Instruction Plan


[tabby title=”Introduction”]



Academic libraries add value to the teaching and learning missions of their universities through information literacy instruction. The MU Libraries offers expert research instruction across the disciplines in order to provide the MU community with the skills and knowledge to expertly identify, find, and evaluate information.

MU Libraries Mission Statement: In support of the instruction, research, service and economic development programs of the University, the MU Libraries acquire, preserve, make accessible and provide instruction on scholarly resources; develop innovative  services, and apply new technologies to achieve a single overarching purpose: To serve the needs of our users.

MU Libraries Information Literacy Program Mission: The MU Libraries is dedicated to the development of a university community that is information literate, as defined by the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL).  We offer the university community opportunities to become effective, efficient information consumers for the 21st century. We actively promote our instructional services as the bridge to information literacy empowerment between our patrons and their research needs.

The MU Libraries faculty encourages the development of an information literate university community in the following ways:

  • By collaborating with colleagues across the campus to integrate information literacy into academic programs.
  • By providing instruction formally and informally, to individuals and to classes, in person and online.
  • By providing programmatic instruction that addresses the needs of the University community.
  • By working to make every interaction at the library, especially reference questions, a learning opportunity for users.
  • By evaluating the effectiveness of our approaches and regularly renewing our own skills.
[tabby title=”Information Literacy”]


Information Literacy

The Association of College and Research Libraries Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education define information literacy as, “a set of abilities requiring individuals to recognize when information is needed and have the ability to locate, evaluate, and use effectively the needed information.”  The ACRL Information Literacy standards establish the importance of critical thinking skills in the information literacy process.  The standards are intentionally broad based so that differences in the application of information seeking skills can vary based on the discipline involved.  The goal of information literacy is to develop students’ skill at critically evaluating information and ensuring  they continue to use those skills throughout their lives. 

The MU Libraries bases its information literacy program on the Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education (2000). These are a set of five standards expressed in measurable outcomes for assessing the information literacy skills of students in higher education.

                The five standards are:
                  1. Determine the extent of information needed.
                 2. Access the information effectively and efficiently
                 3. Evaluate the information and sources critically.
                 4. Use information effectively for a specific purpose.
                 5. Use/incorporate information ethically and legally.

The five standards, along with their twenty-two performance indicators and a range of outcomes, are the guiding criteria for assessing student progress toward information literacy.   The standards focus on the information literacy needs of students at all levels in higher education and serve as guidelines for faculty and librarians in developing methods for measuring student learning. [tabby title=”Populations”]


Populations Served

The Information Literacy Program focuses on undergraduate and graduate students as well as the teaching and research needs of the campus faculty and staff.


Student achievement is paramount to the library’s mission and is key to its success.  The ways the library supports student engagement and persistence include:
• Helping to build information skills and a sense of control as students become independent, lifelong learners.
• Providing a quiet place for individual and group study, with one-on-one assistance in accessing information.
• Providing a learner-focused instructional program that develops self-sufficiency in finding, selecting, evaluating and citing information.
• Empowering students to become information literate thus decreasing anxiety and increasing confidence in their ability to tackle new subjects and issues.

Certain groups of MU students targeted by the program include:

1.  FIG (Freshman Interest Group) Proseminar Students: The primary goal of instruction for Freshman Proseminar students is to help them locate resources within Ellis library and identify key features of the MU Libraries home page and feel more comfortable about asking for assistance.  Currently  FIGs students attend a brief instruction session followed by a tour of the building.  Some FIG Peer and Faculty Advisors also require their sections to complete our Plagiarism Tutorial with built-in assessment outside of class time.

2.  English 1000 Students:  The general goals of library instruction for English 1000 classes are to establish baseline information literacy skills and familiarize students with fundamental information literacy concepts. Information literacy concepts covered include accessing and evaluating information effectively and efficiently.  These librarian-led face-to-face instruction sessions are actively promoted by librarians to faculty.

3.  Upper Level Undergraduates:  Course-related instruction is the most common method of instruction for upper level undergraduates.  The focus is to introduce specialized discipline specific resources, advanced searching and evaluative techniques.

4. Transfer Students: Course-related instruction and workshops are the most common methods of instruction for transfer students.

5.  Graduate Students: Course-related instruction, workshops, and individual consultation are the most common method of instruction for graduate level students.  Graduate instruction sessions focus on advanced specialized information literacy skills including bibliographic  management software.

