This is the author’s version of a work that was accepted for publication in Library & Information Science Research. Changes resulting from the publishing process, such as peer review, editing, corrections, structural formatting, and other quality control mechanisms may not be reflected in this document. Changes may have been made to this work since it was submitted for publication. A definitive version was subsequently published in Library & Information Science Research, 35(3), (2013)


“Informed learning” is a pedagogy that focuses on learning subject content through engaging with academic or professional information practices. Adopting the position that more powerful learning is achieved where students are taught how to use information and subject content simultaneously, the research reported here investigated an informed learning lesson. Using phenomenographic methods, student’s experiences of the lesson were compared to what the teacher enacted in the classroom. Based on an analysis of student interviews using variation theory, three ways of experiencing the informed learning lesson emerged. Some students understood the lesson to be about learning to use information, i.e., researching and writing an academic paper, while others understood it as focusing on understanding both subject content and information use simultaneously. Although the results of this study are highly contextualized, the findings suggest criteria to consider when designing informed learning lessons.


informed learning, information literacy, variation theory, phenomenography

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