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:
- identify needed information
- access information effectively & efficiently
- evaluate information
- use information appropriately
- 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
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.
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.]
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.