The University of Texas

The first-year students you will work with in your Signature Course know how to get answers from the Internet, but their ability to find other types of resources and to think critically about all of the information they find is a skill that has yet to be honed. The Signature Courses provide a unique opportunity to ensure that all first-year students receive instruction in basic research and information evaluation skills, otherwise known as information literacy skills, that will serve them throughout their time at the University. The Libraries can support your teaching and prepare your students for success in college by helping you to integrate information literacy into your course.

About Learning Outcomes

These information literacy learning outcomes, based on the Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards, were submitted to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies in 2007 and have been accepted for the Signature Courses.

The learning outcomes are written to be applicable across disciplines, for a variety of assignments and over time. The practical application of these learning outcomes will ensure that students will be able to understand the nature of information and how it is created and disseminated; recognize the utility of scholarly encyclopedias for finding background information; effectively search the Library Catalog and databases to find books and articles, recognizing the difference between popular and scholarly sources; evaluate sources, including web sites; and create bibliographies.


Create and execute a research strategy (ACRL Information Literacy Standards 1 and 2) Students will be able to:
  • Determine the type of information they need (ex: background info, critical reviews, etc.)
  • Determine where the information would be found (ex: articles, books, web sites)
  • Choose the appropriate tool for locating the information (encyclopedia, article database, Library Catalog, Web search engine)
  • Brainstorm effective search terms
  • Combine search terms using Boolean logic
Critically evaluate information (ACRL Information Literacy Standard 3) Students will be able to:
  • Evaluate web sites by critically analyzing audience, authority, bias, currency and accuracy
  • Evaluate "published" information by critically analyzing audience, authority, bias and currency
  • Determine whether information is from a scholarly source (ex: journal) or popular source (ex: magazine or newspaper)
  • Explain the meaning of peer-review
Use Citations (ACRL Information Literacy Standard 5) Students will be able to:
  • Identify the elements of a citation (ex: journal title, volume, author, etc.)
  • Distinguish among citation types for different types of material (ex: journal article, book, newspaper)
Did a student in your class impress you with their information literacy skills? Nominate them for the Signature Course Information Literacy Award today! 


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