Supporting Digital Information Literacy in the Age of Open Access: Considerations for Online Course Design

Supporting Digital Information Literacy in the Age of Open Access: Considerations for Online Course Design

Sarah Felber (University of Maryland Global Campus, USA) and Pascal Roubides (University of Maryland Global Campus, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-5225-9779-7.ch003
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In this chapter, the authors aim to inform the audience about the issues pertaining to access to educational resources, with a focus on open access; how to access such sources; ways of integrating principles of information literacy into the entire educational experience; and the potential of open access sources in providing much needed, affordable information literacy to all knowledge seekers, especially in academic endeavors. The issue of information literacy and open access is defined and explored, with a bias toward practical implementation and impact in the academic setting, culminating in hands-on recommendations for academic professionals.
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Digital Information Literacy And Open Access: An Overview

Generally speaking, information literacy may be one of the most pressing issues of modern societies in the quest to nurture an informed and educated populace. The rapid expansion of the Internet’s reach and coverage has been a boon for the availability of information—but also, unfortunately, for the availability of misinformation. Though educators have long recognized the importance of information literacy, public attention on this issue in the United States reached fever pitch during and after the 2016 presidential election, when accusations of “fake news” took the spotlight.

Key Terms in this Chapter

ACRL Framework: Document adopted in 2016 by the Association of College and Research Libraries. Contains six “frames,” each composed of an essential information literacy concept and associated practices and dispositions.

Fulfillment: The retrieval or acquisition of discovered resources.

Repository: An online location for storing and disseminating content. Repositories are often disciplinary or institutional.

Digital Information Literacy: The ability to locate, evaluate, and use information that has been created, stored, or accessed digitally.

Discovery: The process of finding resources on a given topic. May be separate from fulfillment.

Open Access: The quality of being digitally available for free use, storage, and reuse. Often applied to scholarly works freely accessed online, but not fully available for reuse or adaptation.

Course Designer: Anyone involved, individually as part of a team, in planning the aims, organization, and approaches of a course. For the purposes of this chapter, also includes course development activities such as selecting course materials and creating lessons and assessments.

Scholarly Sources: Materials, typically peer reviewed, written by experts for an academic audience.

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