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Thomas Library

Information Literacy Objectives for English 101 at Wittenberg

Information Literacy Objectives for First-Year Students*

  1. The information literate student determines the extent of the information needed.
  2. The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
  3. The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
  4. The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
  5. The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.
  1. Competency Standard One: The information literate student determines the extent of the information needed.

    Performance Indicator 1: The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Explore general information sources, such as general encyclopedias and the Internet, to increase familiarity with the topic.
    • Describe the difference between general and subject-specific information sources.
    • Define or modify the information need to achieve a manageable focus.
    • Identify an initial question that might be too broad or narrow, as well as one that is probably manageable.
    • Consult with the course instructor and librarians to develop a manageable focus for the topic.
    • List terms that may be useful for locating information on a topic.
    • Identify, locate, and use appropriate general or subject-specific sources to discover terminology related to an information need.

    Performance Indicator 2: The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Recognize that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed.
    • Identify various formats in which information is available.
    • Distinguish characteristics of information provided for different audiences; can, e.g. distinguish between magazines and journals.

    Performance Indicator 3: The information literate student considers the costs and benefits of acquiring the needed information.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Determine the availability of needed information and make decisions on broadening the information seeking process beyond local resources (e.g., interlibrary loan; using resources at other locations; obtaining images, videos, text, or sound)
    • Determine if material is available immediately.
    • Use available services appropriately to obtain desired materials or alternative sources.
    • Define a realistic overall plan and timeline to acquire the needed information.
    • Search for and gather information based on an informal, flexible plan.
    • Demonstrate a general knowledge of how to obtain information that is not available immediately.
    • Act appropriately to obtain information within the time frame required.

    Performance Indicator 4: The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Review the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question.
    • Identify a research topic that may require revision, based on the amount of information found (or not found).
    • List various criteria, such as currency, which influence information choices

  2. Competency Standard Two: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

    Performance Indicator 1: The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the needed information.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Select appropriate tools (e.g., catalogs, online databases) for research on a particular topic.
    • Identify the differences between freely available Internet search tools and subscription or fee-based databases.
    • Distinguish between full-text and plain bibliographic databases.
    • Analyze and interpret the information collected using a growing awareness of key terms and concepts to decide whether to search for additional information or to identify more accurately when the information need has been met.


    Performance Indicator 2:
    The information literate student constructs and implements effectively-designed search strategies.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Describe a general process for searching for information.
    • Gather and evaluate information and appropriately modify the research plan as new insights are gained.
    • Identify keywords, synonyms and related terms for the information needed
    • Identify keywords or phrases that represent a topic in general sources (e.g., library catalog, general encyclopedia, Academic Search Premier) and in subject-specific sources.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that different terminology may be used in general sources and in subject-specific sources.
    • Identify alternate terminology, including synonyms, broader or narrower words and phrases that describe a topic.
    • Identify keywords that describe an information source (e.g., book, journal article, magazine article, Web site).
    • Construct a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators, truncation, and proximity for search engines; internal organizers such as indexes for books)
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of Boolean logic and construct a search statement using Boolean operators.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the concept of keyword searching and use it appropriately and effectively.
    • Locate and use a specialized dictionary, encyclopedia, bibliography, or other common reference tool in print format for a given topic.
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the fact that items may be grouped together by subject in order to facilitate browsing.


    Performance Indicator 3: The information literate student retrieves information online or in person using a variety of methods.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Use different research sources (e.g., catalogs and indexes) to find different types of information (e.g., books and periodical articles).
    • Use the Web site of an institution, library, organization or community to locate information about specific services.
    • Uses call number systems effectively (e.g., can actually find specific items that are listed in the library catalog).
    • Explain the difference between the library catalog and a periodical index.
    • Distinguish among citations to identify various types of materials (e.g., books, periodical articles, essays in anthologies). (See also 2.3.a.)
    • Use specialized online or in-person services (e.g. library web pages and library staff) available at the institution to retrieve information needed (e.g., interlibrary loan/document delivery, professional associations, institutional research offices, community resources, experts and practitioners)
    • Retrieve a document in print or electronic form.
    • Describe at least two retrieval methods for information not available locally.
    • Identify the appropriate service point or resource for the particular information need.

    Performance Indicator 4: The information literate student refines the search strategy if necessary.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Determine if the quantity of citations retrieved is adequate, too extensive, or insufficient for the information need.
    • Evaluate the quality of the information retrieved using criteria such as authorship, point of view/bias, date written, citations, etc.
    • Assess the relevance of information found by examining elements of the citation such as title, abstract, subject headings, source, and date of publication.
    • Determine the relevance of an item to the information need in terms of its depth of coverage, language, and time frame.

    Performance Indicator 5: The information literate student extracts, records, and manages the information and its sources.

    Students will be able to:

       
    • Determine whether or not a cited item is available locally and, if so, can locate it.

     

  3. Competency Standard Three: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.
  4. Performance Indicator 1: The information literate student articulates and applies initial criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Determine when the information was published (or knows where to look for a source's publication date).
    • Recognize the importance of timeliness or date of publication to the value of the source.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that information in any format reflects an author's, sponsor's, and/or publisher's point of view.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that some information and information sources may present a one-sided view and may express opinions rather than facts.
    • Demonstrate an understanding that some information and sources may be designed to trigger emotions, conjure stereotypes, or promote support for a particular viewpoint or group.
    • Apply evaluative criteria to information and its source (e.g., author's expertise, currency, accuracy, point of view, type of publication or information, sponsorship).

    Performance Indicator 4: The information literate student compares new knowledge with prior knowledge to determine the value added, contradictions, or other unique characteristics of the information.

    Students will be able to:

       
    • Determine probable accuracy by questioning the source of the data, the limitations of the information gathering tools or strategies, and the reasonableness of the conclusions.
    • Compare new information with own knowledge and other sources considered authoritative to determine if conclusions are reasonable.
    • Select information that provides evidence for the topic.
    • Apply established evaluation criteria to decide which information sources are most appropriate.

    Performance Indicator 7: The information literate student determines whether the initial query should be revised.

    Students will be able to:
       
    • Demonstrate how searches may be limited or expanded by modifying search terminology or logic.
    • Review information retrieval sources used and expand to include others as needed.

     

  5. Competency Standard Four: The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

    Objectives were not written for this Standard because its Performance Indicators and Outcomes are best addressed by the course instructor, rather than by librarians.

  6.  

  7. Competency Standard Five: The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

    Performance Indicator 1: The information literate student understands many of the ethical, legal and socio-economic issues surrounding information and information technology.

    Students will be able to:

       
    • Select an appropriate documentation style and use it consistently to cite sources.


*Based on A Model Statement for Academic Librarians from ACRL,
Summer 2001.