INTRODUCTION TO STUDY SKILLS AND INFORMATION LITERACY
The term ‘study skills’ refers to the conscious and deliberate use of the processes of learning to achieve effective study practices. The term ‘learning how to learn’ is used to denote a similar idea. There is a great deal of overlap between what one will find in an up-to-date textbook or web site on study skills and a similarly up-to-date textbook or web site on learning to learn. Both deal with the idea that pupils and students can and should be helped to develop conscious, deliberate control over the mechanisms of their own learning. The difference between study skills and learning to learn is therefore slightly hazy. However, the emphasis within learning to learn materials tends to be on slightly more abstract considerations such as awareness of the variety of learning strategies and styles that exist, and the importance of motivation and attitude to learning. A typical study skills resource, on the other hand, might be more likely to focus on the details of particular techniques that aid learning, such as how to draw ‘mind maps’ and how to write notes. The set of skills implied is large. The most obvious are reading, writing, note-taking, time-management, working with others, engaging in critical and analytical thinking, revising and remembering. Another important skill is information-gathering: the enormous growth in the use of the Internet as a resource for learning in recent years highlights the importance of being able to seek information efficiently. Equally important is the ability to recognise the merit or otherwise of information found there. These skills overlap with those required for finding and using information more generally, such as using libraries to obtain the right books for study. Information literacy is the ability to locate, understand, evaluate, utilize, and convey information at home, at work, and in the community. The term information literacy, sometimes referred to as information competency, is generally defined as the ability to access, evaluate, organize, and use information from a variety of sources. Being information literate requires knowing how to clearly define a subject or area of investigation; select the appropriate terminology that expresses the concept or subject under investigation; formulate a search strategy that takes into consideration different sources of information and the variable ways that information is organized; analyze the data collected for value, relevancy, quality, and suitability; and subsequently turn information into knowledge (ALA 1989). This involves a deeper understanding of how and where to find information, the ability to judge whether that information is meaningful, and ultimately, how best that information can be incorporated to address the problem or issue at hand. There is no dispute that study skills and information literacy are relevant and important to the school curriculum. However, information literacy is somewhat different from study skills as a phenomenon. It is a more recent field, albeit with deep roots in library and information science, particularly in the area of information-seeking behaviour, and is not so restricted to educational contexts as study skills. Therefore the following research summary needs to adopt a different structure from that for the study skills section of the report.
Since I have been here, I will need an effective learning strategies to ease my study. First is clarify or simplify written directions. This year, I've had the pleasure of working with one of my lecturers who really does this well. This lecturer tries to be as simple and specific as she can. Directions written in paragraph form with a lot of information can be overwhelming. To help her students navigate the directions, this teacher underlines and highlights the significant parts of the directions. Having students rewrite the directions is also helpful. Second is present a...
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