The Information Process
Select an area from the list below:
  • The Heart of Resource-Based Learning
  • A Description of the Information Process
  • A Closer Look at the Information Process
  • BUILDING INFORMATION LITERACY  
    Introduction Information Literacy Learning Outcomes Building Plans Building Site What's New

     

    A CLOSER LOOK AT THE INFORMATION PROCESS

    Keystage Level: 10 - 12

    Senior high students using a learning centreRead in detail about what our students should be able to do, what they should know, and how they will feel about the information process by the (keystage) level of grade twelve. This excerpt (from The Atlantic Provinces Education Foundation [APEF] Language Arts Curriculum 10-12) describes the changing roles for teachers and teacher-librarians, as well as for students. You will be able to view various learning strategies that may be viewed or downloaded and printed for you and your students to use in your own classroom or school library. Many of these were developed or adapted by teacher-librarians in Prince Edward Island.

    Following this section you will be able to link to the general and specific student learning outcomes (in Part 3 of this document) for information literacy, from the same APEF Language Arts curriculum. These are organized for your convenience, into the seven stages in the information process, and are provided for grades four, five, and six.

    Remember, language arts outcomes for information literacy are essential across the entire curriculum! Other outcomes (from other core curricula) will be added to the same section (Part 3) as these become available.

    You will also be able to view the information skills suggested for this level (from the P.E.I. Information Skills Continuum, 1990) and link to information technology skills related to the information literacy (from the new Technology Integration document for P.E.I. Education.)

    By The End Of Grade 12

    Information can be used to examine critically knowledge and understandings. Through the process of critically questioning ideas, points of view, and cultural perspectives, students can revise their understandings, perceive weaknesses in information, and make better sense of the world. Teachers and teacher-librarians collaborate to provide curricular opportunities and experiences through which students can define, investigate, and develop solutions to problems. Students can also develop their abilities to make informed, wise decisions as they assume responsibility for their learning and their lives. Students' questions are pursued through inquiry... original research and investigation, and by questioning and using information in a range of media. With direction and support, students are able to define reasonable research expectations in the context of the curriculum and their personal interests and concerns. Topics selected by students and relevant to their interests and the curriculum, cause learners to examine the assumptions of arguments, values, and ideas. Through personally meaningful curricular assignments and investigations, students develop effective ways to pursue stimulating topics and to develop effective information literacy skills and strategies.
    Through the process of critically questioning ideas, points of view, and cultural perspectives, students can revise their understandings, perceive weaknesses in information, and make better sense of the world.

    Students and their teachers need to have access to a rich range of learning resources in several formats including print, non-print, audio-visual, and electronic, as well as opportunities to utilize local and global (human and organizational) community resources. The body of knowledge learners can access continues to grow exponentially. For these reasons, the development of students' higher-order (critical and creative) thinking skills... for analyzing, evaluating, synthesizing, are essential for problem-solving and for informed decision-making.

    The use of information technologies within well-designed learning activities supports students' searches for extensive data and information for their inquiry topics, while providing students with satisfying tools with which to solve some of their information-related problems. Accessing and using information from electronic sources also provides them with opportunities to identify more readily and understand the complexity of relationships among individual pieces of information. The result is a richer knowledge base for our students, the development of critical and creative thinking, and a more subtle understanding of the implications of using information for wise decision-making.

    When teachers and teacher-librarians integrate the use of information technologies within a resource-based learning environment for their students, they act as facilitators, mentors, coaches, and guides. This type of learning environment, rich with information in several formats, including electronic, is focused on exploration, discovery, and communication. These educators support learning and student performances that involve the evaluation and application of knowledge to define and to solve problems rather than to facilitate a simpler factual recall of information. Students engage with diverse, complex information sources and human expertise beyond the classroom or school library. Teachers and teacher-librarians develop and use more flexible and demanding forms of learning assessment practices and incorporate the use of technologies and experiences that genuinely reflect students' understanding and performance in relation to the expected learning outcomes. As students develop technological competence, a critical part of information literacy, they will be able to:

    • use a variety of technologies, demonstrate an understanding of technological applications; and apply appropriate technologies for solving problems;
    • locate, evaluate, adapt, create, and share information using a variety of sources and technologies;
    • demonstrate an understanding of the impacts of technology on society;
    • demonstrate understanding of ethical issues related to the uses of technology in a local and global context.

    Students have much to gain when they experience a consistent approach to the information process beginning in the primary grades and continuing throughout their school years.
    Students have much to gain when they experience a consistent approach to the information process beginning in the primary grades and continuing throughout their school years. When teacher-librarians are part of the instructional team, they can provide coordination and support to classroom teachers as they develop a school-wide plan for teaching information literacy skills and strategies. A collaborative and planned approach to the information process will result in schools having a carefully developed continuum of skills and strategies, as well as a plan for integrated instruction. This approach will be activated for a variety of projects, including those that make use of technology in order to access, evaluate, use, create, and share information.

