- Your responses to your classmates must be substantive. Share ideas, explore differences, and think critically about your classmates’ posts. Bring in information from your textbook, classroom resources or other credible sources that you find to contribute to the discussion. You are invited to share relevant audio, video, or images in your responses. You must cite and reference any sources you use, even in your responses to your classmates.
Before this class, I was not familiar with the term “information literacy”. I did previously take a class called “Digital Literacy” which was based on how to use digital media in order to be able to gain information and complete tasks. I look at this class as somewhat similar, but more relating to finding information that may not be digital or available online. The textbook defines digital literacy as “the ability to identify a need for information and successfully locate, evaluate, and use that information ethically and legally for a determined purpose.” (von Winckelmann, 2015, 1.1). The first module of the textbook helped me to better understand exactly what information literacy is, and how to utilize the concepts.
The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL), a division of the American Library Association (ALA), developed an information literacy framework that identifies six threshold concepts meant to guide students in the process of becoming lifelong learners through the acquisition of information literacy skills (von Winckelmann, 2015, 1.1). The ACRL’s six threshold concepts are Research as Inquiry, Scholarship as Conversation, Information Creation as a Process, Searching as Strategic Exploration, Authority is Constructed and Contextual, and Information has Value (von Winckelmann, 2015, 1.1). The concept of research as inquiry is that the research process is all about asking and answering questions. Scholarship as conversation means that “Experts within a field communicate to share information, debate their ideas, and gain understanding. They often contest each other’s ideas and seek out the opinions of other scholars within their fields to test these ideas (von Winckelmann, 2015, 1.1). Information creation as a process is the idea that research and gathering information is fluid and may change based on the needs of the writer and what questions they need to answer. Searching as strategic exploration recognizes that most research questions or topics may require information and data from several sources and that searching for accurate information can be a process. Authority is constructed and conventional reminds people that not all information and sources are created equal, and the validity of sources must be investigated. Lastly, the concept that information has value means that research findings and conclusions need to be properly represented through citations and copyrights.
In addition to the 6 concepts presented in section 1.1, the textbook also explored several skills that one must possess in order to be truly information literate. The first skills discussed was inference. “Inference is the process of using facts to determine an accurate conclusion or hypothesis from the information available. Given what we know so far, what conclusions can we draw? What can be ruled out? What additional information do we need to resolve this question?” (von Winckelmann, 2015, 1.1). This is a skill that I could benefit from improving, especially to help with my college-level writing. I find that at times I struggle interpreting material that I read in order to find the most important points and not have an excess of information or wordiness in my writing. Evaluation is another important skill for college students who are interpreting information. It is critical to make sure that information is credible, trustworthy, and useful for the point that one is trying to convey. Lastly, explanation of information is a very important skill. Once information and research is gathered it is important to explain the information and not rely on quotes of others, but to explain how and why the information is relative.
All of the concepts and skills I can see being important and helpful in my college work as well as my personal and professional life. As previously mentioned, I can see how many of these skills will help me in college-level writing to make sure that my information is accurate, trustworthy, cited correctly, and understandable to readers. In my personal life I plan to use these concepts and skills to gather information and answer questions that I am curious about. I think that using these specific skills will help me to find more reliable information and make sure that my information is accurate so I can be more confident in my answers and reasoning when conversing with others in friendly and professional settings.
Von Winckelmann, S. (2015). Information literacy in the digital age [Electronic version]. Retrieved from https://content.ashford.edu/Links to an external site.