While looking for specific higher-ed competency definitions, I ran across http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency. About mid-way through the article, the authors include the section “Standards, Performance Indicators, and Outcomes” where five definitions appear. The first is as follows (some emphasis mine):
The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
- The information literate student defines and articulates the need for information.
- Confers with instructors and participates in class discussions, peer workgroups, and electronic discussions to identify a research topic, or other information need
- Develops a thesis statement and formulates questions based on the information need
- Explores general information sources to increase familiarity with the topic
- Defines or modifies the information need to achieve a manageable focus
- Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the information need
- Recognizes that existing information can be combined with original thought, experimentation, and/or analysis to produce new information
- The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.
- Knows how information is formally and informally produced, organized, and disseminated
- Recognizes that knowledge can be organized into disciplines that influence the way information is accessed
- Identifies the value and differences of potential resources in a variety of formats (e.g., multimedia, database, website, data set, audio/visual, book)
- Identifies the purpose and audience of potential resources (e.g., popular vs. scholarly, current vs. historical)
- Differentiates between primary and secondary sources, recognizing how their use and importance vary with each discipline
- Realizes that information may need to be constructed with raw data from primary sources
- The information literate student considers the costs and benefits of acquiring the needed information.
- Determines the availability of needed information and makes decisions on broadening the information seeking process beyond local resources (e.g., interlibrary loan; using resources at other locations; obtaining images, videos, text, or sound)
- Considers the feasibility of acquiring a new language or skill (e.g., foreign or discipline-based) in order to gather needed information and to understand its context
- Defines a realistic overall plan and timeline to acquire the needed information
- The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need.
- Reviews the initial information need to clarify, revise, or refine the question
- Describes criteria used to make information decisions and choices