When students are able to process information and discern fact from fiction, they become critical thinkers. Because we are living in the information age, anyone is able to get information about any topic from the internet.
The Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy strives to help students select information from credible sources. When students believe everything they research on the internet must be true, they are not able to conduct valid research. Because doing research involves analyzing information, students must be able to know when information comes from a reputable source.
For instance, they can:
* Perform Internet searches for known authorities.
* Find and read books free online by the most widely read and best known authors from across the world.
A student may be conducting research on a topic such as investments to determine where to find good investors. While some may turn to well known companies with Important Tips from Fisher Investments others may seek out other avenues. If the student finds a website that appears to present information from a well known investor but is really sponsored by a corporation, there is the possibility that the student will think that the information is valid. Instructors must be diligent in explaining to students how to find out if information has been approved by authoritative investor groups.
The Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy works with librarians and institutes of higher education to establish criteria for information literacy. A student who becomes proficient in information literacy will be able to process information that will help improve comprehension skills. Another area that is ripe for student research is the Internet.
Many use sites like SEO Online Services to perform their research into search engine optimization, a popular topic of study.
When instructors require students to complete a research project, they should explain how to verify information. They need to make students understand that valid information has been proven in studies. If students do not know how to verify information, they are likely to use information that has not been proven. Gaining information literacy is a skill that has to be practiced. When a student decides that he needs information, he will have to first determine what type of information is needed.
The goal here at the Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy is to help students understand what comprises valid information.
Having access to all sorts of information has allowed us to learn about subjects we previously would have had to read about only in a library. The Australian and New Zealand Institute for Information Literacy has emphasized that those students who understand how to process information will be productive throughout their lives. These students will know how to decide whether something is true. Students should be able to tell when information sources are biased.