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Constituting collective consciousness: Information literacy in university curricula

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Information literacy, encompassing the ability to access, evaluate and use information in contemporary ICT environments, today has a place on the graduate profiles of many Australian universities. Growing recognition of the importance of information literacy at national and institutional levels, raises the fundamental question of how to raise the awareness of a university community about this significant issue in order to make it a focal point in learning design and support. In 1999 the Australian Catholic University (ACU) tackled this question and responded by conceiving a university-wide teaching and learning enhancement project that targeted staff at all levels of the university, acrossall campuses and all disciplines. In reporting this project, Bowden and Marton's (1998) framework of depicting learning as changing awareness at the individual and collective level is adopted. Key features of the project are discussed, including our developing interest in influencing the ACU collective consciousness, key strategies for bringing information literacy into focus, the learning that occurred at a collective level, and ways of continuing to thematize information literacy. We conclude with some reflections on the collective consciousness framework in relation to the academic development context.

Document Type: Research Article


Publication date: May 1, 2002

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