About The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

Higher education is changing dramatically and libraries are changing along with it. We face the common challenge of how to help students develop both a conceptual understanding of the universe of information and a practical understanding of how to locate, manage, use and create information, in the face of diminishing resources, demands for demonstrating student success, and an increasingly complex information landscape

Teaching can be a solitary undertaking, and so can learning, but new approaches to teaching and learning show clearly that collaboration – within and across disciplines – can lead to uncovering enduring understandings that lead to deep learning and the emergence of students as creators of information, not just consumers.  To complete this learning circle, faculty can look to librarians as partners in the academic mission.

The Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, from the Association of College & Research Libraries, takes librarians to the heart of student learning in the classroom, in the curriculum and in the institution.

A content

built around six frames, each consisting of a concept central to information literacy and anchored in threshold concepts, which are those ideas in any discipline that are essential portals to ways of thinking and practicing in that discipline.  Rather than a linear set of skills and search techniques, each frame prompts questions about what learners will need to know, experience, and do to demonstrate their increased understanding as they progress from novice to expert in the scholarly journey and as information literate individuals.

A common language…

for faculty, librarians, and others in higher education that can transform the conversation about teaching and learning and bring a new synergy to their complementary roles as educators.

A context…

for information literacy situated within the disciplines and tailored for the local setting, as well as for the larger assessment environment.

A collaboration…

for course and curriculum design and pedagogical research that combines disciplinary and information literacy perspectives and that involves the students in identifying learning challenges and crossing learning thresholds.

A commitment…

To transform student learning through framing true understanding of the essential concepts of information and scholarship within the disciplines through collaborative teaching and learning initiatives.

The collaboration of librarians, faculty, students and other stakeholders will drive the growth and development of the Framework as a dynamic, living guide for transforming teaching and learning as we share our experiences.

The Framework:

  • Combines a cluster of interconnected core concepts, with flexible options for implementation within each unique institutional and disciplinary context.
  • Envisions 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.
  • Provides the foundation for collaborative instructional design and assessment to scaffold learner progression in all the frames from novice to expert in their understanding of the core information literacy concepts, knowledge practices, and dispositions through all stages of their academic careers and beyond. 

THE FRAMES

AUTHORITY IS CONSTRUCTED AND CONTEXTUAL

Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are evaluated based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

INFORMATION CREATION AS A PROCESS

Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.

INFORMATION HAS VALUE

Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.

RESEARCH AS INQUIRY

Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.

SCHOLARSHIP AS CONVERSATION

Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.

SEARCHING AS STRATEGIC EXPLORATION

Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

THE QUESTIONS THAT LEAD TO LEARNING

  • Can learners define different types of authority?
  • Are learners developing an open mind when encountering varied and sometimes conflicting perspectives?
  • Can learners articulate the capabilities and constraints of information developed through various creation processes?
  • Do learners understand that different methods of information dissemination with different purposes are available for their use?
  • Do learners give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation?
  • Do learners respect the original ideas of others?
  • Can learners determine an appropriate scope of investigation?
  • Do learners consider research as open-ended exploration and engagement with information?
  • Can learners contribute to scholarly conversation at an appropriate level?
  • Do learners see themselves a contributors to scholarship rather than only consumers?
  • Can learners utilize divergent and convergent thinking appropriately when searching?
  • Do learners understand that first attempts at searching do not always produce adequate results?

For the full Framework, see http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework.

For additional Framework resources, visit acrl.ala.org/framework and to subscribe to the Framework discussion list, go to http://lists.ala.org/sympa/info/acrlframe.

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