Academic information literacy
Media and information literacy is a term that describes the practices that allow people to manage, evaluate, and analyze the constant information flow coming from different types of media. Media and information literacy centers on understanding the role media plays in society, and being able to find, analyze and critically evaluate information.
At the university library we work daily to further students’ and staff members’ academic information literacy.
There are a lot of definitions of the term information literacy. The skills usually associated with the term are: media literacy, digital competence, and information literacy – the skill to be able to search for, find, critically evaluate and use information for different purposes and in different contexts.
We use the term academic information literacy in order to center and define the different aspects of information literacy relevant for the academic context. This includes knowing how to evaluate and understand information; understanding referencing, the information search process, learning strategies, academic integrity and critical thinking.
With the expanse of digital technology, students’ access to copyright protected material has increased. This leads to a greater need for both students and staff to understand copyright laws and being able to make ethical considerations. Therefore, besides the concepts usually connected with information literacy: information search, referencing, and source criticism, we also include academic competences such as understanding copyright and proficiency in academic writing as central concepts.
Academic information literacy - a Canvas course
The university library has designed a course in Canvas on academic information literacy. It primarily targets students at Karlstad University, and is available in both Swedish and English. It consists of three modules. Every module consists of text, images and/or videos, as well as quizzes. The three modules are:
- The search for information
A basic overview of the different components of the information search process: planning a search question, choosing search terms, and using some basic search strategies.
- Evaluate and criticise
What does it mean to be critical towards your sources in an academic context? We go over different types of scholarly material and how to evaluate, for example, a journal article.
- The academic text
A short introduction to academic language and how to disposition an academic text, basic information on plagiarism, copyright, and Creative Commons. As well as an overview on referencing, of course.
How to access the course
We offer three ways of accessing the content in our Canvas course.
- The contents are imported into your current course.
This will give you full access to the contents of the course, and we can adjust the content somewhat to fit your specific group of students. As well as importing the course into Canvas, we also book a workshop opportunity for your students to attend. In order to be able to import the course into Canvas, you have to add one of us from the library teaching group as a teacher for your course.
- The content is available online.
Many students need to revise the information, for example before writing an essay. Therefore, it might be valuable to be able to quickly refer to the contents of the course. This option offers no possible adjustments.
Academic Information Literacy – a Canvas course from Karlstad University library
- Canvas commons.
You can choose to import selected modules from the course into Canvas, for example to revise a certain aspect of the contents. The three modules are individually available for download through Canvas Commons. Note that the quizzes have been removed here since they do not work through Canvas Commons. (Currently not yet available for the English version)
If you are interested in knowing more about the canvas course in Academic Information Literacy and how to use it, please contact Marie-Louise Eriksson.