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Research shows that students starting higher education (HE) often lack an essential level of information literacy (IL). To address this issue, a growing number of Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) engage with schools through Information Literacy Outreach Programmes (ILOPs). This paper explores the forces and motivations behind how and why HEIs engage with schools through ILOPs, and discusses their impact on beneficiaries.
Using a UK research-led university in the North of England as a single case study (hitherto XXXX), this research project adopted a qualitative case study approach and used Situational Analysis to explore and analyse the data collected. Data collection involved semi-structured interviews with key staff that participated in the IL outreach programme, and a model was developed to illustrate diagrammatically the key outcomes and phases of the IL Outreach Programme.
Key findings revealed that the IL Outreach Programme at XXXX is an effective mechanism for bridging the social worlds of schools and HE; for creating partnerships and knowledge sharing between institutions; for breaking down social barriers and inequalities; and for developing critically aware, independent learners.
The significance of this paper is that it helps us understand the impact of IL outreach programmes, and how such programmes provide schools and HEIs with an opportunity to work collaboratively and share knowledge and best practice. It also provides a valuable addition to IL literature.
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