Being information literate is an important skill that is continually developed and can be very beneficial throughout life. Three characteristics of an information literate person are being able to identify an information need, using caution when considering and accepting information, and be able to apply the information that is gathered (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009). Having the ability to identify an information need requires knowing when there is a gap in one’s knowledge and being able to form the gap into a communicable question. This allows for a search to begin and leads to a hopefully complete and fulfilling answer. Using caution when searching for information includes being able to sift through information and identifying what is useful and legitimate. This is a very important skill today because of all the information that is available, both physically and online. Lastly, being able to apply the information that is found allows for the user to apply the information in critical thinking as well as contribute back to society (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009).
When designing lesson plans to develop these characteristics, I would include elements that promote independent learning and active learning. This can be accomplished through using online asynchronous activities, for example completing a search and finding a source. I would also incorporate activities where students could get into small groups and discuss what they have learned from the lesson. Developing objectives and expected learning outcomes can also be helpful to the teacher and student to make the goals of the instruction clear, as well as to measure if the students are learning the information that they should (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009). Utilizing needs assessments and evaluations will also ensure that the students are learning what they need and that the instruction fills those needs (Grassian & Kaplowitz, 2009).
Grassian, E., & Kaplowitz, J. (2009). Information literacy instruction: Theory and practice (2nd ed.). New York: Neal-Schuman.