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Information Literacy

Information Literacy (IL)

Find, evaluate, and synthesize information effectively and persuasively.

IL Syllabus Statement

This course meets the Core Curriculum Information Literacy Essential Learning Outcome; it provides students with the opportunity to practice the skills needed to successfully locate, evaluate, and use data, a fundamental ability for scholars and citizens operating in a complex, global information landscape.

Expectations for Student Learning

Courses approved for the Information Literacy ELO ask students to engage in activities or complete assignments that build competence in this area. They require students to demonstrate knowledge of and/or skill in the first two areas below, and at least two additional areas noted:

  • Demonstrating in-depth knowledge of resources in their discipline and selecting the most appropriate information and resources for the task at hand (i.e. research question, thesis, hypothesis, etc.). Identifying a wide range of appropriate sources of information and making critical, reflective, and strategic information decisions.
  • Locating and accessing information; formulating sophisticated, effective, targeted search strategies. Judging accurately the value of search results, adjusting strategy as necessary, narrowing or broadening a topic in order to answer the question most effectively.
  • Carrying out the inquiry process with a sophisticated application of concepts and terminology related to research, including:
    • Peer reviewed and non-peer reviewed journal articles, popular vs. scholarly sources, primary research materials, reviews of research, opinion papers, and scholarly media sources.
    • Synonyms, related terms, thesauri, indexes, abstracts, keyword and controlled vocabularies, authority, and currency.
  • Organizing, managing, synthesizing and communicating information effectively, applying a format (written, oral, graphic, or visual) and tools appropriate for a specific purpose and audience.
  • Adhering scrupulously to the principles of the ethical and legal use of information; avoiding plagiarism and copyright infringement; quoting and paraphrasing appropriately and accurately; effectively employing citation styles and formats.
  • Analyzing their own and others’ assumptions and evaluating the relevance of context when presenting a position.

Sample Activities or Assignments

  • Generate a bibliography using a search focused on a specific target subject relevant to the course.  For example, for a Biology course: Find two review papers and five primary research papers published in the last five years that focus on stem cell-based therapy relating to treating diabetes. [Criteria 1, 2, 3]
  • Generate a written report, oral presentation, or other relevant project (e.g. video, poster, etc.) that communicates an original position based on the appropriate use and understanding of the information found through careful research. [Criteria 2, 3, 4, 5]

These two assignments combined will demonstrate proficiency in criteria 1 - 6.

IL Course Listing