Information Literacy at St. Thomas

ACRL's Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education realizes its potential through a richer, more complex set of core ideas. The framework it is based on a cluster of flexible interconnected core concepts in which six threshold concepts comprise the framework.

This approach to Information Literacy opens the way for librarians, faculty, and other institutional partners to design instruction sessions, assignments, courses, and even curricula.

Authority of information depends on where a source comes from, information need, and how the information will be used. It is both constructed and contextual. Authority should be viewed with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought.

Learning Outcomes (Situating information in context)

  • Identify markers of authority recognized by disciplines, professions, and other communities of knowledge and practice
  • Debate the ways privilege influences perception of authority
  • Acknowledge that they themselves may be seen as an authority in particular contexts
  • Identify authoritative information sources based on information need

Information can be encountered in different formats which has an impact on how it is used and shared. This frame refers to looking at the underlying processes of creation and the final product to critically evaluate the usefulness of the information.

Learning Outcomes (Formats of Information)

  • Distinguish between format and method of access, understanding that these are separate entities
  • Articulate the capabilities and constraints of various processes of information creation
  • Recognize that similar content may be presented in different formats, which may affect interpretation of the content
  • Select a source that best meets an information need based on the audience, context, and purpose of various formats

Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as means of commodity, education, influence, and of negotiating and understanding the world. The flow of information through systems of production and dissemination is affected by legal, sociopolitical, and economic interests.

Learning Outcomes (Using information responsibly)

  • Identify publication practices and their related implications for how information is accessed and valued
  • Recognize that intellectual property is a legal concept that is socially constructed according to different professions or other communities
  • Give credit to the original ideas of others through attribution and/or formal conventions
  • Manage personal and academic information online with an understanding of the commodification of that information

Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers prompt additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.

Learning Outcomes (Search methods)

  • Formulate questions for research of an appropriate scope, based on information gaps or by reexamining existing information
  • Select research methodology(ies) based on need, circumstance, and type of inquiry
  • Evaluate information from a variety of perspectives in order to shape their own knowledge base
  • Demonstrate persistence, adaptability, and reflection as components of inquiry
  • Organize information systematically in order to reflect on inquiry

Focuses on scholarly discourse and perspectives: it refers to the idea of sustained discourses within communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals, with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of competing perspectives and interpretations.

Learning Outcomes (Scholarly discourse/perspective)

  • Contribute to the scholarly conversation by becoming a creator or critic
  • Identify the contribution that particular information sources make within an ongoing conversation
  • Describe the way that systems privilege some perspectives and present barriers to others

Inquiry, discovery, and flexibility, searching identifies both possible relevant sources and how to access those sources. Searching is a contextualized, complex experience that affects, and is affected by, the cognitive, affective, and social dimensions of the searcher.

Learning Outcomes (Search Dimensions)

  • Design searches strategically, considering and selecting systems to search and evaluate search results
  • Identify how information systems are organized in order to access relevant information
  • Reflect on the search process in order to refine searches and persist in the face of challenges