Exporting e-Literacy Education

Badger, J. and Roberts, S. (2005) Exporting e-Literacy Education. Journal of eLiteracy 2(1).

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Swinburne University of Technology has six campuses in Melbourne, Australia, and one in Malaysia. The authors of this paper have been responsible for the design, delivery and evaluation of an integrated information literacy and information technology literacy program at the Lilydale Campus in Melbourne for six years. The program forms a large part of Information Methods, a compulsory subject for all first year students, and accounts for 20% of the marks attainable.

In 2002 and 2003 each of the authors served as Information Resources Manager at Swinburne’s campus in Malaysia. This campus in Kuching, Sarawak on the island of Borneo is delivering courses identical in content to those undertaken by students in Australia. During their terms as Manager, Julie and Susan provided information literacy skills training for academic staff and students to assist them to meet the same standards of teaching, learning and research as their Australian counterparts.

This paper discusses the development of the program over six years at Lilydale and its adaptation for use in an educational environment where English is not the first language of most of the participants and where cultural differences in learning styles have to be considered.

Issues raised include:

· the inseparability of information literacy from information technology literacy;
· the problems of, and some solutions to, assessing student achievement in e-literacy; the ‘high tech’ nature of the Lilydale campus compared to the less developed facilities in Kuching;
· differing cultural expectations of the roles of teachers, students and librarians; and
· implications for our on-campus international students.