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Information Literacy Course for Faculty, Adjuncts & Students: A Workshop to Develop 21st Century Skills

Course Description

This course will introduce faculty to the principles and concepts of information literacy and emphasize the importance of teaching these skills to our students through a systematic program. Assessments, readings, discussions and in-class activities will cover the following topics: the relationship between information literacy and critical thinking, the importance of assessing information literacy skills, combating plagiarism, and creating effective library research assignments allowing students to use their skills across disciplines. Faculty will also have an opportunity to update their research skills using online catalogs, online article databases, and the Internet. On completion of the class, administrators, faculty and adjuncts will receive a certificate of completion.


This course will:

  • Introduce the principles and concepts of information literacy.
  • Introduce basic information literacy theoretical models and standards.
  • Demonstrate the connection between critical thinking skills and information literacy skills.
  • Familiarize faculty with the Gangwish Library’s Information Literacy Instruction Program.
  • Explain the roles and responsibilities of discipline faculty and librarians in teaching information literacy.
  • Provide a forum for discussion of some of the faculty’s concerns and challenges regarding the teaching information literacy skills courses and teaching discipline specific information literacy in their own disciplines and courses.
  • Update research skills primarily with online resources applying basic online searching concepts and techniques to library catalogs, databases and to the Internet.
  • Introduce basic concepts and ideas surrounding information ethics e.g. copyright, anti-plagiarism.
  • Introduce some common assessment techniques for information literacy and provide an opportunity to develop one assessment tool for an assignment.
  • Showcase and model student information literacy final projects.

Learning Outcomes

The faculty will:

  • Articulate the principles and concepts of information literacy.
  • Know how the electronic information age has changed how information is structured and accessed.
  • Know why an understanding of information ethics is important to students.
  • Know what the Gangwish Library’s Information Literacy Course offers its students.
  • Understand the respective roles of the librarian and the professors in collaboration to improve student acquisition of information literacy concepts and skills across disciplines.
  • Conduct effective and efficient searches of the Library’s online catalog and online databases through the use of common searching concepts and techniques through in-class exercises.
  • Conduct basic and advanced searches in Google Scholar and search engines on the Internet using common search concepts and techniques and experience internet source evaluation techniques taught in the class.
  • Experience information literacy assessment and understand how information literacy assessment tools are utilized with students.
  • Learn about current successful information literacy projects completed by students.

Here are two short videos to watch about the definitions of information literacy and critical thinking.

Five Components of Information Literacy


Critical Thinking


Questions to consider

What is information literacy?

  1. What is information literacy?
  2. What is critical thinking? Why is it important?
  3. How does critical thinking relate to information literacy?
  4. How does an information literate person behave?
  5. Why is information literacy important for you and your students?


Tasks to do while considering the above questions

  1. Review the American College & Research Libraries’ Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000)
  2. Review the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education (2015)

Read the Library Standards and consider the meaning of "Information literacy"


Here are two short videos to watch on the topic of metaliteracy.


Metaliteracy: empowering yourself in a connected world


Metaliteracy: translate


Discussion and Reflection

  1. How does this class encourage students to become lifelong learners? Are you a lifelong learner?
  2. How are is metaliteracy included in this class? How can these skills be of use to our students?
  3. Are there metaliteracies that directly relate to the discipline I teach in?
  4. Based on this model is one information literacy class enough to create information literate students at OU?


Lifelong Learning Task

The Morning Ten

You exercise or jog in the morning? If you do, find ten more minutes to set aside in the morning for a as a period for Education. See if you can learn just ONE new thing you didn’t know in the ten minutes you set aside!! You could be dressing and watching the news or the weather, or just glance at a magazine or newspaper. If you find yourself too tired, you might want to wait a short while, but do not put it off until too much later.

Read about relationships between information literacy, lifelong learning and metaliteracy

Part #3: How does the information literacy class work at Ottawa University?

At Ottawa University Information Literacy is integrated into the Orientation to the Academy and the Writing in the Disciplines courses for freshmen and transfers.

  1. How is information literacy being taught in colleges and universities?
  2. What is the library’s information literacy agenda?
  3. Do other colleges and university teach their faculty about information literacy?


Part #3 Readings

American College and Research Libraries. (2015). Information Literacy for Faculty and Administrators. Retrieved from

Santa Clara University. (2015).Orradre Library: Information Literacy Faculty Workshop Materials. Retrieved from

University of Notradame. (2015). Hesburgh Libraries: Faculty Toolkit for Teaching Information Literacy. Retrieved from

University of Texas. (2015). Information Literacy Toolkit. Retrieved from

  1. What formats are used in the class?
  2. What is blended learning? How is it different from a completely online class?
  3. How is the completely online information literacy 8 week course designed?
  4. Are there differences between the face-to-face and the online course?


