The Gordon Library instruction program is committed to collaborating with faculty to teach the research skills necessary to provide a foundation for lifelong learning and ensure the success of learners in the 21st century. We promote students’ understanding of the role of the library and librarians in supporting their research and ongoing intellectual growth. The information literacy concepts at the center of the library’s instruction program will provide students with the skills they need to become successful critical thinkers, effective communicators, and productive citizens.

Instruction Program Learning Outcomes

The goal of the Gordon Library’s instruction program is to foster critical thinking and effective research skills in students in support of the university’s campus-wide learning outcomes. As such, the instruction librarians have developed learning outcomes for students that will inform our instruction.

Below are our instruction program learning outcomes, with examples of the learning concepts for each outcome. You can also see how our programmatic learning outcomes map to university-level learning outcomes.

  • Identifying an information need
    • Deconstructing a research question and identifying its key concepts.
    • Identifying and developing a focused research topic or research problem.
    • Generating keywords and synonyms for key research concepts.
    • Recognizing that information needs evolve throughout the research process.
    • Identifying stakeholders and their information needs.
  • Identifying where and how to find information
    • Creating an efficient and effective search strategy through the selection of appropriate search tools.
    • Recognizing that there are different search tools with different uses.
    • Identifying a variety of types and formats of potential sources for information.
    • Utilizing the features of search tools.
  • Evaluating the information
    • Analyzing the quality, relevance and reliability of information sources.
    • Revising search strategies to find a range of perspectives on a topic based on the evaluation of the information gathered.
    • Identifying the purpose, audience, and potential use of varied information resources (e.g., primary vs. secondary, popular vs. scholarly, current vs. historical).
  • Organizing and documenting information
    • Organizing and sharing information effectively by using appropriate tools, technologies, and strategies.
    • Identifying and recording all pertinent citation information.
  • Creating and using information responsibly and ethically
    • Determining whether to support or challenge viewpoints encountered.
    • Combining new information with existing knowledge to generate new ideas and address the particular problem or question.
    • Contextualizing information in terms of the cultural, socio-economic, legal, and ethical implications of information.
    • Attributing work by others accurately and appropriately to avoid plagiarism and recognizing intellectual property of others.
    • Understanding author’s rights as they relate to scholarly publishing.
    • Recognizing the rights and limits of copyright concerning one’s own work and that of others.

Connections to WPI Learning Outcomes

Identifying an information need

  • Undergraduate Learning Outcomes
    • Be able to identify, analyze, and solve problems creatively through sustained critical investigation.
    • Demonstrate global and intercultural competency by developing the capacity to identify, explain, and critically analyze the forces (such as cultural, historical, political, economic) that shape the self and others as they engage with local and global communities.
    • Have the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.
  • IQP Learning Outcomes
    • Demonstrate an understanding of the project’s technical, social and humanistic context.
    • Define clear, achievable goals and objectives for the project.
    • Critically identify, utilize, and properly cite information sources, and integrate information from multiple sources to identify appropriate approaches to addressing the project goals.
  • HUA Learning Outcome
    • To deepen students' ability to apply concepts and skills in a focused thematic area through sustained critical inquiry
  • MQP Learning Outcomes
    • Identify, analyze, and solve problems creatively through sustained critical investigation.
    • Practice the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.

Identifying where and how to find information

  • Undergraduate Learning Outcomes
    • Understand and employ current technological tools.
    • Be able to make connections between disciplines and to integrate information from multiple sources.
    • Demonstrate global and intercultural competency by developing the capacity to identify, explain, and critically analyze the forces (such as cultural, historical, political, economic) that shape the self and others as they engage with local and global communities.
    • Have the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.
  • IQP Learning Outcomes
    • Critically identify, utilize, and properly cite information sources, and integrate information from multiple sources to identify appropriate approaches to addressing the project goals.
  • HUA Learning Outcomes
    • To introduce students to the breadth, diversity, and creativity of human experience as expressed in the humanities and arts
    • To deepen students' ability to apply concepts and skills in a focused thematic area through sustained critical inquiry
  • MQP Learning Outcomes
    • Demonstrate skill and knowledge of current information and technological tools and techniques specific to the professional field of study.
    • Identify, analyze, and solve problems creatively through sustained critical investigation.
    • Practice the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.

Evaluating the information

  • Undergraduate Learning Outcomes
    • Have mastered fundamental concepts and methods in their principal areas of study.
    • Demonstrate global and intercultural competency by developing the capacity to identify, explain, and critically analyze the forces (such as cultural, historical, political, economic) that shape the self and others as they engage with local and global communities.
    • Have the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.
  • IQP Learning Outcomes
    • Critically identify, utilize, and properly cite information sources, and integrate information from multiple sources to identify appropriate approaches to addressing the project goals.
    • Analyze and synthesize results from social, ethical, humanistic, technical or other perspectives, as appropriate.
  • HUA Learning Outcomes
    • To develop students' ability to think critically and independently about the world.
  • MQP Learning Outcomes
    • Apply fundamental and disciplinary concepts and methods in ways appropriate to their principal areas of study.
    • Identify, analyze, and solve problems creatively through sustained critical investigation.
    • Practice the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.

 Organizing and documenting the information

  • Undergraduate Learning Outcomes
    • Be effective in oral, written and visual communication.
    • Function effectively both individually and on teams.
    • Be able to make connections between disciplines and to integrate information from multiple sources.
    • Have the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.
  • IQP Learning Outcomes
    • Critically identify, utilize, and properly cite information sources, and integrate information from multiple sources to identify appropriate approaches to addressing the project goals.
  • HUA Learning Outcomes
    • To enhance students' ability to communicate effectively with others in a spirit of openness and cooperation
  • MQP Learning Outcomes
    • Integrate information from multiple sources.
    • Practice the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.

Creating and using information responsibly and ethically

  • Undergraduate Learning Outcomes
    • Be able to make connections between disciplines and to integrate information from multiple sources.
    • Be aware of personal, societal, and professional ethical standards.
    • Have the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.
  • IQP Learning Outcomes
    • Critically identify, utilize, and properly cite information sources, and integrate information from multiple sources to identify appropriate approaches to addressing the project goals.
    • Analyze and synthesize results from social, ethical, humanistic, technical or other perspectives, as appropriate.
    • Demonstrate the ability to write clearly, critically and persuasively.
    • Demonstrate an awareness of the ethical dimensions of their project work.
  • HUA Learning Outcomes
    • To enhance students' ability to communicate effectively with others in a spirit of openness and cooperation
    • To encourage students to reflect on their responsibilities to others in local, national and global communities
  • MQP Learning Outcomes
    • Use effectively oral, written and visual communication.
    • Integrate information from multiple sources.
    • Demonstrate an awareness and application of appropriate personal, societal, and professional ethical standards.
    • Practice the skills, diligence, and commitment to excellence needed to engage in lifelong learning.