2. Table of Contents
Focusing Information Literacy Competence
Dilemma of Academic Information Literacy Instruction
Information Literacy Instruction in Academic Learning Environments
In the age of information explosion, the advance of cutting-edge and
emerging information technologies has provided more innovative ways
of delivering and disseminating information resources and services in
the cyberspace. Many academic administrators, instructors, IT
specialists, librarians, and other professionals worldwide are engaged in
exploring how to improve student-centered information literacy skills in
dynamic academic learning environments.
This presentation explores key relationship among computer literacy,
information literacy, and library literacy in academic learning
environments. From the perspective of an academic information service
librarian who is teaching first-year students, this presentation offers
practical suggestions for improving academic information literacy
instructions in the digital age.
4. 1. Focusing Information Literacy Competency
Information literacy is a set of abilities requiring individuals
to “recognize when information is needed and have the
ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed
--- ACRL : Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
Web Reference: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency#ildef
5. Association of College and Research Libraries
The web site of Association of Colleges and Research Libraries has
become an information gateway for information literacy instructors
to promote information literacy competency in the world.
6. Association of College and Research Libraries
Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education has
become a benchmark to guide information literacy programs and
instructions in academic learning environments.
7. Information Literacy Competency
Standards for Higher Education
ACRL currently provides 5 Standards and 22 Performance Indicators to
measure a student’s information literacy competency level:
Standard One: Determine information needs.
Standard Two: Access the needed information effectively.
Standard Three: Evaluate information and its source critically.
Standard Four: Use information effectively.
Standard Five: Use information ethically and legally.
Web Reference: http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency
8. 2. Dilemma of
Academic Information Literacy Instruction
Among dynamic academic learning environments, there is a dilemma
for integrating information literacy instruction into academic programs:
Many academic institutes have not implemented a standard full-credit academic
course to promote information literacy instructions.
Many academic information services librarians do not have a full-faculty status to
teach formal credited courses in academic learning environments.
Many academic programs have not set their specific requirements for information
literacy competency standards in different academic subject fields.
Due to some big gaps between higher education and secondary education, many
first-year undergraduates still do not know where to access and locate peer-
reviewed scholarly information.
9. 2. Dilemma of
Academic Information Literacy Instruction
Only a few academic instructors prefer to collaborate with
information services librarians in their classroom instructions.
In most cases, academic instructors take their students into an
academic library building and ask an academic information services
librarian to show his/her students how to locate peer-reviewed
In a short 45-minute session, a lot of academic information services
librarians are busy at explaining and showing students how to
access and search information from different local academic
databases or other academic library consortia services.
And more ...
10. 3. Information Literacy Instruction
in Academic Learning Environments
Information Literacy = Computer Literacy + Library Literacy
Computer Literacy is a set of abilities and skills to utilize computer
software and hardware in the networking environment.
Library Literacy is a set of abilities and skills to utilize information
resources and services provided by a library or a library
11. 4. Practical Suggestions
From the perspective of an academic information services librarian,
the following issues are so crucial to enhance the ACRL’s
“Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education”
in academic learning environments worldwide:
1. What is information?
2. Information Media and Information Format
3. Information Literacy Instruction Model
4. Scholarly Literature in Academic Information Sources
5. Scholarly Information Delivery in the Academic World
6. Using Information Ethically, Legally, and Safely
12. If we do not help students understand what is information, it looks as if
we are trying to build a tower building without a foundation:
What is Information?
Information has a broad domain. Information is everything perceivable around us.
Information is only perceivable through our senses.
Information exists in many different forms, including codes, colors, events, facts,
graphs, images, letters, lights, news, numbers, pictures, signs, signals, sounds, tables,
texts, waves, and so on.
Information can be collected, modified, processed, and stored for specific purposes.
What is Information?
13. The Relationship between Information and Data:
Data is one of expressive forms of Information. Information is not equal to Data.
Data is generated by arranging some form of coded Information.
Data analysis will dig out deeper Information.
Correct Data generates correct Information while false Data generate Errors.
Information vs. Data
A Sample Table for Employee Information:
14. Information Media and Information Format
Without knowing what is information and how information is
delivered in the modern information society, it is only a vacant
slogan to foster information literacy competency:
1. Information Media: It refers to either a mass of communication or many
other different tools for information delivery and dissemination.
2. Information Format: It is a specific way of encoding and converting data
in a computer hard drive or a flexible medium. In the modern information
society, multiple formats are available for information delivery and
3. How will information format and information media impact on
information delivery in the age of information explosion?
4. How will information formats and information media impact student when
he searches information?
15. Information Literacy Instruction Model
To promote excellence in teaching and learning, information literacy
instructors must use different information literacy instruction models to
improve teaching and learning effectiveness:
Information Literacy Instruction Model: Based on the theory of behavioral
psychology, an information literacy model is a multi-stage process how to access,
retrieve, evaluate, use, and process information.
During the course of teaching information literacy, academic librarians in the world
should play a pioneering role of enhancing the current ACRL’s “Information Literacy
Standards for Higher Education.”
16. Scholarly Literature
in Academic Information Sources
A lot of undergraduate students are confused with the following
1. What is literature?
2. Which information materials are included in scholarly literature?
3. Where to find specific academic information sources?
4. How to access and search them?
5. Which information search methods can be used?
6. What recommendations can be made if they cannot find the information?
7. And more …
17. Scholarly Information Delivery
in the Academic World
In dynamic academic learning environments, printed and online
scholarly information is delivered and disseminated by specific
academic databases, digital libraries, institutional repositories,
library consortia, open sources, and other web search engines:
1. What is the role of information formats and information media for
delivering printed and online information?
2. What is the roadmap to search scholarly information in an academic
18. Using Information Ethically, Legally, and Safely
Many efforts have been made to help students use
information ethically and legally. However, few information
literacy programs have done enough to show students how to
use information safely. The following questions :
1. What are differences between private-accessed computing
environments and public-accessed computing environments?
2. Who is spying on you in the cyberspace?
3. How to adjust settings in Web browsers to protect privacy in the
4. How to select appropriate proxy servers to surf over the Internet?
21. 1. Government Agencies
2. Law Enforcement
3. Business Companies
Who’s Spying on You in the Cyberspace?
Web Reference: http://www.popularmechanics.com/technology/how-to/computer-security/surveillance-state-whos-spying-on-you
With the rapid development of computer technologies, network technologies, and
web technologies, information literacy competency will play more and more
important roles to impact academic performance and career development of
undergraduates and graduates in the competitive working environment.
Instead of teaching students how to access and search information resources and
services in one library settings, in fact, the most serious challenge for academic
librarians and other information literacy instructors is how to foster their
information literacy competencies to use new applications, databases, networks,
and systems via innovative information media and formats that they have never
tried and used in the age of information explosion.
ACRL. (2013). Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.
ACRL. (2013). Information Literacy Defined. Retrieved from
Big6.com. (2013). Big6 skills overview.
Retrieved from http://big6.com/pages/about/big6-skills-overview.php
Coburn, D. (2013, January). Surveillance State: Who’s spying on you? Popular
Mechanics, 190(10), 46-53.
Li, L. & Lester, L. (2009). Rethinking information literacy instructions in the digital age.
International Journal of Learning, 16(11), 569-578.
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