6. Online Students: The MU Libraries provide many online learning opportunities to students at point of need, 24/7, anywhere in the world. These include LibGuides and Sourcepacks on specific subjects and topics, tutorials including the Plagiarism Tutorial, short video tutorials on basic information literacy concepts, online quick guides, video tours, etc. to accommodate online and/or distance students or any other student for whom the classroom format is unsuitable.

B.  MU FACULTY: Faculty involvement and collaboration in information literacy instruction is critical.  Librarians promote the information literacy program to faculty on a continuous basis.  According to Ann Grafstein (2002),

Librarians and classroom faculty share the responsibility for teaching [information literacy], so that each teaches the skills that their credentials and background best qualify them to teach. Librarians are responsible for imparting the enabling skills that are prerequisite to information seeking and knowledge acquisition across the curriculum, while classroom faculty have the responsibility of teaching those skills that are required for subject specific inquiry and research.

Through collaboration with teaching faculty, librarians are better positioned to integrate information literacy into the curriculum.  Together faculty and librarians design exercises and assignments to assist students in practicing research based skills.

Awareness of information literacy concepts and skills are important to faculty in their own research and teaching. Librarians provide information literacy instruction assistance to subject faculty in information research skills.  These are delivered through workshops and one-on-one consultations that introduce new or enhanced discipline-specific resources to faculty.   

C. MU STAFF: Librarians offer instruction and consultation to MU staff in support of their work-related as well as personal research.

D. COMMUNITY: The library currently provides orientation and instruction for local and regional high school classes and other groups upon request.

[tabby title=”Online Instruction”]


Online Instruction

The main advantage of online instruction is that learning opportunities are available to students at point of need, 24/ 7, anywhere in the world. Creating online instruction tools is an iterative process requiring constant maintenance and expertise in programming and systems management. Even more than face to face instruction, successful online research instruction relies heavily on marketing the tools to teaching faculty and directly to students.

I. Online Orientation to Facilities

  • Video Tour of Ellis Library: The video tour of Ellis Library is composed of live-action videos and transcripts linked to clickable points on library floor plans. A video plays in the left frame when the user clicks the corresponding spot on the floor plan to the right. This modular format allows users to jump between areas of interest. Tour will eventually expand to include branch libraries and foreign-language versions.

  • Virtual Tour of Ellis Library: The virtual tour includes floor plans, photos, and descriptions of service areas in the library. Patrons can follow a prescribed “route” or explore areas on their own.

  • Video Slideshow Tour of Health Sciences Library: This video combines still photos with captions and background music.

  • Self-Guided Tour of Ellis Library: This set of PDF floor plans of Ellis Library is designed to be printed and carried through the building.

II. Online Instructional Tools/E-Learning

  • Subject Guides & Course Guides (LibGuides)

    Subject Guides identify useful library and Web resources pertinent to researchers in a specific discipline or department. These guides provide a broad overview of resources in a given subject area. Subject guides are available on the MU Libraries site; faculty often link to them from courseware or course Web pages.

    Course Guides are one-stop Web pages that assist students with their research. They include: descriptions of relevant print and electronic resources, links, and a list of the most important reference sources. In addition, they include research strategies, tips for evaluating information sources, and links to appropriate citation guides. Faculty and subject librarians work together to create customized Web pages for their classes and assignments.

    There are over 150 subject guides, 115 current course-specific guides and over 63 current English1000 topic- specific guides. In addition there are 100 archived course guides.

  • Plagiarism Tutorial: This popular and heavily used tutorial instructs students how to properly give credit for intellectual property. Segments include citing, quoting, paraphrasing, etc. The tutorial also includes interactive pre- and post-tests.

  • Short Video Tutorials on Basic Topics: These point-of-need Camtasia screen-capture videos with callouts explain MU-specific tools and processes. Selected links to tutorials created by other libraries or vendors that are relevant to MU users are also provided. These tutorials are useful for both on and off campus users, can be linked to courses in Blackboard or from specific course Web pages. Tutorials are updated as our library Website and catalog are redesigned and databases change.

  • Research Process Support Web Pages: These pages help researchers with tools and processes needed for finding and integrating information into their written work, for example, bibliography management tools (Zotero, EndNote); writing tips and citing styles, etc.

  • Quick Guides (LibGuides): These 1-2 page instructional handouts cover research strategy tips, evaluation of information, tips on using Google and Google Scholar, etc. They are available for faculty or students to print, download, or link to from their Blackboard or Web pages.

  • Jing Videos: Librarians create Jing videos as needed for classroom teaching, student training, and for linking from Blackboard course sites. Examples include Using LION and Palmer's Index to the Times, Using the Oxford Dictionary of National Biography, etc.

