Information Literacy Framework - University of the Sunshine Coast, Queensland, Australia

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Information Literacy Framework

Knowledge is power. Information is liberating. Kofi Annan Secretary-General of the United Nations 1997 - 2006.

Scope, description and purpose of Framework

Background
Information Literacy defined

We cannot learn without using information. (Bruce 2008, p.111) Information literacy skills include the ability to find, evaluate, store and manage information; to reuse it to create new knowledge or solve problems; and to understand that information exists within social, ethical, cultural and legal contexts.

Information literacy empowers citizens to participate in democratic processes, enables the progress of research and gives our students skills that help them succeed at university.

Information Literacy in Context

Information literacy is a skill for lifelong learning. Information Literacy is identified as a USC graduate generic skill linked to professional competencies giving USC graduates skills which extend into all areas of life.

The need to acquire skills to translate information into knowledge is relevant to all disciplines and should develop year by year as students progress through their study.

Employers seek graduates who have the skills to locate, organise, evaluate and critically analyse information from multiple sources.

Higher degree and postgraduate research students need a set of foundation information literacy skills which can be developed and applied to provide quality research outcomes. Information literacy is closely aligned with the skills required for effective and efficient research, including strategic searching, critical thinking and the use and management of evidence and raw data.

The Information literacy framework

This framework identifies opportunities for academic staff and the Library to work together in developing information literacy learning opportunities for their students.

The framework

  • Supports USC’s strategic priorities
  • Contributes to USC Graduate Outcomes
  • Provides teaching staff with a direction for developing information literacy skills in their students
  • Identifies skills which are desirable assets for students’ future employment
Strategic underpinnings

This USC framework is based on frameworks developed by Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy and the American Association of College and Research Libraries. Together, they define a context for information itself and the skills required for the use of that information.

The six concepts for considering information are:

  • Authority is constructed and contextual
  • Information creation as a process
  • Information has value
  • Research as inquiry
  • Scholarship as conversation
  • Searching as strategic exploration

The skills, behaviours and understandings that contribute to information literacy are:

  • The ability to understand that information is diverse
  • The ability to search for information effectively
  • The ability to evaluate what is found
  • The ability to manage what is found
  • The ability to reuse that information
  • Recognising that information exists in a social context, and is affected by legal, ethical, economic and social factors
Goals and outcomes

By offering avenues for collaborative development of information literacy skills, the Library aims to

  • Ensure that all USC students have the opportunity to develop information literacy competencies
  • Ensure that teaching staff have access to the skills and support to embed information literacy skills in their courses
  • Position the library team as a focus of expertise in information literacy

The Library will take a leadership role to:

  • Facilitate collaborative teaching and learning practice where library and teaching staff work together to ensure the best possible information competency outcomes for students
  • Provide opportunities for USC students to independently increase their information literacy skills
  • Develop a framework of action so information literacy skills can develop progressively through the span of learning from pre-course through to postgraduate
  • Promote information literacy as a skill which is intentionally taught and systematically extended
  • Support USC teaching and academic staff seeking to information literacy skills development into their teaching activities
  • Create resources for academic and teaching staff to develop their understanding of information literacy
Strategy deliverables
  • Engagement with academic staff to integrate information literacy skills into programs and courses which are new or are being redesigned
  • Training, either online or face-to-face, for students
  • Collaboration with academic staff to develop scaffolded development of information literacy within programs
  • Liaison with C-Salt to increase university-wide understanding of information literacy
  • Help, support and training for academic staff seeking to increase their own information literacy skills and knowledge
  • Delivery of information literacy training in sessions devised in collaboration with academic staff
  • Promotion of information literacy as a key employability, graduate and postgraduate skill
Alignment with USC Priorities

This framework aligns with and supports:

  • The USC Learning and Teaching Academic Policy
  • The USC Blended Learning Strategy 2017 - 2020

Specifically, this framework supports USC’s Strategic Imperative 1: The University will increase student enrolments and improve student success, specifically Priority 3: Focus on initiatives and support to enhance student engagement and maximise student success.

This Information Literacy Framework is underpinned by USC's commitment to excellence in teaching and to providing a high quality student experience by: 

  • Supporting teaching staff to enable USC students to become skilled and confident information users
  • Enabling students to increase their information literacy individually through
  • Providing online and face-to-face support for students working with information, to enable the best possible learning outcome for the individual

The Library will:

  • Promote information literacy as a lifelong learning skill valued by employers
  • Work with teaching and learning staff to map the development of information literacy skills within programs
  • Encourage the development of quality assessment items which develop information literacy in students
  • Assist teaching staff to develop students’ information literacy behaviours which are specific to their discipline

Reference:

Bruce, C. (2008). Informed learning. Chicago: Association of College and Research Libraries.

Implementation of the Information Literacy Framework

Information literacy is a component of learning and teaching, and the primary responsibility for teaching students about information lies with teaching staff. Library staff can assist and support teaching staff seeking to increase the information literacy of their students.

