Faculty Toolkit for Teaching Information Literacy

What is Information Literacy?

Information literacy is the set of skills needed to find, retrieve, analyze, and use information and is the basis for lifelong learning. It is common to all disciplines, learning environments, and education levels. It enables learners to master content, extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and to take greater control of their own learning.

The five core information literacy competencies are the ability to:

  1. identify needed information.
  2. access information effectively & efficiently.
  3. evaluate information.
  4. use information appropriately.
  5. understand information related issues.

How do I begin teaching information literacy?  

The library has created several tools for faculty who faculty who want to incorporate information literacy concepts into their classes.

Pot of Gold Tutorial

The Pot of Gold is an interactive web-based tutorial for teaching basic information literacy concepts.

Faculty Toolkit for Teaching Information Literacy

This toolkit is intended to help faculty who want to incorporate information literacy concepts into their classes. Use the tabs on this guide to find activities, assessments, and links which you can use to teach the 5 core Information literacy competencies.


10 Ways to Improve Student Research

The following tips for faculty to help students successfully complete research assignments were developed by Temple University Libraries and based on the results of studies conducted by Project Information Literacy(PIL), an ongoing national research project that examines undergraduate student research practices. 

1. Encourage students to consult with a librarian.

2. Direct students towards a variety of library resources including print, electronic, and multimedia. To help students get started, direct them to the Starting Your Research page.

3. Suggest specific databases or other library resources by name to students.

4. Discuss what constitutes plagiarism as well as the consequences.

5. Review criteria for evaluating sources.

6. Define research.

7. Embed a subject guide in Sakai or request a course guide from your librarian.

8. Break the research assignment into manageable parts.

9. Explain how their research will be evaluated.

10. Collaborate with a librarian to design library instruction for your class or to create a research assignment that employs critical thinking.

Project Information Literacy (PIL) is an ongoing research project, based in the University of Washington's Information School. Their goal is to "understand how early adults conceptualize and operationalize research activities for course work and "everyday life" use and especially how they resolve issues of credibility, authority, relevance, and currency in the digital age."

Visit the PIL YouTube channel, where you will find a complete collection of PIL's videos. There is no permission required for use of PIL videos.

Using Pot of Gold in your classes

Pot of Gold tutorial

The Pot of Gold tutorial is learner-centered, self-paced instruction for fundamental information management. The title suggests that the student will find valuable and useful information after mastering the skills covered here.  Based on ACRL Information Literacy standards 1, 2, 3, and 5, It is intended to teach the learner how to:

  • Determine the nature and extent of information needed (Standard 1)

  • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently (Standard 2)

  • Critically evaluate information and its sources (Standard 3)

  • Use information ethically and legally (Standard 5)

The content is divided logically among 6 modules. Each module begins with an advance organizer to situate the lesson and help the student connect to prior knowledge on the topic. There are multiple opportunities for the student to test her comprehension of the subject matter with interactive practice and feedback exercises. Each module also includes a brief “Test Yourself” section (with immediate feedback) to help the student identify areas that may require additional review. Pace will vary but most learners should be able to complete the tutorial within 60 minutes.

Pot of Gold can be completed as an independent assignment outside of scheduled class time in preparation for a research project or as a basis for a class discussion.

Last Update: 19 Jun 14:20