Fogler Library Information Literacy Workshop for Faculty
This information literacy (IL) workshop covers the following:
the value of IL and its roots in critical thinking;
a common language around IL that participants could draw on as they draft syllabi and course assignments;
ideas for enhancing or adding material to courses that incorporate strong IL components;
awareness of library resources and support for faculty.
The workshop corresponds to the University's involvement with the Multi-State Collaborative, a national research project focused on assessing General Education learning among undergraduate students.This guide is a resource to accompany the workshop and provide others interested in incorporating IL into their curriculum with a place to begin.
This rubric articulates fundamental criteria for each learning outcome, with performance descriptors demonstrating progressively more sophisticated levels of attainment.
The information literacy VALUE rubric measures proficiency in information literacy skills from 1, which is the lowest level of proficiency, to 4, which is the highest level of proficiency. When a student starts their work at the university level, they are expected to be at level 1, and ideally, their work at the University of Maine will guide them through levels 2 and 3 so that they reach level 4 by the time they graduate. These rubrics were designed for use in evaluating student learning at the institutional level, not for grading purposes, and for looking at a collection of work rather than an individual piece of student work.
Reprinted with permission from Assessing Outcomes and Improving Achievement: Tips and tools for Using Rubrics, edited by Terrel L. Rhodes. Copyright 2010 by the Association of American Colleges and Universities.
The Rubric in More Detail
According to the National Forum on Information Literacy, the definition of information literacy is “the ability to know when there is a need for information, to be able to identify, locate, evaluate, and effectively and responsibly use and share that information for the problem at hand.” There are five different sub-areas of information literacy skills listed:
Determine the extent of information needed: In order to excel in this area, students will need skills related to two different aspects of the information search process. They’ll need to be able to use the subject knowledge they’ve gained from a class to be able to come up with key concepts and the scope of their own research questions, but they’ll also need to be able to select the type of information sources most relevant to those concepts and research questions.
Access the needed information: Students will need to be familiar with research tools such as library databases, the library catalog, and tools within databases like search filters and thesauri. They’ll also need to be familiar with search strategies, like how to construct useful and relevant keywords when searching for information, and what operators (and, not, or) to use.
Evaluate information and its sources critically: Students will need to understand the information they find as well as where the information is coming from (author and/or organization), what purpose the information was created for, and whether the information is current, accurate, and relevant to their needs.
Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose: Students will need to be able to organize and communicate clearly the information they find, synthesize information from different sources, and use information to support their own arguments effectively.
Access and use information ethically and legally: Students will need to be able to differentiate between their own work and the work of others by using citation and attribution appropriately. Students will also need to be aware of issues such as plagiarism and copyright—in other words, what counts as ethical and legal use of information and what doesn’t.
Every department has a subject librarian who is available to collaborate on course assignments and design library research sessions that:
incorporate tenets of information literacy;
correspond to the goals of your course.
Librarians are also available for one-on-one or group consultations with your students regarding research assignments.
Fogler Library Workshop Activity 1
Small Group Discussion
Read the Information Literacy VALUE Rubric. Choosing one of the five key elements of the rubric, brainstorm with your group ways in which you might help students reach a 4 (capstone—highest level of achievement) in that category rather than a 1 (benchmark—lowest level of achievement).
Here are some things you might consider:
Are there particular types of assignments that might be a good fit with this element?
In your field, what is the difference between a 1 and a 4?
What common pitfalls have you seen in student work that might prevent them from reaching the highest level of work?
Can you think of ways to counteract these pitfalls?
Fogler Library Workshop Activity 2
Look at (or consider) the assignment prompt in connection with each of the five elements of the Information Literacy VALUE rubric.
Which aspects of the assignment seem well-suited to particular elements of the VALUE rubric?
How might you adjust the assignment rubric to emphasize an element or elements of the VALUE rubric it doesn’t emphasize now?
What might be some potential positive results of the changes?
What might be some potential negative results of the changes?
After you’ve thought about this on your own, find a partner at your table and discuss your thoughts about relating your prompts to this rubric. Be prepared to discuss some of what you and your partner talked about with the larger group.
Examples of Relevant Course Assignments or Activities