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



    Creating New Information Stage (by the end of Grade 6)

    Students should clearly understand the expectations for an anticipated product, described and decided upon early in the process (preferably at the planning stage). Rubrics, clearly outlining criteria for the product (written and/or other types of representations) are recommended. These should also include any information related to how the product will be evaluated. See the next section ("assessment and evaluation") for more about creating and using rubrics for assessing students learning (the process) and for evaluating their products.

    Written products require students at this stage to also develop sentences or paragraphs from their organized notes; other representations will require students to use information in audio or visual presentations such as:

    • displays, charts, dioramas, maps (including written information)
    • illustrated booklets, study prints, or posters
    • video or audio tape
    • slide presentation (35 mm or computer-generated)
    • working models (e.g. to demonstrate a science topic)
    • individual or group presentations
    • dramatizations
    • written products may include a comprehensive report (or other expository form, as well as more "creative" forms such as poetry or musical lyrics etc.

    The expected product should always be appropriate for the assignment; sometimes the written product (i.e. a report) is not the best choice! It is also important to consider students' learning styles and preferences (and "multiple intelligences") since writing and production of only written products may seriously disadvantage some students in achieving information literacy outcomes for this part of the Information Process.

    Teachers using the Collections Program 5 (Prentice Hall Canada, 1996) within their language arts program will find the Strategy Card: Presenting Information very useful for both the "creating new information" and "sharing/presenting information" stages in the Information Process. Students should always review, with assistance and feedback from their teachers, the structure of their product(s) in light of the purpose of the assigned task.

    For products requiring a written component, a rough draft may be constructed, using an outline or other organization for the recorded notes. Emphasis needs to be placed on synthesis, with students developing their own ideas and formulating some "new" information, not simply paraphrasing or even copying the words and ideas of others. This is especially true with the use of word processing where students may simply, "copy and paste" text into their own documents without really undergoing significant intellectual involvement. If demonstration and practice is provided, students will gradually develop the ability to create their own information products from data and information collected from several sources. This is also a good time to reinforce the necessity for acknowledging the thoughts, ideas, and works of others; the sources they used should be included in a finished product, whether this is a more formal bibliography, or simply including their source list (as described in the "interacting" and "organizing information" stages above).

    Rubrics (charts indicating criteria for products and their evaluation) for written reports may, for example, include the following organizational structures:

    • cover
    • title page
    • table of contents
    • glossary
    • bibliography (for references, sources they accessed and used) with titles, authors, publishers or producers, or other location information such as URL's for online documents, and copyright dates.)

    Oral presentations should also be encouraged at this level, with opportunities for groups to collaborate in the creation of their product. They may choose to illustrate their presentation with photographs, videotape or audiotape, computer-generated slides, or they may use other information technologies such as web-based software for presentations. Their own artwork, music, or photographs could also be scanned into their products for a multi-media effect. Students need time and support in preparing products prior to their presentations. Simply expecting them to do all their product creation away from the classroom or school library, may be unfair to those needing the support of the teacher-librarian and classroom teacher.

    The "critical challenge" for a learning centre activity, for example, might include this expectation:

    "Use your notes to organize a plan for your product. You will develop an audio-visual product, such as a (computer-generated) slide presentation. Your focus should be on preparing to live (with your family, on exchange) in Australia for several months!"

    There is also the danger that products will not reflect the work of the student(s), that parents or others may be "drafted" into doing the work! Students' science fair projects or "Heritage Day"displays may suffer from this problem unless adequate structuring and time is provided within the instructional program of the school. Judges often complain that students are unable to present the products of their learning because they have not had this intense involvement with the data and information, and the products reflect too much intervention from others. A message for other community members, including parents, should be clear, that students' information literacy skills include those required for creating their own products!

    The development of a bibliography should never be left solely to this "creating new information" stage in the Information Process. Students should be encouraged to keep track of their sources as they "interact with Information" and the recording of this necessary data is often supported with the use of an "organizer" (see "strategies for organizing information" above). However, by grade six they should also be expected to produce a fairly complete bibliography, conforming to the standards established in the school or province. Again, the Strategy Card: Bibliography in the Collections 5 program used in the Language Arts program in this province will be very useful for classroom teachers and for teacher-librarians!

    Show Me The Student Learning Outcomes For This Stage

    Show Me The Sharing and Presenting Information Stage

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