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Information Literacy Modules: Developing a Research Strategy

Learning Outcomes for Developing a Research Strategy

A. Choosing a Topic

  1. Learns about assignment from instructor in class
    1. Learns scope/depth of assignment.
    2. Identifies level/amount of information required to satisfy information need of assignment.
  1. Identifies Initial topic
    1. Identifies  an initial question  that may be too broad or narrow, as well as one that is manageable.
    2. Narrows or broadens a question by modifying the scope or direction.
  1. Understands need for revision of topic 
    1. Identifies a research topic that may require revision, based on the amount of information found (or not found).
    2. Identifies a topic that may need to be modified, based on the content of information found.
    3. Consults with the course instructor and librarians to develop a manageable focus for the topic.

B. Background Information

  1. Uses background information sources effectively to gain an initial understanding of the topic.
  2. Decides when a research topic has multiple facets or may need to be put into a broader context.
  3. Decides when it is and is not necessary to abandon a topic depending on the success (or failure) of an initial search for information.
  4. Determines whether information satisfies the research or other information need.

C. Types of Sources

  1. Names the three major disciplines of knowledge (humanities, social sciences, sciences) and some subject fields that comprise each discipline.
  2. Describes how the publication cycle in a particular discipline or subject field affects the researcher's access to information.
  3. Identifies various formats in which information is available. 
  4. Primary and Secondary
    1. Describes how various fields of study define primary and secondary sources differently.
    2. Identifies characteristics of information that make an item a primary or secondary source in a given field.
  1. Identifies keywords that describe an information source (e.g., book, journal article, magazine article, Web site).
  2. Defines the "invisible college" (e.g., personal contacts, listservs specific to a discipline or subject) and describes its value.

D. Wrap Up and Review

  1. Describes a general process for searching for information.
  2. Identifies the appropriate service point or resource for the particular information need.
  3. Uses the Web site of an institution, library, organization or community to locate information about specific services.
  4. Uses various technologies to manage the information selected and organized

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