Frequently Asked Questions
The Office of Information Fluency, founded in 2005 as part of the reaffirmation of accreditation process, is dedicated to ensuring UCF graduates are information fluent upon graduation. The University of Central Florida is an intellectually-exciting and information fluent academic community where students develop competence in both general and specific areas of study through general education courses, discipline-specific courses, library instruction, and integration of information fluency skills throughout the curriculum and in support of lifelong learning. The vision is to promote and support an ever-evolving culture of information fluency and to assist academic faculty, library faculty, and professional staff in educating students to navigate competently through an abundance of information choices, to evaluate the information, and to make ethical decisions concerning use of the information.
The vision and mission are accomplished by actively supporting faculty development and excellence in teaching and learning, funding curricular and co-curricular projects that promote IF skills to faculty and staff, collaborating with units on all UCF campuses, and building partnerships with other educational institutions as well as with regional, national, and international communities through the Journal of Information Fluency and the annual Information Fluency Conference.
What is Information Fluency?
UCF defines information fluency as "the ability to perform effectively in an information-rich and technology-intensive environment." Simply put, information fluency is the ability to gather, evaluate, and use information in ethical and legal ways. Information fluency encompasses and integrates three important skills: information literacy, technology literacy, and critical thinking. These three skills are not mutually exclusive but overlap in many areas. Using these skills means having the ability to communicate information in appropriate and effective ways, which is an important measure of information fluency.
Fluency means not just accessing information on the Web, but creating your own Web pages. Not just downloading MP3 music files, but creating your own digital-music compositions. Not just playing SimCity, but creating your own simulated worlds. (Resnick 2001)
Why does anyone need to be information fluent?
Research has shown that information fluency is vital to university students' academic achievements and professional successes and will contribute to their lifelong learning processes. Increasing your information fluency quotient (IFQ) will make you more valuable to employers and to corporations as you move beyond the university environment and into the workplace. Improving your ability to think critically and to extrapolate useful concepts and ideas from existing information into new applications will continue to be a valued and crucial skill in the 21st century work place.
How can students improve their information fluency skills?
It can be helpful to students to first find out where they are by completing the InfoLit modules offered by the University Libraries. These modules give students a starting point as they can find out which skills they are proficient in and which skills need more practice. The UCF Library and the University Writing Center have resources to help students become more information fluent so they can conduct library research and communicate more effectively in classes and in professional spaces.
What will students be able to do when they learn these skills?
An information-fluent graduate of UCF will be able to:
- articulate the problem in a selected context
- recognize the need for information to address the problem
- identify the available information sources
- iteratively collect, analyze, and assess (evaluate critically) the relevant information
- integrate new information with pre-existing knowledge and context
- draw conclusions
- effectively communicate results and decisions
- follow up on actions
What is UCF doing to help me become more information fluent?
UCF is integrating and infusing information fluency into both the curriculum and the culture on campus. Individual departments and professors are implementing information fluency initiatives into their classrooms, and the Office of Information Fluency is providing support to students, faculty, and staff.
What do all of the terms mean when discussing Information Fluency?
Terminology, like technology, is constantly changing. Our friends at 21st Century Information Fluency have developed an extensive glossary of terms related to information fluency. We encourage you to utilize their glossary and their website for gaining additional information. To access the glossary go to http://21cif.com/resources/glossary.html.
Visit this website frequently for updates on what's going on with UCF and information fluency.
The Office of Information Fluency works with academic faculty, library faculty, professional staff, and students. The IF staff makes presentations to classes, to faculty and staff, and works closely with the Librarians to embed information fluency skills into curricular and co-curricular classes and activities. The office has an Information Fluency Track during the Summer Faculty Development Conference each year to work with faculty and staff on projects related to information fluency. The staff also works with departments and individual instructors on infusing IF skills and concepts into specific classes.
What is the Information Fluency Conference?
The Office of Information Fluency sponsors a national conference each year held at the University of Central Florida. The conference is held in March and is two days of presentations, concurrent sessions, plenary speakers, and a keynote address. The theme varies each year and more information can be found on the conference website at www.ce.ucf.edu/if and on the conference section of this website. Academic and library faculty, professional staff, and students are invited to submit proposals to present at the conference in a concurrent session or in the poster presentation. The conference is free of charge to UCF employees.
What are the Information Literacy Modules (Infolit Modules)?
Information literacy modules, funded by the Office of Information Fluency, and developed jointly by the University Libraries and the Center for Distributed Learning, are available for use in face-to‐face and online classes as well as for students to utilize on an individual basis. There are currently 14 modules available and you can view module descriptions, instructions, sneak peeks, a module demo, FAQ's, and opportunities to provide feedback on the modules at http://infolit.ucf.edu. Specific questions about the modules and including them in your class should be sent to Elizabeth Killingsworth in the John C. Hitt Library on the main campus.