How to use this website

Welcome to the site. The audio files which you can access from this topic introduce the aims and objectives of this information literacy resource and you should listen to these at an early stage as well. Should you have problems accessing these resources, see the brief guide below. This file is just intended to give you some help with Moodle and how to navigate through the various topics and other features.

It also provides some guidance to teachers and librarians who may want to use this resource at their own institutions.

Click here to return to the unit 1 menu.

Overall learning objectives of this site

At the conclusion of this course, students should be able to:

  • recognise their own information needs at this point in their research, whether through self-reflection or work with a supervisor
  • undertake effective information searches to help fulfil these needs
  • appreciate how cognitive biases in their own innate information processing can prevent them from learning and judging information only subjectively
  • know the importance of scientific method and peer review for maintaining the quality of information and overcoming subjectivity
  • take into account the impact of the media, copyright, intellectual property laws and other such institutions when judging the validity of information, and understand generally the role of research in the public sphere.

Following the materials

The site is organised into 7 topics, including this introductory one. (Introduction; The content frame; The competency frame; The learning to learn frame; The personal relevance frame; The social impact frame; and the Conclusion.) You should move through the topics in order, listening to the audio files as you come to them. Please also complete the activities where listed. There are only a small number of these but each helps you put your understanding into practice at crucial points.

As well as the audio files and activities, there are some other resources. Some of these are web pages like this one, or perhaps pages elsewhere on the Internet that we think you should read. Or they may be extracts from published books. All are intended to be supplementary rather than essential. However, you should try to look at each at least briefly. They will help illustrate points that may be difficult to understand just from the audio files alone. Or they will give extra depth at certain points. You are free to print any of these off and keep them: they may prove useful to you as you continue with your research after having finished this course.

All resources are either in PDF or DOC format and you should have no problem reading them regardless of what type of computer or operating system you use.

The audio files are in MP3 format. They should automatically download when you click on the resource (see the screen shot) but depending on how your computer is set up they may not automatically begin to play. You may need to click the ‘play’ button (here in green) to start the playback. No audio file is longer than 9 minutes and most are around 5-6 minutes in length. Obviously, you will need to play these on a computer that has a working sound card and speakers or earphones: please note that in many university computer clusters, there are no external speakers connected and you will need to use earphones.

These audio files can also be downloaded to add onto an iPod (or other MP3 player) so you can listen to them while not being sat at a computer, if you wish. Combined with printouts of course resources, this would allow you to study it almost anywhere, at a time and place of your choosing.

Image of audio file buttons

Currently the files are not available on i-Tunes U, however you can save the audiofiles onto your computer, and add them to i-Tunes (File/Add file to library/Find the file on your computer and click on Open/)

The resource at different universities

This course was developed at the University of Manchester as a collaboration between the School of Education and the John Rylands University Library. The project was funded by the Information and Computer Science subject centre of the Higher Education Academy (

As a result of this collaboration the resource has been made open access, and can be used by any other university that wishes to. (Note that should you be reading this and are interested in adapting the resource for use in your own institution or library, please see the guidance notes to this end. They can be found below.)

Some information on this site will differ from institution to institution. For example, information on how to find certain library services, or access online journal resources. If you see information that does not seem relevant to your own university or college, then you are looking at a version of this course which is not fully supported by your institution. It is possible you are viewing the resource at the wrong location. Either way you should check first with your library.
The institution you are affiliated to may offer certification for this course, and may require you to complete certain readings or activities as part of that certification. This will vary between institutions however. For certification information which is relevant to your own university or college, please see the separate resource in this topic.

Information for teachers and librarians

This  site is open access. It can be freely used and adapted by anyone. However, please note that some of the texts (see list below) are still under copyright.

To use the resource to its full extent you will need to do two things.

  • Certain pages and screen shots on this site are institution-specific. Their locations are indicated in the guidebook (see below). Institution- (and/or library-) specific versions need uploading in these cases.
  • There are three books from which chapters are used as sample texts.  Full publication details are available in the guidebook, but in brief, these books are:
    • Counterknowledge by Damian Thompson (2008)
    • Information Obesity by Andrew Whitworth (2009)
    • Managing the Information Commons, edited by Charlotte Hess and Elinor Ostrom (2007).

Comprehensive information on how to adapt this resource to your own institutional needs, along with more general information for teachers and librarians, can be found in this guidebook.

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