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Information Literacy: Applied Information Literacy Skills

How Do You Use Information Literacy Skills?

When making any decision - from which movie you want to go see to something more major such as what car to buy, where to live, or what college to attend - your decision is dependent upon the information you have. 

In a general sense, the skill of information literacy refers to the ability to effectively and critically find, assess, use, and cite information.  This information retrieved will guide your thought and decision-making processes, so it is vital to locate specific information from a variety of sources while being able to assess the credibility of it as well.  We use information literacy skills all the time, but most of us don’t associate what we are doing with this particular skill.

Academic Introduction

Think about how often you research information for your courses- assignments, discussion posts, and projects.  Typically, students associate information literacy skills with big research papers and/or projects.  After going through this content, it will become apparent that information literacy is used everywhere in your personal, academic, and professional lives; not just for those big research papers.

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Academics and Information Literacy- What Information and Where Do I Find It?

Academic Uses
Succeeding in your academic course work depends on how you gather and utilize information to help formulate, add credibility, and provide basis to your thoughts and opinions.  Obviously this is important within research papers, but you also use this skill in other written assignments, discussion posts, study practices, and even within your emails and other forms of communication. 
What Information Do You Need To Find
Get as specific as possible in your search.  For example, instead of searching for genetically modified foods, you could search for the advantages of genetically modified foods.
Where To Find and Locate Information

Not all information is created equal, nor is it always easy to find specific information.  Limiting information gathered from one source, such as individual blogs, will severely impact your ability to formulate decisions and opinions. 

Academically and professionally, you will be required to locate information from a wide variety of sources.  Failure to do so will limit the diversity of information you can possible retrieve and limit your decision making and/or opinions regarding a particular topic.

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Academics and Information Literacy- Assessment of Information

Evaluation Of Your Information

It is important to remember that not all information is created equally; you may be able to find specific information, but is it current and from a credible source? This ability to assess your information is just as important as your ability to find it.  Check out the "Evaluations of Resources" tab in this guide to further enhance your knowledge.

How To Utilize Your Information

After you've retrieved your information and assessed its credibility, how do you utilize your work?  What do you look for?  This may be the hardest aspect of information literacy skills- piecing together your research and extrapolating patterns and ideas within it.  This ability relies on critical thinking skills as well because you typically have multiple resources of data and have to gather content that supports your thesis, ideas, theme and/or concepts. 


Citing and Referencing Your Information

Obviously you must cite and reference the content you researched within your assignment.  Check out the "Citation" tab in this guide to further enhance your knowledge. 

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Information Literacy Within Professional Fields (videos)

Elizabeth Riley has a Master's of Arts (English), and a Master's of Science in Nursing and has a lot of clinical work experience as a registered nurse (RN).  In this video she discusses the importance of information literacy within the nursing profession. 

Soma Jurgensen was a former Rasmussen College employee within the business field bringing to the classroom her previous business work experience.  She has recently started her own business called Intentional Growth Strategies where she is the founder and CEO.  In this video, she discusses the tremendous importance of information literacy within the business profession.  

Jerry Dieffenbach is an employee with Hennepin County as a Juvenile Probation Officer with over 15 years of experience.  In this video, he discusses the importance of information literacy skills, especially with the concept of best practices, within the criminal justice field. 

Barbara Blair is a Medical Assisting Coordinator for Rasmussen College and has a number of years of previous work experience within the healthcare profession.  In this video, she discusses ways she has had to use her information literacy skills working as a Medical Assistant. 

Mary Muhs is the Dean of the School of Early Childhood Education and brings a long history of teaching within this profession in addition to her extensive work experience in this field as well.  Even though it seems as if information literacy is not relevant to the early childhood education profession, Mary discusses the vital importance of them within this profession.  

Jacob Sorem is the School of Technology State Program Coordinator and is a previous graduate of Rasmussen College. In this video, he discussed the importance of information literacy skills for technology students and within the profession itself. 

Drew Blom is a Rasmussen College design instructor who has worked on a number of external design projects throughout his career.  In this video, Drew discusses the importance of information literacy within the design field with rich and descriptive examples. 

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Rassy Learning About Information Literacy Skills