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Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Frame: Authority Is Constructed and Contextual

A guide to share with colleagues regarding the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy which takes the place of the ACRL Standards

Framework Defined

Authority Is Constructed and Contextual refers to the recognition that information resources are drawn from their creators’ expertise and credibility based on the information need and the context in which the information will be used. Experts view authority with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new perspectives, additional voices, and changes in schools of thought.

Alignment with 2000 ACRL Standards

Standard One: The information literate student determines the nature and extent of the information needed

Standard Three: The information literate student evaluates information and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her knowledge base and value system.

From: Hovious, Amanda. “Alignment Charts for ACRL Standards and Proposed Framework.” Google Docs, January 23, 2015.

Framework Links

Possible Learning Objectives

  • Students will recognize appropriate information resources per discipline.
  • Determine attributes of authoritative information for different needs, with the understanding that context plays a role in authority-based attributes
  • Recognize that traditional notions of granting authority might hinder diverse ideas and world views
  • Acknowledge that oneself may be seen as an authority in a particular area, and recognize the responsibilities entailed
  • Students will be able to recognize relevance of subject expertise as a kind of authority in order to gather appropriate articles for assignment
  • Students will be able to distinguish between scholarly and popular sources in order to select appropriate sources for academic research.
  • Students will be able to thoughtfully find published primary sources in order to include first-person perspectives in their research project.
  • Students will evaluate sources using a variety of criteria in order to cultivate a skeptical stance and a self-awareness of their own biases and world views.  
  • Students will learn to distinguish a news from an editorial article so they will understand that information is created for a purpose.
  • Students will be able to distinguish between different types of sources in order to find credible sources on their topics.
  • Students will be able to express a desire to find better resources IOT improve the quality of their resources.
  • Students will be able to explain why the authority of a source matters, IOT choose appropriate sources
  • Students will be able to evaluate databases results IOT select relevant and credible sources
  • Students will be able to evaluate an author's use of sources
  • Students will be able to evaluate a source using specific criteria in order to determine whether it meets their information need.