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Information Literacy: Learning Outcomes

Strategies used to incorporate research skills for the College of Arts and Sciences, the Graduate School of Management, the Pacific Northwest College of Arts, and the School of Computing and Informations Sciences.

About the Learning Outcomes

These Learning Outcomes were developed in 2018 and revised in 2021 by the library staff.  We brought together the most significant and relevant standards that Willamette students should have learned upon graduating from the College of Arts and Sciences, the Atkinson Graduate School of Management, the School of Computing and Informations Science, and the Pacific Northwest College of Arts.  Our standards are based upon the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) Framework and Standards for Information Literacy.  

Learning Outcomes at the Hatfield Library

1. Research as Inquiry 
Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry.

a. Identify a need for information to effectively research a topic.
b. Formulate questions based on information gaps and/or on reexamination of existing, possibly conflicting information.
c. Understand the different types and formats of information sources and employ good judgment in the selection of those sources.

2. Searching as Strategic Exploration
Searching for information requires the evaluation of a range of information sources and the ability to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding develops.

a. Develop an effective search strategy to access needed information.
b. Utilize divergent (e.g. brainstorming) and convergent thinking (e.g. selecting the best source) when searching.
c. Demonstrate the ability to navigate relevant information resources.
d. Effectively track and organize research processes and results.
e. Refine needs and search strategies as necessary, based on previous search results.

3. Evaluate, Interpret, and Analyze
Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and should be evaluated based on the need and context in which the information will be used.

a. Apply appropriate criteria within the context of a research need to evaluate reliability, relevance, authority, and accuracy of information.
b. Critically evaluate the creators of sources, including tone, subjectivity, and biases and consider how these relate to the original purpose(s) and audience(s) of the source.

4. Recognize that Information has Value
Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world.

a. Demonstrate an understanding of intellectual property (including copyright requirements), information security and privacy, and ethical use of information.
b. Acknowledge the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation.
c. Understand that legal, social, and economic interests impact information production and dissemination.

5. Synthesize and Contribute
The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.

a. Understand that the format and delivery method impact the message conveyed.
b. Create new insights using tools and resources appropriate for the topic and audience.
c. Participate effectively and ethically in communities of discourse to achieve shared goals and values.

Willamette University

Willamette University Libraries

Mark O. Hatfield Library
900 State Street.
Salem Oregon 97301
Pacific Northwest College of Art Library
511 NW Broadway.
Portland Oregon 97209