Information Literacy tops the 2017 Chronicle of Higher Education trends report, which “outlines 10 key shifts in higher education.” Librarians and other educators have been championing information literacy for decades, so labeling this as a “shift” is not really about information literacy being a new topic so much as there being a greater need for it. With the proliferation of “fake news” being cited as perhaps having played a role in the 2016 elections, the ability to evaluate information – one of the pillars of information literacy – has taken on more importance.
There are three articles in the Trends Report on information literacy (Note: UB students, staff and faculty can access premium CHE content by signing up for an account using their ubalt.edu email address):
- Information Literacy
- Where Do Students Learn About Fake News? In Freshman Comp
- How One College Put Information Literacy Into Its Curriculum
One theme that unites all three of these articles is the idea that things are changing so quickly, that the emphasis should be on students learning metaliteracies, including information literacy and critical thinking skills, that equip them with the ability to critically examine information today, as well as in whatever new forms of information that will manifest in the future. It is also clear form these articles that information literacy should not be confined to when a librarian comes into the classroom. Instead it should be integrated across many classes across the curriculum. If this emphasis on information literacy is a shift, UB is a bit ahead of the game, since there has been an information literacy graduation requirement here for several years.
You can read about information literacy and nine other trends impacting higher education in the 2017 Trends Report.