Learning Outcomes for Teaching Research Skills

Bulls-Eye ImageThe Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education was developed by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) to help students understand the complex and changing landscape of Information Literacy (IL) skills that will benefit them as lifelong learners. The six "frames" below can be used over a student's entire academic career -- in the first-year, milestone, capstone, and graduate courses -- to teach students to find, use, evaluate, and produce information effectively and ethically.

Mortar Board

Authority is Constructed and Contextual - Information is evaluated in part based on the author’s credibility and is applied in context. 

Paper

Information Creation is a Process - Information exists in different formats and should be evaluated to determine its’ usefulness.

Dollar Sign

Information has Value - Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information gathering and distribution.

Question Mark

Research as Inquiry - Questions beget questions in an iterative process.

Dialogue Boxes

Scholarship is a Conversation - Research matures over time through sustained discourse between scholars.

Website

Searching is a Strategic Exploration - Finding information requires flexibility and inquisitiveness.



Mortar BoardAuthority is Constructed and Contextual and depends on where a source comes from, information need, and how the information will be used. Authority should be viewed with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new and varied perspectives and changes in schools of thought.  (Outcomes marked with an asterisk * have been identified as General Education Learning Outcomes, by the time a student has completed approximately 30 credit hours.)

University Library's suggested learning outcomes (on graduation) :

  • Identify authoritative information sources in any form.

  • Evaluate the authority of information from various sources (e.g., peer-reviewed journals, magazines, newspapers, website, etc.).*

  • Acknowledge their own authority in certain contexts.

  • Recognize that authority or credibility is contextual in relation to time, discipline, methodology, and other factors.*

paperInformation Creation is a Process where information exists in different formats, which has an impact on how it is used and shared. The underlying processes of creation and the final product should be critically evaluated to determine the usefulness of the information.  (Outcomes marked with an asterisk * have been identified as General Education Learning Outcomes, by the time a student has completed approximately 30 credit hours.)

University Library's suggested learning outcomes (on graduation) :

  • Articulate the capabilities and constraints of various processes of information creation.

  • Critique the presentation of information within disciplines.

  • Articulate traditional and emerging research processes. (e.g., literature review, statistical analysis, etc.).

  • Distinguish between format and method of access.

  • Select sources that best meet an information need based on the audience, context, and purpose of various formats.*

Dollar SymbolInformation Has Value  as a commodity, a means of education, a means of influence, and a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.  

University Library's suggested learning outcomes (on graduation) :

  • Manage personal and academic information online with a knowledge of the commodification of that information.

  • Recognize that intellectual property is legally and socially constructed and varies by discipline and culture.

  • Cite sources through proper attribution.*

  • Identify publication practices and their related implications for how information is accessed and valued (e.g., open movement, digital divide).

Question MarkResearch as Inquiry, an iterative process that depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers prompt additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field. (Outcomes marked with an asterisk * have been identified as General Education Learning Outcomes, by the time a student has completed approximately 30 credit hours.)

University Library's suggested learning outcomes (on graduation) : 

  • Formulate questions for research of an appropriate scope, based on information gaps or by reexamining existing information.*

  • Select research methodology(ies) based on need, circumstance, and type of inquiry.

  • Organize information systematically (e.g., citation management software).

  • Synthesize information from multiple sources and a variety of perspectives.*

Dialogue BoxesScholarship is a Conversation  consisting of sustained discourse within communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals, with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of a variety of perspectives and interpretations. (Outcomes marked with an asterisk * have been identified as General Education Learning Outcomes, by the time a student has completed approximately 30 credit hours.)

University Library's suggested learning outcomes (on graduation) :

  • Contribute to the ongoing scholarly conversation at an appropriate level.

  • Identify the contribution that information sources make within a discipline or conversation.*

  • Describe the ways that communication systems privilege some perspectives and present barriers to others.*

  • Summarize the changes in scholarly perspective over time on a particular topic within a specific discipline.

  • Recognize that a given scholarly work may not represent the only or even the majority perspective on the issue.*

WebsiteSearching is a Strategic Exploration  encompassing inquiry, discovery, and flexibility. Searching means understanding how information is organized, identifying relevant sources, and how to access those sources. (Outcomes marked with an asterisk * have been identified as General Education Learning Outcomes, by the time a student has completed approximately 30 credit hours.)

University Library's suggested learning outcomes (on graduation) : 

  • Identify information need and potential sources of information (e.g., scholars, organizations, governments, industries).*

  • Design searches strategically, considering and selecting systems to search and evaluate results.*

  • Refine information need and search strategies based on results.*

  • Identify how information systems are organized in order to access relevant information.

  • Apply different searching language types (e.g., controlled vocabulary, keywords)

Updated Nov 09, 2017 by Sara Lowe, Educational Development Librarian