Archived Information

Understanding Information Literacy - September 1999

Implications for Learning

Some of our learning occurs in formal settings where what we learn is packaged and prepared for us. But much learning also occurs in nonformal settings, and, informally as well. Information literacy is crucial in all three types of learning situations.

Becoming information literate will involve a drastic change from the way many students are accustomed to learning. First of all, it requires students to be more self-directed in their learning. This kind of independent, active learning prepares students for real-life problem solving (Breivik and Gee 1989). Also, in becoming information literate, students will assume more responsibility for their own learning either individually or in work groups. As students become more competent with their use of information resource options, they become aware of their individual styles of learning and preferred ways of assimilating knowledge (Bleakley and Carrigan 1994).

One successful method for developing information literacy skills is through resource-based learning which involves having students assume more responsibility for locating the very materials from which to learn. This approach develops lifelong learning skills because students are learning from the same sources which they will come to use in their daily lives such as books, newspapers, televisions, databases, government documents, subject matter experts, and others (ALA 1989). Moreover, resource-based learning provides an added advantage (i.e., it allows students to choose materials that match their academic levels and preferred learning styles thus individualizing the learning process for the individual student).


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