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Information Literacy (I-Flag) Guidelines

During the course of our work, the Council on General Education has identified an existing gap in alignment with Clarion University General Education curriculum and the PASSHE and Middle States Commission on Higher Education recommendations in the area of Information Literacy.  

To aid in identification and assessment of courses that meet our General Education Outcome #4: Students graduating from Clarion University will use information effectively, the Council on General Education is forwarding a motion to CCPS proposing the following amendments to General Education Requirements:

1.      Revision of General Education requirement A.1. title and outcomes to encompass English Composition AND Information Literacy, establishing a basic level of information literacy competency

2.      Establishment of a new Information Literacy flag (I-flag) to establish an advanced information literacy competency, as applied to the program major during the junior or senior year.

While recognizing that some elements of Information Literacy are inherent to all instruction, the establishment of information literacy competency at the basic and advanced levels would provide an opportunity to standardize the University's definition of information literacy and more clearly define the competencies expected of the information literate student.  This model parallels the one already in place for development of writing skills and competency.  Once in place, this flag would readily identify courses that have strong information literacy components and provide a framework for providing students with progressively advancing information literacy experiences.

The Council would like to recommend the definition and standards found in Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (ALA, 2000) as the basis for developing an Information Literacy flag.  The Middle States Commission on Higher Education's definition of information literacy is based upon these standards.  As per the document: "Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." (p.2)   This definition is provided in detail in the attached document.

Definition of Information Literacy

"To be information literate, a person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information." (American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy, Final Report, 1989, p.1) 

An information literate student is able to:

  • Determine the nature and extent of the information needed
  • Access needed information effectively and efficiently
  • Evaluate information and its sources critically and incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system
  • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
  • Understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

Found online:  http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/publications/whitepapers/presidential.cfm

 

The Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (ALA, 2000):

1.      The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information

2.      The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need

3.      The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

4.      The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

5.      The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

Found online:    http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/standards.pdf

 

Middle States Commission on Higher Education

The Middle States Commission on Higher Education, in the 2009 revised edition of Characteristics of Excellence in Higher Education: Requirements of Affiliation and Standards for Accreditation, under Standard 11 "Educational Offerings" states:

Several skills, collectively referred to as "information literacy," apply to all disciplines in an institution's curricula. These skills relate to a student's competency in acquiring and processing information in the search for understanding, whether that information is sought in or through the facilities of a library, through practica, as a result of field experiments, by communications with experts in professional communities, or by other means. Therefore, information literacy is an essential component of any educational program at the graduate or undergraduate levels. These skills include the ability to:

 

  • determine the nature and extent of needed information;
  • access information effectively and efficiently;
  • evaluate critically the sources and content of information;
  • incorporate selected information in the learner's knowledge base and value system;
  • use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose;
  • understand the economic, legal and social issues surrounding the use of information and information technology; and
  • observe laws, regulations, and institutional policies related to the access

and use of information. (p. 42)

Found online:    http://www.msche.org/publications/CHX06_Aug08REVMarch09.pdf

Appendix ____      Outcomes for Information Literacy courses

Basic Information Literacy (to be incorporated into Appendix D ENG 111 Outcomes)

Determine the nature and extent of the information needed

o   Ability to define and articulate the need for information

o   Ability to identify a variety of types and formats of potential sources

 

Access needed information effectively and efficiently

o   Selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval system

o   Constructs and implements effectively designed search strategies

o   Retrieves information using a variety of methods

o   Refines the search strategy

o   Extracts, records, and manages the information and its sources

 

Evaluate critically the sources and content of information

o   Summarizes main ideas

o   Articulates and applies initial criteria and validity for information and its sources

o   Synthesizes main ideas to construct new concepts

o   Compares new knowledge with prior knowledge

 

Advanced (or Applied) Information Literacy,     I flag

 

Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose

o   Applies new and prior information to the planning and creation of a particular product or performance in the major discipline.

o   Revises the development process for the product or performance

o   Communicates the product or performance effectively

 

Incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system

o   Determines whether new knowledge has an impact on the individual's value system and takes steps to reconcile the differences

o   Validates understanding and interpretation of information through discourse with others, including experts and practitioners

o   Determines whether the initial query should be revised

 

Understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses and uses information ethically and legally.

o   Understand ethical, legal and socio-economic issues surrounding information and information technology

o   Follows copyright laws, regulations, institutional policies, and etiquette related to the access and use of information

o   Acknowledges the use of information sources

 

Middle States (2003). "Developing Research & Communication Skills : Guidelines for Information Literacy in the Curriculum" retrieved June 2010 from http://www.msche.org/publications/Developing-Skills080111151714.pdf

 

Implementation Plan

  • 2010-2011: Share proposal and gather feedback from department chairs and faculty. Feedback should be directed to respective General Education Council members/representatives:
    • College of Business Administration Chairs - September 29, 2010
    • Venango Deans Advisory Council - October 12, 2010
    • College of Education & Human Services Chairs - October 15, 2010
    • College of Arts & Sciences Chairs Council - October 25, 2010
    • Clarion Campus Open Forum - November 12, 2010
    • Venango Faculty Forum - November 19, 2010
  • December 2011: submit proposed changes to General Education Requirements to CCPS for approval
  • 2011-2012: Identify I-Flag courses
    • Departments and programs should submit courses to General Education Council for approval
  • Fall 2012: effective first term for Information Literacy & I-flag requirements for students entering under this catalog year
  • 2012-2013: Assessment of Information Literacy outcomes in I-flag courses.