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Active Learning Activities for Online Information Literacy Tutorials

This guide contains a collection interactive learning activities than can be used within online information literacy tutorials. The activities are organized by ACRL's Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education.

The information literate student determines the nature and extent of information needed

Activities with Examples

The information literate student identifies a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information

Activites with Examples

Activity Ideas

  • Popular, Scholarly, or Trade?

Present learner with a set of periodicals with a mix of both popular, scholarly and trade publications. Have the learner drag and drop the popular periodicals into one bucket or column, scholarly into another and trade into another. This can also be done with article titles. Remember to provide meaningful feedback.

  • Is this source Primary or Secondary?

Provide a research question or thesis along with a set of sources (use images or screenshots along with a description of the resource), Ask the learner to identify which sources would be a primary source for the research question and which sources would be secondary. This exercise could be a drag and drop or click on the source. Provide meaningful feedback.

  • Should You Use This Source?

Give the learner a research topic/question. Given the topic, provide a variety of sources and ask if the source would be appropriate to use or not.

  • Where can I find this resource?

Provide images of different types of resources. Have the learner roll over the images to discover where they can find that resource.

  • What Kind of Information Is It?  

Give the learner a set of of information types (such as diary, advertisement, research article, etc) and a table that has Primary, Secondary, Tertiary on the y-axis and Objective, Subjective on the x-axis. Have the learner drag and drop the different information types into the correct place in the table (i.e, a diary entry would be Subjective/Primary).

The information literate student considers the costs and benefits of acquiring the needed information

Activities with Examples

Activity Ideas

  • When will I get it?

Provide different sources that are located in different places. Have the student match the source to the amount of time it takes to get. Examples - Library book in the stacks = same day; Book from library consortium = 2-3 days; Inter library Loan Request = one week; Article from a database = same day etc.

The information literate student reevaluates the nature and extent of the information need

Activity Ideas

  • Quiz Idea

Provide a research topic with a set of resources and ask the learner if each resources is appropriate for the topic. Follow each choice with a follow up multiple choice question such as why is the resource inappropriate? or why is this a good resource? Provide meaningful feedback for the answers.

  • Change the Topic

Provide the learner with a research question and a set of resources that support the topic but suggest that the research question needs to be adjusted. Ask the learner to assess the research question, the resources that support it, and revise the research question to better reflect the kinds of information they are finding. This could be a multiple choice question with 4-5 revised research questions to choose from. Provide meaningful feedback.