Teaching Information Literacy Reframed

Jul 2016 | 160pp

Price: £54.95
CILIP members price: £43.95

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Teaching Information Literacy Reframed
50+ framework-based exercises for creating information-literate learners

Joanna M Burkhardt

This book offers a starting point to understanding and teaching the six threshold concepts listed in the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, an altogether new way of looking at information literacy.

Bestselling author and expert instructional librarian Burkhardt decodes the Framework, putting its conceptual approach into straightforward language and offering more than 50 classroom-ready Framework-based exercises.

Teaching Information Literacy Reframed:

  • discusses the history of the development of the Framework for Information Literacy and briefly deconstructs the six threshold concepts
  • thoroughly addresses each threshold concept, building from the beginner level to the intermediate level
  • includes exercises that can be used in the one-shot timeframe as well as others designed for longer class sessions and semester-long courses
  • offers best practices in creating learning outcomes, assessments, and teaching tricks and tips
  • looks at how learning, memory, and transfer of learning applies to the teaching of information literacy.

Readership: This book will assist librarians in creating and running effective information literacy instruction for students of all levels.

List of Exercises
1. Decoding the Framework for Information Literacy
2. Scholarship as Conversation
3. Research as Inquiry
4. Authority
5. Information Creation as a Process
6. Searching as Strategic Exploration
7. Information has Value
8. Creating Exercises, Rubrics, Learning Outcomes, and Learning Assessments
Appendix: The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education


'Teaching Information Literacy Reframed begins with an action verb and will be well suited for librarians and other instructors of information literacy who are looking for real-life practicum for best lessons and actual use with The ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. Recommended.'

'...a very useful, practical book containing an interesting discussion on the best way to provide ILconcepts for those working on the front line of IL teaching.'

Joanna M. Burkhardt is a full professor at the University of Rhode Island (URI) and Director of its branch libraries in Providence and Narragansett.  She coordinates the branches’ information literacy program.  She helped design URI’s program in information literacy and has taught sections of the introductory course.  She also teaches webinars and short courses on Information Literacy for ALA and ACRL.  


One focus of this book is on understanding the six threshold concepts out­lined in the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and on imagining how instructors might help students cross those thresholds. Another focus is on dis­covering how memory and transfer of learning apply to the teaching of information literacy. This book offers a starting point for instructors of information literacy in under­standing and teaching the six threshold concepts listed in the Framework document and advice about how to design information literacy instruction that will be effective for both instructor and student.

CHAPTER 1. Decoding the Framework for Information Literacy

Chapter 1 discusses the history of the development of the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education document and briefly deconstructs the six threshold concepts: Authority Is Constructed and Contextual; Information Creation as a Process; Information Has Value; Research as Inquiry; Scholarship as Conversation; Searching as Strategic Exploration. The document offers a set of core values or standards that encompass what an expert in information literacy looks like. The chapter explains that targeted instruction is needed to guide students to the next level of understanding.

CHAPTER 2. Scholarship as Conversation                    

 The phrase “scholarship as conversation” should be considered a met­aphor for the give-and-take, point and counterpoint that are involved in a face-to-face, one-on-one conversation. Scholarship can and does emerge from private, face-to-face conversations, but those conversations are invisible to people who were not involved. Chapter 2 explores scholarship born out of conversation and the ways in which information is communicated, developed and shared.    

CHAPTER 3. 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. Chapter 3 explores this process of searching and researching by considering the importance of planning and asking questions that can lead to new ideas to create new knowledge.

CHAPTER 4. Authority                            

Chapter 4 considers what authority is and how we determine who has it. Students need practice in identifying credentials and the relative strength of those credentials as compared to the reliability of the information received. They need to understand the different types of credentials and how each type is applicable when addressing information needs. Only then can they master the concept and move across the threshold.

CHAPTER 5. Information Creation as a Process           

Information is produced to convey a message. Most of the time that message is produced intentionally. There are many dif­ferent kinds of messages. By decon­structing some of the types of messages we receive, we may understand how infor­mation is created and conveyed, what that means with regard to our consumption of that information, and, more important, how we can teach students to be aware of the processes involved in the creation of information. Chapter 5 looks at the different formats in which information can be created and conveyed.

CHAPTER 6. Searching as Strategic Exploration           

Students today have never been without the Google search box. If they want to know something, they Google it, and whatever the search brings back is the answer. Experienced researchers, by contrast, learn about a new topic by starting the search for infor­mation with a wide range of sources and then narrowing to more specific and targeted sources as they gain information. If they don’t find what they are looking for in one source, they try another source. They understand that the search for information takes time and patience. It takes mental flexibility to consider who might cover the topic under consideration and to seek out sources of information from those individuals or institutions. Chapter 6 looks at this strategic method of searching which requires careful consideration and the evaluation of results for accuracy reliability and applicability.

CHAPTER 7. Information Has Value                    

Faced with an abundance of information it is easy to forget that information is gathered, written, and published by people who make their living that way. Much of the information we see that appears to be free has costs that are not directly visible to the viewer. Information is often a commodity, and someone pays to make it available. Chapter 7 considers the ways that we extract value from information, looking at education, copyright, open access and the public domain, plagiarism, citation and personal information.

CHAPTER 8. Creating Exercises, Rubrics, Learning Outcomes, and Learning Assessments

Two important things need to happen to make information liter­acy useful to students during and after their experience in higher educa­tion. One involves making memories that stick, and the other is trans­fer of learning from the classroom to real life. Instruction should be designed with these two things in mind. Chapter 8 discusses at learning, memory, and transfer of learning and provides some advice about how to design classroom exercises that will best help students master basic skills and concepts.

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