Guidelines for the Information Literacy Component of the University-wide General Education Program

as adopted by the University-wide General Education Committee
Pending approval by the University-wide General Education Committee

General Education Courses Should Address One or More of the Information Literacy Standards

As defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries, 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." "Information literacy forms the basis for lifelong learning. Information literacy is common to all disciplines, to all learning environments, and to all levels of education." The expected information literacy outcomes for the General Education Program follow:

Scholarship is a Conversation:

  • Recognize the metaphor of  conversation to  describe the purpose of  research
  • Identify the contribution of specific scholarly pieces and varying perspectives to a disciplinary knowledge conversation
  • Contribute to the  scholarly conversation at an appropriate level, through the lens of becoming a creator/critic

Research Evolves:

  • Formulate research questions based on curiosity and gaps in information or data  available
  • Reflect on how the research process is iterative and requires persistence
  • Apply research methods that are appropriate for  the need, context, and type of inquiry

Authority is Contextual:

  • Determine attributes of  authoritative information for different needs, with the understanding that context plays a role
  • Recognize that  traditional notions of  granting authority might hinder diverse ideas and worldviews
  • Acknowledge that oneself may be seen as an authority in a particular area, and recognize the responsibilities entailed

Knowledge is Co‐constructed:

  • Critique and evaluate information to contribute to the construction of knowledge and make it stronger
  • Implement strategies to recognize co‐constructed knowledge and the role of a co‐creator
  • Reflect on the usefulness of making mistakes in the search process and how research is not solely transactional

Information is  Power:

  • Value the Why of using citations, rather than solely focusing on the How (go beyond just avoiding plagiarism)
  • Identify scholarly publication practices and how they provide and/or hinder access to scholarly information
  • Identify why some groups/individuals may be underrepresented or systematically marginalized within the systems that produce and disseminate information

Foundations, Tier One, and Tier Two classes should explicitly introduce students to important sources of information related to the content of the course. Instructors who require use of library resources, including online resources through the library, are strongly encouraged to consult with librarians in designing assignments. Students should also be informed about legal and ethical implications of using information, especially plagiarism.