    The information process involves a number of interrelated processes, skills, and strategies:

    • cognitive or thinking processes (creative, critical thinking) and problem-solving approaches
    • communication processes (reading and viewing, writing and representing, speaking and listening)
    • scientific process (experimenting, testing hypotheses)
    • "traditional" library and research skills (focus on accessing information)
    • media/visual literacy
    • technological (competence)

    A wide array of learning resources must be provided within and beyond the classroom to support the development of information literacy and the achievement of related learning outcomes. Teachers and teacher-librarians can collaborate to improve access to learning resources by:

    • sharing and efficiently managing a wide range of materials
    • selecting resources that are intellectually accessible to all students (can be read/viewed, understood; matching learning styles and needs)
    • providing appropriate resources from, or for use in, a variety of settings (classroom, school library, computer lab, local or global community)

    In the senior grades ten, eleven, and twelve, students need many opportunities to work through the information process, individually and in cooperative learning activities. Teachers and teacher-librarians may use a number of resource-based approaches:

    • information centres (where preselected resources and learning activities are accessed and/or completed by students)
    • learning stations (where several activities are organized around specific learning resources... in a variety of formats; students work in cooperative pairs or groups to complete some/all of the activities)
    • inquiry-based authentic projects (individuals or cooperative groups pursue a question or information-related problem, with emphasis on "learning about" a topic and sharing their meaningful solutions with decision-makers and others who share their interest)
    • World Wide Web-based activities (teachers use the Internet as a tool; information- related problems are solved, projects are developed, using online resources; students may also create and share/publish their findings and their products, using web pages and/or email connections with others)

    Students' achievement of learning outcomes for information literacy will depend on the approach used and the way the resource-based learning activity is structured. If, for example, a series of station activities concentrates on locating information and simply interacting with the information to determine the way it is organized or finding some factual content, then learning outcomes for these types of skills will be the focus for assessment of the students' learning.

    If, however, students are expected to use the information in other ways, to analyze and synthesize it into a knowledgeable "product" (and/or informed decision, action) that is shared with others, then the assessment of the students' learning will focus on a much wider range of outcomes.

    Skills, knowledge, and attitudes will be developed throughout the activity regardless of the approach taken, and it is still possible to refer to the groupings provided by the Information Process for identifying these skills and strategies, even when a "stations" or "Web-based" or other type of resource-based learning activity is employed.

    A variety of types of resource-based learning activities is recommended at the senior high school level. Some activities may only require a single class period, others may involve several scheduled periods in the school cycle. Learning stations activities may be developed for any subject/curricular area; teacher-librarians with expertise in structuring this type of learning collaborate with their teacher partners to develop and implement this popular approach.

    There should also be opportunities for "projects" and "research papers," although it is important to remember that students will be more stimulated and motivated, and their products will be more satisfactory for everyone, when these are varied with other types of approaches, and structures (still using the Information Process).

    A variety of types of resource-based learning activities is recommended at the senior high school level. Some activities may only require a single class period, others may involve several scheduled periods in the school cycle.
    Again, all resource-based learning activities should be relevant to the curriculum and meaningful for the learners. Sometimes a resource-based activity may not be the best instructional choice, the textbook or a teacher-directed focus may be preferable for several good reasons, including the lack of appropriate learning resources in varied formats to support student inquiry.

    Teacher-librarians at the senior high school level have many opportunities to work with teachers from all subjects and grade levels and their perspective and experience is essential to avoid unnecessary duplication of projects or the inappropriate identification of learning outcomes for information literacy skills and strategies. If, for example a grade ten history teacher decides to assign a project, it may be very useful to know what other activities, projects and papers are planned or assigned for their students in other subjects. The teacher-librarian will also be aware of learning activities and skills developed in previous (or subsequent) grade levels, and through faculty/department meetings, should also be able to support more communication and collaboration among teachers. The development of students' information literacy is a shared responsibility for all members of the school community. However the school-wide coordination and consistent development of information literacy (through resource-based learning activities) is not only recommended, it makes good sense!

    Stages Within the Information Process

    Throughout their school years students need many opportunities to develop skills and experience success with defining, investigating, and developing solutions to their problems and questions. By the time they are in senior high school students should be knowledgeable about the Information Process and be able to personalize the process for their own learning purposes. Like the writing process, the Information Process involves many different skills and strategies, grouped within phases or stages. Each part of the process builds on a previous part, laying the groundwork for the next part. The skills and strategies required (to effectively access and use information available in a range of media and information technologies) should be developed within this systematic framework or process for learning... not just in earlier years of schooling, but at the senior high school level as well. The seven phases or stages commonly identified with the Information Process are:

    1. Planning Stage
    2. Gathering Information Stage
    3. Interacting With Information Stage
    4. Organizing Information Stage
    5. Creating New Information Stage
    6. Sharing and Presenting Information Stage
    7. Assessment and Evaluation Stage

    When designing resource-based learning activities (such as learning stations, projects, "web-quests" etc.) it is important to remember that higher levels of cognition generally occur when students engage in skills and strategies for processing information at the "Organizing, Creating, Sharing/Presenting, and Assessment/Evaluation" stages. Students' use of the Information Process is never linear or purely sequential. A new piece of information may lead a student to either revise a question under consideration, or help determine a perspective or point of view from which to examine critically the information available, to come to a conclusion different from that of an author of an information source or product.

    Show Me The Planning Stage


    To view a list of information skills appropriate for the Grades 10, 11, and 12 level:

    The P.E.I. Information Skills Continuum, 1990
  • Grade 9 - 10
  • Grade 11 - 12
  • Please note that Building Information Literacy replaces this earlier continuum as P.E.I.'s mandated curriculum (for information literacy) document. However, the earlier continuum is still in wide use and contains information that is still pertinent today!

    Read more about information skills, strategies, and outcomes students require for developing technological competence by the end of Grade 12:

    "Journey On" (The P.E.I. Information Technology Integration Document)
    Please note that many of the skills included in this document are an integral part of developing students' information literacy at the primary level!

    Contact the P.E.I. Department of Education for a copy of Journey On and lesson plans for Grades 10 - 12.
    Building Information Literacy Return to Top