iResearch: information skills for life


  • Su Hanfling
  • Southnary Tan
  • Rebecca Goldsworthy


The provision of information skills training and resources is a core service, which the University of Sydney Library has developed over many years. Annually, over 33,000 participants attend Library information skills training sessions to develop generic and specific information literacy skills. Although some clients enjoy visiting the Library, preferring face-to-face contact with a helpful staff member when they need assistance; the new generation of students is primarily made up of technologically literate individuals who use IT solutions regularly for functions such as social networking and learning. Students are increasingly using ‘Web 2.0’ applications such as blogs and wikis, and social networking services such as YouTube (, ( and MySpace ( as part of their everyday activities. Research tells us that students expect to access information and resources online 24/7, and engage in absorbing learning experiences that mirror social use of technologies and allow learning at point-of-need. The challenge was to create a common quality framework for information literacy resources that meets best practice for content and presentation, allow materials to be easily adapted at point of need and over time; and most importantly, that offers an excellent student experience for range of learners from all Faculties. In Semester 1, 2008, the University of Sydney Library launched a series of short, interactive online learning objects, designed to address the challenges mentioned ( At present, the topics cover a range of core information skills, such as, plagiarism and academic honesty and how to reference, and includes ‘real experiences’ through scenario-based learning, humour and fun and interactive games and activities. Usability testing results and other feedback from students have indicated a positive response to the learning objects approach. Feedback from staff have also been encouraging. The poster presentation will discuss the development of the learning objects in detail and the feedback/responses that we have received so far.