  • Tegrity Videos:Librarians collaborate with faculty to create Tegrity videos for introducing research topics. These videos are embedded in the Blackboard courses.

  • Research Paper Navigator  [Assignment Calculator]: The Assignment Calculator is a time management interactive tool for students writing research papers and doing projects involving library research. It divides the writing and research process into steps, suggests deadlines, and offers resources to assist them step by step.

[tabby title=”Outcomes”]


Information Literacy Competency Outcomes By Year of Study

First Year/Second Year In the first and second years, the focus is on foundational information literacy skills, instruction, and practice.  This foundational curriculum aims to bring all students up to the same level of basic understanding and competence so that future instruction can take place in the appropriate contextual setting as students progress through their studies. After students have received the basics, we focus on building and reinforcing foundational skills and concepts. The content and form of this curriculum is determined by the classes with which the MU Libraries partners (e.g. English composition). [Detailed competency outcomes]

Third Year/Fourth Year The discipline specific curriculum occurs in the students' junior and senior years, and involves a lot of collaboration between discipline faculty and librarians. The focus here is integrating skills and expanding knowledge of specialized, discipline-specific resources, advanced searching and evaluating skills, and ethical matters in the context of each of the disciplines. [Detailed competency outcomes]

Graduate/Professional Students The graduate curriculum provides expanding opportunities for conducting research in the discipline. Librarians work with faculty to design information literacy sessions at a more advanced level, and by this time, are dealing with students that are more competent and skilled in information literacy. Instruction at this level focuses on advanced assistance with research methods and resources. [Detailed competency outcomes]

[tabby title=”Assessment”]


Assessment and Evaluation

Programmatic assessment incorporates a variety of methods and measures so that conclusions may be corroborated, and stronger evidence of quality may be provided. Because assessment is strongly linked to planning, it should be designed to provide information that can be used to improve services, and should be a continuous, iterative process.

In addition to informal feedback from participants, each program/course should have, built within its structure, clear and measurable goals by which the success and effectiveness of the project can be assessed. As much as possible, the goals should use a standardized language and methodology, so the many and varied instruction sessions can be assessed across the entire Information Literacy program.

Course-related instruction The library offers course-related instruction sessions taught by librarians. These sessions may be general or discipline-specific. They are usually initiated by the course instructor and may incorporate a predetermined assignment emphasizing a particular information literacy competency or competencies.

Assessment: Faculty instruction session evaluation form; Student instruction session evaluation form; librarian Peer-evaluation form; Library Instruction Performance Standards (Performance Assessment) Form; clickers

Workshops – Various workshops are offered throughout the semester on a range of topics and research tools. These are geared toward a variety of populations including graduate students, international students, research teams, staff, and faculty. They are general in nature or discipline-specific, and cover any of the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards.

Assessment: Graduate Workshop One Minute Evaluation form; Surveys

Individual consultation and Research Assistance Program (RAP) −In this model, librarians meet with students and faculty individually by appointment to provide in depth help with a variety of general and subject specific research needs.

Assessment: Informal feedback

Self-paced online tutorial (Plagiarism Tutorial) − It is designed to be an introductory tool, but can also be used as reinforcement for previously learned material. This is an appropriate accommodation for distance learners or any other student for whom the classroom format is unsuitable.

Assessment: online pre- and post-tests

Online Instructional Tools/E-Learning (LibGuides, Quick Guides, Online Videos) — The main advantage of online tools is that learning opportunities are available to students at point of need, 24/7, anywhere in the world.

Assessment:  Google Analytics

[tabby title=”Next Steps”]


Next Steps


The ultimate goal of the MU Libraries Information Literacy Program is to establish a comprehensive, integrated, systematic and sustained program.  This program will be predicated on a progression through skill sets in order to produce students with information literacy competencies.  A systematic approach ensures that all students will have the same basic skill sets at the end of their second year.  Faculty will be able to assume that students entering their junior year have a certain knowledge base that can be built upon within the context of their discipline.  This will help in planning for more advanced Information Literacy instruction and also allow faculty and librarians to create appropriate opportunities for practicing and reinforcing these skills.

Librarians will partner with faculty to plan Information Literacy curriculum and assessment tools that meet the students' needs in each department. This curriculum will be responsive to the changing needs of faculty as university educational goals evolve. 

