University Studies Advisory Committee

Information Literacy

OVERVIEW:

This document provides a description of the Information Literacy component of University Studies. In so doing, it differentiates between common component-level student learning outcomes and discipline-specific course-level learning outcomes, offering examples of both types. The goal is to encourage the development of challenging and varied University Studies courses that share common assessable student learning outcomes, and to outline a clear procedure by which these courses may be proposed and approved.

PART I: DESCRIPTION AND RATIONALE

This component of the University Studies program is designed to foster the development of students' information literacy skills by requiring three information literacy intensive courses: The First Year Experience and two additional information literacy intensive courses, with at least one in the major field of study. The American Library Association has defined information literacy as "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 skills have become crucial for any lifelong learner, in part, due to rapidly changing information technologies and increased access to a variety of information resources. A student's ability to make critical choices about information is essential during his or her college career and beyond. Information literacy is essential in all disciplines and achieving information literacy skills positions students for academic, professional, and personal success.

PART II: COMMON STUDENT LEARNING OUTCOMES ALIGNED TO UNIVERSITY STUDIES GOALS

The following are the Common Student Learning Outcomes for Information Literacy courses. These are aligned with the UNCW Learning Goals. Each course in this category must address all of the Common Student Learning Outcomes for the category, and list these Common SLOs along with course-specific SLOs in the course syllabus. Proposals for inclusion in the category will describe the opportunities which will be provided for students to learn the outcome (readings, class discussion and/or activities, applied projects) and list the specific sources of evidence (papers, projects, quizzes, exams, etc.) that will be used to determine the level of student understanding.

The student will:

  • IL 1. Develop an effective strategy to search for, identify, and retrieve information in order to fully address an information need. [Information Literacy; Inquiry;Critical Thinking]
  • IL 2. Analyze information in order to evaluate its currency, authority, accuracy, relevance, and purpose. [Information Literacy; Critical Thinking]
  • IL 3. Synthesize and appropriately cite retrieved information in order to ensure information is utilized ethically and legally. [Global Citizenship; Information Literacy]
  • IL 4. Create a finished product (e.g. paper, presentation, data analysis, video, etc.) using retrieved information and reflect on the iterative processes used to find, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically and legally utilize information. [Critical Thinking; Thoughtful Expression; Information Literacy]

PART III: STUDENT COMPLETION REQUIREMENTS

Students are required to take 9 hours from this component. (Three hours in First-Year-Experience, and at least six additional IL-intensive hours - at least three hours in the major)

CATEGORY SPECIFIC GUIDELINES FOR PROPOSERS

  • Information literacy courses in the major are best located EARLY in departmental requirements and not in Capstone.
  • Note that the "process reflection" referred to in IL 4 can, but is not required to be, a separate artifact or assignment. It might be incorporated into the finished product in a variety of ways.