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Information and Data Literacy Intended Learning Outcomes & Assessment

Intended Information Literacy & Data Literacy Learning Outcomes for HKUST Graduates

The intended learning outcomes for the information and data literacy program, is that by the the time students graduate from HKUST, they will be able to:

  1. Define & articulate their information needs.
  2. Identify potential information sources.
  3. Select the most appropriate tools to retrieve relevant information.
  4. Understand the characteristics of different tools and construct effective search strategies.
  5. Understand how information is produced, organized and disseminated.
  6. Examine and compare information and sources to determine accuracy, authority, reliability, timeliness, validity, viewpoint or bias, and suitability for their information needs.
  7. Understand issues related to censorship, copyright, intellectual property, plagiarism, privacy and security so as to create, obtain, store, use and disseminate information responsibly.
  8. Become self reliant (comfortable and confident) in information literacy skills in different research environments.
  9. Apply information literacy skills for life-long learning in personal and professional development.


Students achieve these ILOs  across the curriculum during their time at HKUST via

  • Customized workshops designed in collaboration with their professors and lecturers
  • Supported self-learning via Library Guides and e-learning videos and games
  • Experience in learning and researching in HKUST’s information environment

Rubric for Assessing Information Literacy Competency Levels

Assessment is an important part of learning Research and Leaning Support librarians created an information literacy rubric (pdf) to:

  • Offer guidelines for faculty to assess students’ information literacy competency levels (can be adapted to support different types of assignments).
  • Assist faculty in designing assessment tasks and learning activities to facilitate the development of information literacy
  • Create a shared framework for librarians,faculty members, and students to assess students’ work

This information literacy rubric (based in part on AACU’s Information Literacy VALUE rubric) is designed to assess five major aspects:

  1. Define Information Needs
    • Determine the extent of information needed: Library’s ILO 1
  2.  Collect Information and Data

    • Identify and select appropriate resources: Library’s ILOs 2, 3 & 4
  3. Evaluate Information and Data Found : Library’s ILO 6
  4. Utilize Information and Data Library’s ILO 7
    • Use information and data effectively
    • Ethical use of information by acknowledging sources:

Competency Level

Low Intermediate Advanced
1. Define information needs (may not be applicable if students do not keep a research log or list the research steps)
  • Has difficulties articulating the information needs.
  • Limited or no attempt to seek help from instructors or peers.
  • If necessary, seeks help from instructors and peers to clarify the scope of the assignment tasks and determine the information needs.
  • Able to formulate research questions based on the information needs.
  • Has a clear understanding of the information needs.
  • Formulates questions based on the information need and develop a thesis statement accordingly.
  • Identifies key concepts and terms that describe the information need.
2.Information collection 



  • Demonstrates little knowledge on how to find information  or data for the assignment task.
  • Solely relies on course readings or resources recommended by instructors and popular search engines (such as Google and Yahoo!) for quick and convenient results.
  • Uses very simple search strategy such as entering the whole assignment topic.
  • Mostly relies on course readings, resources recommended by instructors and popular search engines.
  • Some evidences of exploring potential resources in different formats or subject areas.
  • Simple search strategies: entering the whole assignment topic or a single term/phrase.
  • Able to identify major electronic and print resources in their disciplines.
  • Selects appropriate tools (IMF for financial data, EBSCOhost for country and company reports, etc.) based on coverage, audience and limitations of various resources.
  • Devises search strategies using appropriate key concepts and terms.
3. Evaluation of information and sources 


  • Many of the sources used, such as those cited in the bibliography, are not clearly related to the task.
  • Limited evaluation skills: sources inaccurate; out-dated; or too basic.
  • Most of the sources used are relevant.
  • Demonstrates some evaluation skills: Most sources are accurate, timely, authority and relevant.
  • Body of works shows attempt to examine and compare sources for inconsistencies.
  • Sources used are relevant.
  • Shows effective and critical evaluation of sources: besides accuracy, currency and authority, also try to examine if sources contradict or complement each other and the suitability for their needs.
  • Body of work identifies limitations of the research methodologies and/or theories, flaw in the reasoning logic, etc. of the sources.
4.1.  Use information effectively to accomplish the assignment objectives
  • Has difficulties synthesizing information from multiple sources.
  • Tends to quote directly from sources and restate the opinions and conclusions from various sources.
  • Able to recognize appropriate concepts, models or theories from retrieved sources.
  • Explains relevant concepts, models or theories from the source in his/her own words to formulate arguments.
  • Attempts to derive own opinions or conclusion.
  • Recognizes interrelationships between different concepts, models or theories from the sources with those taught in the course.
  • Able to synthesize different findings to construct own logical arguments and derive a new and sound conclusion.
4.2 Ethical use of information
  • Shows lack of understanding of the needs and principles of legal and ethical use of information, hence
  • No or poor documentation of sources, e.g., bibliography tends to be disorganized, incomplete or inconsistent.
  • Shows no attempt to identify if sources used are obtained or disseminated legally.
  • May show evidence of possible violations of intellectual property in the use of text, audio, video, or graphics


  • Documents sources properly, e.g, in a bibliography, to avoid plagiarism.
  • Attempts to observe appropriate laws and regulations to obtain and disseminate text, data, or multimedia files for research & study ( e.g., scanning limited amount covered by “fair dealing”; following terms of use for data; obtain permission of use from copyright holder or available under Creative Commons license.


  • Good documentation of sources, e.g, bibliography in correct and consistent style.
  • In-text reference, footnote or endnote to support arguments and give credits to original ideas.
  • Observes appropriate laws and regulations to legally obtain and disseminate all text, data, or multimedia files for research & study.


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last modified 12 December 2023