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Information Literacy Instruction Toolkit

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

The Framework

The Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education was adopted by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) in January 2016. Diverging from the preceding Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000), it is based on a cluster of interconnected core concepts, with flexible options for implementation, rather than on a set of standards or learning outcomes, or any prescriptive enumeration of skills.  it is comprised of 6 frames.

The Arthur Lakes Library has adopted the Framework as the foundation for its information literacy program. 

The Frames

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

The evaluation frame - the authority of an author or source will vary depending on the context of the information need.  Various communities and disciplines recognize different types of authority.

Students learn to:

  • Evaluate sources based on their particular information need and project

  • Identify authoritative sources

  • Approach research with an open mind and critically examine each source they encounter

This Frame is used at Mines in: Design I

Information Creation as a Process

The student as creator frame - the research lifecycle results in a "range of information formats and modes of delivery," and students work through the process of researching, revising and disseminating their information product.

Students learn to:

  • Select the best format and delivery mode for their work

  • Understand the implications of choices made tha will impact how their product is used

  • Articulate the features of traditional and emerging information dissemination models in their discipline

This Frame is used at Mines in: Modern Researcher 101 workshop series and Emerging Scholars seminar series

Information Has Value

The commercialization of information frame - depending on the context, information can take on different values, such as educational or influential.  Students learn to understand the values of information and to recognize its commodification.  

Students learn to:

  • Understand the legal and social aspects of intellectual property

  • Recognize the issues associated with information as a commodity, especially related to access and representation

  • Examine their own confirmation bias when selecting and using information

This Frame is used at Mines in: Modern Researcher 101 workshop series and Emerging Scholars seminar series

Research as Inquiry

The research is messy frame - the research process is rarely straightforward, but instead is iterative as the researcher locates information and asks new questions based on that information.

Students learn to:

  • Identify gaps in their current knowledge that can be addressed with new information

  • Formulate questions based on those gaps and information needs

  • Identify sources for addressing their needs

  • Synthesize existing knowledge with found information from multiple sources

This Frame is used at Mines in: HNRS 305 - Narrative and the Making of American Identity

Scholarship as Conversation

The "standing on the shoulders of giants" frame - research is a discourse that continues as new discoveries and perspectives build on prior contributions.  Students come to terms with the ongoing, and often interdisciplinary, nature of the conversation.

Students learn to:

  • Identify their place in the ongoing conversation and how they can meaningfully contribute

  • Give credit to the sources and ideas they use

  • Critically evaluate information sources and their contribution to the ongoing conversation

This Frame is used at Mines in: Modern Researcher 101 workshop series and Emerging Scholars seminar series

Searching as Strategic Exploration

The good research habits frame - similar to the concepts in Research as Inquiry (RaI), the research process is messy and rarely straightforward.  While RaI focuses on the asking of questions to identify needs and develop questions, Searching as Strategic Exploration focuses on the understanding that needed information can come from a variety of sources, some perhaps that are outside of their discipline.

Students learn to:

  • Identify interested parties working in the field that might produce the needed information

  • Locate appropriate search tools, such as the appropriate database, to meet their need

  • Utilize good research habits to locate, organize, synthesize and cite information

This Frame is used at Mines in: Nature and Human Values


See the complete Framework on ACRL's website for more information