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Information Literacy Instruction Toolkit

This guide provides resources, tips and support for Mines instructional librarians

Why Information Literacy Instruction?

Do you keep seeing the same 5 citations on all your students research papers?  Are you frustrated by confirmation bias, poor citing or badly research papers? We are here to help!!

Our information literacy program embeds instruction on research skills and source evaluation in the Mines curriculum.  Students learn to engage with research sources within the context of their course content and assignments.  All lessons and associated materials, such as research guides, are tied instructor course goals and learning outcomes.

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Information Literacy Lessons

A common way to include information literacy content in your course is a stand-alone lesson.  At Mines, these can range from a 20 minute refresh on good resources and habits for upper class students to a full class period or more.  These lessons tend to be most effective when paired with a course assignment or research activity. Your librarian will plan the lesson to best fit with your course goals, and any associate learning outcomes and assignments.  When location and class size permit, librarians typically include active learning activities that allow students to engage directly with the material and resources they will be using for their assignments.


Our information literacy lessons and workshops are typically taught in the Library's Boettcher Room.  For classes larger than 30 students or for lessons shorter than a full class period, librarians typically go to the instructor's classroom. 

Research Guides

Sometimes the best option for a particular course or project is a course research guide.  This guide could be in addition to or instead of a formal lesson.  Please contact the Teaching & Learning librarian about creating a guide for your course, research group, or assignment.  See our full list of existing guides on the library's website.

Tutorials and Modules

The Library Tutorials guide houses our growing collection of click-through and video tutorials.  All tutorials can be adapted to your course and assignment.  Our tutorials and content can also be used as a "micro-insertion" module paired with your research assignment.  The associated videos, content and activities are packaged as a Canvas module for students to work through.

Examples of IL in the Mines Curriculum

Design I

The Design I lesson has undergone some adaptation over the past few years, transitioning from a fully in-person one-shot lesson to a flipped Canvas module paired with a team research meeting.  After the students individually complete the module on authoritative and scholarly sources in Canvas, their project team meets for 30 minutes with a librarian.  The meeting provides the opportunity to emphasize content from the module and provide dedicated support to the project team. 


Nature and Human Values

The most traditional of our lessons, the NHV lesson tends to focus on database research skills and establishing good research habits.  The lesson varies depending on the instructor's needs.  Students peer teach the databases most commonly used for the course research paper assignment. 

The lesson (or any lesson) can be paired with a second focused research day in which students are given time to work on their project with the expert assistance of their instructor and the librarian on hand.



All our workshops can be adapted for your class or research group.

Modern Researcher 101

Emerging Scholars Seminar Series

Tips for a Successful Lesson

The research skills of the students in your class can vary, here are some tips for making the information literacy lesson in your class a successful learning experience:

  • Always tie information literacy back to your learning outcomes and course goals
  • Focus on techniques and transferrable skills
  • Check to see whether the library has the resources your students will need
  • Encourage students to ask for help after the lesson
  • Avoid scavenger hunts since hunting for facts does not support learning effective research practices
  • Avoid arbitrary restrictions on sources and formats students can use