ACRL Information Literacy Standards, Performance Indicators, and Outcomes
The following text was excerpted from the full ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education available at http://www.ala.org/acrl/ilcomstan.html
- The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
- The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
- The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge
base and value system.
- The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
- The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses
and uses information ethically and legally.
Standard One: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
- The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information.
- Confers with instructors and participates in class discussions, peer workgroups, and electronic discussions to identify a research
topic, or other information need
- Develops a thesis statement and formulates questions based on the information need
- Explores general information sources to increase familiarity with the topic
- Defines or modifies the information need to achieve a manageable focus
- Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the information need
- Recognizes that existing information can be combined with original thought, experimentation, and/or analysis to produce new
- The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.
- Knows how information is formally and informally produced, organized, and disseminated
- Recognizes that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed
- Identifies the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (e.g., multimedia, database, website, data set,
- Identifies the purpose and audience of potential resources (e.g., popular vs. scholarly, current vs. historical)
- Differentiates between primary and secondary sources, recognizing how their use and importance vary with each discipline
- Realizes that information may need to be constructed with raw data from primary sources
- The information literate student considers the costs and benefits of acquiring the needed information.
- Determines the availability of needed information and makes decisions on broadening the information seeking process beyond local
resources (e.g., interlibrary loan; using resources at their locations; obtaining images, videos, text, or sound)
- Considers the feasibility of acquiring a new language or skill (e.g., foreign or discipline-based) in order to gather needed information
and to understand its context
- Defines a realistic overall plan and timeline to acquire the needed information
- The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need.
- Reviews the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question
- Describes criteria used to make information decisions and choices
Standard Two: The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
- The information literate student selects the most appropriate investigative methods or information retrieval systems for accessing the
- Identifies appropriate investigative methods (e.g., laboratory experiment, simulation, fieldwork)
- Investigates benefits and applicability of various investigative methods
- Investigates the scope, content, and organization of information retrieval systems
- Selects efficient and effective approaches for accessing the information needed from the investigative method or information
- The information literate student constructs and implements effectively-designed search strategies.
- Develops a research plan appropriate to the investigative method
- Identifies keywords, synonyms and related terms for the information needed
- Selects controlled vocabulary specific to the discipline or information retrieval source
- Constructs a search strategy using appropriate commands for the information retrieval system selected (e.g., Boolean operators,
truncation, and proximity for search engines; internal organizers such as indexes for books)
- Implements the search strategy in various information retrieval systems using different user interfaces and search engines, with
different command languages, protocols, and search parameters
- Implements the search using investigative protocols appropriate to the discipline
- The information literate student retrieves information online or in person using a variety of methods.
- Uses various search systems to retrieve information in a variety of formats
- Uses various classification schemes and other systems (e.g., call number systems or indexes) to locate information resources within
the library or to identify specific sites for physical exploration
- Uses specialized online or in person services available at the institution to retrieve information needed (e.g., interlibrary
loan/document delivery, professional associations, institutional research offices, community resources, experts and practitioners)
- Uses surveys, letters, interviews, and other forms of inquiry to retrieve primary information
- The information literate student refines the search strategy if necessary.
- Assesses the quantity, quality, and relevance of the search results to determine whether alternative information retrieval systems or
investigative methods should be utilized
- Identifies gaps in the information retrieved and determines if the search strategy should be revised
- Repeats the search using the revised strategy as necessary
- The information literate student extracts, records, and manages the information and its sources.
- Selects among various technologies the most appropriate one for the task of extracting the needed information (e.g., copy/paste
software functions, photocopier, scanner, audio/visual equipment, or exploratory instruments)
- Creates a system for organizing the information
- Differentiates between the types of sources cited and understands the elements and correct syntax of a citation for a wide range of
- Records all pertinent citation information for future reference
- Uses various technologies to manage the information selected and organized
Standard Three: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge
base and value system.
- The information literate student summarizes the main ideas to be extracted from the information gathered.
- Reads the text and selects main ideas
- Restates textual concepts in his/her own words and selects data accurately
- Identifies verbatim material that can be then appropriately quoted
- The information literate student articulates and applies initial criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources.
