Information Literacy in Modular Skills Training

Published on
February 1, 2009

In a few MSc study programmes, the course Information Literacy is offered within a compulsory course. Since September 2008, students have also had the possibility to follow Information Literacy as an optional module within the course Modular Skills Training. In the MSc study programmes, the course emphasises learning how to formulate a search strategy independently. In short, what do I look for and where, what aspects does my search question consist of, what terms do I have to search with, etc. Different techniques are taught to look in bibliographic databases, including combining terms with Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT), using wildcards, 'phrase searching' and the use of thesauri and/or indices. The student learns how to work with the physical and digital library and with EndNote, a tool that can manage literature and generate reference lists in reports and other publications.

The optional module Information Literacy is offered every period and consists of 4 hours of lecture, 2 hours of computer practical and self study. To study the teaching material in BlackBoard, a pc room is reserved for 15 evenings, but this lesson material can also be consulted elsewhere. The module is concluded with an exam and a literature search assignment, which is discussed in groups with an information specialist beforehand. Students find this preparatory talk very useful. Students often choose their MSc thesis as the subject of their search assignment or couple it to other course assignments in the same period, which immediately makes the literature search very relevant.

All students find the material learned in the course very relevant and useful and a good preparation for writing their MSc thesis.

(newsletter 2-2009)