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Read Module 1 in your course textbook and

At Sea in a Deluge of Data

from the

Chronicle of Higher Education


Complete the


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and view your report


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Complete the

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APA Skill Check – Creating References

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Make a list of the different components of information literacy covered in your textbook.

Consider how each of these components affect your daily life and your chosen career. Pay particular attention to the information literacy skills that employers expect from their employees.

Review your TATIL exam report and consider how the information provided there relates to the information you read in Module 1 of your textbook. Think about how you can implement your personal recommendations from the report.


Explain your understanding of information literacy. Choose three example concepts or skills from Module 1 of your course textbook and explain how these concepts illustrate your understanding. Be sure to cite your course textbook.

Explain how these concepts apply to you as a college student. Why do students need to learn information literacy?

Explain why these concepts apply to your personal or professional life and how you will apply them.

Your initial post must be at least 350 words and address all of the prompt’s elements.

You must cite and reference any sources that you use in your posts, including your textbook or any other sources of information that you use.



Take a few minutes to think about the material that we’ve covered in this course so far.


Reflect on what you found interesting, surprising, or confusing in this past week. What did you learn that caused you to understand an issue differently? What habits, tips, or resources did you discover that helped you to complete your coursework more effectively or efficiently? Cite clear examples and details to support your post.


This discussion forum is an opportunity for you to explore topics that interest you, share critical insights and questions that you are working with, share your struggles and triumphs, and discuss difficulties that may have arisen this week, hopefully finding solutions. Your posts should describe your experiences in the course this past week, prompting further discussion. You should address at least one of the following questions:

What struck you in particular as you explored the course materials this week?

How might you apply this information to your life in the future?

What insights have you had?

What have you been struggling with?

What questions have come up for you at this point?

What helpful tips have you picked up in this course or in a past course?

What questions do you have about the assignment that your classmates might be able to help with? (If you have a question for the instructor, be sure to contact your instructor through email or Canvas messaging).

You are required to post at least 100 total words in this forum this week.

