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Information & Academic Literacy

Year 1 BNRT & PDBN

Year 1 competencies for both BNRT and PDBN students focus on beginner level knowledge (remembering) and comprehension (understanding) in forming a solid foundation for the years to come. Adapted with permission from ACRL's "Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education" (2015),  

Area Competency Attributes

Use a variety of research methods based on need, circumstance, and type of inquiry

Develops an understanding of research methods

Demonstrate a simple research process

  Formulate simple questions that draw upon basic restatement of knowledge

Distinguish between background and foreground questions

Create simple but focused questions through identifying key concepts using 5Ws

Identify questions that are too broad, too narrow or likely manageable 

  Understands the importance of seeking multiple perspectives on a topic in order to gain a holistic understanding

When directed, will use a variety of source types and minimum required sources


Use research evidence appropriately to make decisions and inform practice

Demonstrate an understanding of the importance of Evidence Informed Practice 

Develops awareness of Levels of Evidence; focus on BPGs 


Identify information to direct the search process


Identify key concepts of a topic or research question

Conducts background research to learn about unfamiliar topics or concepts 

Plans a search strategy guided by assignment specifications (i.e.: publication date or "peer-reviewed")


Identify producers of sources relevant to the information need 


Recognize there are multiple sources (scholars, organizations, individuals, industries, etc.), which may have produced relevant information on a topic

Develop awareness of how and where to access different producers of source


Recognize that information may be perceived and valued differently based on the format in which it is packaged


Recognize that scholarly or authoritative sources may come in formats other than articles

Recognize that format itself (organization or visual appeal) is not indicator of credibility, especially in regards to web content


Select an appropriate search tool for the information need with guidance


Differentiate between search tools such as databases, web, library, and a library catalogue.

Compare sources found by different search tools

Select a database relevant to the information need with guidance


Use appropriate search language relevant to the search tool and information need



Distinguish between search language (keyword or free text) used for different search tools (databases vs. web)

Use key concepts as first keywords for searching 

Recognize that keywords may need to change in order to locate relevant results; may attempt alternate keywords

  Conducts an effective and strategic search by applying search strategies

Develops awareness of Boolean operators (AND, OR, NOT) and search strategies like truncation, wild-cards and phrase searching

Construct a simple database search, combining keywords with Boolean operator AND; may attempt truncation and/or phrase searching

Understands the function of search limits/filters; practices using simple filters like publication date and "peer-reviewed"

Recognizes that first attempts at searching may be unsuccessful, persists or seeks support

Evaluate Assess the fit between an information source’s creation process and an information need

Awareness of the information cycle and when a source is created within in

Differentiate between scholarly and popular sources

Differentiate between sources type and their uses (books, articles, encyclopedias, textbooks, reports, etc).

Use key elements such as author’s name, date of publication, and source type to understand the creation process


Evaluate sources for credibility using simple prescribed criteria such as CRAAP (currency, relevancy, accuracy, authority, purpose)


Distinguish between fact, point of view, and opinion in relation to the purpose of a source

Understand the importance of cross-referencing sources in order to evaluate trustworthiness

Understand and practice using lateral reading for online content


Evaluates information for relevancy to the information need

Scans titles and abstracts for relevant information during source selection

May rely on superficial criteria such as presence of keywords during source selection


Understand that certain tools and “markers of authority” (ACRL, 2015) can help determine credibility of sources


Describe peer-review process 

Rely on "peer-review when identifying credible sources

When directed, will use research tools such a databases and scholarly journals

  Understand that there are different types of authorities and authoritative source types

Differentiate between types of authority such as subject expertise (e.g., scholarship), social position (e.g., public office or title), or special experience (e.g., participating in a historic event)

Understands that different source types (scholarly article, government report, news article, etc.) may have different levels of authority

Relies on traditional types of authority such as subject expertise or credentials during source selection


Recognize that scholarly discourse is an “ongoing conversation” where ideas are formed, debated and changed over time (ACRL, 2015)

Develops awareness of how knowledge changes with new research

Describe the respective value of seminal nursing research and current research 


Understand their role as a contributor to a "scholarly conversation" (ACRL, 2015); participate at an appropriate level

Beginning to participate in scholarship through online or in-class discussions, presentations, etc.