What’s information literacy?

We encounter a tremendous amount of information during research, study, and in our daily lives. Information literacy is a set of crucial skills that include the capabilities of finding relevant, credible information in the complex, ever-changing information environment and creating and using information in an ethical way. This information may be utilized as evidence in a research paper, to solve a problem, or to make a decision. Underlying these skills are critical thinking skills necessary for evaluation and decision making in the increasingly complex information environment. Information literacy skills equip individuals to effectively participate in this environment.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” *

* (Association of College and Research Libraries, Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education).

What about digital literacy?

digital-lit-info-graphicThere are various definitions of digital literacy, just like there are of information literacy. At NTU Libraries we consider digital literacy to be part of the broader literacy of information literacy. We currently teach digital literacy as part of our information literacy teaching and learning activities.

When people talk about digital literacy there are often three aspects of it that are highlighted – the critical thinking skills needed to evaluate digital information and interact with the digital information environment, the use of digital tools and technologies, and creating content in the digital environment.

Digital literacy is the set of abilities needed to interact with the digital environment to access, use and manage information, and to create and share new content and knowledge in an ethical manner using digital technologies.



Information literacy teaching and learning @ NTU Libraries

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NTU Libraries foster information literacy skills in different ways. Some of these ways are: compulsory information literacy programmes for undergraduates and postgraduatesindividual research consultations with librarians, workshops integrated into courses, open workshops for all users, seminars, orientations, and digital learning materials like our subject guides and research guides.

Information Literacy for Postgraduate Research Students

The Information Research and Management (for postgraduate research students) workshop is a compulsory 3-hour seminar that all new PhD and Masters by Research students need to attend within their first year of study.

It aims to provide all NTU postgraduate research students with a strong foundational knowledge of current resources, tools, methods, and practices in undertaking research in a digital environment.

The workshop is non-discipline specific in recognition of the growing interdisciplinary nature of research. This also allows students to connect with other new researchers outside of their own School.

Students will have the opportunity to explore tools and resources related to their respective disciplines as part of the workshop. The workshop includes small group discussions, polls, and encourages interaction amongst students.

Our Workshop Schedule can be found here.

Information Literacy for Undergraduate Students

This programme is a curriculum-integrated, blended learning programme wherein all NTU students undertake two information literacy modules (Foundation and Advanced) during their 4 years of study. This ensures that all NTU students receive comparable information literacy instruction across programmes while allowing for disciplinary differences.

The programme is delivered in a blended learning format; students complete online pre and/or post class learning sequences that link with material addressed during face-to-face class time. The content covered in the modules stems from learning outcomes that are tailored to individual classes and, whenever possible, specific assignments. Librarians collaborate with faculty to insure that content is meaningful for students and applicable to their coursework. During the workshop students participate in activities facilitated by the librarian to encourage engagement and student-focused learning.

These modules include formative and summative assessments, and we use a common evaluation form in order to measure the usefulness of our sessions. These assessments are used to measure student learning and for continuous improvement of the sessions.

Librarians are here to help you develop the information literacy skills that you need for academic and career success in addition to lifelong learning.

Questions? Contact us for more information.