All Ireland Society for Higher Education (AISHE), AISHE-C 2008: Encouraging Student Engagement

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Enquiry and Problem Based Learning and the Information Literate Student
Lorna Dodd, Susan Boyle

Last modified: 2008-05-16


For those involved in Enquiry and Problem Based Learning (EPBL), the development of generic skills is often considered one of the most beneficial outcomes of adopting this student centred approach. Within the EPBL process students are required to become independent information seekers, a skill that can be applied to all aspects of academic and professional life.

This paper will argue that in order to become effective self-directed learners, students must be information literate. The paper will then outline the importance of equipping students with information literacy skills so that they can successfully participate in EPBL and briefly describe research that emphasises this. We shall also determine that enabling students to develop these skills helps them to participate and engage in the EPBL process in a meaningful way. Once students develop information literacy skills and are able to locate and evaluate information effectively, they are then able to engage more fully with the process.

We will then discuss and evaluate different strategies, currently used in UCD, for providing students with the opportunity to develop these skills. These include various approaches to delivering information literacy skills within an EPBL context. Evaluating strategies in this way provides the opportunity to explore the most beneficial approach for students, academics and librarians.

This paper will argue that in order to successfully equip students with these skills, it is vital to have constant collaboration between academic and librarian. It will then conclude that this collaboration is vital in order to create a sustainable and successful approach.


problem-based learning; information literacy; student engagement