Part #3 Readings

Holiday, W; Dance, B; Davis, E; Hedrith, A; Lundstrom & Martin, P. Information Literacy a snapshot: Authentic Assessment across the curriculum. College and Research Libraries, 76(5): 1-39. Retrieved from

Johnston, N. (2010, September). Is an online learning module an effective way to develop information literacy skills. Australian academic and research libraries, 41(3), 207-218. Retrieved from

McCue, R. (2014, March 2). Does a blended learning, flipped classroom approach help information literacy students in the long term adoption of research skills? Retrieved from



  • Go to the Library website on the Ottawa University Portal. Find the Research and Writing Guides. Locate the LAS 12535 that includes examples of the student projects for the BE and Digital Portfolio.


Discussion and Reflection

The LAS 13525 Information Literacy class syllabus is located on the LAS 13525 Libguide Page

  1. What is covered in the Gangwish Library’s Information Literacy Instruction program?
  1. Review the Gangwish Library’s student outcomes in the syllabus.
  1. How does the class work? What topics are explored in the class?
  2. How can the syllabus be improved in your opinion to improve this class?

Part #4: Information Literacy and Ethics

  1. How have changes in the way that information is stored and accessed changed the ethics of information use?
  2. What is information ethics? Why is it important for students to understand intellectual property and copyright?
  3. Why is it important to guard against plagiarism? What is being done about plagiarism at OU?


Part #4 Readings

Lampert, L. D. (2004). Integrating discipline-based anti-plagiarism instruction into the curriculum. Reference Services Review, 32(4), 347-55. Retrieved from

Payne, T. How to protect yourself from committing plagiarism. Retrieved from

USM Plagiarism Tutorial. Retrieved from

Write Check. (2015). Retrieved from



  • Complete and submit this questionnaire about your understanding of Plagiarism which can be found at



What is plagiarism in the electronic age?

  1. How can you help your students avoid plagiarism?
  2. What your students should know about the copyright law
  3. Video: "Information literacy: the perils of online research" (2006)

Part #5: The Gangwish Library Catalog and other online resources

  1. What is the online library catalog? What resources can be found in the online library catalog?
  2. What are LibGuides? What resources can be found in the OU LibGuides?
  3. What is the Ebsco Discovery Service (EDS) search? What resources can I find using it?
  4. What is the Fulltext Finder? How do I use this search and what types of materials do I find?


Part #5 Readings

Jenson, J. (2004). It's the information age, so where's the information?: why our students can't find it and what we can do to help. College Teaching 52 (3), 107-112. Retrieved from

Ottawa University LibGuides.(2015). Database Searching. Retrieved from



  • Explore the library catalog by doing searches in it on topics in your discipline
  • Explore the EDS by doing searches in it on topics in your discipline
  • Explore the FullText Finder catalog by doing searches in it on topics in your discipline



  1. Explore the LibGuides and find the LibGuide for your discipline.
  2. What type of resources are available there and what can be changed to improve the LibGuide in your discipline?

Part #6: Using the Online Library Databases at the Gangwish Library

  1. What is an online article database?
  2. How do you choose an appropriate online database for your discipline?
  3. What are some searching concepts and techniques that are common to most databases?
  4. How do you find full-text, scholarly, peer-reviewed of articles in the databases?


Part #6 Readings

Biddix,J. P. & Park, H. W. (2011). Convenience or credibility. A study of college student research behaviors. The Internet and Higher Education, 14: 175-182. Retrieved from



  • Go to Ebscohost on the Online Library Databases page on the OU Portal
  • Explore the Ebscohost Databases by choosing a database related to your discipline and choosing a Boolean search that combines two terms with AND e.g. tsetse fly AND lifecycle\
  • Choose your databases by checking the boxes next to them and clicking ‘enter’
  • Enter your search in the search box using Boolean Logic
  • Limit your search results to “full-text” and “peer-reviewed” journals
  • Perform a keyword search (by not choosing anything)
  • Perform a subject search (by choosing Subject from the “select a field” dropdown menu)
  • Click on the help button and under “Searching” find Proximity Searches” and “Wild Card and Truncation Symbols”
  • Choose two full-text articles and checkmark them
  • Open the folder on the blue area in Ebscohost
  • Email your articles to yourself with the style of citations you want to receive



  1. How would you search strings?
  2. Were you happy with the searches you created? What did you find?
  3. Was there anything new you learned about searching the online databases?
  4. Are there other databases outside Ebscohost that provide resources related to your discipline?

Part #7: Finding E-books at the Gangwish Library

  1. What is an e-book database?
  2. How do you find the library’s e-book collections? How do you find e-books in your discipline?
  3. What are some searching concepts and techniques that are common to most e-book databases?
  4. How do you download e-books?


Part #7 Readings

Huthwaite, A; Cleary, C. E.; Sinnamon, B.; Sondergeld, P. & McClintock, A. (2011). Ebook readers: separating the hype from the reality. In Proceedings of 2011 ALIA Information Online Conference & Exhibition, Sydney Convention & Exhibition Centre. Retrieved from



  • Login to the portal. Go to the Myers Library Online Page and find the Online Library Databases. Go to Ebscohost. Checkmark and choose Ebook Collection and Ebook Academic Collection and click continue. Do a search for “Liberal Arts” ebooks. Learn how to use the Ebsco Ebooks.
  • Find and familiarize yourself with the e-books available in each of the following collections in the databases: American Council of Learned Societies (ACLS); Gale Virtual Reference Collection and CredoReference.


