Information literacy skills

ADMINISTRATION   LEARNING & TEACHING   SUPPORT
(Not relevant to this topic)    What is information literacy?    Library support
    Embedding skills in UoS    
    Information literacy and plagiarism    


What is information literacy?

As they develop their skills in information literacy, your students will be increasingly able to:

  • source information from a variety of appropriate resources
  • recognize the validity and pertinence of that information for their research and learning
  • utilize it effectively in their studies.

The University policy on information literacy defines these skills, and details how information literacy programs should be designed and delivered.


Embedding information literacy skills in the UoS

It is important that first year students develop their information literacy skills from early in the first semester.

The best way to develop these skills is to embed them into your unit of study (UoS).
Students then learn information literacy in the context of authentic learning activities relevant to the learning outcomes in their disciplinary context.

Your Faculty Liaison Librarian can help you develop inquiry-based, formative learning activities for your students and to scaffold their learning of information literacy skills as they work on independent research tasks.

  • Liaison Librarians have worked with lecturers in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences to develop an online tutorial in information literacy skills, eSearch to Research which is particularly relevant to learning in the Humanities and Social Science disciplines. Students in many first year units are required to complete this tutorial as they are working on their first assessment tasks in each of these units.
  • Liaison Librarians have also worked with the Faculty of Science lecturers to develop information literacy skills within lectures and tutorial workshops. For example, a lecture was jointly taught by a Liaison Librarian and a UoS Coordinator in a first year unit of study, where the Liaison Librarian covered ‘Finding Quality Information for your Assignment’ while the UoS Coordinator followed up with advice and guidance on the research assignment itself.
    In another unit, students were asked to complete a quiz made available via Blackboard as a prerequisite to attending the face to face information literacy class. The online quiz utilised the Library’s suite of multimedia information literacy learning objects. Requiring the students to pass the quiz ensured that they achieved a measurable standard of information literacy prior to attending the Library skills session focusing on more advanced aspects of information discovery.

Library support

Information literacy skills

Get to know your Faculty Liaison Librarian and make first year students aware of the library support offered by the liaison librarian.

The Library’s Research and Information page lists a range of programs, services and online learning modules to help students develop their information literacy skills.

Include a link to this page in your UoS outline, and encourage students to access specific learning modules according to the stage they are at in their learning activities or assessment tasks.


Information literacy and plagiarism

Remember that early incidents of plagiarism may well be due to negligence that arises from a lack of information literacy skills.

Ensure that your first year students understand that developing their information literacy skills can help them to avoid plagiarism (as well as help them to get the best possible marks). This is best done in the context of their learning activities and assessment tasks, rather than by simply asking them to attend a library class or read the policy on plagiarism.

The Library has produced an interactive learning tool on Plagiarism and academic honesty which you may wish to provide as a link in your UoS outline.