- Examines and compares information from various sources in order to evaluate reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and
point of view or bias
- Analyzes the structure and logic of supporting arguments or methods
- Recognizes prejudice, deception, or manipulation
- Recognizes the cultural, physical, or other context within which the information was created and understands the impact of context on
interpreting the information
- The information literate student synthesizes main ideas to construct new concepts.
- Recognizes interrelationships among concepts and combines them into potentially useful primary statements with supporting
- Extends initial synthesis, when possible, at a higher level of abstraction to construct new hypotheses that may require additional
- Utilizes computer and other technologies (e.g. spreadsheets, databases, multimedia, and audio or visual equipment) for studying the
interaction of ideas and other phenomena
- The information literate student compares new knowledge with prior knowledge to determine the value added, contradictions, or other
unique characteristics of the information.
- Determines whether information satisfies the research or other information need
- Uses consciously selected criteria to determine whether the information contradicts or verifies information used from other sources
- Draws conclusions based upon information gathered
- Tests theories with discipline-appropriate techniques (e.g., simulators, experiments)
- Determines probable accuracy by questioning the source of the data, the limitations of the information gathering tools or strategies,
and the reasonableness of the conclusions
- Integrates new information with previous information or knowledge
- Selects information that provides evidence for the topic
- The information literate student determines whether the new knowledge has an impact on the individualís value system and takes steps to
- Investigates differing viewpoints encountered in the literature
- Determines whether to incorporate or reject viewpoints encountered
- The information literate student validates understanding and interpretation of the information through discourse with other individuals,
subject-area experts, and/or practitioners.
- Participates in classroom and other discussions
- Participates in class-sponsored electronic communication forums designed to encourage discourse on the topic (e.g., email, bulletin
boards, chat rooms)
- Seeks expert opinion through a variety of mechanisms (e.g., interviews, email, listservs)
- The information literate student determines whether the initial query should be revised.
- Determines if original information need has been satisfied or if additional information is needed
- Reviews search strategy and incorporates additional concepts as necessary
- Reviews information retrieval sources used and expands to include others as needed
Standard Four: The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.
- The information literate student applies new and prior information to the planning and creation of a particular product or performance.
- Organizes the content in a manner that supports the purposes and format of the product or performance (e.g. outlines, drafts,
- Articulates knowledge and skills transferred from prior experiences to planning and creating the product or performance
- Integrates the new and prior information, including quotations and paraphrasings, in a manner that supports the purposes of the
product or performance
- Manipulates digital text, images, and data, as needed, transferring them from their original locations and formats to a new context
- The information literate student revises the development process for the product or performance.
- Maintains a journal or log of activities related to the information seeking, evaluating, and communicating process
- Reflects on past successes, failures, and alternative strategies
- The information literate student communicates the product or performance effectively to others.
- Chooses a communication medium and format that best supports the purposes of the product or performance and the intended
- Uses a range of information technology applications in creating the product or performance
- Incorporates principles of design and communication
- Communicates clearly and with a style that supports the purposes of the intended audience
Standard Five: The information literate student understands many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information and accesses
and uses information ethically and legally.
- The information literate student understands many of the ethical, legal and socio-economic issues surrounding information and information
- Identifies and discusses issues related to privacy and security in both the print and electronic environments
- Identifies and discusses issues related to free vs. fee-based access to information
- Identifies and discusses issues related to censorship and freedom of speech
- Demonstrates an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted material
- The information literate student follows laws, regulations, institutional policies, and etiquette related to the access and use of information
- Participates in electronic discussions following accepted practices (e.g. "Netiquette")
- Uses approved passwords and other forms of ID for access to information resources
- Complies with institutional policies on access to information resources
- Preserves the integrity of information resources, equipment, systems and facilities
- Legally obtains, stores, and disseminates text, data, images, or sounds
- Demonstrates an understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and does not represent work attributable to others as his/her own
- Demonstrates an understanding of institutional policies related to human subjects research
- The information literate student acknowledges the use of information sources in communicating the product or performance.
- Selects an appropriate documentation style and uses it consistently to cite sources
- Posts permission granted notices, as needed, for copyrighted material
Return to the Curricular Design Workshop
Coded by Gretchen Revie
30 July 2003