Developing a new approach to information literacy learning design

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Sarah McNicol Emily Shields


This article reports on the development of a new model for information literacy (IL) learning design created as part of  Innovative Technologies for Engaging Classrooms (iTEC), a European project focused on redesigning teaching and learning. Findings from this project, along with a review of previous studies of IL models, demonstrate why a new approach is needed. The resulting model, InFlow, has been designed to encourage students to engage with information in a variety of ways as they map, explore, ask, make, reflect, imagine, show and collaborate. The rationale behind the development of this model raises fundamental questions about current teaching practices in relation to IL, such as the need to encourage collaborative working; the role of students as producers of information as well as consumers; and the privileging of particular types of information sources and outputs. This article describes the process by which this model was developed, based on approaches used in iTEC, and explains how it responds to criticisms of existing models. A short case study of the use of InFlow in a UK university library demonstrates how the model can work in practice to create IL programmes for students of the 21st century.


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How to Cite
MCNICOL, Sarah; SHIELDS, Emily. Developing a new approach to information literacy learning design. Journal of Information Literacy, [S.l.], v. 8, n. 2, p. 23-35, nov. 2014. ISSN 1750-5968. Available at: <>. Date accessed: 31 mar. 2023. doi:
information literacy; collaboration; creativity; reflection; IL models; learning design
Research articles (peer-reviewed articles)