Construction and Reflection: Using Web 2.0 to Foster Engagement with Technology in Information Literacy Instruction
This instrumental case study is concerned with how library
students in an online graduate course about information literacy
instruction used Web 2.0 technologies to learn about course concepts related to
information literacy and educational technology. Glogster, PBworks, Diigo, and
Prezi were used in course assignments to foster student learning related to
core information literacy concepts and to reflect upon Web 2.0 and its role in
instruction. Two research questions grounded this study:
How do attributes of Web 2.0 tools enhance and
hinder the construction of knowledge related to information literacy instruction
and educational technology?
How does the use of Web 2.0 tools in a course on
information literacy instruction foster aspects of the constructivist learning
study is specifically concerned with librarians who teach. Librarians, especially
those in public and school library settings are often the gatekeepers to
computers and the Internet. In a university setting, they are typically the educators
who teach about using online resources for coursework through one-shot and
for-credit information literacy courses. In many studies on educational technology,
emphasis is placed on whether students are learning, but when using these
technologies to teach future educators, it is equally important to understand
how they are used and if the students found them useful. Only then will educators
discover how to encourage students to use technology in their own teaching and
be open to new technologies as they progress through their professional lives.
qualitative approach was taken for data collection and analysis. The course in this
study was conducted online and consisted of one instructor, who was also the
researcher, and seventeen graduate students. Observations were done on assigned
activities and discussion threads. Documents that were analyzed consisted
mainly of course assignments, emails, and online discussions. Surveys included
a pre-survey given out the first week of class and a post-survey during the
last week of class. Both surveys contained open-ended questions that related to
Web 2.0, education, and information literacy.
analytic and descriptive qualitative methods were employed for this case study.
The perspectives of the study participants and their perceptions of the course
Web 2.0 activities guided the research findings. The educational theory of
constructivism and its adherence to reflection, active learning, and social
interaction was used to find patterns in the data. Activity theory provided a
framework for data analysis and interpretation related to the patterns of
activities that took place while students used each Web 2.0 tool.
revealed that Web 2.0 tools both enhance and hinder the learning of course
content. The tools enhanced learning because they fostered engagement,
excitement, creativity, collaboration, and class discussions. Learning was
hindered by because these technologies could sometimes lead to distractions
from the learning objectives. Web 2.0 technologies also helped and hindered the
use of constructivist learning theory for the course. They fostered aspects of
active learning, reflection, and social interaction, but could also lead to
data overload and extraneous learning. Pedagogy also greatly influenced the
learning that took place during the Web 2.0 activities. It was found to both
enhance and hinder this learning.
tools have the potential to help students hone their information literacy
skills and participate with media and technology at higher intellectual levels.
However, when used as educational tools, Web 2.0 technologies are each unique
and conclusions about their use need to be articulated in a manner that
acknowledges these differences. Because of this, it is necessary to use a
variety of Web 2.0 tools in order to maximize their educational potential.
Therefore, the educator still plays a key role in fostering student learning
through the use of technology. It is the educator that must purposely choose
technologies and design course work that aligns technology use with course
Excerpted from:Magnuson, M.L. (2012). Construction and reflection: Using Web 2.0 to foster engagement with technology in information literacy instruction. (Doctoral dissertation). Available from ProQuest Dissertations and Theses database. (UMI No. 3520737)