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Information Fluency


We have divided the IF skills into 3 main categories. Basic, Intermediate and Advanced skills. This page presents an overview of the Basic Skills and some examples of learning outcomes used to develop our students research and critical thinking competencies while studying at WCM-Q.

Information Fluency: List of Basic Skills & Examples

Recognize and fulfill an information need

  • Use mind mapping, listing or brainstorming techniques as means to generate keywords, synonyms and related terms [see Box 1].

Exhibit mental flexibility, persistency and creativity when searching

  • Given a general topic, define the audience and formulate a research question.

Realize that information sources vary greatly in content and format

  • Use a Search Log to document the search strategy, search techniques and keep track of relevant resources [see Box 2].

Use various research methods based on need, circumstance and type of inquiry

  • Building search strings using keywords, synonyms, Boolean operators and use different techniques such as truncation, phrasing, and filters.

Decide which information to be used based on need

  • Use primary resources for Biology report.

Value intellectual property, respect original ideas and adhere to academic integrity

  • Understand Academic Integrity and make and adhere to Cornell's set of values in all academic relationships especially the use of Cornell's resources and intellectual work.

Articulate the purpose of copyright, fair use, open access and the public domain

  • Understand that information might be perceived differently according to format and recognize the value of every information product in varying contexts
  • Compare information found about same topic in scholarly and non-scholarly resources [see Box 3].

Select, organize and restate textual concepts and main ideas in one's own words

  • Write an annotated bibliography of scholarly articles for Biology paper.

Critically evaluate information sources

  • Evaluate the information found in scholarly article and popular article.

Value and evaluate contributions made by other

  • Collaborate with classmates on group project by creating new information and combining reliable resources with own knowledge and experience.

Box 1: How to Plan your Search Strategy

Box 2: Search Log

Box 3: Recognize Scholarly Articles