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 GENERAL DESCRIPTION OF THE INFORMATION PROCESS

    • students need a consistent approach, a process they can activate whenever they have information-related problems, questions to address;

    • the process of "doing research" is not new for teachers and students but... projects, assignments, reports etc. must be relevant, interesting, and have an "authenticity" in order to engage students in conducting their own inquiry;

    • a collaborative approach, involving teachers and teacher-librarians, will result in students transferring their knowledge, skills and attitudes about the use of information, from previous learning activities, and among assignments in other subjects;

    • this should also lead to a school-wide focus on information literacy and the skills and strategies students need to access, use, create, and share information throughout their years of formal education;

    • this process is defined as a problem-solving process, involving decision-making as well as creative and critical thinking; students should be doing more than simply "finding out" (or copying information from others), they should be truly involved with data and ideas in order to construct meaning and new "new information"or knowledge, for their own purposes. There are lifelong learning skills our students will need in this "information age";

    • by combining the language arts strands (of reading/viewing, speaking/listening, writing/representing,) with critical thinking, our students will be doing more than traditional "research," they will be engaged in an information process...

    Visit Southern Kings Consolidated, a Prince Edward Island school, to view a unique plan for developing their students' information literacy. Note the school-wide emphasis on resource-based learning and the Information Process in particular.

    Characteristics of the Information Process

    Those who teach students how to use this process will note the following characteristics...

    1. It is a process, with several concurrent, interactive operations. Each part of the process builds on a previous part, laying the groundwork for the next part. It is structured and learning is active but not chaotic.

    2. The process is developmental. Students need many opportunities to develop their skills and strategies, beginning in the primary grades and continuing throughout their years in school.

    3. The process is pervasive, touching on all aspects of the teaching and learning environment. It crosses all grade levels, all subjects, and all students, regardless of socio-economic or geographic factors.

    4. The process is dynamic. Students are actively engaged in their own learning; they are not passive observers. It is vigorous and generates an energy that has great appeal for learners of all ages. This active (but structured) learning also demands accountability.

    5. The process has a metacognitive component. Students are taught to become reflective and aware of their own learning (what they are doing, where they are going next...). Teachers use this aspect to assess their students' progress and to gauge their ability to activate the information process effectively.

    6. It is inclusive of other learning processes. The information process, like any other learning process does not happen in isolation from others. It includes all the language arts strands as well as the scientific processes of experimenting, testing hypotheses, problem-solving, critical and creative thinking (cognition.) Along with the newer "literacy skills" related to media and technology, students still need some of the more traditional competencies related to library and research skills. The ability to evaluate information, including but not exclusively data and information from electronic sources.

    For more information about the importance of providing our students with a process approachor a framework for information processing, visit one of these websites to read more: from researchers Carol Kulthau and others; and Johnson & Eisenberg, the creators of The Big 6 approach. Remember, the number of stages in the process may be debatable... Big 6 proponents claim there are six, while the model used in Atlantic Canada has seven, the importance of organizing the various skills and strategies in the process into identifiable stages or phases is absolutely essential for effective learning!

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