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Mathematics - Library Resources: Information Literacy Instruction

What is Information Literacy?

With information coming at us from an unprecedented variety of sources, developing the ability to think critically about the information we use and share has become increasingly important, and increasingly challenging.

Miami Dade College's ten General Education Learning Outcomes include Information Literacy (outcome #4), which refers to an individual's ability to "formulate strategies to locate, evaluate, and apply information."

The MDC librarians are committed to promoting information literacy and facilitating its incorporation across the College curriculum.

The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines Information literacy as the set of integrated abilities encompassing:

  • The reflective discovery of information.
  • The understanding of how information is produced and valued.
  • The use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.

For more information, see ACRL's Information Literacy Framework or view the video below.

Information Literacy Sessions

One easy way to help your students develop effective research skills is to schedule your class for an information literacy session (also known as "library instruction"). These sessions typically last 50 minutes to 1 hour, and can be tailored to meet your students' specific information needs.

To schedule a session, complete the online request form.

LIS 2004

The MDC Librarians teach LIS 2004 (Strategies for Online Research), a one-credit course that can be offered online or face-to-face, and is sometimes paired with another course as a learning community. The course focuses on critical thinking skills for retrieving and evaluating information resources available through the internet. Students learn how to design effective search strategies, and how to use information efficiently and ethically.

Best Practices for Creating Assignments That Incorporate Information Literacy

You might not think of information literacy when you think about math, but combining the two is totally possible! With a little imagination, you can probably think of several assignments that require students to conduct research related to what they are studying in math.

You might, for example, ask students to research and evaluate numerical data, report on the contributions of a famous mathematician, or find newspaper articles on how math is applied to real world problems. Or, you might want your students to learn how to use Boolean logic to find information in a library database or internet search engine.

Whatever the activity, you'll want to be aware of best practices for incorporating information literacy into the assignments you create. The infographic below contains some helpful tips. (A text version is also available.)

More Best Practices for Information Literacy Assignments