The current environment for such a systematic approach is challenging at MU, mainly due to the fact that information literacy is not explicitly stated as a competency in the General Education requirements.  In 2002 the Committee on Undergraduate Education (CUE) decided not to have information proficiency (IP) as a general education requirement but to “bequeath the IP component to academic majors…one that will be delivered by the home departments.”   Even though CUE relegated the responsibility of IP training to the major departments the training seems to be hit and miss.  Faculty and librarians both share a commitment in educating students who can find, understand, evaluate and use information, and a responsibility to see that students are exposed to information literacy from both intra-disciplinary and general perspectives.

To fully integrate information literacy goals into the curriculum, renewed efforts to include Information Literacy as a General Education requirement must be made.  An Information Literacy program could be modeled on MU’s Writing Intensive program; courses could be certified by a committee, comprised of librarians and teaching faculty. The certification will be based on ACRL Information Literacy standards at either the MU or the UM level.  If Information Literacy instruction continues to be “up to the departments,” it ought conform to nationally recognized standards. 

There are also intermediate steps to consider, in order to make information literacy less marginalized in the undergraduate curriculum:

  • Continued collaboration and involvement in English 1000 as an early-stage information literacy instructional opportunity, including assessment.
  • Forged relationships with faculty across the disciplines that give librarians access to course assignments and course syllabi, to better integrate information literacy.  Further information literacy-centered workshops and tutorials aimed at faculty, to assist them in integrating information literacy concepts into the curriculum in their areas.
  • Collaboration with faculty on student assessment because student learning outcomes are a shared responsibility.
  • A stand-alone required course (1-2 credits) that would cover information literacy competencies and be taught by librarians or teaching assistants under the supervision of MU Libraries.
  • Additional courses (1-3 credits) team-managed by departmental faculty and librarians, and administered by individual teaching departments.
  • An Information Literacy certificate program combining some or all of the above components, assessed by a nationally recognized Information Literacy tests, e.g., SAILS–Standardized Assessment of Information Literacy Skills & Educational Testing Service’s ICT Literacy Assessment.


We need to market directly to faculty and students to make them aware of available workshops, presentations and online offerings that can make effective contributions to student success and information literacy.  Since teaching faculty strongly influence student perceptions and their use of the library’s resources, faculty are a focus of our marketing strategies.

 Marketing to faculty:

  • Develop one-on-one relationships with faculty by listening to faculty information  needs;  marketing and delivering the products that are perceived by them to be meaningful and productive
  • Increase visibility of online tools on the library home page; bring all instruction tools and tutorials together in one place, so that students can find them, and instructors and librarians can link to them from various point-of-need locations.
  • Create MU-oriented support materials for integrating library research tools into instruction. For example, the Instruction Committee has created multiple help pages to assist faculty in integrating library resources into Blackboard. 
  • Librarians need to connect with faculty  via department, school , and/or college-level  e-mail  lists
  • Whenever possible, market services at outreach functions, e.g., Teachnology Conference, ET@MO workshops, librarian-led faculty workshops, New Faculty Orientation, etc.
  • Create a presentation for librarians to customize and bring to department faculty meetings to help librarians present new collaborative possibilities to faculty stakeholders
  • When participating in a General Education Requirements review, be sure to include  library instruction components in an effort to integrate information literacy into the curriculum
  • Request follow-up feedback after students submit papers, to assess impact of instruction on student learning and provide testimonials for further marketing of our services
  • Use Announcement section of the MU Libraries Web page to market library instruction
  • Integrate questions on the use of library research tools into MU Libraries popup surveys

 Marketing to students:

  • Introduce research tools to students in our course-related instruction sessions
  • Integrate resources into Blackboard, course wikis/blogs, etc.  This requires collaboration with faculty
  • Involve students in the production of electronic resources to gain their perspective
  • Include references to electronic tools in our in-person interactions with students (Reference desk, Mizzou Fair, other orientation and outreach activities)
  • Refer students to research tools when interacting electronically (phone, e-mail, chat, texting) .
  • Use library homepage, Facebook and Twitter to announce new or underutilized  research tools and services
  • Link to existing e-tools, guides, etc. from the Assignment Calculator
  • Integrate questions on use of library research tools into MU Libraries popup surveys program


[tabby title=”Overview”]


Information Literacy Competencies: Overview

Level of Focus: S=Slight  M=Moderate  I=Intensive  V=Variable



Plagiarism Tutorial 

English 1000

Comm 1200               

related Library Instruction


International Student Workshops

Standard 1: Determines the nature & extent of information needed








Standard 2: Assesses needed information effectively & efficiently








Standard 3: Evaluates the information & sources critically








Standard 4: Uses information effectively







Standard 5: Accesses & uses information ethically & legally