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Faculty: Information Literacy at NIC

Information Literacy at NIC

Information literacy is a critical skill not only for the 21st century workplace, but for all aspects of our students' lives. To be information literate—to be able to find, evaluate, and use information effectively—underpins students' academic achievement and opens a path to lifelong learning. Given the essential role of information literacy in a college education, the NIC Library initiates and supports curricular efforts to develop information literacy skills in our graduates.

The Association of College and Research Libraries has developed a Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education that outlines areas in which students can develop their research skills.

Staff at the LLC have developed an Information Literacy Tutorial that will introduce students to the research process, and acquaint them with search for and integrating resources into their work. There are seven modules with an exam at the end. 

The modules include: 

Research Questions, Background Reading, Keywords, Searching, Where to Search, Evaluating Sources, Writing & Citing.

Learning Outcomes

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Learners will be able to differentiate between types of authority, such as subject expertise, societal position, or special experiences. Learners will identify which type of authority is best suited to their individual information need. Learners will be able to determine if a source is authoritative in the context of their subject discipline or research topic.

Information Creation as Process

Learners will be able to differentiate between information formats by examining elements such as writing style, editing and review processes, and presentation of information. Learners will recognize these elements as indicators of quality. Learners will identify which type of format is best suited to their individual information need.

Information has Value

Learners will be able to recognize the inherent societal, intellectual, and legal values of an information source. As creators of information, learners will apply the attribution process appropriate for their specific discipline and information need.

Research as Inquiry

Learners will be articulate a research question through an increasingly sophisticated process including posing and refining simple questions, engaging with debates and dialogues, and seeking diverse perspectives within their discipline. Learners will determine a scope of investigation appropriate for their specific discipline and research question.

Scholarship as Conversation

Learners will be able to recognize and engage with sources of evidence, methods, and modes of discourse within their discipline. Learners will contribute to the scholarly conversation within their discipline at the appropriate level.

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Learners will be able to recognize that research is an iterative process which includes defining an information need, initiating and refining a search strategy, and seeking alternative points of view on a topic. Learners will employ increasingly sophisticated and varied search strategies and will recognize how their own perspective influences their search process.

These areas, or frames, encourage the student to:

  • evaluate an information source for its authority;
  • understand the complex and open-ended nature of the research process;
  • recognize that information has value (economic, rhetorical, societal, etc.);
  • enter into the research process as a means of inquiry, of asking questions and creating knowledge;
  • see scholarly research as a conversation, one in which students themselves can take an active role.

The NIC Library works with students, faculty, and staff to advance information literacy as a core learning objective. We are eager to support faculty in all aspects of teaching information literacy, including the design of research assignments, developing research guides, and visiting classes to offer library instruction. If you have any questions about library research or information literacy, please contact Jennifer Evans

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