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CIL Best Practices

  • Critical Information Literacy (CIL) practice should be built into meaningful assignments.
  • Practice across courses minimizes regression.
  • A shared language about CIL across courses ensures transfer.
  • Library guides, tutorials, and additional resources can be created to support practice; however, CIL teaching must occur in the curriculum.
  • Consult with a librarian to design an appropriate CIL assignment.
  • When CIL assignments are shared with librarians, librarians are better able to assist students outside class time.
  • Avoid library scavenger hunts, as they seldom replicate actual research processes.
  • Be clear with your instructions, and ensure that the language used to describe information sources and resources is accurate (e.g., journals versus journal articles, databases versus websites).
  • When you provide students with a text or reading in class, tell them what it is (e.g., scholarly journal article, book chapter, news article). This will provide context for students’ reading and help them begin to identify characteristics of different source types.
  • Model for students how to search for specific types of sources or investigate our Library Instruction Options.
  • Asking students to write research reflections (with prompts) after a CIL learning experience is an authentic way to assess learning.

Several Students listening in a classroom