Information literacy is the set of critical thinking skills necessary to locate and use information effectively.
Information literacy means knowing when you need information, knowing where to look for it, how to find it, and how to evaluate it.
Information literacy skills are required not only for class assignments but also for lifelong learning, which goes far beyond the classroom. Information literacy skills are not learned in one class session but are cumulative and are refined through practice. See Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education for more.
1. Students will be able to define an information need in order to construct an effective research strategy.
2. Students will be able to construct an effective research strategy in order to identify a variety of relevant information sources.
3. Students will be able to identify and select relevant information sources in order to evaluate, synthesize and draw conclusions.
4. Students will be able to evaluate, synthesize and draw conclusions in order to analyze and interpret information.
Courtesy of Project Information Literacy under a Creative Commons license (CC BY-NC-SA 3.0)
Information literacy instruction sessions focus on research skills and are most effective when they are tied to a specific class assignment or project. If you do not have a library assignment in mind, the Information Literacy librarians will be happy to assist you in designing one.
Instructors often mistakenly believe that scheduling an instruction session as early in the semester as possible is the best course of action to take with their students. Actually, this is not the case.
Instruction sessions should be scheduled at point of need, as close as possible to the time when the students will begin their research. Students will be more motivated to learn and will be able to practice their newly acquired skills on an actual assignment.
Schedule your instruction session to allow enough time for students to gain familiarity with the research sources they will need to use in order to complete their assignment or project.
The library needs at least two weeks advance notice in order to plan with you and schedule a successful classroom session.
To schedule an instruction session, please complete the Information Literacy Instruction Request Form.
Your request will be referred to the appropriate librarian, who will then contact you to discuss your research assignment and to confirm the date, time, and location of your session.
We follow up every session with a brief research exercise that helps us evaluate how well students assimilated the concepts and skills taught in the instruction session. The information provided is important in helping us to continually improve our teaching.
"The library website provides links to many useful databases under which you can plug in multiple key words at once, which is much more thorough than other websites i've used before for research."
"I learned what a scholarly article looks like and how to pick one out when doing my research."
Schedule your instruction session as close as possible to the time when the students will begin their research.
Critical thinking and research skills are relatively easy to incorporate into existing assignments. You may already be teaching information literacy in your classes without realizing it. This list contains some suggestions to get you started.
Birmingham, Elizabeth, et. al. " First-Year Writing Teachers, Perceptions of Students' Information Literacy Competencies, and a Call for a Collaborative Approach." Communications in Information Literacy 2.1 (2008): 6-24.
Brasley, Stephanie Sterling. "Effective Librarian and Discipline Faculty Collaboration Models for Integrating Information Literacy into the Fabric of an Academic Institution."New Directions for Teaching and Learning 14 (2008): 71-88.
Oaklef, Megan. "Dangers and Opportunities: A Conceptual Map of Information Literacy Assessment Approaches." Portal: Libraries and the Academy, 8.3 (2008): 233–253.
Orme, William A. "Information Literacy and First-Year Students." New Directions for Teaching and Learning 14 (2008) 63-70.
Samson, Sue & Michelle S. Millet. " The Learning Environment: First-Year Students, Teaching Assistants, and Information Literacy ." Research Strategies 19 (2003): 84-98.
Google and other public search engines offer quick and freely available information. But how much of the web do they actually search? Estimates are around 30%. The rest of the Internet has been referred to as the dark, deep, or invisible web. "More than half of the deep Web content resides in topic-specific databases" (Bergman) such as the databases provided to you by the UK Libraries.
Graphic design by Chris Worland. Graphic based on:
Bergman, Michael K. “The Deep Web: Surfacing Hidden Value.” Journal of Electronic Publishing Online-Only Journal 7.2 (2001): n.pag. Web. 8 August 2011. < http://hdl.handle.net/2027/spo.3336451.0007.104>
Devine, Jane, and Francine Egger-Sider. Going Beyond Google: The Invisible Web in Learning and Teaching. New York: Neal-Schuman Publishers, 2009. Print.
Gil, Paul. “What is the ‘Invisible Web’?” About.com. The New York Times Company, December 2010. Web. 8 August 2011. < http://netforbeginners.about.com/cs/secondaryweb1/a/secondaryweb.htm>
He, Bin, Mitesh Patel, Zhen Zhang, and Kevin Chen Chuan Chang. “Accessing the Deep Web.” Communications of the ACM 50.5 (2007): 94-101. ACM Digital Library. Web. 8 August 2011.
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