e-book The University in the Modern World: and other papers on higher education

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However, there are various types of literacy: Such as audio visual literacy, print literacy, computer literacy, media literacy, web literacy, technical literacy, library and information literacy etc. The traditional concept of literacy was primarily concerned by making people understand how to read and how to write in their day- to-day activities.


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Information literacy, however, is entirely different from these classical concept. It is a combination of all the aforementioned concepts but goes far beyond them. Information literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, locate, analyze, and use information. Swimming in this giant ocean of information, it is of paramount importance for an individual to get quality information. This requires the practice and application of special information skills in order to retrieve the accurate information needed. To put it differently, Information Literacy skills empowers individuals with set of abilities and, critical thinking skills, which will assist them in becoming independent lifelong learners.

Given this information explosion, it has become increasingly obvious that students cannot learn everything they need to know in their study fields during the years at college and the university. This is why information literacy has to fill in this gap through equipping students with the necessary critical thinking for effective problem solving and becoming lifelong learners. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them.

Many authors have reviewed the development of Information literacy as a concept Behrens, I suggest a concise and universally accepted definition, that is, the ability to identify, locate, evaluate, and use information effectively. This definition combines critical thinking and facility with information media technology.

Information literacy stands at the core of freedom of expression and information — since it empowers citizens to understand the functions of media and other information providers, to critically evaluate their content, and to make informed decisions as users and producer of information and media content. Information Literacy is of immense importance to institutions of higher education. One reason is that some undergraduate students acceding university have limited background of fundamental research and information competency skills.

They may not have acquired the necessary skills to effectively search for information, or evaluate, synthesize and blend ideas; or may not have learned how to use information in original work or give proper citation and reference for information used. While some students may have acquired basic computer skills to send electronic mail, navigate the web, and share files, they may not have been taught how to effectively search the Internet or effectively use library E-resources for academic research.

This is where Information Literacy skills are essential and make the difference to the success of students. If these latter are given the opportunity to follow such programs, they will certainly face fewer difficulties while writing papers. Like many academic institutions across the globe, Mohammed VI Library at Al Akhawayn University is faced with the major challenge of making users information literate as opposed to library literate.

In response to this, the strategic plan of the Library, which also serves the wider strategic plan of the university as a whole, has expanded over the past ten years from merely providing students with information into teaching them how to better utilize information resources and become lifelong readers. Al Akhawayn University is an independent, public, not-for-profit, coeducational university committed to educating future citizen-leaders of Morocco and the world through a globally oriented, English-language, liberal-arts curriculum based on the American style. The University enhances Morocco and engages the world through leading-edge educational and research programs, including continuing and executive education, upholds the highest academic and ethical standards, and promotes equity and social responsibility.

The university serves more than students from its campus. The Library provides a growing collection of print and electronic resources, and actively engages faculty and students through various outreach activities, information literacy workshops and trainings that are designed to enrich their learning, teaching and research experiences. The Library guarantees access to 38 online databases that provide content from over 58, electronic journals and other research materials in all major subjects.

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A detailed list of collection development procedures is featured on the Library website. Most of the print collection growth has come from faculty requests. The Library is open 96 hours per week when classes are in session, including 6 hours on Saturdays and 10 hours on Sundays.

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The collaboration between the Library and the university teaching faculty at Al Akhawayn University comes through several venues. The library has set specific objectives and actions to promote and enhance its role as a learning hub though faculty outreach initiatives and information literacy.

Since , the university library has been active in ensuring that students are provided with the necessary search skills to access and use information. Approximately, Mohammed VI Librarians facilitates more than 50 information literacy workshops for students each year in support of various classes and have served over students during the last six years.

The focal objectives of the information instruction program at Mohammed VI Library is to : a improve the ability of university students and library users to make effective use of the library resources, services, and library staff, b to make library users aware of the library technological search tools and teach them how to effectively use them, c to equip library users with the necessary skills that will enable them better evaluate and retrieve authoritative scholarly information for their research.

During each Information literacy class, students generally attend and participate in a 30 minutes long training presentation as well as 15 minutes long practical application session. Students also receive library-provided handouts to reinforce the learning process and practice on their own more effectively. Four professional librarians, all of whom are fluent in at least 3 languages, are involved in the library instruction program, working collaboratively with the faculty members in supporting bibliographical instruction at the university.

Having such dedicated team of librarians, who guide the students to the best available library resources, makes the Information Literacy program unique and complementary with other university-related academic programs. Irrespective of what future ameliorations and direction this initiative may take, however, any plans the university makes to further embed information literacy concepts into the wider curriculum will significantly impact the academic performance of students.

Information Literacy at Al Akhawayn University in Morocco is a user-experience practice, the aim of which is to familiarize new students with the library services, collections, and facilities. During these library orientation tours, students may ask questions. Tours at Mohamed VI Library are usually minutes in length and may vary in content and format depending on the level of students.


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  7. In addition to these comprehensive library tours, Mohammed VI Library offer newly enrolled students the opportunity to attend and participate in a very practical face-to-face introduction Library workshop, designed to help them better use Library resources and facilities. It includes a bibliographical instruction session which comprises instruction on the use of library resources, LC classification system, Library Online Catalog and reference sources dictionaries, encyclopedias.

