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Information Literacy Instruction

Major Stakeholders and Competency Providers

* Students * | Classroom Instructors | Librarians | Technology Staff

Students: Take charge of your education!

What does buying a car, doing your taxes, finding the perfect graduate school, or deciding which companies are great to work for have to do with your studies here at the University of Connecticut? They all are best accomplished by doing research. Information Literacy skills will improve the quality of your life, now and in the future, by allowing you to find information, critically evaluate that information, and use it to improve your life in school and in the future. Having confidence in your information seeking skills takes lots of stress out of making major decisions during your life. Information Literacy skills are what you will learn in your undergraduate years through your course work.

But, becoming fully information literate requires effort and expertise from many people. The primary responsibility rests on the learner, for without cooperation and energy on this person's part, no learning will take place. Faculty and librarians are the primary resources to be utilized. Use them often! To fully benefit from this opportunity, students must:

The optimally skilled student actively engages in learning.

  1. Defining your Information Need
    • Confers with instructors and participates in class discussions, peer workgroups, and electronic discussions to identify a research topic, or other information need
    • Develops a thesis statement and formulates questions based on the information need
    • Explores general information sources to increase familiarity with the topic
    • Recognizes that existing information can be combined with original thought, experimentation, and/or analysis to produce new information
    • Reviews the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question
  2. Accessing Information Effectively and Efficiently
    • Identifies appropriate investigative methods (e.g., laboratory experiment, simulation, fieldwork)
    • Investigates benefits and applicability of various investigative methods
    • Assesses the quantity, quality, and relevance of the search results to determine whether alternative information retrieval systems or investigative methods should be utilized
    • Identifies gaps in the information retrieved and determines if the search strategy should be revised
    • Repeats the search using the revised strategy as necessary
    • Selects among various technologies the most appropriate one for the task of extracting the needed information (e.g., copy/paste software functions, photocopier, scanner, audio/visual equipment, or exploratory instruments)
    • Creates a system for organizing the information
    • Records all pertinent citation information for future reference
    • Uses various technologies to manage the information selected and organized
  3. Evaluation and Critically Thinking about Information Sources
    • Reads the text and selects main ideas
    • Restates textual concepts in his/her own words and selects data accurately
    • Identifies verbatim material that can be then appropriately quoted
    • Analyzes the structure and logic of supporting arguments or methods
    • Recognizes interrelationships among concepts and combines them into potentially useful primary statements with supporting evidence
    • Extends initial synthesis, when possible, at a higher level of abstraction to construct new hypotheses that may require additional information
    • Utilizes computer and other technologies (e.g. spreadsheets, databases, multimedia, and audio or visual equipment) for studying the interaction of ideas and other phenomena
    • Determines whether information satisfies the research or other information need
    • Uses consciously selected criteria to determine whether the information contradicts or verifies information used from other sources
    • Draws conclusions based upon information gathered
    • Tests theories with discipline-appropriate techniques (e.g., simulators, experiments)
    • Integrates new information with previous information or knowledge
    • Investigates differing viewpoints encountered in the literature
    • Determines whether to incorporate or reject viewpoints encountered
    • Participates in classroom and other discussions
    • Participates in class-sponsored electronic communication forums designed to encourage discourse on the topic (e.g., email, bulletin boards, chat rooms)
    • Seeks expert opinion through a variety of mechanisms (e.g., interviews, email, listservs)
    • Determines if original information need has been satisfied or if additional information is needed
    • Reviews search strategy and incorporates additional concepts as necessary
    • Reviews information retrieval sources used and expands to include others as needed
  4. Presenting your results
    • Organizes the content in a manner that supports the purposes and format of the product or performance (e.g. outlines, drafts, storyboards)
    • Articulates knowledge and skills transferred from prior experiences to planning and creating the product or performance
    • Integrates the new and prior information, including quotations and paraphrasings, in a manner that supports the purposes of the product or performance
    • Manipulates digital text, images, and data, as needed, transferring them from their original locations and formats to a new context
    • Maintains a journal or log of activities related to the information seeking, evaluating, and communicating process
    • Reflects on past successes, failures, and alternative strategies
    • Chooses a communication medium and format that best supports the purposes of the product or performance and the intended audience
    • Uses a range of information technology applications in creating the product or performance
    • Incorporates principles of design and communication
    • Communicates clearly and with a style that supports the purposes of the intended audience
  5. Understanding Information Issues
    • Participates in electronic discussions following accepted practices (e.g. "Netiquette")
    • Uses approved passwords and other forms of ID for access to information resources
    • Complies with institutional policies on access to information resources
    • Preserves the integrity of information resources, equipment, systems and facilities
    • Legally obtains, stores, and disseminates text, data, images, or sounds