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Information Literacy Guide for Staff

What is Information Literacy?

Information is contextual and fluid between writer, searcher and sources. (Morgan, 2015).

Information literacy is the understanding and ability to undertake reflective and critical discovery of information. The awareness of how information is produced and valued influences the effective and ethical use of information and enables learning.

What are threshold concepts?

Introduced by Meyer and Land, threshold concepts are core ideas and processes that are gateways for students' understanding to transform their thinking and perspective. 

Students see the "why" of a discipline and behind the discipline's preconceptions. They take on a new world view which is essential for learning and teaching.

Townsend & Brunetti, 2011


                                    Photo: 'Threshold concepts' by Jeffrey M. Keefer via Slideshare   CC BY-ND 2.0​​

Threshold Concepts and Information Literacy

                        Image Transformation via appliedalliance 

For example
Students understand why they need a particular information source.

                            Photo path-cut-through-log-porongurup by Leon Brooks via public domain 


For example

Once students understand the difference between a search engine and a database they will use this knowledge in their future research.


Image   Zome house using solar heating built near Corrales, New Mexico via Wikimedia commons 

For example

Students understand not only what information they need but also that they need  information from a particular source type.

Students know that they need to search for biographical information about  Patrick White in a book about Australian writers rather than in a newspaper. They consider the distinction and purpose of different formats.


                           Phote Lolham Crossing by Ian Simpson via

For example
Students have a difficulty understanding of the difference between a journal title and a journal article title. 



                            Photo  The Thumb by Lars Jensen via randomSpace

For example

Students learn that information and terminology is particular to a specific field within the discipline.

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