At Sea in a Deluge of Data
Head, Alison J; Wihbey, John . The Chronicle of Higher Education ; Washington (Jul 7, 2014): n/a.
ProQuest document link
Skill in finding useful information and a sense of what to trust will prove essential in the 21st-century workplace.
Librarians can play a crucial role in training students accordingly.
Skill in finding useful information and a sense of what to trust will prove essential in the 21st-century workplace.
Librarians can play a crucial role in training students accordingly.
This spring, more college students than ever received baccalaureate degrees, and their career prospects are
brighter than they were for last year’s graduates.
Employers responding to this year’s National Association of Colleges and Employers’ “Job Outlook 2014 Survey”
said they planned to increase entry-level hiring by almost 8 percent. But what they may not realize is that these
seemingly techno-savvy new hires could be missing some basic yet vital research skills.
It’s a problem that we found after interviewing 23 people in charge of hiring at leading employers like Microsoft,
KPMG, Nationwide Insurance, the Smithsonian, and the FBI. This research was part of a federally funded study for
Project Information Literacy, a national study about how today’s college students find and use information.
Nearly all of the employers said they expected candidates, whatever their field, to be able to search online, a given
for a generation born into the Internet world. But they also expected job candidates to be patient and persistent
researchers and to be able to retrieve information in a variety of formats, identify patterns within an array of
sources, and dive deeply into source material.
Most important, though, employers said they need workers who can collaborate with colleagues to solve problems
and who can engage in thoughtful analysis and integrate contextual organizational details rarely found online.
Many employers said their fresh-from-college hires frequently lack deeper and more traditional skills in research
and analysis. Instead, the new workers default to quick answers plucked from the Internet. That method might be
fine for looking up a definition or updating a fact, but for many tasks, it proved superficial and incomplete.
It turns out that students are poorly trained in college to effectively navigate the Internet’s indiscriminate glut of
Another Project Information Literacy study, involving more than 8,300 undergraduates at 25 American colleges,
found that most make do with a very small compass. They rely on tried and true resources such as course
readings, library databases, Google, and Wikipedia.
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Only 20 percent of the students said they ever sought help from librarians, the mavens of searching and finding in
the digital age, especially when it comes to learning how to “ping pong” effectively and strategically among offline
sources, experts, and online information, blending the full range of knowledge sources in all their forms.
The skills that students cultivate through traditional assignments–writing essays based on library research–are far
different from those required to perform efficient, high-level, accurate research in the digital world. All of those
types of research skills take practice under the eye of experts.
Sharon Weiner, a professor of library science at Purdue University, has argued that those essential core
competencies belong not to any single discipline, but to all of them.
This skills gap is not necessarily the fault of faculty members, administrators, librarians, or even students
themselves. Part of the blame lies with the crowded information landscape that students inhabit today.
Knowledge work–processing information and thinking for a living–is faster in the 21st century, and meaning and
credibility are more fluid and tougher to ascertain than they were in the 20th century. Frequently now, subjects are,
as the information-technology thinker David Weinberger put it, “too big to know.” One undergraduate we
interviewed told us that while traditional research skills still matter, “the hardest part of research is figuring out the
question to ask.”
While students will always need to think critically and ask the right questions, emerging in this new world is the
need for a skill set we call “knowledge in action,” a kind of athletics of the mind aided by Internet-enabled devices,
search engines, and pools of data from a wide variety of outlets.
We recognize knowledge in action when we see it done effectively, but too many professors don’t teach this
fundamental skill systematically and progressively as part of an academic program. Sure, students know how to
use keywords and how to refine searches. But imagine that you’re Googling “vaccine autism” or “violent video
game” or any other hot topic. You’ll soon be flooded with a torrent of conflicting findings, many not credible.
Knowledge in action means being able to sort through that growing thicket of information. This is a lifelong
learning skill, crucial to health, wealth, social equality, and well-being. In an era of partisan fog and the polarization
of many subjects, it is a skill vital for effective citizenship.
This goes well beyond search techniques. Engaging knowledge at the speed of the web takes three additional
things, which tend to be separate in our curricula rather than integrated: a basic understanding of statistics and
inference; a sense of the major research institutions–a basic understanding of what it means when you see results
attached to URL’s such as “cdc.gov,” “imf.org” or “pewresearch.org” and how those institutions produce
knowledge; and a sense of how the scientific method works and what it means to test a hypothesis with data.
Further, because our web experience will increasingly be personalized through algorithms that key off of
everything from geolocation to our prior digital traces, students must learn to recognize the limits of their online
environment and to seek information creatively outside of channels that serve up results skewed by Internet
companies and other paternalistic, biased, or profit-driven gatekeepers.
Yet from community colleges to the Ivy League, a significant learning gap is widening. Librarians, trained in both
digital and print research techniques, are in the best position to step into the breach. But that will require more
support for library services at a time when budgets are under siege. And it will take an administrative commitment
to ensure that training is incorporated comprehensively throughout the curricula.
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This is not to say that everyone must develop the hybrid expertise of an investigative journalist, high-level
consultant, or front-line infectious-disease analyst. But that blend of speed, smarts, and problem solving will prove
essential in the 21st-century workplace for effective and informed decision-making, creative solutions to problems
in both science and public policy, and breakthrough discoveries and innovations.
Alison J. Head is director of Project Information Literacy, a research scientist at the University of Washington’s
Information School, and a fellow at Harvard’s Berkman Center for Internet and Society. John Wihbey is managing
editor of JournalistsResource.org, a project of the Kennedy School’s Shorenstein Center at Harvard University, and
a lecturer in journalism at Boston University.
Credit: By Alison J. Head and John Wihbey
Michael Morgenstern for The Chronicle; Caption: At Sea in a Deluge of Data 1
Information literacy; Higher education; Librarians; Skill development; Historical text
Company / organization:
Name: Boston University; NAICS: 611310; Name: Harvard University; NAICS: 611310;
Name: Purdue University; NAICS: 611310; Name: Microsoft Corp; NAICS: 334614,
511210; Name: University of Washington; NAICS: 611310; Name: Wikipedia; NAICS:
511140, 519130; Name: Nationwide Insurance; NAICS: 524113, 524126, 551112;
Name: Google Inc; NAICS: 334310, 519130; Name: Federal Bureau of Investigation-FBI; NAICS: 922120
Publication title:
The Chronicle of Higher Education; Washington
Publication year:
Publication date:
Jul 7, 2014
Chronicle of Higher Education
Place of publication:
Country of publication:
United States, Washington
Publication subject:
Education–Higher Education, College And Alumni, Education–Teaching Methods And
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Source type:
Trade Journals
Language of publication:
Document type:
ProQuest document ID:
Document URL:
(Copyright Jul. 07, 2014 by The Chronicle of Higher Education)
Last updated:
ProQuest Central
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