Critical connections: personal learning environments and information literacy

Alison Hicks, Caroline Sinkinson

Abstract

Personal learning environments (PLEs) and critical information literacies (CILs) are two concepts that have been presented as responses to the challenges of the rich and complex information landscape. While both approaches support learners’ critical engagement with new information environments, each was developed within a different field. This paper connects and contrasts PLEs and CILs in order to explore the design of pedagogical responses to the information environment. Through a careful examination of PLE and CIL literature, the paper demonstrates that information literacy education intersects with the concepts and goals of PLEs. As such, the authors suggest that PLE scholarship informed by CIL scholarship, and vice versa, will yield a deeper understanding of modern learning contexts as well as a more holistic and responsive learner framework. The example of the research assignment will be used to demonstrate the viability of this approach. With these propositions, the authors invite educators, librarians and information technologists to engage in a dialogue about these concepts and the potential for pedagogical change.

Keywords: personal learning environments; information literacy; information landscape; self-directed learning

Citation: Research in Learning Technology 2015, 23: 21193 - http://dx.doi.org/10.3402/rlt.v23.21193

Keywords

personal learning environments; information literacy; information landscape; self-directed learning

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