First article for PhD published!

When it rains, it pours!

After not having much to report on the past several months, the last couple of weeks have been full of exciting events. I’ll start with getting the first article for my PhD published yesterday in the Journal of Information Literacy.  🙂 Here’s the reference:

Nierenberg, E., Låg, T., & Dahl, T. I. (2021). Knowing and doing: The development of information literacy measures to assess knowledge and practice. Journal of Information Literacy, 15(2), pp. 78–123.

As you can see, I wrote the article together with Torstein Låg (co-supervisor) and Tove Dahl (main supervisor) – what a team! 🙂 The work behind it was extensive, both intellectually challenging and time-consuming. I’m quite proud of the finished product. It feels good to have gotten this far! Thank you Torstein and Tove!

The article begins by describing the development and use of three tools for assessing IL in students. These explain why the article is called “Knowing and doing”:

  1. a 21-item multiple-choice test, covering seeking, evaluating and using information sources (what they know)
  2. an annotated bibliography to assess students’ skills in evaluating information sources in an authentic, graded assignment (what they do)
  3. a rubric for assessing students’ use of sources in their academic writing, again using an authentic, graded assignment (what they do)

In addition to describing the comprehensive procedures used to develop these measures (including evaluating them for reliability and validity), we also discuss the results we obtained when utilizing them to measure IL in undergraduate and graduate students.

The article continues with a discussion about the association between IL knowledge and skills – is what students know about IL reflecting in what they do in practice? Spoiler alert – it turns out that in some cases, there is a significant correlation between the two, but the correlation is not strong. This means that there are other factors, in addition to students’ IL-knowledge, that contribute to their skills.

We then discuss the dimensionality of the IL construct. Is IL actually a coherent, unitary construct, or is it heterogeneous? (In other words, is information literacy actually one thing, or several things?) Spoiler alert 2 – our findings show that it is heterogeneous, composed of many facets. (Perhaps we should call it information literacies?) This finding has many important implications – read the article to learn more! 🙂

Torstein and I presented the research behind this article 5 days ago at the Creating Knowledge conference, which we also helped to organize. My next blog post, which I hope will be posted very soon, will be about this wonderful conference, and what it was like to organize and host an international, digital conference with over 600 delegates.


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