Discussion and Reflection

  1. What is your experience with ebooks?
  2. Do you prefer e-books when compared with regular books? Why?

Part #8: Searching the Internet for Scholarly Resources

  1. What are Internet search tools?
  2. What is Google Scholar?
  3. What are the criteria for evaluating a Web site?


Part #8 Readings

Edudemic. (2015). Do your students know how to search? Retrieved from

Horton Jr., F.W. (2007).United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. Understanding information literacy: a primer. Retrieved from

Jaschik, S. (2007, January). A stand against Wikipedia. Inside Higher Education. Retrieved from



  • Enter Google Scholar in the Google Search Box. Find the Google Scholar search box. Search for articles in the subject areas in which you are currently teaching. Locate two full-text articles related to it that can be downloaded in either .pdf or html.
  • Find the CRAP Test a form of evaluation used in our class for Source evaluation


Discussion and Reflection

  1. Search engines: What are they? Why use them? How do you use them effectively?
  2. How do you applying online searching concepts and techniques to the Web?
  3. How can you help your students critically evaluate Web sites?
  4. How do you evaluate Internet Sources? How do you decide whether a source is good enough to include in an academic paper.

Information Literacy Assessment

Part #9: Information Literacy Assessment

ILAAP is an assessment of information literacy skills that is available for students to take before the Information Literacy segment taught by the library during Orientation to the Academy. This test is scored so that faculty have a good idea of the baseline information literacy skills of incoming Ottawa University students. The ILAAP assessment is taken again at the end of the of the Writing in the Disciplines course to determine how well students have progressed toward becoming information literate.

  1. Why is do the student information literacy skills have to be assessed?
  2. What does it mean for a student to be information literate?
  3. Does Bloom’s Taxonomy fit the information literacy course?
  4. What is the ILAAP Exam? How is the exam used as an assessment in the classroom?
  5. How are rubrics used in the Information Literacy Classroom?
  6. What are the criteria for evaluating a research assignment?
  7. What is authentic assessment and how is it used in the course? What is authentic assessment? How is authentic assessment used in the course?
  8. Information Literacy, then what?


Part #9 Readings

Blevens, C.L. (2012, April). Catching up with Information Literacy Assessment: Resources for program evaluation. College and Research Libraries News, 73(4), 202-206. Retrieved from

Bloom’s Taxonomy. (n.d.). Retrieved from

Gilchrist, D. & Oakleaf, M. (2012). National Institute for Learning Assessment. An essential partner: The librarians role in student assessment. Retrieved from

Kent State University. (2015). Project SAILS. Retrieved from

Kent State University, (2015). Sample Questions from Our information literacy assessment. Retrieved from

Oakleaf, M.(2015). A roadmap for Assessing Student Learning Using the new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Retrieved from

Ottawa University LibGuides. LAS 13525. Retrieved from



  • Take the paper and pencil mock SAILS exam that is provided and consider your grade on the test.


Discussion and Reflection

  1. What was your experience of the mock SAILS exam?
  2. How does this information literacy course fit into the LAS assessment process?
  3. Do we need these assessments for HLC?
  4. What does an information literate student look like?
  5. Why should students be information literate when they graduate?
  6. Understanding authentic assessment and what is taught

Part #10: Faculty roles and information literacy

  1. What is the role of the librarian in your students’ education?
  2. What do you think your role is when interacting with the librarians on your students’ behalf?
  3. How can librarians best assist you with your teaching?
  4. How in your opinion, can librarians best help your students with their studies?


Part #10 Readings

Association of College and Research Libraries. (2015). Philosophical shift: Teach the faculty to teach information literacy. Retrieved from

Fister, B. (2009, March).Fostering information literacy through faculty development. Library Issues, 29(4). Retrieved from



  • Create a library-related subject-specific assignment for the students you are teaching.


Discussion and Reflection

  1. What are your subject-specific concerns when it comes to the teaching of information literacy?
  2. What are we missing when teaching our current course?
  3. How can we improve on our current course?


Information Literacy Video Tutorials

You are invited to watch two of the following videos?

Becoming 21st century teachers

Information literacy in a nutshell

5 Components of Information Literacy

Media Literacy Awareness

Future Learning

Turning Problems into solutions

What is critical thinking?



What are 21st century skills? Why should they be developed in us as teachers and in our students?

What is critical thinking?

How do we prepare our students to become problem-solvers and critical thinkers?


Why do you think it is so important to teach information literacy to college students?

When I first came to Ottawa University, I saw how students struggled with writing their papers, and especially with following APA exactly and citing their sources. A few years ago, I learned how colleges were implementing information literacy programs, an...

Read more Why do you think it is so important to teach information literacy to college students? Read more

Assessment for Workshop to develop 21st Century Skills

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