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Research Skills for the Information Age

Course Code: LIBR 1113
Credits: 1.5
Semester: weeks 7-14 of the Winter semester
Learning Format: Lecture, Lab
Typically Offered: TBD. Contact Department Chair for more info.
course overview

This course builds on the basic information literacy and research skills acquired in LIBR 1111. Through lectures, hands-on assignments, readings and group discussions students learn to locate, manage, evaluate and use information from a variety of specialized sources. They consider the broader ethical and social issues at work within the international information marketplace, and monitor their own growth as “critical consumers” of information. Most importantly, students learn how to use information as a problem-solving/decision-making tool in a number of personal, career, and academic situations.

Course Content

  1. Course Overview and Introduction
    1. Student goals and objectives
    2. Course goals and objectives
    3. Explanation of learning journal and reality-based research project
  2. Components of Information Literacy
    1. What is information? How does it relate to knowledge?
    2. Visual literacy
    3. Textual literacy
    4. Numerical literacy
    5. Characteristics of an information literate person
  3. Becoming a Critical Consumer of Information
    1. Thinking critically about the social, economic, and political aspects of information
    2. Privacy and protection issues
    3. Information Ethics: mis-information, fraud, propaganda, hoaxes, etc.
    4. Research templates and information seeking strategies
  4. Specialized Search Tools
    1. Searching the Invisible Web
    2. Portals, focused crawlers, and hybrid search tools
    3. Finding images
    4. Other ways to find information
  5. Finding Canadian Government Information
    1. Federal, provincial and municipal resources
    2. Political news sites
    3. Legal and legislative information
    4. Public records
  6. Finding News and Current Events
    1. Types of news resources
    2. Online versions of print, radio, and television news
    3. Online newswires, newspapers, magazines, and newsletters
    4. Video images and trend stories
    5. Breaking news, archives and transcripts
  7. Finding Business Information
    1. Finding background information on a company
    2. Conducting market research
    3. Personal financial information and investment research
  8. Finding Health and Medical Information
    1. Consumer information
    2. Professional information
  9. Finding International Information
    1. International and inter-governmental agencies
    2. Regional and country-focused sites and research tools
    3. Global search tools and subject directories
    4. Translation services
  10. Managing and Filtering Information
    1. Bots, push technology and alert services
    2. Filtering tools
    3. Keeping up

Methods of Instruction

Lectures, discussions (face-to-face or online), in-class assignments, field trips, readings, journaling

Means of Assessment

Students are evaluated based on attendance, reserve reading responses, in-class assignments, maintenance of a self-reflective learning journal, and presentation of a final reality-based research project.

Attendance: 10%

Reading Responses: 25%

Themed Research Labs: 50%

Research Project Presentation: 15%

Learning Outcomes

  1. Analyze and evaluate his/her own information seeking behaviors
  2.  Incorporate visual, textual and numerical literacy skills into a broader information literacy framework
  3. Understand the way in which information systems work, including publication and distribution cycles
  4. Be aware of the legal, economic, social, and public policy aspects of information
  5. Locate appropriate, useful and reliable information using a variety of specialized search tools and Internet resources
  6. Manage and filter information according to changing personal needs and preferences
  7. Ethically cite retrieved information
  8. Locate, describe and use collections of electronic documents beyond the Douglas College Library system
  9. Extend his/her investigations in the pursuit of self-directed lifelong learning

course prerequisites

Basic computer skills

curriculum guidelines

Course Guidelines for previous years are viewable by selecting the version desired. If you took this course and do not see a listing for the starting semester/year of the course, consider the previous version as the applicable version.

course schedule and availability
course transferability

Below shows how this course and its credits transfer within the BC transfer system. 

A course is considered university-transferable (UT) if it transfers to at least one of the five research universities in British Columbia: University of British Columbia; University of British Columbia-Okanagan; Simon Fraser University; University of Victoria; and the University of Northern British Columbia.

For more information on transfer visit the BC Transfer Guide and BCCAT websites.


If your course prerequisites indicate that you need an assessment, please see our Assessment page for more information.