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Ceramics: What is Information Literacy?

Information Literacy: The Perils of Online Research

Information Literacy: The Perils of Online Research (21:37)

Description: In a world of information overload, information literacy has become a survival skill. But what exactly does information literacy mean? With a focus on the Internet, this video explains how to conduct solid online research by collecting information in an organized, efficient, and ethical way.

What does "information literacy" mean for me as a student?

What is “information literacy”?

“Information Literacy,” along with its other components “critical thinking,” “learning styles,” “pedagogic models” “effective instruction,” and “effective learning,” among other terms, can seem like empty, overwhelming catch-all buzzwords to a student fist hearing about this (information literacy itself is part of a larger trend in education to move teaching & learning from teacher-centered instruction to student-centered instruction & learning, using diverse technologies, teaching & learning models, methods and assessments); however, to get some perspective, we will narrow it down to five skills a student should have when conducting research. We define ‘research’ as a sustained process of investigation to fulfill an “information need” or lack of knowledge.

To put it simply, “information literate” people can find appropriate information, use it appropriately, and understand how and why they do these things.

Different people and organizations expand this concept in slightly different ways.  The Association of College and Research Libraries breaks it into five progressive categories (ALA, 2015).


1.  The first step is to be able to know what information is needed: How much information is needed, what type of information, when it is from., etc.

2.  Then the student needs to be able to find this information.  If they need to use newspaper articles within the past five years, then they need to know how to find that, similarly with original reports from a hundred years ago.

3.  The student must be able to understand the information so as to evaluate and assimilate information.  The information literate student can determine whether information has value and add the valuable information to their knowledge of the subject.

4.  The student can use the information for their purposes.

5.  When the student is using the information, they are doing so correctly, without plagiarizing or distributing restricted information.



American Library Association (ALA). 2015. Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education. Retrieved from

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