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Faculty Services: Instruction Program Elements

Information Fluency Instruction Outline

The new Framework for Information Fluency states that every discipline has a unique culture and paradigm ... and to be effective one must understand the tools, the techniques, the scholarly behaviors, and the weighted variables for the specific scholarly network.

While basic information fluency skills such as critical thinking, advanced navigation, information capture/organization/sharing, and data manipulation are relevant to all scholars -- there are unique considerations for higher-level knowledge management in every community. The library attempts to integrate our skills and tools into the suite of information skills and tools developed within each discipline using subject pages, course-specific pages, point-of-need tutorials, and one-on-one consultation sessions. 

The library embeds a suite of short tutorials and two quizzes into Phil 140/150 to ensure that all freshman are introduced to basic library services. We can also provide advanced subject orientation as in-class visits, embedded tutorials, or one-on-one student sessions.

The following elements are incorporated into all library and information handling sessions:

Information Life Cycle —  changing roles, responsibilities, and associated information tools utilized as one develops academic expertise.  

Appropriate tool for type of information — highlighting format, currency, media type, data vs text, autolalerts, and advanced navigation options.

Critical analysis — the CRAAP Test is used to evaluate and justify the quality of the articles and web pages you have selected to support your position.

   The following CRAAP criteria must be addressed for each of the five items you use as a reference in your bibliography:

  • Currency -- is the material recent enough to consider the latest aspects and findings on your topic?
  • Relevance -- does the material speak exactly to the topics you address in your position?
  • Authority -- how can you determine the credentials of the author and/or organization that created the material?
  • Accuracy -- how can you determine if the selected material appears to be supported by multiple sources with reliable and/or reproducable information?
  • Purpose -- can you determine if this material provides a well-rounded perspective on the topic, or is intended to support a position through showing only some of the information that would be important to study the topic in a balanced way?

    See our short video: Critical Thinking: The CRAAP Test

    One excellent example of critical analysis is provided by FactCheck.ORG - which reviews public statements by politicians.

Assistance — librarians, remote services (subject guides, tutorials, FAQ, chat, shared screens).

Knowledge management: Personal Knowledge Databases and Management (Zotero to capture/organize/share/cite).

Intellectual property — copyright, Fair Use, plagiarism, Creative Commons permissions, Open Access models, embargoes and rights assigned within Institutional Repository submissions. You must always give credit for ideas ... so we provide a web page of plagiarism guidance and a Plagiarism video.

                                     *******  Enhanced and Advanced Services  *******

Scaffolded Instruction: the program will document subject-specific behaviors, tools, and cultural features (weighted network considerations, special publications, media use, etc.) for researchers to consider in order to perform effective research in their discipline.

                How might scaffolded informtion fluency elements fit into the Interdisciplinary Seminar (IDS) program?

The library-related “discipline” reviews may provide significantly different frameworks and perspectives on a topic as seen from the interests of the specific populations. (For example, imagine ecological concerns from the economic vs bioethical viewpoints.)

These searches may emphasize the unique scholarly network characteristics in each field – such as the priorities and weighting of various publication types, emphases on peer-reviewed conference presentations vs public presentations for media purposes, requirements for subject specific writing styles, and comprehensive fact-based presentations vs intentionally persuasive opinion papers allowing for selected resources.

In addition to highlighting the multiplicity of search tools to be used, this experience will also demonstrate the variety of terminologies found across communities, various scholarly criteria used for authority determination, and even demonstrate alternative authority positions based upon unspoken biases (imagine the legitimacy of an evidence-based laboratory fact vs a Marxist perspective on the acceptance of Darwinian evolutionary theory).

All of these examples will emphasize the need for more critical assessment and an awareness of differing communication norms and behaviors from discipline to discipline.  

Six Advanced Service Expectations:

  1. Subject librarians — there are subject librarians in place to help students with their assignments and their research.
  2. Subject pages — there are specific subject pages that highlight the best tools for each discipline … use these instead of the front door.
  3. Citation tracking -- allows you to follow research fronts and find key papers using citation histories and pathways.
  4. Autoalerts — you can save your favorite terms and receive updates when new articles come out in your areas of interest.
  5. Managing your information: Zotero — free tools allow you to save journal articles,web pages, images, etc. and create bibliographies in Word documents.
  6. Social networking and online communities: diigo — free tools allow you to save and share favorite links, and to explore what others find interesting.  


Support options:

  • One-time course-specific needs: embed into CANVAS modules
  • Repeated use after the course is completed: create a Course web page (in center of Subject Guide)
  • Use by more than one class: create a Concept or Theme web page (on right side of Subject Guide)


Library Orientation Tutorials and Quizzes

Subject: RE: Library evidence of Information Fluency learning

The library has spent the past two years developing point-of-need help for students. The first materials provided are a combination of (1) a text-based Scholarly Research Process Outline guide which describes the various steps of performing in-depth research <>, and (2) a suite of short video tutorials describing the individuals steps in every stage of the discovery and information handling process <the Quick Tutorials found on>. These resources assist students in remote settings and provide refreshers for those who want to revisit ideas described in classroom instruction visits.

