Developing Information Literacy
Students demonstrate "information literacy" when they know how to engage in the process of learning, including where and how to collect information, to comprehend and analyze it, and then to apply it. Students best develop information literacy as they learn the skills of seeking, finding, and evaluating information--whether they are taking on a subject for the first time or deepening their knowledge of something with which they are already familiar--through work appropriate to specific courses and disciplines.
When faculty ask students to engage in academic work, most of us have certain general expectations about what we want students to accomplish:
- we want them to recognize the value of the materials we bring into our classes
- we want them to read course materials, and find outside materials that are appropriate to the course and the topic
- we want them to form questions or theses about these materials worth pursuing further
- we want them to understand multiple points of view about a topic and to incorporate fluidly those multiple points of view
- we want them to “think for themselves” about the topic, to have learned from multiple perspectives and to develop a perspective of their own from these
- we want them to have been ethical in their use and presentation of materials (free of sloppy citation and plagiarism)
These expectations define activities in which we want students to become engaged so that they might develop the ability to think critically and to reason clearly. When students develop information literacy, they are practicing the investigation and understanding of knowledge, and they are using that practice to sharpen their abilities to reason well. While many courses will include the work of information literacy, the College ensures students will receive instruction in practicing it through the following courses:
FYS 101 First Year Seminar: Special Topics
ENG 101 Writing About Literature
PHI 101 Introduction to Philosophy
RST 101 Introduction to Religious Studies
By the time they take a Core capstone in their junior or senior year, students will be expected to demonstrate proficiency in information literacy. View a document that more fully describes the development of information literacy through the Core Curriculum and beyond.