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ACC Library: Library Learning Outcomes and the Framework

Learning Outcomes

The Alamance Community College Library is committed to supporting student learning through its instruction program.  There are many ways students learn about information and the research process at the library. They may have interaction with a reference librarian, attend a library instruction session, arrange a consultation with a librarian, interact with a librarian through their Moodle course, visit the library, or visit the website. Regardless of how students learn how to use information and the library’s resources, the learning outcomes below are a guide for the development of library instruction.

The outcomes were developed to address the Association of College and Research Libraries Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education. There are six concepts addressed within the ACRL Framework: Research as Inquiry, Searching as Strategic Exploration, Authority is Constructed and Contextual, Scholarship as Conversation, Information Creation as a Process, and Information Has Value. These outcomes below are focused on student learning and will help guide individual and program-level assessment of our instruction. While library instruction in any particular discipline will unlikely address all of these outcomes, they do represent the breadth of instructional activities by the library for students across the curriculum.


1. Students will explore ideas, topics, and refine a research question in context. 

Students will determine the extent of information needed. 

Action: Effectively defines the scope of the research question or thesis. Effectively determines key concepts. Types of information (sources) selected directly relate to concepts or answer research question

Framework Concept: Research as Inquiry

Research is iterative and depends upon asking increasingly complex or new questions whose answers in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry in any field.


2. Students will identify core concepts, keywords, and subject headings for discovery of relevant information.

Students will learn how to access needed information.

Action: Accesses information using a variety of search strategies and some relevant information sources. Demonstrates ability to refine search.

Framework Concept: Searching as Strategic Exploration

Searching for information is often nonlinear and iterative, requiring the evaluation of a range of information sources and the mental flexibility to pursue alternate avenues as new.


3. Students will evaluate authors and information sources for authority, relevance, purpose, and bias in context.

Students will learn how to evaluate information and its sources critically.

Action: Chooses a variety of information sources appropriate to the scope and discipline of the research question, and selects sources after considering the importance of the multiple criteria (CRAAP Test) used to effectively evaluate information.

Framework Concept: Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility, and are  evaluated based on information need and the context in which the information will be used. Authority is constructed in that various communities may recognize different types of authority. It is contextual in that the information need may help to determine the level of authority required.

Framework Concept: Information Creation is a Process

Information in any format is produced to convey a message and is shared via a selected delivery method. The iterative processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences. 


4. Students will analyze and interpret information, and draw reasonable conclusions to support original ideas and inquiries.

Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose.

Action: Communicates and organizes and synthesizes information from sources to fully achieve a specific purpose, with clarity and depth.

Framework Concept: Scholarship as Conversation

Communities of scholars, researchers, or professionals engage in sustained discourse with new insights and discoveries occurring over time as a result of varied perspectives and interpretations.


5. Students will accurately and ethically integrate, attribute, and cite information.

Students will learn how to access and use information ethically and legally. 

Action: Students should learn the following information use strategies:

  • Use of citations and references
  • Choice of paraphrasing, summarizing or quoting
  • Using information in ways that are true to the original context
  • Distinguishing between common knowledge and ideas requiring attribution
  • Demonstrate full understanding of the ethical and legal restrictions on the use of published, confidential, and/or proprietary information.

Framework Concept: Information has Value

Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means to negotiating and understanding the world. Legal and socioeconomic interests influence information production and dissemination.