Objective Opportunity Responsibility Practice example Outcomes/skills
Support for academic staff seeking to integrate information literacy into teaching

Assessment items designed to intentionally develop and assess information literacy skills

Explicit discussion of information literacy skills in class

Development of information literacy and research skills throughout a program

Library/teacher collaboration

Teaching staff



Library/teacher collaboration

 simple annotated bibliographies

scholarly/peer review/academic publication

finding scholarly articles in first year to creating a conference poster in advanced courses

Search and evaluation skills

Critical thinking and evaluation. Development of scholarly practice

Application of understanding

 

Liaison with C~SALT to ensure information literacy skills are included in the development of courses and programs

 Map the development of information literacy from first year through to graduation and beyond

Identify opportunities to advance information literacy skills in assessments

Ensure the skills to search for, evaluate and synthesise information are retained in the online environment

 

C~SALT/Course coordinator

C~SALT/Course coordinator

C~SALT

 Map skills development at both course and program levels

Apply tools such as the Information Literacy Framework and the Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education to USC courses

Encourage searching for, rather than linking to material

provide relevant, engaging learning activities and explicit help opportunities

 Identify learning and teaching opportunities in existing courses, and as courses are reviewed

Skills development is implicit in the learning process

Online learning includes a range of skills, inluding information discovery

 

Within courses, increase students’ skills in search and evaluation of information

 In collaboration with teaching staff, develop and deliver tutorials and classes  Library  

“point of need” support is available online or face to face

Work alongside teaching staff in targeted skills development classes specifically associated with an assessment item

Participate in lectures and tutorials where an information literacy component has been identified

 Students have the tools to become independent information seekers

Using information is an intrinsic component of university learning and teaching

Library and teaching staff develop a shared understanding of disciplinary information environments

 

Provide resources for both students and teaching staff to develop information skills and knowledge

 Develop multimodal help options, such as print, online, video to meet various learning preferences  Library  Subject guides, How-to guides and contextualised help options for linking or embedding in Blackboard courses  Support is available in multiple formats, not context or location specific

Appendix

Information literacy learning objectives

This appendix links Information Literacy Standards (ANZIIL 2004) with the relevant USC Graduate Attributes and student learning outcomes and offers learning and teaching strategies which may be implemented to promote competencies for each standard.

Standard one
The Information Literate person recognises the need for information and determines the nature and extent of the information needed

Standard two
The information literate person finds needed information effectively and efficiently

Standard three
The information literate person evaluates information and the information seeking process

Standard four
The information literate person manages information collected or generated

Standard five
The information literate person applies prior and new information to construct new concepts or create new understandings

Standard six
The information literate person uses information with understanding and acknowledges the cultural, ethical, economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information

Standard one

The Information Literate person recognises the need for information and determines the nature and extent of the information needed.

Relevant Graduate Qualities

Empowered
Having both the capacity and confidence to pursue the attainment of full potential

With the skills for

  • problem solving
  • organisation
Learning outcomes

The student should be able to:

  • define and articulate their information need
  • analyse key words and concepts, synonyms and related topics
  • decide on a focus, position for their research
  • identify their existing knowledge
  • consider their personal biases
  • understand and differentiate the purpose and scope of a range of information sources
  • identify the audience and purpose of the information found
  • review and re-evaluate the information already gathered
  • synthesize information from different sources
  • discard unnecessary information
Suggested learning/teaching strategies
  • teaching staff map skills needs against expected assessment outcomes
  • students identify key concepts and ideas through concept mapping, brainstorming
  • introduce library resources 
  • use course reading lists for assignment work

Advanced

  • use a combination of research and evidence-based information
  • library training: accessing evidence-based resources
  • use statistics for community profiling
  • library training: locating statistical information

Postgraduate

  • develop a research hypothesis
  • use of “grey literature”
  • library training: searching for reports, proceedings etc
  • identify ‘gaps’ in the research literature
Standard two

The information literate person finds needed information effectively and efficiently

Relevant Graduate Qualities

Knowledgeable
Building disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge through a scholarly approach incorporating global and regional perspectives

With the skills for

  • problem solving
  • applying technologies
  • organisation
Learning outcomes

The student should be able to:

  • select the most appropriate tools for finding information
  • construct and implement effective search strategies
  • obtain information using appropriate and multiple methods
  • keep up to date with information sources, information technologies, information access tools and investigative methods
Suggested learning/teaching strategies
  • library training: using the catalogue to search by topic
  • use resources on a reading list and resources found independently
  • library training timed to introduce library resources required for a specific assessment topic

Advanced

  • develop an annotated bibliography
  • library training: advanced search techniques, boolean searching, subject-specific thesauri eg MeSH

Postgraduate

  • library training: citation databases and citation searching
  • library training:  Endnote
  • use national and international library catalogues to locate material – Worldcat, Libraries Australia
  • library training: searching beyond USC
  • maintain current awareness via alerting services, RSS feeds
Standard three

