Developing teaching practice


Systematic analysis of undergraduate curriculum design and assessment is required to ensure real world experiences are embedded in a degree structure for a high level of information literacy (IL) attainment. IL competencies and skills are critical for successful graduate outcomes. We developed a framework using a constructive alignment approach to develop the Student Attributes for Information Literacy (SAIL) and accompanying rubric with outcomes that categorize depth of application over degree progression. The rubric was used to audit IL in core units of a multidisciplinary Bachelor of Environmental Science degree before and after a cycle of curriculum design. SAIL’s rubric provides educators with a practical and repeatable approach to identifying IL development in units of learning. The SAIL rubric found that IL, for most core units, was taught, practiced, and assessed at the foundational level. At the advanced level, however, students had limited opportunities for literacy training, practice, and assessment in a digital context until the end of the degree. The framework and rubric identified gaps and opportunities in IL attainment, and thus warrants further application. Making sure these gaps are addressed, with opportunities identified for learning throughout a progressive program, will ensure resilient and adaptable graduates in a digital dominant workforce.

Practitioner Notes

  1. Formally developing information literacy (IL) in a disciplinary context is essential to enhancing self-directed learning, and may be best achieved by aligning within the sequence of curriculum content.
  2. Using the framework of Student Attributes for Information Literacy (SAIL) the level of information literacy as it was taught, practised and assessed in core units in an applied science degree was mapped, before and after a degree review.
  3. The rubric approach to mapping IL attribute achievement a degree highlighted where the critical student competency in information literacy is now lacking at the advanced levels of the program since curriculum change.
  4. The digital skills necessary to support information literacy in a disrupted digital world need to be placed throughput the whole the curriculum, and not only focussed early in a degree programme as is often reported.
  5. The explicit consideration of IL within the progressive curriculum translates to the graduate outcomes with knowledge of the discipline that allows students to be adaptable to the future digital dominant work environment