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Information Literacy

Online Information Literacy videos and activities, request a library instruction session, and tools to learn more about Information Literacy.

Research Process

Draw the Research Process

Instructions: Draw, describe, or write what the research process means to you. Feel free to be as creative as you like. You can create a comic, PowerPoint, mood board, short story, etc. These questions might help you get started. 

  • Are research and searching synonymous? How are they the same or different? 
  • What are the steps in research?
  • How does research make you feel?
  • Where do you run into issues with research?
  • What does research mean to you, in school, your career, or life?

Find Sources

Evaluating Sources

Evaluating News

Purpose: Critically evaluate news sources, both as an individual source and with the assistance of evaluation websites and tools. 

Instructions:

Open the 7th edition of the Media Bias Chart.

Select at least four news outlets. Try to get a variety across ideology, political spectrum, and country of origin. The top quadrant on the Media Bias Chart is a great place to start.

Compare the news sources, considering these questions:

  • What are the top headlines? How are they represented?
  • Do you see any opinion pieces, and how are these different? Does the news outlet clearly note that it's an opinion piece?
  • Where do you see bias represented?
  • How can you evaluate your news?
  • How can you fight confirmation bias?
  • Many students get frustrated with the proliferation of "fake news" and misinformation, saying that news should only report the facts. Why is it so difficult to eliminate bias? Is it even possible?
  • In a news outlet and article of your choice, do some lateral reading and fact checking. Open up new tabs, Google the claims, and look outside the source to see if the information is corroborated elsewhere. Wikipedia is a great resource for this, as are websites like Snopes, AllSides, and Factcheck.org. What did you find?

In all sources, but news sources in particular, the reputation of the publication matters almost as much as the individual articles. For example, you never want to use any of the sources in the lowest quadrant of the Media Bias Chart (unless you were critiquing them) because their reputation proceeds them and it'll be very difficult to demonstrate credibility. Across these four news sites, compare what you see. 

Ethical Use of Information

Find a Copyright Case

Purpose: Understand the real world legal, ethical, and practical implications of copyright law and other intellectual property.

Instructions: Find an example of a real-life Intellectual Property case. Most of the most famous ones are copyright cases, particularly in music or film, but you can also use cases about patents, trademarks, or trade secrets. Answer the following questions about this real case. 

  • Include a source that discusses the case
  • What happened?
  • Who was involved in the case? Who sued whom? Why?
  • Was there a decision? 
  • What do you think? In your opinion, was it a case of copyright infringement? Was it a case of plagiarism? Remember that intellectual property infringement is not equivalent to plagiarism, so a court may decide that legally the case doesn't meet the definition of copyright infringement, but it still might be plagiarized. 

Create a Plagiarism Tutorial

Purpose:

Instructions: Create your own tutorial to help other students avoid plagiarism, cite correctly, or use information ethically. You can focus on plagiarism as a whole or select a specific aspect, such as self-plagiarism, common knowledge, real world examples of plagiarism, consequences of plagiarism, a specific citation style, Turnitin, paraphrasing, or things to watch out for.

Be as creative as you want. You might make a PowerPoint, draw an image, create an infographic, write a story, create a social media page, or make a video. 

Info Lit Beyond UTM

Information Literacy in the Workplace

Purpose: Practice information literacy skills beyond UTM, particular in your chosen career path.

Instructions: Create a scenario using information literacy skills in your job hunt or future career. This should be specific to a particular job. You can use your chosen career path or a dream job (Tiger trainer? Professional mermaid? Underwater basket weaver?).

Include at least 2 information literacy skills:

  • Find appropriate information
  • Demonstrate the value of information
  • Evaluate information
  • Cite (verbal, informal, formal)
  • Ethically use information
  • Read information
  • Comprehend information
  • Synthesize different pieces of information together
  • Create new information

Example: My workplace has an outdated dress code that doesn't permit tattoos, piercings, or unnaturally colored hair. The dress code was last updated in 2005, and cultural attitudes have shifted since then. I want to petition my HR to write a new dress code with updated information. I do a Google search to find other public dress codes in similar industries. I compile a list of the dress codes that have a more relaxed policy, giving a link to the URL, the title of the company, and the date it was updated. I write a few sentences summarizing the dress code. I email some of these companies asking how their dress code affects their day to day operations and client interactions. I use this information to provide evidence that changing our dress code will be a positive for my organization. I create a storyboard to present my ideas to HR, demonstrating appropriate proposed changes to the dress code.

In this example, I searched for info via Google, informally cited my sources, summarized information, and provided evidence for my argument.