Coming up with a New Curriculum for Information Literacy

New Curriculum for Information Literacy is a project that was developed due to an Arcadia fellowship ( by Jane Secker working with Emma Coonan. The aim of the project is  “to develop a practical curriculum for information literacy that meets the needs of the undergraduate student entering higher education over the next five years” (taken from Project Description available on the project’s wiki).

The wiki for the project is at:

 Here are some interesting things I noted from the project  (Executive Summary & Curriculum and Supporting Documents on project’s wiki):

  • UNESCO rather than CILIP definition of information literacy is used  (see older post for CILIP definition), giving information literacy the broadest definition possible.  

Information literacy empowers people in all walks of life to seek, evaluate, use and create information effectively to achieve their personal, social, occupational and educational goals. It is a basic human right in a digital world and promotes social inclusion in all nations.
UNESCO (2005) Alexandria Proclamation

  • The 3 Ts – Secker and Coonan have come up with 3 Ts which they believe embody their curriculum –

Transitional – students moving from being dependent learners to independent learners

Transferable – learning skills which can be used in other contexts

Transformational – “information literacy should be transformational for the learner, changing their attitude, behaviour, outlook and even their world‐view. Therefore this curriculum has the potential to change lives and make a real difference to society.”

Which is really saying a lot and the first time I’ve heard that IL could change the world 🙂

  • Rather than teaching how to use a particular database, for example, take a broader view and situate learning how to use the database within the research process.  

Provides some food for thought as we head into the new semester and a new round of learning support tutorials.


Information Literacy: definition

Information literacy is knowing when and why you need information, where to find it, and how to evaluate, use and communicate it in an ethical manner.

CILIP, available online at