, where information literacy is designated as a required General Education Program outcome, understand, teach and assess for information literacy learning. While information literacy may be prioritized and integrated by institutions at a program level, a gap exists between the importance faculty assign to information literacy and
... their practice in the classroom. While librarians provide instructional support and promote information literacy through standards and frameworks of information literacy understanding endorsed by the library community, often driving institutional efforts, it remains unclear as to how faculty address and respond to information literacy as a curriculum and programming requirement. Using Case Study, a method for understanding a complex phenomenon in its real life context, this research responds to the research question: How do faculty in a UAE higher education undergraduate Advanced Academic Writing course, conceive, teach and assess for information literacy learning? The research data was collected from 13 current faculty teaching on the course and 4 faculty case participants over the course a full academic teaching year. Primary data collection strategies included multiple in-depth semi-structured interviews, classroom and faculty-student conferencing session observations, and documentation that comprised thematic analysis of written feedback commentary on first drafts of student research papers, course handouts, teaching materials and syllabi. iv Teaching and Assessing for Information Literacy Learning: A United Arab Emirates Case Study The findings provide rich and highly contextualized insight that contribute to information literacy research and are significant for local practice. Information literacy is a construct of learning that faculty frame through the lens of academic writing and address through integrated teaching and formative feedback means in developing students as successful undergraduate writers. Findings provide a platform through which future programming, supplementary learning support efforts, assessment and reporting practice in response to information literacy learning, can be reconsidered and potentially adapted by faculty, librarians and administrators in wider practice.