Information Literacy

The concept of Information Literacy seems to be one that is hard to pin down.  Although the term is used generally, actually finding any specific criteria / outcomes / standards is more difficult.

Abilock (2004) starts her definition with the words “Information Literacy is a transformational process…” whereas Candy (1993) maintains that “Information Literacy is a goal that can attained…”.

There are certainly common elements identified as being vital in becoming competent in demonstrating Information Literacy – locating, evaluating and using information for a variety of purposes (Abilock 2004, Doyle 1996, Langford 1998, ACRL 2000, ALA 1989, ASLA/ALIA 1994).  However there seems to be a lack of clarity on whether it is a process or the end-product, and whether it is solely the responsibility of the TL or whether it should be embedded throughout the curriculum?

The research emphasises that it is more effective when these skills are taught in context (eg. in inquiry learning exercises taught in collaboration with the class teacher) but how is it to be measured?  Is there a continuum through which students progress in the levels of information literacy they have achieved?



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