The Association of College & Research Libraries (ARCL) defines Information Literacy (IL) as the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.
Information Literacy is a key learning outcome in the new Springfield College Core Curriculum. Students who are information literate are better able to come up with workable topics for their papers, research those topics independently, and write papers that conform to rigorous academic standards.
A 2017 survey of 42,000 students in more than 1,700 courses at 12 major research universities showed that:
An ability to think critically is essential to a student's time in school and is a vital life-long skill.
Employers highly value critical thinking skills too, with a 2013 AAC&U study showing that “a candidate’s demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than their undergraduate major."
It's not easy to teach students to adopt a new thinking style; in today's polarized environment, it can even be difficult to impart to them the importance of deliberate and critical thinking.
To hit the ground running, try the following material with students. It will give them a solid start on IL basics without being overwhelming.