Dr. Mary Delaney, Brigid Carey, Ronan Lynch & Simon Perry (Lib)
Digital Literacy in the Defence Forces: building a digital library toolkit
The Institute of Technology Carlow (IT Carlow) and the Defence Forces signed a Memorandum of Agreement establishing a strategic partnership between the two organisations to develop and implement shared strategies for advancing leadership, management and technical education and research for members of the Defence Forces. This collaborative partnership allowed members of the Defence Forces, through career advancement training, to not only develop the military skills of character and competence but also to achieve formal education qualifications for their training acquired throughout their military careers.
This proposal was to enhance the digital learning experience of Defence Force students when finding, using and managing information during their academic studies. Information literacy can be a challenge for students particularly when using digital resources. For many of the Defence Forces students, their use of library resources is primarily off campus thus their learning experience in terms of using library online resources is challenging.
The project focused on NCOs studying for their BA in Leadership, Management and Defence Studies (Level 7) degree. It researched best practice when creating a library service for such a distinct group and build on this practice by creating a library module in the IT Carlow Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard, with critical resources and step by step guides to help these students overcome digital learning challenges. It consisted of mixed media such as a selection of guides, YouTube videos, step by step tutorials using Camtasia and other media that support the development of key information and Digital Learning skills. Furthermore, it optimised the development of IT Carlow graduate attributes by articulating critical thinking and problem solving skills and aligning them with the learner experience.
The key objective of this project was to help learners develop digital learning skills by providing them with tailored help to find, use and manage information appropriately when carrying out academic research. Key areas proposed for inclusion include the following (1) How to find relevant information in library catalogues and Discovery Solutions (2) How to build and construct a search term when interrogating online information (3) How to evaluate different types of information and interpret their appropriateness for research (4) How to use information ethically including the importance of referencing (5) How to avoid plagiarism.
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