ODU LIBRARIES: Information Literacy and Research

Information Literacy Standards of the ACRL
(Associaton for College and Research Libraries)

Standard One
Standard Two
Standard Three
Standard Four
Standard Five

Standard One:
The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Performance Indicators:

  1. The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information.
  2. The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.
  3. The information literate student considers the costs and benefits of acquiring the needed information.
  4. The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need.

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

Outcomes Include:

A. Confers with instructors and participates in class discussions, peer workgroups, and electronic discussions to identify a research topic, or other information need

Practice:

  1. When I meet with a class I use active learning activities to have students identify possible research topics within the broader assignment.
  2. Encourage students to teach /learn from each other, use think/pair/share

B. Develops a thesis statement and formulates questions based on the information need

      Practice:

      1. Write down what student topics are on board. Write the key concepts on the board and help develop the thesis statement. Then have students brainstorm various questions to ask.

C. Explores general information sources to increase familiarity with the topic

      Objective:

      1. Describes the difference between general and subject-specific information sources.
      2. Demonstrates when it is appropriate to use a general and subject-specific information source (e.g., to provide an overview, to give ideas on terminology).

      Practice:

      1. In groups have students use subject encyclopedias, CQ Researcher and other reference sources (one source per group) to obtain background information on a given topic

    D. Defines or modifies the information need to achieve a manageable focus

    Objective:

    1. Identifies an initial question that might be too broad or narrow, as well as one that is probably manageable.
    2. Explains his/her reasoning regarding the manageability of a topic with reference to available information sources.
    3. Narrows a broad topic and broadens a narrow one by modifying the scope or direction of the question.
    4. Demonstrates an understanding of how the desired end product (i.e., the required depth of investigation and analysis) will play a role in determining the need for information.
    5. Uses background information sources effectively to gain an initial understanding of the topic.
    6. Consults with the course instructor and librarians to develop a manageable focus for the topic.

    Practice:

    1. “POV means "point of view". Developing a point of view helps to narrow a topic. For example if the topic is global warming, maybe the POV is economic.

      E. Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the information need

      Objective:

      1. Lists terms that may be useful for locating information on a topic.
      2. Identifies and uses appropriate general or subject-specific sources to discover terminology related to an information need.
      3. Decides when a research topic has multiple facets or may need to be put into a broader context.
      4. Identifies more specific concepts that comprise a research topic.

      Practice:

      1. Use technology to help identify key concepts. Jump in with a few key words. Use the abstracts/records from databases to add to the list of keywords and concepts.”
      2. Have students generate synonyms and broader and narrower terms and discuss how their results would be different if they pitched different terms

    F. Recognizes that existing information can be combined with original thought, experimentation, and/or analysis to produce new information

      Practice:

      1. Lead students through the process of developing an experiment to test some idea they may have.

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

Outcomes Include:

    A. Knows how information is formally and informally produced, organized, and disseminated

    Objective:

    1. Describes the publication cycle appropriate to the discipline of a research topic.
    2. Defines the "invisible college" (e.g., personal contacts, listservs specific to a discipline or subject) and describes its value

    Practice:

    1. Discuss who knows, writes, and talks about a
    2. Discuss how an original idea or concept can be found in scholarly publishing in various steps in the publication cycle

    B. Recognizes that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed.

    Objectives:

    1. Names the three major disciplines of knowledge (humanities, social sciences, sciences) and some subject fields that comprise each discipline.
    2. Finds sources that provide relevant subject field- and discipline-related terminology.
    3. Uses relevant subject- and discipline-related terminology in the information research process.
    4. Describes how the publication cycle in a particular discipline or subject field affects the researcher's access to information

    Practice:

      1. Compare sources such as a specialized subject indexes in terms of coverage observing differences in content and limitations for access

    C. Identifies the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (e.g., multimedia, database, website, data set, audio/visual, book)

    Objective:

    1. Identifies various formats in which information is available.
    2. Demonstrates how the format in which information appears may affect its usefulness for a particular information need.

    Practice:

    1. Have students do a final project or paper that asks them to use various information sources and discusses the value of each.

    D. Identifies the purpose and audience of potential resources (e.g., popular vs. scholarly, current vs. historical)

    Objective:

    1. Distinguishes characteristics of information provided for different audiences.
    2. Identifies the intent or purpose of an information source (this may require use of additional sources in order

    Practice:

    1. Have students compare publications and publication timelines (read scholarly and popular articles on same general topic).
    2. Bring in materials to show the class the physical differences. Bring in a journal of their profession to develop an appropriate context)

    E. Differentiates between primary and secondary sources, recognizing how their use and importance vary with each discipline.

    Objective:

    1. Describes how various fields of study define primary and secondary sources differently.
    2. Identifies characteristics of information that make an item a primary or secondary source in a given field.

    Practice:

    1. Have students list characteristics of a primary sources given examples you have brought to class. Then have them decide the difference between these characteristics and those of secondary sources you have as examples. Brainstorm ways these can be used in different disciplines.

F. Realizes that information may need to be constructed with raw data from primary sources.

Objective:

  1. Differentiates between primary and secondary sources, recognizing how their use and importance vary with each.
Practice:
  1. Give students an information question and then provide them (working in groups) with different tables or other raw data. Ask them to find answers to the question using the data provided.
  2. Have students develop a research process that includes gathering data from primary sources.

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

Outcomes Include:

A. Determines the availability of needed information and makes 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)

Objective:

  1. Determines if material is available immediately.
  2. Uses available services appropriately to obtain desired materials or alternative sources.
Practice:
  1. Provide students with the information needed to understand that the modern library is merely a gateway to the world of information and that various options exist for them to obtain that information if it is not housed locally. This includes information on interlibrary loan and on local libraries in the area.

    B. Considers the feasibility of acquiring a new language or skill (e.g., foreign or discipline-based) in order to gather needed information and to understand its context

      Practice:

      1. Students are able to download data from a company website but to understand the information and utilize it they must download it into a spreadsheet.

    C. Defines a realistic overall plan and timeline to acquire the needed information

      Objective:

      1. Searches for and gathers information based on an informal, flexible plan.
      2. Demonstrates a general knowledge of how to obtain information that is not available immediately.
      3. Acts appropriately to obtain information within the time frame required..

      Practice:

      1. As a first step in completing an assigned research paper have the students develop a timeline with steps of the process from start to final draft.
4. The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need.

Outcomes Include:

A. Reviews the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question

Objective:

      1. Identifies a research topic that may require revision, based on the amount of information found (or not found).
      2. Identifies a topic that may need to be modified, based on the content of information found.
      3. Decides when it is and is not necessary to abandon a topic depending on the success (or failure) of an initial search for information.

    Practice:

      1. When doing a demonstration of a search on an online catalog, look at the subject headings assigned to a relevant work, analyze the results and have students generate ideas of how that might change their next search.

B. Describes criteria used to make information decisions and choices

    Objective:

    1. Demonstrates how the intended audience influences information choices.
    2. Demonstrates how the desired end product influences information choices (e.g., that visual aids or audio/visual material may be needed for an oral presentation).
    3. Lists various criteria, such as currency, which influence information choices. (See also 2.4. and 3.2.)

    Practice:

    1. Given a bibliography students must choose which sources would best fit their topic focus and list criteria they use to make their selection.