DEC Scan Journal : February 2011
both in planned ways, and in unplanned ways which arose out of information provided by students in the SLIM reflection sheets • the process more than product, and most teachers did not tell students what the product was to be until they had passed the collection phase of the ISP • the gathering of data from students at three points of the ISP -- at initia- tion, collection, and at assessment. Methodology Data were gathered from students at initiation, collection and assessment using the SLIM Toolkit. These questions (Figure 3) were asked at each stage: The third reflection sheet also included students' reflections on what they had learnt. These are the standard questions of the SLIM Toolkit. Results Each school showed substantial growth to deep knowledge (as evidenced by number of explana- tions). This finding will be elaborated on by Dr Todd in a coming article for School Libraries Worldwide. Difficulties students faced were identical in all the schools: • developing focus questions -- that formulation of a question takes a long time • finding the right information targeted to focus -- looking for the right answer • taking notes --link found with poor notetaking and plagiarism • synthesising information -- putting information together, developing arguments, conclusions • acknowledging sources • interest dip at formulation stage, in line with the stages of the ISP. It is interesting that all schools reported difficulties in locating the right information for the stage of the research process, and is strong support for the different kinds of searching advocated by Kuhltau (2007, p. 84), preliminary, exploratory, comprehen- sive and summary searching. This aspect is reinforced in the small Loreto study following. Conclusions Anecdotal evidence in reflections of teachers and students added to the qualitative findings provide support for GI in its first purpose: a structured process to support and guide inquiry units. The feedback element was highly regarded by teachers as formative assessment, and by students as a source of personalised and relevant help. Students displayed growing metacognition about information processes and expressed continuing interest, even in the dip at exploration, because they were able to own their research and inquiry questions. Teacher librarians involved developed understandings about how the SLIM reflection sheets can be used for guiding interventions with students on an individual and group basis, and as an individual diagnostic tool for formative assessment. In essence for teacher librarians, GI as demonstrated through this research project provides a way of making information literacy a mainstream element of the major assessment tasks students encounter in their school life. Wiki is a valuable tool for the interaction and feedback that GI demands. It also was a clear demonstration of the twin purposes of GI -- using reflections from students in two ways: • providing feedback to them • using the reflection sheets for data to be analysed for evidence based practice. Scan Vol 30 No 1 February 2011 29 Figure 3 SLIM Toolkit questions 1. Write the title that best describes your research project at this time. 2. Take some time to think about your research topic. Now write down what you know about this topic. 3. What interests you about this topic? 4. How much do you know about this topic? Check ( ) one box that best matches how much you know. Nothing, Not much, Some, Quite a bit and A great deal. 5. Write down what you think is EASY about researching your topic. 6. Write down what you think is DIFFICULT about researching your topic. 7. Write down how you are FEELING now about your project. Check ( ) only the boxes that apply to you. Confident, Disappointed, Relieved, Frustrated, Confused, Optimistic, Uncertain, Satisfied, Anxious or Other. SLIM Toolkit Questions Wiki is a valuable tool for the interaction and feedback...