Skip to main content
Banner Image

Faculty Toolkit for Teaching Information Literacy: Getting started

What's this guide for?

This page provides resources to help faculty teach & assess information literacy skills.

Resources may be adapted to suit your teaching needs, online and on-ground. If you don't find what you need here, consult an SCC librarian for more support. 

We're eager to work with you on integrating IL into the college curriculum.

New for 2015

 New for 2015: The new IL Framework  from ACRL is here.

Librarians will keep you posted about workshops on this new conceptual framework.

Also new for 2015SCC Librarians response to Claremont College study which demonstrates relationship between students' level of librarian engagement and positive student performance.

Information Literacy defined

Information literacy  is a set of abilities requiring individuals to "recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." 

Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. American Library Association, 2006. 

Information literacy forms a basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, learning environments, and education levels. It enables learners to master content, extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and to take greater control of their own learning. The five core IL competencies are the ability to:

  1. identify needed information
  2. access information effectively & efficiently
  3. evaluate information
  4. use information appropriately
  5. understand information related issues

How do I begin teaching IL?  

  Use the tabs on this guide to find activities, assessments, and links which you can use to teach the 5 core IL skills.

  Contact the SCC library to consult with a librarian on creating custom IL instruction suited to your students' needs.


Using the Standards, from the Association of College & Research Libraries, contains practical activities, assignments, assessments, and strategies for integrating IL into  courses and programs. ACRL and other relevant links follow:

Suggestions for incorporating IL into instruction

To begin:

  • Grade the research not just the speech, paper, or project.
  • Break big assignment into small steps so students aren't overwhelmed. (Proposal, source list, outline, draft, etc.)



1. Ask students to read and summarize an article from a scholarly journal.

2. Have the students find and submit an article on a topic relevant to the class along with a written summary of the main points.


More Challenging

1. Give the class an editorial or opinion piece and ask them to try to verify the facts.

2. Select a controversial issue, or have students select, and ask students to find information on both sides of the controversy. 

3. Ask student to find the original study, or at least the complete reference for the original stud,y mentioned in a popular magazine article or on the news.  [Advanced:  Have the students compare the popular report of the study to the original research.]



1.  Ask students to keep a research journal which includes databases consulted, keywords used, and an analysis of websites examined along their research process.

2.  Require students to include an evaluation of the credibility of the information producer (author, organization responsible for a web page, etc.)  for any source they use in a paper or assignment.     

3. Ask students working on a paper or project to compile an annotated bibliography to include more sources than they actually need for the assignment.  Require students to rate the sources and explain why some might not be as useful or credible as others.  

4.  Ask students to locate and annotate the very best resources on a particular, narrow topic. 

5.  Researching the research used by Wikipedia authors and articles can be fun (and frustrating).  Have students locate and evaluate references or further readings listed at the end of a Wikipedia article. (The instructor may want to choose appropriate and relevant articles.) Try this first yourself to assess how difficult the task will be before you make the assignment. 


Adapted from: