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Information Literacy Competencies for UNCA Students

The Ramsey Information Literacy Instruction Program seeks to empower students with the knowledge and skills necessary to effectively, efficiently and responsibly find and use the information they need for their research papers and projects. Toward this end, we present this draft set of adapted information literacy competencies for UNCA students.

 

Basic first-year level student suggested information literacy competencies (exposure = 1 through 3):

Instruction ideally emphasizes the value of pertinent concepts rather than mere “how to use specific resource” type skills, and exposes students to basic information literacy concepts. By the end of the introductory information literacy intensive course, students should have the ability to:

  • search for, find, evaluate and use course-related information from academic books.
  • search for, find, evaluate and use course-related information from relevant periodicals.
  • search for, find, evaluate and use course-related, authoritative information from the web.
  • apply critical thinking skills to select and evaluate relevant information using access tools that are most appropriate for course-related information needs.
  • understand issues of academic integrity and plagiarism in order to foster evaluative critical thinking skills.

Upper level student suggested information literacy competencies (exposure = 4 through 9):

Instruction ideally emphasizes the value of pertinent concepts rather than mere “how to use specific resource” type skills, and exposes students to advanced information literacy concepts. By the end of the upper level information literacy intensive course, students should have the ability to:

  • search for, find, evaluate, cite and use course-related information from multiple sources.
  • integrate this information within a single product.
  • develop familiarity with the core resources within ones discipline.
  • develop a research strategy appropriate to a library assignment in ones discipline.
  • understand that a discipline-specific research strategy can be applied with some modification to other disciplines.
  • apply critical thinking skills to select and evaluate the information access tools most appropriate for ones discipline.
  • understand issues of copyright, intellectual property and the ethical use of information.

Adapted Information Literacy Objectives and Competencies*

Competency 1:
The information literate student recognizes the need for information.

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • State overview of a topic.
  • Connect ideas and other issues to a main topic.
  • State more than one side to an issue.
  • Define a manageable focus and timeline in response to an assignment.
  • Frame appropriate questions based on information needs.
  • Develop essential questions that go beyond facts and are thoughtful.

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

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • Identify a variety of potential sources of information and select those sources that are appropriate to a given need/ to answer research questions.
  • Locate information using a variety of formats (web resources, electronic library catalogs, electronic periodical indexes and print materials).

Competency 3:
The information literate student develops skills to evaluate information critically and competently.

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • Identify fact-based information.
  • Identify inaccurate or misleading information.
  • Identify accurate information by comparing and contrasting topic-related resources.
  • Effectively expand or narrow a search as needed.
  • Use facts and opinions appropriately.
  • Identify point-of-view or bias to assess validity of information.

Competency 4:
The information literate student is an independent learner who uses information accurately and creatively.

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • Demonstrate understanding of essential ideas by using them effectively.
  • Continually revise topics and research strategies as additional information is uncovered.
  • Integrate new information, draw conclusions and connect with prior knowledge.
  • Use information literacy strategies for real-life situations.
  • Apply information problem-solving skills to personal life.

Competency 5:
The information literate student is an independent learner who regularly organizes and processes information.

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • Use a variety of resources and formats for information and personal enjoyment.
  • Synthesize information from a variety of sources.
  • Integrate new information into one's own knowledge base.
  • Make inferences, connections and draw conclusions.
  • Organize information for practical application.
  • Extrapolate ideas from creative sources and apply to scholarly pursuits and personal experiences.

Competency 6:
The information literate student is an independent learner who applies information for effective and creative decision making as well as knowledge generation.

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • Reflect on and revise work based on feedback.
  • Set personal criteria and check quality of work.
  • State personal standards of excellence.
  • Apply information in critical thinking and problem solving.
  • Create new information or knowledge through synthesis.
  • Produce quality products appropriate to specific needs.

Competency 7:
The information literate student effectively generates and communicates information and contributes positively to the learning community and to society.

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • Examine diverse opinions and points-of-view (i.e., culture, background, historical context, etc.) to develop and modify ones own point-of-view.
  • Share materials.
  • Return materials on time and in useable condition.
  • Produce, disseminate and communicate information in effective and appropriate formats.
  • Evaluate the effectiveness/success of products developed and presented.

Competency 8:
The information literate student understands and respects the ethical, legal and socio-political aspects of information and its technologies, and practices ethical behavior in regard to information and information technology.

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • Demonstrate respect for and solicit others’ ideas.
  • Exercise personal rights and responsibilities for freedom of expression.
  • Draw conclusions and state them in one’s own words. 
  • Demonstrate responsible use of information technology.
  • Respect the principles of equitable access to information and intellectual property rights.
  • Apply principles of academic honesty in use of information.
  • Acknowledge work of others through appropriate and accurate citations and references.

Competency 9:
The information literate student contributes positively to the learning community and to society, participates effectively in groups to pursue and generate information, and develops an appreciation of lifelong learning.

Evaluation measures: An information literate student is able to:

  • Increase self-confidence with practice and refinement in information seeking.
  • Demonstrate respect for others’ points-of-view and ideas.
  • Solve information problems in collaboration with others and contribute to the success of the group.
  • Reflect on and evaluate one’s own and the group’s work to improve content, delivery and work habits.
  • Recognize that the information search process is evolutionary and changes during the course of investigation, and that this process requires time, diligence and practice.
  • Recognize that careful and attentive scrutiny of information tools and resources is essential to success.
  • Appreciate that information literacy requires an ongoing involvement with learning and information technologies so that independent lifelong learning is possible.

*Adapted from ACRL's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.


 
Page updated 8/13/2013. 
Comments to library@unca.edu.
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