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    Essay on making student learning the focus of higher education

    The information literacy initiative at Mohammed VI Library has grown intensely in recent years to reach 87 instruction sessions for 1, students in Information literacy is an essential component of general education at both the undergraduate and graduate levels. I believe, Mohammed VI Library at Al Akhawayn University has succeeded into laying the foundation stone for the growth of an effective model of Information Literacy support program tailored to help AUI students build the necessary skills and know-how that carry forth into higher level of university education.

    However, and in order to succeed, this Library-led Information Literacy initiative should pave the way for a university-led wider initiative to incorporate and expand information literacy standards across the curriculum. It is a unique space, which covers the entire universe of knowledge. It is a place where creative minds converge, interact with each other and construct visions of new realities.

    University expansion and the knowledge society

    Established notions of truth are challenged in the pursuit of knowledge. To be able to do all this, getting help from experienced teachers can be very useful and effective. There has always been emphasis on equal attention to research and teaching quality and establishing a bond between these two before making any decision; however, studies show that the already given attention to research in universities does not meet the educational quality requirements.

    Attention to this task in higher education is considered as a major one, so in their instruction, educators must pay attention to learners and learning approach; along with these two factors, the educators should move forward to attain new teaching approaches. Moreover, a large number of graduated students especially bachelor holders do not feel ready enough to work in their related fields 5. Being dissatisfied with the status quo at any academic institution and then making decision to improve it require much research and assistance from the experts and pioneers of that institute.

    Giving the aforementioned are necessary, especially in present community of Iran; it seems that no qualitative study has ever been carried out in this area drawing on in-depth reports of recognized university faculties; therefore, in the present study the new global student-centered methods are firstly studied and to explore the ideas of experienced university faculties, some class observations and interviews were done.

    Then, efficient teaching method and its barriers and requirements were investigated because the faculty ideas about teaching method could be itemized just through a qualitative study. The study was conducted with a qualitative method using content analysis approach. The design is appropriate for this study because it allows the participants to describe their experiences focusing on factors that may improve the quality of teaching in their own words.

    Key participants in purposeful sampling consist of three nationally recognized professors introduced based on the criteria of Ministry of Science, Research and Technology based on education, research, executive and cultural qualifications and seven other locally recognized professors according to Isfahan University of Technology standards and students votes. The purposive sampling continued until the saturation was reached, i. All the participants had a teaching experience of above 10 years Table 1. They were first identified and after making appointments, they were briefed about the purpose of the study and they expressed their consent for the interview to be performed.

    The lack of female nationally recognized professors among respondents due to lack of them are restrictions of this research. The data were collected using semi-structured in-depth interviews. Probing questions were also used to deeply explore conditions, processes, and other factors that the participants recognized as significant.

    The interview process was largely dependent on the questions that arose in the interaction between the interviewer and interviewees. In the process of the study, informed consent was obtained from all the participants and they were ensured of the anonymity of their responses and that the audio files will be removed after use; then, after obtaining permission from the participants, the interview was recorded and transcribed verbatim immediately. The interviews were conducted in a private and quiet place and in convenient time.

    Then, verification of documents and coordination for subsequent interviews were done. Another method of data collection in this study was an unstructured observation in the educational setting. The investigator observed the method of interactions among faculty members and students. The interviews were conducted from November to April Each participant was interviewed for one or two sessions. The mean duration of the interviews was 60 minutes. Also, we used qualitative content analysis with a conventional approach to analyze the data.

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    The data of the study were directly collected from the experiences of the study participants. The codes, categories and themes were explored through an inductive process, in which the researchers moved from specific to general. In content analysis at first, semantic units should be specified, and then the related codes should be extracted and categorized based on their similarities. Finally, in the case of having a high degree of abstraction, the themes can be determined. In the conventional approach, the use of predetermined classes is avoided and classes and their names are allowed to directly come out of the data.

    To do so, we read the manuscripts and listened to the recorded data for several times until an overall sense was attained. Then, the manuscript was read word by word and the codes were extracted. At the same time, the interviews were continued with other participants and coding of the texts was continued and sub-codes were categorized within the general topics. Then, the codes were classified in categories based on their similarities 6. Finally, by providing a comprehensive description about the topics, participants, data collection and analysis procedures and limitations of the study, we intend to create transferability so that other researchers clearly follow the research process taken by the researchers.

    In addition, the findings were repeatedly assessed and checked by supervisors expert checking 9. In this research, the researcher tried to increase the credibility of the data by keeping prolonged engagement in the process of data collection. To increase the dependability and conformability of data, maximum variation was observed in the sampling. In addition, to increase the power of data transferability, adequate description of the data was provided in the study for critical review of the findings by other researchers. The aim of the research and interview method was explained to the participants and in the process of the study, informed consent was obtained from all the participants and they were ensured of the anonymity of their responses and that audio files were removed after use.

    Informed consent for interview and its recording was obtained.

    The mean age of faculty members in this study was According to the results of the study, the best teaching approach was the mixed method one student-centered with teacher-centered plus educational planning and previous readiness. Meaning units expressed by professors were divided into 19 codes, 4 categories and 2 themes. In the present study, regarding the Effective Teaching Method in Higher Education, Requirements and Barriers, the experiences and perceptions of general practitioners were explored.

    As presented in Table 2 , according to data analysis, two themes containing several major categories and codes were extracted. Each code and category is described in more details below. Teachers participating in this study believed that teaching and learning in higher education is a shared process, with responsibilities on both student and teacher to contribute to their success.

    Within this shared process, higher education must engage the students in questioning their preconceived ideas and their models of how the world works, so that they can reach a higher level of understanding.