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Information Literacy

IL Thread Courses: Overview

Each department or program designates a course to fulfill the Information Literacy Thread requirement within the General Education curriculum. These courses are upper level and advanced, and incorporate at least one assignment that addresses the third-level learning objectives of the Information Literacy program.

Within each IL Thread course, students receive at least two hours of research instruction and guidance, with a focus on resources of the particular discipline and advanced research skills.

IL Thread Learning Objectives

These are the learning objectives for the third level of our Information Literacy program, taught jointly to IL Thread students by instructors and librarians:

  • Formulating a research question, identifying the entire range of sources needed to fully address it, and refining the question based on findings
  • Tracing citations to identify additional relevant sources
  • Applying advanced techniques in subject-specific databases
  • Using subject terms and database thesauri in searching
  • Finding primary and secondary sources, data/statistics (if appropriate)
  • Using WorldCat or other tools for finding books beyond Meredith
  • Placing requests for books or articles via interlibrary loan
  • Accessing subject-specific articles in print and microfilm format or digital archives (if appropriate)
  • Critically interrogating the assumptions, methods, bias, authority, and context of sources
  • Using primary sources, systematic reviews, statistics, and other specialized sources to answer the research question
  • Using Zotero or Mendeley for citation management and creation
  • Using Google Scholar to supplement findings in subject-specific databases

The overarching ACRL Frames for this level are "Scholarship as a Conversation" and "Authority is Constructed and Contextual".

IL Thread Course Requirements

According to a document approved by the General Education Committee in Spring 2015, courses designated as Information Literacy thread courses must meet the following standards:

Information Literacy thread courses will...

  • include research as a significant component of the course and the course grade; at least 20% of a student’s grade will be generated from assignments that require students to demonstrate IL skills
  • require students to produce evidence of research (the format or product to be determined by the conventions of the academic discipline)
  • include the equivalent of at least 2 hours of information literacy instruction in the course syllabus
  • provide rubrics to show how a student’s information literacy skills will be assessed by the instructor

To maximize their effectiveness, it is recommended that Information Literacy thread courses . . .

  • be upper level courses;
  • have the assistance of the Department’s Liaison Librarian in the planning and implementation of the IL instruction;
  • be completed AFTER a student completes ENG 200 or at the same time as taking ENG 200, and
  • address at a minimum the skills prescribed by the IL Thread learning objectives.