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Information Literacy Habits of Mind (HOMs) Toolkit

LMS Discussion Forum Topics

Assignment consultation

Sometimes doing an in-class instruction session isn't appropriate, or doesn't work out, for a variety of reasons. Instead of you doing an in-class session, you can help the instructor design their research assignment to facilitate information literacy development.

When consulting with faculty about their assignments, I encourage them to incorprorate transparency, context, and practice:


- ensure all academic jargon is defined (peer-reviewed, journals, databases, literature, etc.)

- Give meaning to requirements: If they are requiring peer-reviewed journals, explain what information can be found in peer-reviewed journals as opposed to newspapers

- Explain why course materials were chosen to illuminate contributions to the scholarly conversation


- Provide examples from course readings (example: assign only the literature review portion of an article and discuss how it works)

- Highlight concepts in required readings (example: discuss a source’s use of evidence and citation convention)

- Make assignment requirements relevant to the field: if most research is published through conferences, require those


- Identify the skills needed to complete the assignment: provide guidance by giving each skill some learning material

- Scaffold the assignment: build research skills iteratively, allowing students time to explore and hone

- Progress over perfection: does every component need to be graded?

Database how-to handouts

The documents below originated as handouts for Love Your Library workshops that Kirsten Hansen conducted about using specific science databases. However, each handout can be used as a standalone or as part of an information literacy class session. Though the handouts are database-specific, the steps in each handout walk students through the process of creating a solid search and can be easily edited to suit other databases. I have included both pdfs as well as Word docs. In my LYL workshops, I have used these handouts an an adjunct to my demonstration at the front of the room but I imagine they might work for an active learning exercise in which groups of students rotate through one portion of the process before handing it off to the next group, so that by the end of the exercise, a full search has been done by the class as a whole.


We have several how-to videos that demonstrate how to:

  • Find electronic journals
  • Use Library Search to search by subject
  • Use Library Search to find items by title
  • Use Resource Sharing
  • Renew books
  • Use Advanced Search

The link below goes to the playlist of all of these how-to videos. Select the one you'd like, and you can either link directly to it, or embed it.

To link or embed:

1. Go to the video you'd like to share

2. Choose SHARE under the video, to the right of the title

3. Copy the link to the video


Select EMBED and copy and paste the embed code.