September 6, 2015 at 10:05 pm #1672Michalina LisikParticipant
This week I engaged in the topic of Information and Digital literacy. Deep research gave me a solid understanding of the topic in a theoretical format. This week, I also attended a workshop, further exploring the topic in a practical setting.
Throughout my initial investigation into information literacy, Peter Goodwins’ research was a stand out. Information Literacy Beyond Library 2.0, thoroughly explored the difficulties modern librarians and researchers face when attempting to define and label a topic for academic users. Goodwin continued in his investigation, identifying an evident issue surrounding the librarian miscommunication and misunderstanding of the information required and expected by academic users.
I kept this in mind when I visited a local library offering a free workshop, teaching users the basic elements of the Internet. A poster outside the library advertised the opportunity to learn how to use the Internet to gather information and access social media. These classes are held fortnightly for an hour on Thursday nights.
In order to critically assess the effectiveness of the program, I will refer to the most relevant steps of designing digital literacy programs provided by Kate in our weekly learning materials.
Focus on your users
12 people attended this workshop, each one over 50 years of age. It was evident the attendees had a minimum understanding of the internet and the capabilities and opportunities it presents to users. The users were all eager to gather an understanding of how to use a windows computer to access and utilise its potential. It was evident there was a focus on the users by the hosts of the workshop. Throughout the hour-long program, no technical words were used without a detailed and clear explanation. Analogies were used to explain the very basics of the Internet, an effective approach to explaining a technical, foreign concept to the attendees.
Develop learning objectives
At the start of the workshop, the introduction put forth by our presenter, Amy, clearly informed the audience of the learning objectives of the program, identified below;
- An explanation of the internet (mostly technical the difference between wireless and cord connection)
- How to access the internet using internet browsers
- How to search for a topic using search engines
Of course, satisfying the Focus on your users step, these terms were all thoroughly explained early on in the presentation
I believe the time length was not the most well thought out aspect of the workshop. The workshop was excellent with respect to demonstrating and allowing time for the users to attempt the same processes. However, this took a lot of time as users had varied issues, which made explaining each one, time consuming. I believe having an additional trainer could have mitigated the risk of going over time.
This objective effectively identified and solidified earlier recognized learning objectives. A four-page handout provided the attendees at the program an outlined running booklet for the hour. What was also very beneficial for the attendees was the inclusion of definitions reflecting what was explored during the session. What caught my eye most was also the allocated space within the handout, which allowed the users to note take. As the session was effective for visual, audio and kinesthetic learners the note taking hand out added to learning facilitation for read and write learners.
Throughout reflecting on the program I attended this week, I can easily identify the session was well thought out, certainly facilitating the needs of the users through provided physical resources and visual and kinesthetic exploration. Human resources however, were arguably lacking, leading to an inefficient session.
September 12, 2015 at 11:14 pm #1883Steven WalkerParticipant
Sounds like you put some solid effort into this. How did you find it with the older demographic , were there many younger people there?
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