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Information Literacy Toolkit

Use this toolkit to assist with integrating information literacy into courses.

Here are examples of what learners can do to develop their information literacy skills as they work on assignments and projects.

Element 1 - Determines the Extent of the Information Needed

  • Students prepare by researching print and/or online reference sources such as general and subject encyclopedias to explore broader scope, discover jargon of the discipline, and gather a more focused target. What type of information and how much is needed?
  • Students draw a concept map (paper or online) of the major ideas that they are researching. Students must include main idea, four topics and four subtopics for each topic idea. Students must connect and align ideas to find meaning and scope of the main ideas being considered. Alternately, students may develop an traditional outline format.

Element 2 - Accesses the Needed Information

  • Students keep a research journal log recording their search strategies for finding their sources. The log should include information on the challenges and successes of each search.
  • Students compare information found in primary and secondary sources, describe the differences between the two and explain why it is important to the assignment. 
  • Students describe the differences between popular/general reading periodicals and scholarly journals and explain why it is important to the assignment.

Element 3 - Critically Evaluate Information and its Sources

  • Students writing a research paper or similar research project submit a critical evaluation of the three sources that made the most impact in their thinking about the topic, why they are quality sources and what key ideas came from each source.
  • Students develop an annotated bibliography of sources for topic. Annotations briefly describe and evaluate each source focusing on two of the five evaluation criteria. (Suggest authority and purpose.)
  • Students compare and contrast background information found in standard encyclopedia, (World Book or Britannica) and Wikipedia to determine currency, depth of content, accuracy, authority, relevance, and purpose of published information.
  • Require an annotated bibliography explaining why they picked the source and why not (include sources that won't be used in the project explaining why they are excluded).
  • Students find the original article for a research study mentioned in the popular press. Compare the the announcement to the actual study. Did the announcement accurately summarize the findings? What information is missing? How does what's missing affect the public's understanding of the study?

Element 4 - Uses Information Effectively to Accomplish a Specific Purpose

  • Use alternatives to the paper (PowerPoint, poster session, debate, video, etc.).
  • For any research topic, create digital media projects and support the presentation with an annotated bibliography.
  • Research a health or social problem. Write and produce Public Service Announcement for university radio station.
  • Create a mini-advertising campaign with print and digital materials. Revise, update, tweak the ad campaign to reflect contemporary societal changes and new knowledge in a discipline or field of study. Provide evidence of research supporting the selected updates and changes.
  • Write a research grant and provide an annotated bibliography of sources to support your proposal.
  • Write a research proposal including description of the research topic, the problem associated with it, the proposed answer or research to solve the problem, including a bibliography of primary and secondary sources.
  • Write an encyclopedia article for print or online encyclopedia (e.g.: Wikipedia) complete with bibliography.

Element 5 - Uses Information Ethically and Legally

  • Students submit a draft annotated bibliography. Annotations can address authorship and relevance to the project, or other criteria that will address the project learning outcomes.
  • Students organize draft annotated bibliography by format (books, articles, Web sites, etc.) and note the different levels of content offered by each format.
  • Be specific about citation style in the project instructions. Provide your source for examples of the proper citation style so students will know how they will be evaluated.
  • Students find the original source of a footnote in a course reading. Locate the source and compare it to the arguments made in the course reading.
  • Students trace and identify a current university faculty member's scholarly roots, noting their mentors, advisors, collaborators and the historical "big names" in the field.
  • Students find the original article for a research study mentioned in the popular press. Did the announcement include enough information to find the actual study? How important are references and citations for tracking and retrieving popular information?

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