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Information Literacy Assignments That Work!: What is IL?

This guide is intended to provide faculty some resources for incorporating information literacy concepts into their courses and/or existing assignments.

Information Literacy

Information literacy is the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.                       - ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education

Almost all our students have heard that not all information is created equal, but most still struggle to determine which sources are credible and which are not. Information literacy is the difference between those those who make it a habit to accept information at face value and those who interact critically with information, who can recognize misleading, out-of-date, or false information. It includes the ability to sort through data and interpret it intelligently.

What does Information Literacy look like?

Definitions of Information Literacy:

  • "Information Literacy is the ability to identify, retrieve, evaluate, and use information that is appropriate to a need. Students who develop information literacy skills will be more successful in their studies and their daily lives. They will find that these skills are an essential element in becoming a lifelong learner."
    -- From Western Michigan University Libraries Information Literacy Site
     
  • "Information literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how to learn because they know how knowledge is organized, how to find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand."
    -- From ACRL Presidential Committee on Information Literacy: Final Report: Association of College & Research Libraries

From: Babson Library (2010) "Information Literacy Toolbox for Faculty." Babson Library Information Literacy Project. http://www.babsonlibrary.org/courses/Faculty-toolbox-1.html