Information Literacy and the 21st Century Academy

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  • Information Literacyand the21st Century Academy

  • The newest generation of learners in the 21st century is the net generation.

    Young adults born in or after 1990 are unique because their birth coincides with the introduction of the graphical Web that resembles the Internet of today. These young people are often referred to as digital natives while older generations are described as digital immigrants.

  • These digital natives can be categorized according to common digital behaviors and attitudes.

    It can be assumed that they are the most electronically-connected generation in history.They are electronic multi-taskers.They are used to having information at their fingertips.They are often described as tech-savvy.

  • Interesting findings from the Online Computer Library Center (OCLC) Membership Reports (2005) College Students Perceptions of Libraries and Information Resources that was based on a nationwide survey of approximately 400 student participants at postsecondary institutions show that students preferred method of searching for answers to both factual and complex research questions is to start with a search engine (p. 6-2), even if it may not be the most efficient or fastest means to answers.

  • Other results from this same OCLC report (2005) are:

    College students preferred method for identifying new electronic resources is to use search engines too. They also consult their friends and teachers and refer to Web site links. Librarians are consulted less often then these options. (p. 1-9)

    Libraries and search engines are trusted almost equally among college students.

    (p. 6-5)

  • Google influences the net generations search choices through aggressive advertising.

  • Important research about the net generation claims that this generation is not adequately prepared for higher educational studies. For example,

    The bipartisan, nonprofit organization Achieve Inc.s (2007) Closing the Expectations Gap 2007: An Annual 50-State Progress Report on the Alignment of High School Policies with the Demands of College and Work finds that as students graduate from high school and enter college, they may not arrive prepared with the research skills needed to find evidence in support of their college-level writing assignments or the writing required in the workplace.

  • Preliminary research findings by the Educational Test Service support this concern, as many college students who took the iSkills Assessment, formerly called the Information and Communication Technology Literacy Assessment, did not demonstrate critical thinking skills needed to perform the kinds of information management and research tasks necessary for academic success. (Bogan, 2006)

  • According to Irvin R. Katz (2007), a senior researcher at ETS, iSkills assessment results from a sample of approximately 6300 college and high school students and 63 schools indicate the net generations lack of ICT literacy:

    During a task in which students evaluated a set of Web sites:

    Only 52 percent judged the objectivity of the sites correctly 65 percent judged the authority correctly 72 percent judged the timeliness correctly Overall, only 49 percent of test-takers identified the one Web site that met all criteria

  • When selecting a research statement for a class assignment:

    Only 44 percent identified a statement that captured the demands of the assignment 48 percent picked a reasonable, but too broad, statement 8 percent picked statements that did not address the assignment.

  • When asked to narrow an overly broad search:

    Only 35 percent selected the correct revision

    35 percent selected a revision that only marginally narrowed the search results.

  • Other results suggest that these students ICT literacy need further development:

    In a Web search task, only 40 percent entered multiple search terms to narrow the results When constructing a presentation slide designed to persuade, only 12 percent used only those points directly related to the argument Only a few test takers accurately adapted existing material for a new audience When searching a large database, only 50 percent of test takers used a strategy that minimized irrelevant results.

  • Nov. 15, 2006

    Are College Students Techno Idiots?

    Susan Metros, a professor of design technology at Ohio State University, says that reading, writing and arithmetic are simply not enough for todays students. What is important for learners is information: how to find it, how to focus it, and how to filter out nonsense. But for many students, their main source for information is Google, which Metros finds troubling

  • The net generations preparation for higher education is a national concern.

    October 15, 2007

    Voters urge teaching of 21st-century skills Poll suggests 'back-to-basics' approach to education is not enough for nation's citizens

    By Meris Stansbury, Assistant Editor, eSchool News

    Results of a new poll commissioned by the Partnership for 21st Century Skills shows the vast majority of U.S. voters believe students are ill-equipped to compete in the global learning environment, and that schools must incorporate 21st-century skills such as critical thinking and problem solving, communication and self-direction, and computer and technology skills into the curriculum. But the upcoming presidential election, researchers say, presents a perfect opportunity to charter a new path to success for America's students.

  • Librarians and faculty members need to develop students critical thinking and problem solving skills for lifelong learning to compete in a global knowledge-based society.

  • What is Information Literacy?

    A person must be able to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.

    ------(1989). American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy, Final Report, p.1.

  • Information Literate people are those who have learned how to learn. They know how find information, and how to use information in such a way that others can learn from them. They are people prepared for lifelong learning, because they can always find the information needed for any task or decision at hand.

    --------(1989). American Library Association Presidential Committee on Information Literacy, p.1.

  • "The half of knowledge is to knowwhere to find knowledge"

    Anonymous Inscription over the Main

    Entrance to Dodd Hall ... Florida State

    University Library , 1956

  • How we are going to teach Information Literacy skills to our students?

    Using problem-based learning, evidence-based learning, and inquiry learning.

    Create student-centered learning environments where inquiry is the norm, problem solving becomes the focus, and thinking critically is part of the process.

  • Information Literacy CompetencyStandards for Higher Education

    Standard OneThe information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.Standard TwoThe information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.

  • 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.

    Standard Four

    The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.


    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.

  • Curriculum Integration

    Kuhlthaus research into the information-seeking behavior of students points directly to her philosophy about INFORMATION LITERACY That INFORMATION LITERACY is not a discrete set of skills but rather a WAY OF LEARNING (1993).

    Kuhlthau, C.C. (1993). Seeking Meaning: A Process Approach to Library and Information Services.[ie] Greenwich, CT: Ablex.

  • How we are going to teach Information Literacy skills to our students?

    To teach Information Literacy skills, Information Literacy standards and indicators have to be integrated into the subject curriculum. To accomplish that task it is necessary to have the Library as the principal laboratory, where faculty and librarians work in collaboration.







    ( LOERTSCHER, 1996 P. 192 )






    (KUHLTHAU, 1993; Scott & Smith,1987)



    (Kuhlthau, 1993b, p.23)

  • Learners become conscious of their lack of knowledge, and reach the point where they control the self-learning process.

    Teachers role changes from transmitter of information t