The next phase of our training program is targeted videos and surrounding quizzes built into our CANVAS learning platform. Introductory library video Tutorials and Quizzes are embedded into Philosophy 140 and Philosophy 150, the courses required of all students within the General Education core curriculum. These tutorials present the basic approaches to finding types of information, within customized subject pages. The tutorials highlight tools for identifying basic facts and definitions, in-depth expert information, current news, video materials, raw data and statistics. The tutorials also describe more advanced navigation options such as citation tracking, critical thinking about quality assessment of sources, and capturing information into a knowledge tool for further reflection and the use of appropriate citations to avoid plagiarism. The quizzes test comprehension of these concepts, and a completely correct set of answers is required for passing the module.

Recent additions to this program included scaffolded subject-specific video tutorials and quizzes which are embedded within higher level undergraduate and graduate courses. These customized tutorials present specific tools for more in-depth discovery and navigation among specific population resources. The quizzes test comprehension of these concepts, and a completely correct set of answers is required for passing the module. These higher level modules are embedded within the following disciplines: School of Education, Graham School of Management, and School of Nursing.

We are planning to expand these tutorials and quizzes into other disciplines, based upon the Information Fluency Framework approach, within various departments in the College of Arts and Sciences. At this time, these subjects are still addressed by class-specific web pages and site visits into classes throughout the semester, supported by the previously mentioned suite of student help tutorials found on our library web site. We know point-of-need resources in these areas will be even more effective for distance education and customized purposes.

Our initial quiz reviews have shown very successful completion (85%) and the tool does help provide early indicators of potential problem students. Small modifications are being made to the materials based upon student feedback, which is requested at the end of each semester during the usual course feedback process.

We are now looking to introduce context-specific pedagogy elements into embedded assignment modules. An embedded reading and/or media item will be preceded by a few questions to consider as the student reads/watches the material. This will help them actively percolate and assimilate as they read. (These materials might often replace commericial textbook material with free Open Educational Resources (OER) or library materials already purchased or leased.) Then a set of questions will test (1) whether the person actually read the material, (2) if they understood the key points, (3) if they can reflect and re-state the key points in their own words, and (4) if they can apply the concepts under different conditions.  (image of an example embedded module) Responses to the quizzes may lead to revised or flipped classroom sessions which concentrate on the problem areas and/or revised course material.

In general, the quiz results look good -- close to 90% success, and some early problem identification to help with retention.

   OK means not a perfect score but demonstrates a decent level of understanding (except for following instructions).

   In general, Fail is 80% “did not attempt”, but there are a few poor scores within some classes. We will track these folks over time.

   If we can remove the “did not attempt” folks through greater faculty emphasis we can really identify and help the problem students.


Program           Course             Semester          Total Students       Success (%)              Fail (%)

GE                   Phil 140/150   2015 Fall                607                              84                                 16

GE                   Phil 140/150   2016 Spring           380                              90                                  10

GE                   Phil 140/150   2016 Summer       381                               89                                  11

GE                   Phil 140/150   2016 Fall                544                              83                                  17

GE                   Phil 140/150   2017 Spring           279                              86                                   13  (11% never taken)

GE                   Phil 150           2017 Summer         21                             100                                    0

GE                   Phil 140/150   2017 Fall               525                               89                                   11

GE                   Phil 140/150   2018 Spring          390                               73                                   27 (never taken)

Gen Ed program                                                3,125                              87%                                13%


Ed                    EDU 200         2016 Fall                    38                               92                                 8

Ed                    EDU 470         2016 Fall                    41                               99                                 1

Ed                    EDU 200         2017 Spring                26                            100                                 0

Ed                    EDU 200         2017 Fall                    29                              90                                10

Ed                    EDU 470         2017 Fall                    36                              94                                  6

Ed                    EDU 570         2017 Spring                 9                             100                                 0

Nursing            NURS 329     2016 Fall                   98                                 99                                 1  

Nursing            NURS 329     2017 Fall                    96                                96                                 4

Nursing            f-2-f               2017 Spring                 61                               92                                  8

Nursing            NURS 329    2018 Spring                48                                92                                  8

Nursing            Undergrad online  2017 Spring       8                                   88                                12

Nursing            Graduate online  2017 Spring       258  *                             67                                 33

Bus                  BUSP 101       2016 Fall                   96                               83                                 17

Bus                  BUSP 101       2017 Spring               62                              77                                  16 (never taken)

Bus                  BUSP 101        2017 Fall                  130                             79                                  21 (never taken)

Bus                  BUSP 101       2018 Spring                49                              80                                 10 (never taken)

Bus                  MKTG 300     2016 Fall                      46                              82                                 18

Bus                  MKTG 300     2017 Spring                 36                               83                                 17 (never taken)

Bus                  MKTG 300     2017 Fall                      66                              86                                 14 (never taken)

* Includes 45 students who, close to graduating, were not required to take the quiz.


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