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Facets of Inquiry-based Learning: the role of Information Literacy, collaboration and reflection in the support and development of inquiry-based pedagogies in Higher Education

McKinney, Pamela (2018) Facets of Inquiry-based Learning: the role of Information Literacy, collaboration and reflection in the support and development of inquiry-based pedagogies in Higher Education. PhD thesis, University of Sheffield.

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This thesis presents my scholarship into Inquiry-based Learning (IBL), and related support structures and pedagogical approaches, in Higher Education. Research in teaching has come to be labelled as the “Scholarship of Teaching and Learning” (SoTL), this thesis and the papers presented in it, present a broad and wide-ranging example of SoTL. This commentary summarises five peer-reviewed journal papers that were published over an eight-year period, and distil the learning from my 13-year exploration of IBL, and the specific strategies that can be used to support and develop the use of inquiry in Higher Education, not least of which is the development of Information Literacy (IL) and inquiry-based pedagogies for teaching IL. The commentary outlines the two contexts of the research, and describes the process that led to the creation of each paper and my role in that process. This commentary presents the research worldviews and methodologies that have been used in the five papers. Two papers use Theory of Change impact evaluation methodology and feature both qualitative and quantitative data analysis, with data drawn from a range of IBL curriculum development projects. The remaining three papers are qualitative studies, and feature a range of approaches including thematic analysis, Situational Analysis and the draw and write methodology. Data in these papers is drawn from assessed student reflective writing and student-created drawings. I discuss my work in relation to research in conceptions of IL and models of IL, and state the role of my research in advancing understanding of inquiry-based pedagogy for IL, and in developing new understandings of the nature of IL and IL teaching in Higher Education. I discuss the value of reflective writing for supporting and assessing IBL, and demonstrate how models of reflection and models of IL can be combined to analyse reflective writing about IL development. I discuss the use of two different methodologies with reflective and drawn data to illuminate how students work together in groups, revealing new conceptions of group work, and challenging existing models of group functioning. I reflect on my development as a researcher and present a summary of the impact of my research. I discuss the central contribution to knowledge of the five papers, situated within a broad reflective pedagogical and research environment. Theoretical contributions include defining the relationship between inquiry-based learning and Information Literacy, the value of the Seven Pillars model for IL research, and developing new understandings of how students work together in groups. Methodological contributions including demonstrating the value of Theory of Change for impact evaluation in HE, and extending the use of Situational Analysis and the Draw and Write methodology in this context. Practical contributions include a range of pedagogical approaches for teaching Information Literacy through inquiry, and evidence of the value of librarians/academic/educational developer partnerships.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Keywords: Inquiry-based learning, information literacy, collaboration, group work
Academic Units: The University of Sheffield > Faculty of Social Sciences (Sheffield) > Information School (Sheffield)
Identification Number/EthosID: uk.bl.ethos.766549
Depositing User: Mrs Pamela McKinney
Date Deposited: 11 Feb 2019 12:15
Last Modified: 25 Sep 2019 20:06
URI: http://etheses.whiterose.ac.uk/id/eprint/22840

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