Succeeding in postgraduate study
Succeeding in postgraduate study

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Succeeding in postgraduate study

Session 5: Searching for, evaluating and keeping up-to-date with information


Welcome to Session 5. This session will help you to review, refresh and update your current digital and information literacy skills. We start by defining ‘information literacy’ (IL), consider how this has evolved as ‘digital and information literacy’ (DIL), and discuss these in the context of your postgraduate studies. We then examine some of the key IL and DIL skills that students entering postgraduate study should already have and/or be aware of.

Begin by listening to the following audio recording.

Download this audio clip.Audio player: Recap and overview of Sessions 5 and 6
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Transcript: Recap and overview of Sessions 5 and 6

Welcome to Session 5. We hope you’re enjoying the course so far. Let's briefly recap on the last two sessions, before looking forward to what lies ahead.
In Sessions 3 and 4, we looked at some underlying concepts and considered practical approaches to help you think critically and analytically. We examined why critical thinking and analysis are important for postgraduate study, introduced some fundamental principles to help you evaluate an argument, and to carry out evidence-based analysis, and offered some practical tips on being critical in your reading and writing for assignments.
In the next two sessions we’ll be looking at some essential digital and information literacy skills that you’ll require for your postgraduate studies. You may feel that you already have a good awareness of these skills from your undergraduate studies or relevant work experience. However, being aware of the need to continuously review your skills, to ascertain their relevance and effectiveness of practice, and to keep up-to-date with changes in the digital environment, also form an important part of your postgraduate skills, and are essential for continuing your professional development. If you’re already skilled in some of these areas, you may wish to concentrate on those where you feel you would benefit the most from developing further.
We start Session 5 by examining what digital and information literacy skills cover, getting you to review your current skills and level of confidence. We then guide you through the different stages of searching for, evaluating and keeping up-to-date with information, and provide you with tools and practical tips that should help you in the process. We also briefly consider some conventions for citing references, before closing this session with additional tips that will help you to reflect on, and further develop your selective and critical reading skills.
Session 6 continues with the theme of essential digital and information literacy, by focusing on issues related to academic integrity, copyright and the use of social media. We also explore ways in which group work and feedback can operate to support learning in an online asynchronous environment.
After completing Sessions 5 and 6, you should be able to identify your current strengths, have improved in some areas, be able to focus on skills that you need to develop further, and be suitably well prepared as you make the transition to postgraduate study.
Thanks for listening. You are all set to begin Session 5.
End transcript: Recap and overview of Sessions 5 and 6
Recap and overview of Sessions 5 and 6
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By the end of this session you should be able to:

  • search for information, evaluate sources and keep up-to-date with information
  • cite and reference sources appropriately.
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