Crossing a bridge: The challenges of developing & delivering a pilot information literacy course for international students

Nora Hegarty, Tina Hurley, Jennifer Bolger

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    Abstract

    The article fits into the category of Case Study as defined by the Emerald Publishing Group : Describes actual interventions or experiences within organisations. May well be subjective and will not generally report on research. Purpose To describe the challenges involved in developing and delivering a pilot library skills course to a group of international Bridging Studies students from China and Pakistan. To provide guidelines for other libraries who may be faced with similar challenges. Design / Methodology / Approach The article documents the development and delivery of a pilot course for international students. The course described formed part of an accredited Critical Thinking & Research Skills module. The challenges of the project are described and a number of recommendations for its future development are outlined. Findings The project underlined the challenges involved in teaching library skills to international students. The main barrier that emerged throughout the course related to communication difficulties. Language levels amongst the group were poorer than anticipated. The group did display excellent IT skills, however, and enjoyed class work that actively engaged them in the learning process. Research limitations / implications The project is still at a pilot stage of development. The paper provides a short-term view of one small academic library‘s experience of working with international students. No full-scale student survey has been conducted to date. Practical implications This account of WIT Libraries experience of developing and delivering an accredited information skills course for the Bridging Studies group is likely to be a useful source of practical information for libraries in similar positions, of similar scale, faced with similar challenges. Originality / value Offers practical solutions for libraries in similar positions. The successful diversification of the traditional library role is likely to be of interest to all members of the library profession. Keywords: Academic libraries, ESL, Information literacy, International students, Learning outcomes, Learning support, User education
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)302-320
    JournalNew Library World
    Volume107
    Issue number7-8
    Publication statusPublished - 2006

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