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Inquiry-based learning and information literacy development: a CETL approach

Author(s): Pamela McKinney | Philippa Levy

Journal: ITALICS
ISSN 1473-7507

Volume: 5;
Issue: 2;
Date: 2006;
Original page

Keywords: inquiry-based learning | information literacy

The Centre for Inquiry-based Learning in the Arts and Social Sciences (CILASS) is a Centre for Excellence in Teaching and Learning (CETL) based at the University of Sheffield. CETL funding was awarded by HEFCE to the University in April 2005 for a period of five years, in recognition of existing excellence in inquiry-based learning (IBL) in the Faculties of Arts, Social Sciences and Law. CILASS is committed to supporting further development and innovation in IBL both locally within the University and more widely across higher education (HE) nationally and internationally. In particular, CILASS promotes approaches to IBL that involve students in collaborative discipline-based and inter-disciplinary inquiries, develop their information literacy capabilities, and use information and communications technologies imaginatively to enhance the learning experience.In order to provide suitable spaces for students and staff undertaking IBL, CILASS is establishing new learning and teaching spaces within its hub in the University’s new Information Commons (Centre for Learning Resources), which is scheduled to open in 2006-7. These spaces are being purpose-built to support collaborative IBL in an information- and technology-rich environment, and will offer flexibility in terms of configuring space differently for different learning activities combined with access to a range of advanced learning technologies. Additional funding for capital investment awarded to CILASS in January 2006 will allow for the creation of a further CILASS learning and teaching ‘collaboratory’ in a central satellite location within the University.This paper focuses in particular on the strategic approach being taken by CILASS to promoting the development of information literacy within the context of IBL.
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