Overview

In order to develop the framework, time was taken to look at other frameworks, models and definitions at home and abroad and have discussions with relevant bodies and individuals in order to learn from others and incorporate best practice but most of all not to reinvent the wheel but to incorporate what is being used by practitioners. The aim being to map the existing learning that was taking place allocating a notional level to learning outcomes utilising relevant reference points such as the Scottish Credit and Qualification Framework (SCQF) generic level descriptors with the intention of providing a general shared understanding of each level which can then be linked to academic, vocational or professional practice.

The draft framework was therefore developed using the SCQF aims, structure and key features in conjunction with the Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) Core Skills framework as they:
• define learning in terms of statements of skills, knowledge and understanding
• enable the notional levelling process and outcomes to become transparent and clearly understood by other learning providers, receiving organisations and or employers to meet the needs of the lifelong learner more effectively.

The starting point for developing the framework was SCQF level 5 (Intermediate 2) and the only SQA national unit qualification at that time relating to Information Literacy skills SQA’s Information Handling Skills Intermediate 2 qualification. This was then used as a template for drawing up equivalent SCQF levels 4 to 1 and 6 to 7 covering the secondary schools and further education (FE) colleges.

Higher education (HE) covers SCQF levels 8 to 12 and as HE uses the SCONUL model it was felt that the skills within the seven headline skills from the SCONUL Seven Pillars Model for Information Literacy should be used and exemplars of how two universities have adopted and modified this model to create information literacy frameworks for their own institutions added to the framework appendices.

The SCQF levels do not cover primary schools but there is good practice in this area covering the present 5 -14 curriculum within Scotland and it was felt that it was important to include this work as it forms the building blocks for other sectors and is part of lifelong learning. The work carried out by two local authority education resource services was considered and discussions took place regarding the use of the material they had created. An important element was that their models and toolkits:
• were being used within their authority primary schools and would be rolled out to secondary schools
• had plans to develop current material to fit the new Curriculum for Excellence covering 3 – 18 year olds within Scotland.

To cover the world of work, the framework incorporated and highlighted the Chartered Institute’s of Library and Information Profession’s (CILIP) information literacy skills and competences definition as it was created to include all information-using communities. Although there are no levels this provides an area for further research.

To demonstrate common themes within the models and definitions incorporated into the draft framework a mind map was created and subsequently used to provide a visual diagram of the national-information-literacy-framework-scotland. By using the SCQF framework and existing models and definitions we can demonstrate a continuing learning process through identifying a learning pathway as part of an educational guidance or personal development planning process.

To set the framework in context and support advocacy , additional information has been added:
• Back ground information, provenance, acknowledgements
• Information literacy – what it is
• Information literacy and lifelong learning
• Information literacy education
• Use of the Information Literacy framework
• Appendices

In 2007-8 the framework underwent a piloting exercise with project partners from schools, further education colleges, universities and different workplaces plus adult literacy initiatives. The plan was to enrich the framework with exemplars of good practice which would demonstrate how specific competencies can be applied in practice and can demonstrate links to higher level complex thinking skills and innovation. Thus trying to avoid the difficulties which other national frameworks in Australia, New Zealand and America have encountered and not just have the skills levels but find hooks to hang on and have these mapped into course design, recognising different modes of teaching and learning for example evidence based, problem based plus target disciplines that value information and feed forward with further developments including educational development strategies such as the Curriculum for Excellence within schools and initiatives within further and higher education.

There is still a lot of work to be done including looking at the issues that have arisen from our dissemination activities but the initial feedback is positive and we look forward to working with our partners and interested parties.

Christine Irving and John Crawford

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