Information scientists must understand the context in which information is created, privileged, lost, accessed and used to help people derive meaning from information for the purpose of accomplishing their goals. In addition to disciplinary knowledge, they must communicate, cope with complexity, and collaborate with and adapt to the changing needs of various stakeholders. My role as an educator is to design significant learning experiences that encourage students to solve problems, take risks, and consider the needs and perspectives of others, and where evaluation is focused on learning and self-improvement. I operationalize this through active learning techniques, meaningful assessment practices, challenging students and creating a caring and respectful environment.
This course is offered for MAS, MLIS and Dual students in their final or penultimate term of study at the iSchool. The emphasis of the course is community-based engaged learning. Students work in teams with community organizations to explore and contribute to the resolution of information issues in the organization, which may include developing policies and best practices, evaluating or building systems, and making short- and long-term recommendations for maintaining information efficiencies. Students gain hands-on experience in project management, communicating with diverse stakeholders, and utilizing the competencies they have gained in their programs of study.
LIBR 553: Information Users and their Environments
Information interaction is concerned with people, information and technology.The emphasis in this course is on people, and how they interact with information and technology in diverse contexts. The course draws heavily upon the academic literature and includes a research project, but the ability to understand the psychology of people, interrogate the research literature in relation to professional application, and conduct solid research in the workplace is pivotal for librarians, archivists, and other information professionals working in a variety of institutions. Therefore, the goals of the course are to:
Explore and integrate relevant theories, models, and research about information interactions in diverse environments and/or with specific groups of people.
Promote learning and reflection, and an evidence-based orientation to understanding and evaluating user needs.
- Foster an understanding of the theoretical and applied nature of human information interaction in relation to your future endeavors as information professionals.
LIBR 506: Human Information Interaction (current MLIS core)
The goal of this course is to ground students in the area of human-information interaction. This foundations course is essential for understanding information users and communities. Topics include Overview of human-information interaction; constructs, models, theories, and approaches in human-information interaction; information needs; information sources and channels; strategies for interacting with information (e.g., browsing, searching, encountering); introduction to searching databases and the web; information needs, behaviours and seeking of individuals, groups, organizations and communities; human-information interaction and the design of services, programs and systems. Students will draw upon this course during their program of study and throughout their professional lives to develop, evaluate, and improve upon information systems, organizations, and services.
Certificate in University Teaching and Learning. Awarded by the Centre of Learning and Teaching, Dalhousie University, May 2008.