Information Literacy Instruction at Champlain


Through Champlain's Core Division, students receive instruction from Champlain's Teaching Librarians seven times in their first three years. In inquiry-based lessons, our embedded information literacy program introduces students to a broad range of information related topics, skills, and concepts.

COR 110 Concepts of the Self:

This session is the information literacy cornerstone. It is a conceptual, not skills-based, session that introduces students to the critical thinking implicit and essential to information literacy. In this session, librarians ask students to participate in a series of active learning exercises (including live polling via cell phone, group work, and discussion) to identify and characterize the ways they use information in their daily lives. This session also explores, through inquiry-based discussion, filter bubbles and their impact on our information landscapes.

COR 120 Concepts of the Community:

The Core 120 session introduces students to conducting library research. Using active-learning and small group work, librarians ask students to evaluate a variety of sources for their scholarly value and relevance. Librarians introduce students to the library catalog, offer tips and tricks to effectively use books, demonstrate ways of using keywords in general databases, and practice ways to refine searches to find "best" sources. This session is a more traditional introduction to the library, but is still inquiry-based and interactive.

COR 210 Scientific Revolutions:

Each of our information literacy sessions in the fall of students' second year address the ethical use of information from perspectives aligned with the outcomes the course. In COR 210, we introduce a case study that involves intellectual property and alleged misuse of information in scientific and popular writing, and students explore complex nuances of plagiarism in a professional context. Through discussion, students explore issues of motivation, credibility and consequence with information ethics. Students also reflect on the misuse of information in their major or chosen profession.

COR 220 Aesthetic Expressions:

This lesson explores mash-ups in the entertainment industry and questions whether they are pieces of artwork that are created ethically. Exploring the issue from a number of industry perspectives, students will reflect on the ethical implications of merging and creating forms of media for artistic expression. This session and COR 230 are delivered asynchronously, online, using the college's learning management system.

COR 230 Ethics & the Environment:

This session also investigates the ethical use of information through a specific lens. In this class, students investigate the use of computer-generated footage for scientific argument and persuasion. Using a specific case study, which alleges misuse of Hollywood Blockbuster movie footage in a documentary on climate change, students will discuss the implications on credibility and reliability.

COR 240 Bodies:

The COR 240 Bodies session explores the idea of embodiment through information. Students explore how media portrayal of body shape, gender, sexuality and race affects our thinking of societal norms. Using examples of advertising and marketing, students engage in an important and, at times, uncomfortable discussion. Additionally, students will begin to reflect on how they portray themselves through their choices on social media and other online platforms. This session incorporates elements of media and digital literacies.

COR 250 Secular & the Sacred:

This session is aimed specifically at supporting students as they work on their ethnography common assignment. In this session, students will discover the benefit of the one-to-one interview as a means of gathering information and deepening insight into a practicing person of faith. This lesson exposes students to the practice of probing and inquiring in a curious but respectful way.

COR 260 Democracies:

In this session, students engage more deeply with the evaluation of scholarly resources. Students are asked to closely consider the authority of the authors of multiple resources, investigating the authors' publication history and scholarly background in order to determine the reliability of the sources they use. This session and COR 270 are delivered asynchronously, online, using the college's learning management system.

COR 270 Heroines & Heroes:

The COR 270 online lesson introduces students to the nuances of scholarly work. The lesson first looks at the attributes that distinguish scholarly articles from other resources. Then, with reference to Bizup's BEAM model, students learn about the ways in which scholars use evidence to make their point. Through reflective prompts, students articulate the value of using scholarly resources in their work and describe the type of information they will likely encounter in those resources.

COR 280 Colonialism & Western Identity:

During the COR 280 session, students focus on primary source documents and artifacts as a means to explore western identity. Students interact with replica primary sources and discuss the perspectives found within. Students also reflect on the benefit and value of primary source documents. This session uses critical pedagogy to highlight issues of oppression and racism in immigration & resettlement.

