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Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Frame: Research as Inquiry

Overview and advice for using the Framework

Framework Defined

Research as Inquiry refers to an understanding that research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.

Selecting and Using Keywords (CC)

Tutorial demonstrating 'Research as Inquiry' - Selecting and Using Keywords

Alignment with 2000 ACRL Standards

Standard One: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed
Standard Two: 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.

Key Aspects

  • Start with what you already know. Begin by drawing upon your knowledge base.
  • Learn as you go! Be open to shifting your research as you discover new areas of knowledge.
  • Research is like building with Legos. It builds upon itself through searching, browsing existing research, and asking questions.
  • Seek the experts. Don’t forget to ask for insights from professors and librarians.
  • Be persistent and don’t get discouraged. Research can be challenging. If you don’t find something right away don’t give up.

Possible Learning Objectives

  • Describe via reflection how the research process is iterative, requires persistence and open mindedness, and may lead to more questions.
  • Discover and refine/adjust key concepts and related terms in order to locate relevant sources.
  • Use knowledge gained through coursework and personal experience, along with curiosity, to identify gaps in information or available data that may suggest research questions.
  • Realize that new questions may lead to more lines of discovery, applying research methods that are appropriate for the need, context, and type of inquiry.
  • Analyze sections of a research article in order to conceptualize the research process used, to identify possible gaps in the literature or new areas of inquiry.
  • Identify content experts (instructors, librarians, etc.) as knowledgeable and approachable, and feel comfortable coming to them at service points for help.

Classroom Activities

Ideas to Incorporate into Classroom

  • Use research article to model research process used by experts.
  • Jigsaw groups each tackle one part of a research article summarizing what that section says what purpose that section serves then students disperse & share with new formed groups
  • Chalk talk have students list out resource they use & branch out with experiences, feelings, facts, etc.
  • Concept mapping, give class a topic, brainstorm keywords. Use Prezi to have students create a visual map with a list of keywords.
  • Evaluate sources cited in an article, review sources. Decade what value thing add to the article. Sort sources into types (books, articles, reports, statistics) using clickers
  • Individual group brainstorming, using Padlet, students share as many synonyms as they can for research question concepts, then as a group we group them by concept in preparation for boolean searching
  • Keyword brainstorming students write down presentation idea and pass around. What questions do their peers have about the topic ( review to create keywords), roundtable writing.

ACRL IL Framework Task Force

Private Academic Library Network of Indiana logo

This guide was created by a task force of PALNI librarians. 

Task Force Members:
Eric Bradley | Goshen College / PALNI
David Dunham | [formerly] Taylor University
Ula Gaha | [formerly] Saint Mary's College
Sally Neal | Butler University
Amber Pavlina | University of Saint Francis
Catherine Pellegrino | Saint Mary's College

Literature Review

Creative Commons License

Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education by PALNI's ACRL IL Framework Task Force is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License unless marked otherwise. PALNI’s logos and branding template are not covered by this license, and all rights to such material are reserved.