Information Literacy Learning Outcomes

First Year/Introductory Level

At this time, first year/introductory level skills should be introduced in 100 and 200 level classes, as appropriate.

First year/introductory level students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Apply understanding of academic integrity including copyright, plagiarism, and fair use
  • Successfully navigate the library website to conduct research
  • Locate resources relevant to an assignment
  • Distinguish between popular press and scholarly literature
  • Evaluate search results
  • Integrate research into a written assignment or presentation effectively
  • Document sources in a citation style appropriate to the discipline

Discipline-Specific / Reinforcement Level

Instruction provided for students enrolled in 200 and 300 level courses is tailored specifically to address course assignments.  Students work with specialized databases and resources unique to the subject and discipline of the course.  They have opportunities to interact with scholarly and professional literature, address contradictory viewpoints and data, and learn how to interpret and use empirical research findings.
These students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Identify and use specialized reference sources in the major field, e.g., subject encyclopedias
  • Use special features of subject databases, including controlled vocabulary, limiters, etc.
  • Identify and use sources specific to the discipline or subject, e.g., case studies, surveys, polls, statistics, fieldwork
  • Understand the style, structure, and components of a scholarly article
  • Use discipline-specific criteria to evaluate and select resources suitable for upper-division work
  • Use research collections beyond the local library when needed
  • Apply ethical and legal principles to the use of information in all formats and contexts
  • Use discipline-appropriate citation style

Senior Capstone / Mastery Level

The senior capstone level students are challenged with a culminating project that capitalizes on their undergraduate coursework and research.  Emphasis is placed on consulting a broad and extensive array of scholarly and professional sources, and delivering the content in a well-organized and coherent manner. At the capstone level, librarians will work with faculty to assess whether the student has fulfilled the learning objectives for the University, the discipline, and the Libraries.

Capstone/Mastery Level students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Conduct a comprehensive literature review
  • Perform cited reference searches in order to follow a research topic forward and backward in time
  • Successfully interpret and synthesize research literature generated and disseminated in their major area of study
  • Observe guidelines and standards endorsed by the discipline/profession, e.g., human subjects research

Graduate Level

As future professionals, graduate students must be information literate. Graduate students, like undergraduates, come from a wide variety of educational backgrounds and frequently have knowledge gaps about finding and using information that can impede their success as researchers.

Graduate students will demonstrate the ability to:

  • Develop a research plan appropriate to the investigative method, evaluating information and modifying the research plan as new insights are gained
  • Understand the nature of scholarly/professional communication in the discipline
  • Conduct a comprehensive literature review, according to department standards
  • Understand the concepts of primary and seminal sources
  • Track citations from bibliographies and other materials to find relevant sources
  • Document sources in a citation style appropriate to the discipline
  • Apply ethical and legal principles to the use of information in all formats and contexts

August 2016