Interface Literacy: Screencasts, GUIs, and Computer-Mediated Authorship

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CONFERENCE: Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy

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Cripps, Michael J.
Graphical user interfaces; Interface literacy; Information literacy; Screencasts; Curriculum and Instruction; Education; Information Literacy; Library and Information Science
lecture / presentation description
Our lives are increasingly mediated by computers and graphical user interfaces or GUIs. In education, computer-mediated learning often involves the integration of new technologies into the classroom context. In an educational environment in which courses have specific content, and in which students (and faculty) must learn the interfaces that enable them to access and engage the content, how might one move from more work for teachers and learners to a different kind of teaching and learning? Are there particular ways to weave technology and content together to move from an additive model to an integrated one that helps learners become active readers and users of GUIs, or interface literate? How might faculty teaching in computer-mediated environments cultivate what Cynthia Selfe (1999) has described "critical technological literacy." Over two years, the proposing researcher began to address this question systematically in a course on writing in electronic environments. Using video tutorials (screencasts) for software acquisition and repeated emphasis on software and web-based GUIs, the researcher is attempting to cultivate in students an ability to comfortably and productively act upon a variety of computer-mediated writing tools. Existing research finds support for the value of screencasts for learning (for example, Choi & Johnson, 2007). At issue in the proposed presentation is the acquisition of a more generalized understanding of software tools and GUIs through exposure to a variety of interfaces and attention to some core features. The proposed presentation reports early findings from this project that uses screencasts and specific assignments to cultivate interface literacy.description = Interface literacy refers to the ability to read, navigate, and act upon the graphical user interfaces (GUIs) through which our work on computers is mediated. With almost all typical user interaction with computers occurring through GUIs, interface literacy is an important component of or gateway to information literacy. This presentation reports results from ongoing research into the utility of screencasts and engagement with multiple software tools in a specific college course context for the cultivation of interface literacy.