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Information literacy in context

The Information Literacy Teaching Materials collection was created by PCC librarians to help instructors find resources to use with classes to achieve core learning outcomes related to information literacy. The project began with a survey of teaching faculty to learn what students struggle with most, which informed the selection of resources. The collection includes a vetted selection of handouts, videos, in-class activities, and more to help you you integrate information literacy and library research guidance into your classes.

What is information literacy?

Information literacy is defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) as “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.” (From ACRL’s “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education”).

The skills possessed by an information literate individual include being able to:

  • Determine the extent of information needed
  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically
  • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally

(From ACRL’s “Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education”)

How is information literacy learning integrated into PCC learning outcomes?

The role of information literacy in higher education is foundational. According to ACRL’s “Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education”:

“Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education. It enables learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.”

At PCC, information literacy is integral to the Core Outcome of Critical Thinking and Problem Solving

“Identify and investigate problems, evaluate information and its sources, and use appropriate methods of reasoning to develop creative and practical solutions to personal, professional and community issues.”

In addition, many PCC courses have direct information literacy learning outcomes. A few examples:

  • Biology 101: Gather information, assess its validity, and differentiate factual information from opinion and pseudo-science by learning and practicing methods used by biological scientists.
  • ESOL 262: Locate and evaluate potential sources of support for ideas expressed in writing using the Internet, the library, and research databases.
  • Environmental Studies 200: Identify, summarize, synthesize, evaluate and appropriately cite information from the peer-reviewed scientific literature.
  • Honors 101: Establish and propose powerful research questions.
  • Psychology 201A: Discern the difference between personal views and scientific evidence and identify claims arising from myths, stereotypes, common fallacies, and poorly supported assertions regarding behavior.
  • Reading 115: Use library resources to formulate a research query and select appropriate sources of information. Use critical thinking to evaluate.
  • Writing 121: Begin to locate, evaluate and use information effectively and ethically to develop an informed position and encourage intellectual curiosity.

You can view the entire list of courses with direct information literacy learning outcomes at our Course Specific Research Support guides page. These guides provide instructional objectives, and bridging competencies, for achievement of the course specific research outcomes for courses that include indicators for research skills, or information literacy concepts in the course outcomes, outcome assessments, or course content sections.

How can you help with this project?

This collection is growing and improving!  If you have assignments, tutorials, or other learning tools that you recommend we include in the collection, please use our submissions form and we will consider your materials for addition.