Queen’s University advocates development of a set of academic literacies: critical reading, effective writing and communication, numeracy, inquiry, critical thinking, problem solving, information literacy, academic integrity, effective collaboration, and intercultural literacy. Queen's librarians set learning outcomes for research-related academic skills that are aligned to course assignments.These outcomes are based on a framework of threshold concepts for information literacy.
The Association of College & Research Libraries proposed a new Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Educatrion in June 2014. It lists six threshold concepts that will help students develop their research and information skills. The Framework envisions information literacy as an arc of learning throughout a student's degree program and career:
"Information literacy is a repertoire of understandings, practices, and dispositions
focused on flexible engagement with the information ecosystem, underpinned by
critical self-reflection. The repertoire involves finding, evaluating, interpreting,
managing, and using information to answer questions and develop new ones; and
creating new knowledge through ethical participation in communities of learning,
scholarship, and practice." (ACRL. (2014). Framework for information literacy for higher education, p.2)
The six concepts are described here.
Threshold Concept 1
Idea of sustained discourse within a community with new ideas being developed over time from new perspectives and interpretations.
Threshold Concept 2
Research is iterative and depends on asking increasingly complex questions.
Threshold Concept 3
The format of information sources reflects the process by which they were created.
Threshold Concept 4
Authority of information sources depends on their origins, the information need, and the context in which the information is used.
Threshold Concept 5
Experts use a strategic approach in selecting search tools, defining search vocabularies, designing searches, and analyzing search results. Information discovery is nonlinear and iterative.
Threshold Concept 6
Information is a commodity and information users have a responsibility as both consumers and creators to engage with it ethically and respectfully.