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Teaching Information Literacy: Value of Information

A guide to assist instructors in incorporating information literacy concepts and assignments into their teaching

Information Has Value

"Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination." (From: ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education)

(Image from: https://pixabay.com/en/creative-commons-licenses-icons-by-783531/)

Learner Goals

  • respect the original ideas of others;
  • value the skills, time, and effort needed to produce knowledge;
  • see themselves as contributors to the information marketplace rather than only consumers of it;
  • are inclined to examine their own information privilege.

(From: ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education)

Learner Practices

  • give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation;
  • understand that intellectual property is a legal and social construct that varies by culture;
  • articulate the purpose and distinguishing characteristics of copyright, fair use, open access, and the public domain;
  • understand how and why some individuals or groups of individuals may be underrepresented or systematically marginalized within the systems that produce and disseminate information;
  • recognize issues of access or lack of access to information sources;
  • decide where and how their information is published;
  • understand how the commodification of their personal information and online interactions affects the information they receive and the information they produce or disseminate online;
  • make informed choices regarding their online actions in full awareness of issues related to privacy and the commodification of personal information.

(From: ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education)

Example Lessons, Assignments, and Activities

In this lesson from Elisa Acosta, students are required to critically analyze and edit an article in Wikipedia. Through class discussion and an active learning exercise, students begin to understand how and why women and many racial groups and individuals are underrepresented or systematically marginalized in Wikipedia. Students learn how to use the "Talk" tab to evaluate Wikipedia articles and learn about authority and power structures within that community.

This lesson plan from Teaching Information Literacy Threshold Concepts, edited by Patricia Bravender, Hazel McClure, and Gayle Schaub and contributed by Debbie Morrow, concentrates on the value of information and the need to acknowledge that value through accurate attribution of sources, focusing not on print sources but on images and their use within the context of a presentation.

The Citations lesson, developed by Joelle Pitts, discusses why citations are a foundation of scholarly communication and the basic components of a citation. Through infographics and videos, students will learn the differences between paraphrasing, summarizing and quoting.

Accessibility