Educators inspired by the promise of open pedagogy have made numerous strides in abandoning “disposable assignments” that disregard student voice and agency (Wiley, 2013). In that spirit, we, as information literacy (IL) researchers, have campaigned for revisions of stale research assignments that reduce inquiry to compliance and IL to isolated, individual skills. Like many energized by open pedagogy, we encouraged learners and librarians to make connections outside the classroom and to engage in authentic and creative information activities that tapped community experiences of inquiry. Recently, however, as we began to learn more about ownership of student data within libraries, on campuses, and beyond (e.g. Watters, 2016), we have started to become more reflective about the implications of these learning goals and the tensions between the opportunities and risks of open pedagogical practices. Rather than reverting to entirely closed or normative educational approaches, this presentation explores how a consideration of the meanings, materials and skills (Lloyd, 2017) that structure open IL practice can engage learners in dialogue about the pressures produced through participation within changing information environments.
Taking a sociocultural approach, which positions risk as produced through learner engagement within a setting (Douglas, 1992) rather than as objective and institutionally-centred (Beck, 1992), this presentation will begin by exploring the experience of risk as individuals work publicly and negotiate diverse contexts (Cronin, 2017). Subsequently, the presentation will look to models of IL to explore how an engagement with the broader contexts in which information is situated, accessed and used facilitates a complex understanding of the shape and the implications of learner participation within everyday, workplace and scholarly information environments. Recognising that IL is a practice “that reference[s] structured and embodied knowledges and ways of knowing relevant to the context” (Lloyd, 2017, p.95), we will explore how classroom experiences might invite learners to consider the meanings or the know-why of the information practices with which they engage rather than only spotlighting students’ open performance of skill and know-how (Lloyd, 2017). In other words, by exploring the significance of student participation in public sites, or what information, knowledge and performances are legitimized within a specific context, we are better positioned to prepare students for their continued engagement in information systems and design learning opportunities that expose the forces that mediate our open practices.
Beck, U., 1992. Risk society: Towards a new modernity. London: SAGE Publications.
Cronin, C., 2017. Open education, open questions. EDUCAUSE Review, [online]. Available at: https://er.educause.edu:443/articles/2017/10/open-education-open-questions [Accessed 16 November 2017]
Douglas, M., 1992. Risk and blame: Essays in cultural theory. London: Routledge.
Lloyd, A., 2017. Information literacy and literacies of information: A mid-range theory and model. Journal of Information Literacy 11(1), pp.91–105.
Watters, A., 2016. Education technology and data insecurity. Hack Education, [online]. Available at http://hackeducation.com/2016/12/17/top-ed-tech-trends-infosec [Accessed 16 November 2017]
Wiley, D. 2013. What is open pedagogy? Iterating Toward Openness, [online]. Available at https://opencontent.org/blog/archives/2975 [Accessed 16 November 2017]