The information literate person evaluates information and the information seeking process

Relevant Graduate Qualities

Creative and critical thinking
Generating original ideas and concepts, and appreciating innovation and entrepreneurship 

Knowledgeable
Building disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge through a scholarly approach incorporating global and regional perspectives

Empowered
Having both the capacity and confidence to pursue the attainment of full potential

With the skills for

  • problem solving
  • organisation
Learning outcomes

The student should be able to:

  • assess the usefulness and relevance of the information obtained
  • examine and compare information from various sources
  • define and apply criteria for evaluating information
  • recognise and question prejudice, deception and manipulation through information
  • reflect on the information seeking process and revises search strategies as necessary
  • understand that context affects the production and interpretation of information
  • understand the impact of personal context and bias
Suggested learning/teaching strategies
  • students use books and articles in an assessment item
  • library training: introduction to finding library resource
  • use material produced within a time period (eg health resources)
  • library training: introduction to finding library resources
  • library training: scholarly journal articles

Advanced

  • annotated bibliography using multiple types of resources
  • library training: locating scholarly journal articles
  • library training: trade and professional publications

Postgraduate

  • view information search strategies as a reflective process
  • understands peer review
  • library training: locating and identifying peer-reviewed journals
  • library training: citation and key author searching
  • library training: research databases and document delivery
Standard four

The information literate person manages information collected or generated

Relevant Graduate Qualities

Ethical
Acting with integrity in intellectual, professional and community pursuits

Empowered
Having both the capacity and confidence to pursue the attainment of full potential

With the skills for

  • organisation
  • applying technologies
Learning outcomes

The student should be able to:

  • record information and its sources
  • create a system for organising and managing their information
  • understand the components of citations
  • organise and record their information and its sources
Suggested learning/teaching strategies
  • library training: understanding a reading list
  • can identify components of a citation
  • record the information needed for referencing
  • reading lists are provided as exemplars of correct relevant style

Advanced

  • know and use the referencing style appropriate for a particular course and be aware that there is a number of referencing styles
  • reference sources required on researches assessment items
  • manages information located in searches
  • library training: managing and recording information sources

Postgraduate

  • use Endnote for recording information
  • library training: Endnote
  • references ALL information sources
  • uses resources beyond text: email, personal contact
  • library training: locating peers and sharing information
Standard five

The information literate person applies prior and new information to construct new concepts or create new understandings

Relevant Graduate Qualities

Creative and critical thinking
Generating original ideas and concepts, and appreciating innovation and entrepreneurship

Knowledgeable
Building disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge through a scholarly approach incorporating global and regional perspectives

Engaged
Contributing positively to diverse communities through service and leadership

With the skills for

  • communication
  • organisation
Learning outcomes

the student should be able to:

  • compare and integrate new understandings with prior knowledge
  • select information that provides evidence to support a topic
  • know that information and knowledge is a social construct which is subject to change as a result of ongoing dialogue and research
  • communicate knowledge effectively
  • choose a communication medium that suits their task and the audience
  • communicate clearly and in a style to support the purposes of the intended audience
Suggested learning/teaching strategies
  • present assessment item for a particular genre eg debate, new item
  • applies own innovative solution to a given problem
  • locates evidence to support a known outcome
  • find books/journal articles on a topic
  • library training: introduction to finding library resources

Advanced

  • assessment in the form of a poster presentation, online resource, multimedia communication
  • prepare a pros and cons argument for an issue
  • preparation of a literature review
  • library training: databases for your subject area

Postgraduate

  • creation of poster presentation
  • literature review
  • library training: evidence-based and research databases
  • library training: locating support material to assist in constructing research projects
Standard six

The information literate person uses information with understanding and acknowledges the cultural, ethical, economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information

Relevant Graduate Qualities

Ethical
Acting with integrity in intellectual, professional and community pursuits

Knowledgeable
Building disciplinary and interdisciplinary knowledge through a scholarly approach incorporating global and regional perspectives

With the skills for

  • organisation
  • applying technologies

The student should be able to:

  • acknowledge that there are cultural, ethical and socioeconomic issues related to access to, and use of, information
  • recognise that information is underpinned by values and beliefs conform with conventions and etiquette related to access to and the use of, information
  • legally obtain, store and disseminate text, data, images or sounds
Suggested learning/teaching strategies
  • understands plagiarism 
  • understands the need for appropriate referencing 
  • uses computers, software etc in accordance with University and national rules and legislation
  • understands that information is affected by cultural beliefs and values
  • discussion of importance of observing copyright

Advanced

  • understand information in an Australian/national context 
  • library training: locating Australian resources
  • respect copyright in assessment items
  • appropriate acknowledgement and referencing

Postgraduate

  • understands and applies ethical research standards
  • understands copyright as it affects their own work and others’ 
  • training: copyright