Information Literacy Skills Progression for Undergraduate Students

Information Literacy Skills Progression for Undergraduate Students

Library instruction at the undergraduate level is predicated upon a progression of information literacy skills and critical thinking abilities that take root in required general education courses and are built upon through discipline specific courses.

Level I: Gateway Skills (Freshman)

Instruction at this level is delivered through Freshman Seminar and assists students in making the transition from high school to college.

Instructional Goals:

  1. Developing awareness of services and resources available through the library.
  2. Reducing anxiety toward academic libraries and college-level research.
  3. Introducing the online catalog and library databases.

Learning Outcomes (students will be able to):

  1. Find the library and locate key service points such as the reference desk, circulation desk, and computer assistance desk.
  2. Identify and navigate to key library serives, tools, and resources on the Library Web Site.
  3. Access library resources remotely.
  4. Discover a friendly and welcoming library staff.

Level II: Basic Skills and Concepts (Freshman-Sophomore)

Instruction at this level is delivered primarily through the UCCS Writing Program (English 1410, 2080, and 2090) and focuses on introducing students to foundational research skills.

Instructional Goals:

  1. Determining an information need.
  2. Identifying search terms and formulating search strategies.
  3. Accessing and retrieving needed information efficiently and effectively.
  4. Critically evaluating resources.
  5. Differentiating between scholarly publications and the popular press.
  6. Using information ethically and legally.

Learning Outcomes (students will be able to):

  1. Identify keywords and main ideas in a search statement.
  2. Integrate reference sources into the research process in order to gain an initial understanding of a research topic.
  3. Employ the tools and features of online catalogs and databases in order to locate materials efficiently and effectively.
  4. Apply Boolean strategies in online searching to produce concise search results.
  5. Distinguish between scholarly (refereed) journals and popular/trade magazines in order to identify articles that are written by experts.
  6. Critically evaluate information for its authority, bias, quality of reasoning, and timeliness (relative to its purpose) in order to select appropriate information for a specific purpose.
  7. Recognize what constitutes plagiarism and use proper documentation conventions when writing papers in order to avoid it.

Level III: Advanced Skills (Junior-Senior)

Instruction at this level builds upon foundational skills taught in Level II with an emphasis on a discipline.

Instructional Goals:

  1. Increasing awareness of discipline specific resources.
  2. Using more advanced tools and features in databases.
  3. Understanding research conventions within a discipline.

Learning Outcomes (students will be able to):

  1. Articulate how information is created and disseminated in their discipline.
  2. Distinguish between different types of scholarly material, for example primary vs. secondary sources or original research vs. review articles.
  3. Use advanced search strategies in databases and web searching.
  4. Identify, access, and use resources and databases that are discipline specific.
  5. Utilize interlibrary loan services to request materials not available through Kraemer Family Library or the Prospector system.
  6. Understand and apply the formatting and documentation conventions within the discipline.