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Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Frame: Searching as Strategic Exploration

Collection of information literacy learning outcomes from PALNI member schools

Framework Defined

Searching as Strategic Exploration refers to the understanding that information searching is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a broad range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new understanding is developed.

In earlier drafts of the Framework this was referred to as called Searching as Exploration and Searching Is Strategic

Alignment with 2000 ACRL Standards

Standard One: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed.
*Standard Two (primary): The information literate student accesses needed information effectively and efficiently.
Standard Three: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

From: Hovious, Amanda. “Alignment Charts for ACRL Standards and Proposed Framework.” Google Docs, January 23, 2015.

Framework Links

Possible Learning Objectives

  • Students will be able to find items in the catalog if given the author, title, or keywords and locate the item on the shelf.
  • Students will be able to identify keywords from a given topic and use appropriate search commands.
  • Students will be able to implement searches in a multipurpose database and on the web and understand the difference between web and database.
  • Students will be able to identify keywords and synonyms and construct a search strategy using appropriate commands for different interfaces.
  • Students will determine if retrieved information satisfied need and will refine search if necessary.
  • Students will be able to construct a search strategy using Boolean and subject headings or database-specific thesaurus terms.
  • Make connections between the importance of matching information needs and search strategies to appropriate search tools
  • Implement more advanced searching skills to respond to a discipline-based information need
  • Reflect on the usefulness of making mistakes in the search process and how searching is not solely transactional
  • Students will use discovery tool facets in order to find relevant info.
  • Teaching students how to understand and analyze scholarly peer-reviewed articles and understand statistics.
  • Students will be able to break down their research question in order to develop an effective database search.
  • Students will develop a topic and a list of terms in order to search sources databases effectively, efficiently, with confidence
  • Students will be able to brainstorm and discover search terms in order to find information about their topic.
    Search discovery layer to find scholarly articles to complete an assignment
  • Students will be able to demonstrate the use of indexes and advanced search techniques in order to retrieve relevant articles for their class project.
  • Students will be able to construct search terms and refine terms based on results to reduce frustration around information gathering.
  • Students will be able to break their search into core concepts and brainstorm additional steps for each concept. Students will be able to apply search strategies using keywords to reduce research frustration.
  • Pharmacy students will be able to select the correct and appropriate resource (print or electronic) based upon the question asked in order to correctly answer the drug information question.
  • Students will be able to identify and describe 3 boolean operators and their proper uses IOT conduct an effective first round search.
  • Students will be able to select an appropriate source/database in order to locate relevant government content/sources of information for their [local] topics
  • Students will be able to explain the triangle concept in order to explore a topic before focusing.

Ideas to Incorporate into Classroom

  • Roundtable paired with concept mapping
  • Jigsaw to learn facets; regroup to find resources meeting different facet-based criteria on different topics (compiled in Google docs)
  • Brainstorm possible search  terms in pairs
  • Paraphrasing
  • Create a search strategy log using article database.  Start a search with the knowledge you have.  Identify 1 relevant article.  Locate new keywords and authors from citation abstract, subject terms.  Revise search and rerun search.  Continue.
  • Pass out different types of information sources and have students work in pairs to identify types and sources.  Have students introduce the source they analyzed.
  • Develop a concept map of topic, keywords, synonyms.