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Information Literacy Module for Early College Students: Home

What It Is

Information literacy is a vital skill that librarians and faculty address in a variety of ways. This module is intended to address fundamental information literacy skills appropriate for students in the first two years of college. It is designed to be incorporated into any LMS for use in both online and face to face courses. The module is divided into five self-paced chapters that progress through the stages of a student research process. Each chapter should take roughly 30 minutes to complete, and covers two to three learning outcomes that lend themselves to early college student information literacy and align with the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, adopted by the Association of College & Research Libraries (ACRL) in 2016.

Module Chapters & Learning Outcomes

The module is designed to follow (roughly) the stages of the research process. Instructors can assign chapters to complete throughout the course or can pick and choose the chapters that meet their needs. Remixing and revising content is also encouraged!

Chapter 1: Choosing a Topic

  • Formulate questions for research, based on information gaps or on reexamination of existing, possibly conflicting, information.
  • Recognize that you, the researcher, are often entering into an ongoing scholarly conversation, not a finished conversation.
  • Conduct background research to develop research strategies.

Chapter 2: Developing a Search Strategy

  • Use different types of searching language appropriately.
  • Identify interested parties, such as scholars, organizations, governments, and industries who might produce information about a topic and then determine how to access that information.
  • Assess the fit between an information product's creation process and a particular information need.

Chapter 3: Ongoing Research Process

  • Understand that first attempts at searching do not always produce adequate results
  • Design and refine needs and search strategies as necessary, based on search results
  • Use research tools and indicators of authority to determine credibility of sources, understanding the elements that might temper this credibility

Chapter 4: Analyzing and Reviewing Your Sources

  • Assess gathered information for gaps or weaknesses.
  • Analyze and interpret the information you have collected.
  • Recognize issues of access or lack of access to information.

Chapter 5: Using Information Effectively 

  • Practice proper citation and attribution.
  • Synthesize ideas gathered from multiple sources.


Download the Module

The Information Literacy Module for Early College Students is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License and can be imported into any Learning Management System compatible with the Common Cartridge format. To access the cartridge, please provide your name and contact e-mail address below, so that we can keep track of downloads and can update you with any revisions. After you submit the form, you will be provided with a link to a shared Google Drive folder containing an Instructor's Manual, question pools, and file download.

Contact Information

Module authors are Amanda Burbage and Olivia Reinauer. Please feel free to contact us with any questions.


We thank the Virginia Community College System, Paul Lee Professional Development Grant for funding support of this project.