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Threshold Concepts: Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education: Research as Inquiry

Resource guide for faculty, librarians, and administrators on the new framework for information literacy for higher educaiton.

Research as Inquiry

Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.

-Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education

Knowledge Practice

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities do the following:

  • Formulate questions for research based on information gaps or on reexamination of existing, possibly conflicting, information
  • Determine an appropriate scope of investigation
  • Deal with complex research by breaking complex questions into simple ones, limiting the scope of investigations
  • Use various research methods, based on need, circumstance, and type of inquiry
  • Monitor gathered information and assess for gaps or weaknesses
  • Organize information in meaningful ways
  • Synthesize ideas gathered from multiple sources
  • Draw reasonable conclusions based on the analysis and interpretation of information

Disposition

Learners who are developing their information literate abilities do the following:

  • Consider research as open-ended exploration and engagement with information
  • Appreciate that a question may appear to be simple but still disruptive and important to research
  • Value intellectual curiosity in developing questions and learning new investigative methods
  • Maintain an open mind and a critical stance
  • Value persistence, adaptability, and flexibility and recognize that ambiguity can benefit the research process
  • Seek multiple perspectives during information gathering and assessment
  • Seek appropriate help when needed
  • Follow ethical and legal guidelines in gathering and using information
  • Demonstrate intellectual humility (i.e., recognize their own intellectual or experiential limitations

Research 101 Assignments

Research as Inquiry (University of Washington)