Information Literacy @ McMaster

Our goal is to foster information literacy in the teaching and learning community at McMaster. Information literacy is the ability to recognize when and what kind of information is needed, and to locate, evaluate, and use the required information effectively.

Information literacy skills are common to all disciplines, and support lifelong learning. They enable learners to master content and extend their investigations, become more self-directed, and assume greater control over their own learning.

The purpose of this document is to outline the six objectives and accompanying outcomes that provide the foundation for the information literacy program at McMaster.

An information literate individual is able to:

Objective Outcomes
  1. Determine the nature and extent of information needed
  1. Articulate a well-formulated question
  2. Understand the context in which information is created
  3. Understand how information is organized, indexed and accessed
  1. Access the needed information effectively and efficiently
  1. Identify and access appropriate search tools
  2. Use search tools to identify appropriate information sources
  3. Locate and obtain the information in a timely manner
  1. Evaluate information and its sources critically
  1. Determine if the information found is relevant to the information need
  2. Develop and use criteria in order to assess the information found
  3. Assess the search process and revise as needed
  1. Incorporate selected information into his or her knowledge base
  1. "[Relate] disconnected pieces of information to discover patterns or make generalizations"
  2. "[Integrate] previously held beliefs, assumptions, and knowledge with new information" [Gilchrist]
  1. Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose
[Since the purpose is unique to each program, course or activity, outcomes should be identified by the parties involved at the initial planning stage.]
  1. Understand many of the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally
  1. Demonstrate an understanding of academic integrity and avoid plagiarism
  2. Use information in compliance with Canadian copyright laws