Information behaviour is the currently preferred term used to describe the many ways in which human beings interact with information, in particular the ways in which people seek and utilize information (Bates, 2010). An understanding of information behaviour is central to work in the information professions and knowledge-based industries. For more than 75 years information behaviour research has been conducted in the field of library and information studies.
This course is organized as two units to introduce students to information behaviour using contrasting pedagogical and epistemological strategies. Unit I: Foundations (sessions 1-5) surveys the history and major theories, models, and concepts of information behaviour, drawing from the library and information studies literature and its traditional cognitive paradigm. Building upon this platform, Unit II: Integrative Topics (sessions 6-12) approaches information behaviour within diverse contexts and from contemporary vantage points that are more holistic, social, and interdisciplinary.
The dual approaches to information behaviour caters to a diversity of student learning styles, interests, and aspirations and represent iSchool ideals; further, it generates the ability to both analyze and sensitively understand the human information experience.