Creating an Information Literacy Plan for Programs & Units

Creating an Information Literacy Plan for Programs & Units: Discussion Questions

Average students have to have 15-16 repetitions of something before they learn it; bright students 8-9 repetitions, and gifted students 0-3.  Thus there is a strong need for information literacy to be integrated throughout the curriculum, both in Gen Ed, and majors, and graduate degrees. Gen Ed includes freshman to junior-level classes. There are also courses required of all majors/grad degrees.  We need to not only work toward the true integration of IL into Gen Ed, but also for IL to be included at the senior and graduate levels.

If your department or school is beginning to think about an information literacy plan, you may wish to center the initial discussion around the following questions.

  1. What does information literacy mean to you, especially as (geologists/historians/?)?
  2. Is information literacy a process? If so, how would you delineate that process? How is the process different for scholars/professionals and students?
  3. Are information technology skills a part of information literacy? How?
  4. a.    Are there specific sources or tools that students should be familiar with as graduates of the program? When (as freshmen, sophomores, juniors, seniors) should they learn a) what they are, and b) how to use them?

    b.    What skills should students in your unit’s General Education classes have?  Do these differ in Foundation, Cultural Emphasis, or Thematic courses?

  5. Do (sociologists/marketers/?) use a specific style manual, especially for citing references? What is it? When should students learn about it? Who should teach that?
  6. How do you, as (nurses/teachers/?), evaluate and think critically about information? Are the criteria the same for students? Who will teach them, and how?
  7. Do students in your program generate new knowledge? When (at what level)? How do they “publish”–via student scholarship day, papers in journals, conferences, etc.?
  8. What does “wise or ethical” use of information entail? How and when will students learn this?

See the ALA/ACRL Instruction Section: Information Literacy in the Disciplines (links to standards and curricula developed by accrediting agencies, professional associations, and institutions of higher education)


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