Wikis for information literacy: One example

Wiki puzzle globe

 Image from J. Aaron Farr: Retrieved from http://www.flickr.com/photos/jaaronfarr/1056922912/ and used according to a Creative Commons Attribution License

On November 8 Dr. Nicole Witherbee of PolicyEdge spoke about the use of a wiki with her internship students.  Though she didn’t specifically use the term “information literacy,” she did mention some goals that spoke of the concept.

The Policy Options wiki is a project of the Bonner Foundation, and Bates College (where Dr. Witherbee is an instructor) is a participant in it.  Students develop policy briefs and get feedback from both faculty members and community experts.   The wiki’s template provides an outline to help students think about their policy research.  The collaborative nature of a wiki also helps students see options they had not already considered.  After all, isn’t critical thinking part of information literacy?

Furthermore the project helps students develop a sense of audience.  This point fits in well with ACRL Information Literacy Standard Four:

The information literate student, individually or as a member of a group, uses information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.”*

It fits in especially well with that standard’s Performance Indicator 3:

The information literate student communicates the product or performance effectively to others.”*

This is one example of a wiki supporting critical thinking.  Where else can you imagine a wiki supporting information literacy goals?

*Association of College & Research Libraries. (2000). Information literacy competency standards for higher education. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/informationliteracycompetency.cfm