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Information Fluency Resources

A starting point for students and instructors seeking evidence based advice on research, being an alert consumer of information, and other literacies of the information age.

Information Fluency in the Classroom

“Critical Thinking is a habit of mind characterized by the comprehensive exploration of issues, ideas and artifacts before accepting or formulating an opinion or conclusion” (American Association of Colleges & Universities, 2017)

As a student your classes with a research requirement are asking you to practice several fundamental skills:

- Writing for different audiences and purposes.

- Knowing what information you need and where to find it to satisfy your purposes.

- Comparing and contrasting different sources of information to create new materials.

- Demonstrating an awareness of how information is created and respecting the rights of creators.

"Fake News"

Knowing what is real and accurate can be challenging. The skills you develop as a student researcher can help you learn how to avoid misinformation. Ideally after some experience with working on research projects you'll be able to appreciate what sort of effort goes into responsible information creation and sharing as well as how to spot the signs of responsible, good faith effort in the information you consume.

If you are trying to be a savvier media consumer, we have some tips for you. 

Librarian Kevin Arms (not affiliated with SCF) talks about what information literacy is and why it matters. Spoiler: fake news can cause real harm.

What IS Fake News? How do I recognize it? What does good or real news look like? Watch for tips on how to do your research and avoid getting scammed by manipulative misinformation. Watch in YouTube for quick links to specific topics.

Tools for Evaluating Information Sources

As you may have become aware, there are many tips and tricks for spotting fake news or being information fluent. The reason for this is two fold.

First is that the information landscape we are living in is complicated. It can be hard to trace back something that is being presented as a fact to its origin point, especially if the content creator does not provide any references or those references are ambiguously worded or very technical.

A big part of spotting misinformation is becoming better at knowing when to question what is being presented to you, asking better questions when you do question, and ultimately having a good working knowledge of where and how to find reputable information to answer your questions.

The second reason there are so many different ways of thinking about information fluency is that we are all different in our background knowledge and how we think about things. Therefore this next section will offer many different approaches to thinking about the quality of the information we consume.

Further reading and resources:

Information Fluency Books

Are you more print oriented? Prefer the extra context of books?

Here are some of the most recent books in this field we've acquired.

See what else we have by using the Quick Search Tool on the library home page.

1. Type in "Information Literacy" and hit "Go"

2. On the next page, click "Held by Library"

3. Sort by new if desired.