Analyzing the Knowledge Practices of the ACRL Framework (Part II)

For this post, I delved into the “Information Creation as a Process” frame. Again, I found that most of the knowledge practices were written more like cognitive processes.

In fact, others have made that same observation, which is what led me to examine the ACRL Framework knowledge practices more closely. It also led me to research by Karl Maton, who is developing a framework for analyzing knowledge practices called legitimation code theory. I am currently reading his book, Knowledge and Knowers, Towards a Realist Sociology of Education (I plan to use his work as a basis for my dissertation research).

Anyway, here is Part II, analysis of the “Information Creation as a Process” frame. Notice that I use the terms activity and community of practice throughout. This was intentional (I’ll go into further discussion of why when I have completed the analysis of all the frames).

Information Creation as a Process

Knowledge Practice

IL Facet

Knowing in Action

Instructional Strategies

Articulate the capabilities and constraints of information developed through various creation processes; Communication Participate in critical discourse about the strengths and limitations of the communication modalities that are used within a particular community of practice. For first- or second-year students, an introduction to this knowledge practice might come in the form of a reflective activity. How do students share information within their own social circles? What are the strengths and limitations of those communication modes? Eventually, students will transfer these reflective practices to their own disciplinary area. Also, consider ethnographic exercises examining the communication modalities of specific cultures or communities (this can work in a variety of courses).
Assess the fit between an information product’s creation process and a particular information need; Ways of Thinking Utilize information modalities that fit the needs and expectations of the activity and community of practice. This knowledge practice is observable through student output (e.g., research papers, presentations). The concept of community of practice is especially important here because “fit” is determined by cultural and organizational expectations.
Articulate the traditional and emerging processes of information creation and dissemination in a particular discipline; Communication Participate in scholarly or professional communication across multiple modalities within a particular discipline. Participation in this knowledge practice requires more than an intellectual articulation of the concept at hand. Once students enter their chosen field, they should aim toward full participation in their community of practice. That means sharing and communicating information through a variety of modalities. For example, writing a scholarly blog, delivering a virtual conference presentation, or publishing a scholarly or trade article. Of course, the processes of information creation will be dependent on their community of practice.
Recognize that information may be perceived differently based on the format in which it is packaged; Ways of Thinking; Communication Communicate informational messages in a modality that best reflects the values and expectations of the intended audience. This knowledge practice encompasses the objectives of media literacy. Activities that focus on message design can help foster this knowledge practice. Additionally, critical comparison of similar messages delivered through multiple modes can help students reflect on the situational nature of media.
Recognize the implications of information formats that contain static or dynamic information; Ways of Thinking; Communication Communicate the static or dynamic nature of an information format within an activity. Instruction on the proper citation of sources (e.g., Wikipedia, scholarly article) is one way to make this knowledge practice visible. Students need to know the what, why, and when of using static vs. dynamic sources. And this knowledge practice is inherent within every activity that requires decision making about what types of information sources to use (e.g., research papers, debates, online discussions).
Monitor the value that is placed upon different types of information products in varying contexts; Ways of Thinking; Follow the lifespan of information products within both formal and informal communities of practice. One strategy for this knowledge practice is to have students follow the lifespan of a scholarly article through citation or impact analysis. Less formally, and perhaps more suited to first- and second-year students, analyzing the impact of something like a classic television commercial (then vs. now) might be more engaging, and certainly more interesting.
Transfer knowledge of capabilities and constraints to new types of information products; Ways of Thinking; Communication Create an information product that fits the communication needs of a particular community of practice. This knowledge practice transforms the first knowledge practice in this frame from a reflective state to an active and creative state. Activities that focus on message design can also help foster this knowledge practice.
Develop, in their own creation processes, an understanding that their choices impact the purposes for which the information product will be used and the message it conveys. Communication Create an information product that fits the communication needs of a particular community of practice. See above.

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