iKnow: Information skills in the 21st Century workplace


  • Katharine Reedy Open University
  • Elizabeth Mallett Open University
  • Natasha Soma Open University




information literacy, skills, employability, workplace, learning materials, online


The iKnow (Information and Knowledge at Work) project at The Open University (OU) set out to explore and articulate the information skills requirements of the 21st century workplace. Although some existing research had highlighted the costs of ineffective information searching in the workplace, there appeared to be little online material to remedy this. The project was run in three phases, which involved identifying the key competencies, developing some prototype ‘bite-size’ materials and piloting them for their effectiveness in a variety of workplaces. The results of the study show that participants not only perceived the skills as relevant and useful, but also found that the bite-size model made training easier to schedule into a working day. The project team found that these materials could potentially be an important link between informal and formal learning, of particular relevance in the current economic climate.

Author Biographies

Katharine Reedy, Open University

Katharine Reedy is an Information Literacy Specialist at the Open University. She worked on the i-Know project during 2008-2009.

Elizabeth Mallett, Open University

Elizabeth Mallett was i-Know Project Manager. She is Research & Innovation Projects Manager and currently manages the OU Digital Library Project.

Natasha Soma, Open University

Natasha Soma was i-Know Project Officer 2009-2010. An elearning specialist, she currently works as Senior Learning Developer for the OU Business Development Unit.