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
    Introduction Information Literacy Learning Outcomes Building Plans Building Site What's New



    The current emphasis on information literacy and its manifestation, resource-based learning, makes research an essential part of a school curriculum and life-long learning. Students have much to gain when they experience a consistent approach to the research (or information) process, beginning in the early primary grades and continuing throughout their school years. Where teacher-librarians are part of the instructional team, they can provide co-ordination and support to teachers as (together) they develop a school-wide plan for teaching information literacy skills and strategies, as well as a plan for instruction. This approach will be activated for a variety of projects, including those which make use of technology, in order to access, use, create and share information.
    (Atlantic Canada English Language Arts Curriculum, Entry-3, page 221)

    "Doing research" has changedAlthough "doing research" is not new, the approach itself has changed considerably, and an inclusive, consistent framework or "information process" approach is recommended. There are actually several essential processes involved in this approach, including cognitive processes such as those required for creative and critical thinking, and inquiry or problem-solving models. The communicative processes are necessarily involved, including the strands of reading and viewing, speaking and listening and writing and representing. Scientific methodology is also consistent within the information process approach and learners will employ many of the same skills and strategies required for media literacy and technological competency.

    The following diagram was adapted from the Ontario document, Information Studies, 1-12 (Draft, 1998) illustrates the interdependence of several key processes as students develop their information literacy through problem-based inquiry and activating the Information Process:

    Problem Solving

    Graduates will be able to use the strategies and processes needed to solve a wide variety of problems, including those requiring language, mathematical and scientific concepts. The English language arts curriculum builds students' awareness of the strategies and processes they use to construct meaning and to solve information-related problems. Problem solving should be a major focus of all mathematics, given that the purpose of mathematics is to make sense of the world. Problem solving in science should include scientific inquiry, problem solving using the design-technology cycle, and decision making. Through the problem-solving/inquiry process in social studies, students learn to respond as citizens to the problems which confront the world.

    A Comparison of Problem-Solving Inquiry Process Models

    Students have always been tempted to copy information when poorly structured learning assignments provided opportunities for them to do this.
    Plagiarism has always presented problems for educators! Students have always been tempted to copy information when poorly structured learning assignments provided opportunities for them to do this. Access to information from electronic sources has increased the potential for students to plagiarize and use the work and ideas of others, without referencing their sources or without original thought. Many educators have heard "horror stories" about students "copying and pasting" information from online databases, especially from the Internet, into documents they have turned in as if they were their own ideas and work.

    In his article, "The New Plagiarism," Jamie McKenzie, internationally known educator and promoter of students' information literacy, describes how this can happen, and how to structure resource-based learning so that students will not be tempted to "copy and paste" their way to a finished product that dazzles their teachers.

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