COR 310 The Global Condition:

The COR 310 session revolves specifically around the written research paper common assignment that asks students to identify and synthesize 5-7 sources on global progress. This session asks students to reflect on how to synthesize the information they have collected for their assignment. Librarians offer students the perspective matrix framework to equip students with the skills to combine and connect their seemingly disparate information sources. This session is active throughout.


Undergraduate students enrolled in the Champlain College Online Division receive information literacy instruction through modules integrated into several popular courses. These inquiry-based modules were designed by librarians but are taught by a course's assigned instructor for a seamless integration into a student's educational experience.

ENGL 111 Critical Reading and Expository Writing I:

In recognition of the fact that students new to the Champlain College Online division often have extensive experience with searching and information retrieval but might be new to the nuances of academic library searching, this lesson introduces students to library-specific skills such as keyword searching and article databases. Keeping with our program's emphasis on active learning, students move quickly into brainstorming and information retrieval exercises using Champlain College Library resources.

COMM 270 Intercultural Communication:

The COMM 270 lesson provides students with a framework for examining how a range of information sources can provide them with a more nuanced understanding of a complex topic than a single source alone. This lesson pays particular attention to primary sources, and how sources from different eras provide a more complete understanding of a complex topic, in this case, the status of women in the workplace.

COMM 360 Social Interaction in the Digital Age:

How do students' social media habits shape the information that they access? This lesson explores the concept of filter bubbles and encourages students to consider how they impact discourse in the contemporary era. Additionally, students will begin to reflect on how they portray themselves through their choices on social media and other online platforms. This session incorporates elements of media and digital literacies.

PHIL 340 Ethics in the Profession:

This lesson encourages students to investigate the ethical use of information in their profession and in society. To start, students examine and reflect on two case studies in information ethics: one related to mashups and the other related to the use of artificial intelligence on social media. Then, students consider how information ethics relates to their current or future profession, and in doing so make connections between academic concepts such as plagiarism or attribution and professional concepts such as copyright or fabrication.

WRIT 231 Technical Writing:

This lesson teaches students best practices for incorporating outside sources into technical and professional writing projects. Student complete close readings on white papers and other professional reports to analyze how authors use quoted, paraphrased, and summarized information to inform an audience and enhance a point of view, using guided prompts inspired by Graff & Birkenstein's They Say / I Say, to identify and evaluate authors' choices. Students also consider how they might use the techniques they analyze through this exercise in their own technical writing projects.


As part of the Education and Human Studies Division's "Signature Courses," Champlain librarians deliver lessons that look at the role of information in the development of students' disciplinary and professional perspectives. 

EHS 100 Making Connections:

This session introduces students to information literacy as an aspect of critical thinking. In the lesson's first activity, students draw upon their developing disciplinary and professional perspectives as a tool for describing and analyzing the world around them. An online, interactive poll exposes students to the specialized vocabulary of their peers in EHS in order to help foster connections across disciplines. The lesson's second activity builds on the work of Warren Berger to help hone students' ability to ask better questions. A series of short, iterative activities prompt students to reflectively consider how better questions can expose them to gaps in their knowledge and more thoughtfully guide their research.

EHS 200 Hot Topics:

In this IL lesson, librarians expose students to a range of information sources that address the course's content, which changes from year to year in EHS 200. The chosen sources derive from Vermont government agencies or local nonprofits in order to show students the way in which different professional perspectives attempt to address complex issues, such as human trafficking, immigration, or gender inequality. After students have had the opportunity to read and discuss the various resources, librarians ask them to imagine ways in which they might communicate out their expertise or incorporate some of the information they have encountered earlier in the lesson.

EHS 210 Social Justice Intensive:

This lesson focuses on issues of social justice as they intersect with information literacy by looking at the channels of information that can be used to stay informed and involved. Specifically, students discuss the role of social media in highlighting issues of injustice, mobilizing activists, and amplifying the voices of marginalized groups. Using examples from Black Lives Matter and introducing students to Scott Bonner's effort to keep the Ferguson library open during protests there, this lesson asks students to outline how they could use their professional expertise and resources to respond to a specific social justice initiative.