The Information Process
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  • The Heart of Resource-Based Learning
  • A Description of the Information Process
  • A Closer Look at the Information Process
    Introduction Information Literacy Learning Outcomes Building Plans Building Site What's New



    Interacting With Information Stage (by the end of Grade 12)

    Interacting with information involves reading and media comprehension and is at the heart of what we mean by "literacy." All three language arts strands will likely be activated as students read/view, speak/listen, and write/represent in order to interact with and record the information they have located and selected. They should also learn how to further critically evaluate the information they have accumulated and decide whether or not the information is accurate, conflicting, relevant to the task or project (or even product). Critical analysis of information (for both quality and quantity) should be stressed. Throughout this stage in the process students will need to revise their searching and location skills as additional information is required.

    Senior students should be developing appropriate criteria in order to evaluate information. These criteria might include the following:

    • reputation of author, authority
    • currency of publication (copyright date)
    • date of site updating (for Internet sites and articles)
    • bias or "slant" of an author, editor, or organization (explicit or implicit)
    • fact vs. opinion
    • relevancy/suitability to purpose
    • authenticity and verification through support from another source

    Students need to examine information from several sources to construct and communicate meaning. Where information is conflicting in content, students will need to return to their evaluation criteria to determine which source(s) should be accepted and used.

    They also need to recognize that language can be used to manipulate readers. Critical response to content and purpose is essential; senior students should be able to detect bias and stereotyping in all formats, and to reject (again, using their own established criteria) that which does not meet their criteria for evaluation.

    Students continue to use increasingly complex text and menu features (such as the following) to help them select relevant information:

    • key words, captions, headings (used in a variety of ways)
    • bold or italicized or coloured headings/words
    • photographs and other graphics such as illustrations, charts, graphs etc.

    Students should be able to devise an effective system or method for recording their own information. Main ideas and opinions and supporting facts should be recorded in notes and these should be kept and organized in an acceptable format such as:

    • idea web
    • index card
    • matrix sheet, chart
    • computer database, or spreadsheet

    A database, for example, could be used to keep track of all the required data or information (notes, citations etc.) for either a required product and/or a bibliography. Students will need to summarize information and record quotations accurately. They will also need to cite sources of information accurately and obtain appropriate copyright clearances for images, data, sounds and text that they reference or include in their work. Privacy and ownership, with regard to information access and using the ideas or works of others should be addressed along with other copyright issues.

    Students need to be made aware of the importance of keeping a bibliography; they should be accountable for providing a complete and accurate list of all their sources, and be able to promote or defend each of these using their own criteria for evaluating information.

    In the province of Prince Edward Island, The Blue Book: A Manual for the Writing of Research Papers (1996), is a resource recommended for senior high school teachers and their students. This award-winning compilation was developed by members of the English Department at Bluefield High School and the teacher-librarian, Margaret Stewart. Teachers may contact the P.E.I. Department of Education for a MASTER COPY of The Blue Book in order to reproduce it in its entirety. The contents may then be used or adapted for use in other high schools. The section concerning Documentation will be particularly useful at this Interacting With Information stage in the Information Process. Consistent standards and expectations for the documentation d should be articulated and expected across the school to avoid confusion and to help students develop these information literacy skills. Teaching students how to cite information and how to write acceptable footnotes/endnotes and construct complete bibliographies, is a responsibility shared by all teachers at the senior high school level, including the teacher-librarian. Collaboration in the development and implementation of activities requiring written reports, essays, and projects will lead to these clear expectations and to students being better prepared to handle these expectations at the post-secondary level.

    To view a unit developed by Bluefield High School grade twelve (English 521) teachers and their teacher-librarian are using the Blue Book for a Canadian Literature research projec, visit the Building Plans (Part 4) of this document.

    As more educators and their students are working in the electronic learning environment, resource-based learning activities are changing too. The WebQuest is one approach that accommodates the need for accessing and using information from a variety of formats, including World Wide Web sources. Students work collaboratively and take different perspectives or assume roles with regard to "authentic" issues in their world, locally or globally. Many teacher-librarians are publishing their activities (tasks and resources) to the Web and students similarly often create and publish their learning products online. To read more about this exciting approach please refer to of this document. You will also find some great examples of of WebQuests developed by P.E.I. educators in the Part 4 (Building Plans) included within this site.

    To view samples of learning strategies/cognitive organizers for students, click on Learning Strategies. You may wish to download/print these strategies, and adapt them for your students!

    Show Me The Student Learning Outcomes For This Stage

    Show Me The Organizing Information Stage

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