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Information Literacy Resources for Faculty


These questions are designed to help you reflect on the role of information in your discipline and your scholarship in ways that can assist you with developing a way to teach information literacy to students.

Adapted from Miller, S. D. (2016, May 20). Information Literacy in the Disciplines. Workshop presented at Thinking with Sources in the Disciplines, Calvin College, Grand Rapids, MI.

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

  • Who are the authorities or power players in the discipline, either specifically or generally? How do they establish that authority?
  • What are current challenges to that authority?
  • How is information disseminated? How does this process contribute to the construction of authority in your field?
  • How does rhetorical style, including visuals, text, styles, conventions, etc. support authority construction through information sources in your field?

Information Creation as a Process

  • In what types of formats (i.e. journals, conference presentations, popular forums, etc.) can the conversation in your discipline typically be found? Are some formats considered more authoritative? Is there a continuum or hierarchy of formats?
  • Are there any unique information formats used in your field (i.e. patents, performances, etc.)? If so, what is their importance to your discipline?
  • What counts as evidence in your discipline? Where do you find that evidence? How is it normally presented? What would you use it for – or, why is it important to someone in your discipline?

Information Has Value

  • How is impact determined, measured, or expressed in your field? How do authority, inquiry, format, searching, and scholarship affect impact?
  • How does open access affect your standing as a scholar?
  • Is access to information in your field privileged? How will students access this information once they are working in their field? Are there suitable alternatives for proprietary resources?
  • What are any particular traits of attribution in your field that might be different from others? What counts as an original idea?

Research as Inquiry

  • What are common research methods, theories, or approaches in your discipline? How can you recognize these ideas when looking at materials produced in your field? (Do students learn to identify these ideas as well?)
  • Is there a major difference between library research and field research in your discipline? How do the these types of research interact? Do the questions you ask in field research differ from those you ask of previously created information sources?
  • Is there a researcher/practitioner dichotomy in your field? If so, what types of questions which require outside information sources would each of these roles ask in the course of their work?
  • Do typical research assignments that you see in disciplinary courses mirror or contradict these processes? How?

Scholarship as Conversation

  • Where, how, and among whom do the conversations in your field take place? 
  • How does one identify those conversations?
  • What are basic expectations for or barriers to participation in the conversations in your field? (e.g. social/cultural capital, financial, prestige, networks, hidden knowledge, ability to “read” the field well enough to contribute in meaningful ways to current conversations)
  • What is an example of a multifaceted scholarly conversation occurring in your field? Can you ID some important contributions to the conversation? (How might you structure an assignment or scaffold curriculum around the development of a conversation?)

Searching as Strategic Exploration

  • What information tools/sources are of primary importance in your field?
  • What are typical search behaviors among your disciplinary colleagues?
  • How do the concepts of format, conversation, value, authority, and inquiry impact search processes?