Curriculum Performance Objectives

These curriculum levels were developed initially as a guide for librarians in order to help them determine what skills and information should be related to students at successive class levels.

They are based on Bloom's Taxonomy and on the Integrative Studies Composition and Literature Goals developed in 1994. They are directly related to the American Library Association/Association for Collegiate and Research Libraries "Information Literacy and Competency Standards for Higher Education" (ACRL, 2000).

If this outline is followed, students will have been exposed to each of these standards in a classroom setting over the course of their college studies.

We recognize that these standards may not reflect actual practice. Factors such as students who transfer into the college or who take courses at another level (e.g., sophomores enrolled in a 300 level course) may interfere with the progressive introduction of these skills. Faculty members may design courses or assignments that do not readily incorporate these levels. Also, a librarian-assisted session may not be scheduled for classes, disrupting the sequence.

Freshmen (First Session)
Freshmen (Second Session)

[back to Faculty Resources]

Freshmen (First Session)

The incoming freshman student will:

Recognize that information is available from a variety of resources

  • The Internet is a means of delivering information rather than a resource
  • Search engines and Web sites may provide research information
  • Research databases provide access to published research
  • Journals, in print or on line, may be scholarly or popular and vary in reliability as well as type of information
  • Books focus on background or in depth information

Evaluate possible information sources for appropriateness to assignments

  • Judge how extensive are the information needs
  • Determine best and most appropriate resource types: book, journal, web site, media, personal interview, other
  • Consider authority of the information
  • Take into account the date of publication
  • Judge the appropriateness of the information resource for the purpose of the assignment

Recognize the elements of a bibliographic citation and be able to distinguish between a book citation and a journal citation.

Acknowledge sources of information (avoid plagiarism)

Differentiate between Author, Title, and Keyword searches

  • Distinguish between a Keyword search and a natural language search
  • Understand that Boolean terms (or an advanced search screen) can be used to focus the search
  • Recognize LC Subject headings as different from keywords

Search Otterbein, OPAL, and OhioLINK catalogs

  • Understand which catalog represents which schools
  • Know how to borrow materials using each catalog
  • Use "Check Patron Record" to renew items and check fines

Be aware that Reference Librarians are available to answer questions in person, through e-mail, or via Chat Reference.

Freshmen (Second Session)

Second semester freshmen will be able to:

Formulate a research plan

  • Reflect on the most appropriate sources of information
  • Identify prime concepts
  • List related keywords or alternative words and phrases
  • Expand or narrow the focus of the research as needed
  • Determine relevance, recency and reliability of the information
  • Consider the quantity of information required and any time constraints
  • Identify formats to be explored
  • Decide whether additional formats may be relevant (e.g. charts, maps, illustrations, sound clips, or realia)

Examine scholarly journals in depth

  • Distinguish between scholarly, popular, and trade journals
  • Identify characteristics of each type of journal
  • Ascertain the audience for the information
  • Differentiate primary and secondary research
  • Recognize that slant or perspective may color the information

Critically examine information resources

  • Classify information presented - factual, statistical, biographical, background, analysis, other
  • Recognize the differences between indexes, abstracts, and full text
  • Identify and authenticate the information source
  • Examine the author's approach to the topic

Revise the search strategy as research progresses


Sophomore students will be able to:

Organize information effectively

  • Develop a thesis statement
  • Produce an outline showing the progression of thought to a logical conclusion
  • Create a system for organizing research results
  • Explore general information to provide background for more specific information
  • Record pertinent citation information for future reference

Utilize sophisticated research techniques

  • Recognize resources best suited for research in their discipline
  • Understand Boolean operators, truncation, wild cards, and proximity
  • Use multiple sources of information
  • Examine how search engines work in order to produce more useable results
  • Demonstrate competence in using multiple technologies (copy/paste software, microfiche, AV equipment) to locate and record information

Display critical analysis skills

  • Recognize multiple points of view
  • Analyze supporting arguments or methods
  • Make connections between readings and other course content
  • Determine probable accuracy of information
  • Integrate new information into current knowledge
  • Describe the criteria used to make information decisions and choices

Use a range of communication applications to present results

Demonstrate an understanding of intellectual property, copyright, and fair use of copyrighted material


Junior students will be able to:

Synthesize information

  • Create new information by combining existing knowledge with original thought, experimentation and/or analysis
  • Construct new information using raw data
  • Relate knowledge from several areas
  • Predict events based upon prior knowledge
  • Draw conclusions

Identify and designs appropriate investigative methods

  • Determine whether fieldwork, surveys, lab experiences or some other method may be the most effective means of investigation
  • Investigate the benefits and applicability of various investigative methods
  • Implement investigative protocols appropriate to the discipline
  • Use specialized resources to retrieve necessary information, including contacting professional associations, community resources, and experts or practitioners

Critically evaluate information from all sources

  • Identify authority
  • Compare points of view and decides whether to incorporate them
  • Recognize prejudice, deception or manipulation of facts

Synthesize main ideas and construct new concepts

  • Recognize interrelationships
  • Use supporting evidence to create primary statements
  • Extend the initial hypothesis to construct new theories that may require additional information
  • Utilize computer and other technologies to explore relationships of ideas

Use research results effectively

  • Delineate the knowledge and skills employed in the research process
  • Integrate both new and prior information, including quotes and paraphrases, images and data, to support project conclusions
  • Present information effectively and according to accepted principles
  • Identify privacy and security issues in both print and electronic environments
  • Recognize free vs. fee-based information and related issues
  • Demonstrate an understanding of institutional policies related to human subjects research



will expand their definition of resources

  • Use surveys, letters, interviews and other forms of inquiry to retrieve primary information
  • Test theories with experiments, simulators, or other discipline-appropriate techniques
  • Recognize the cultural context of information and the significance of that perspective in relationship to other contexts
  • Identify and discuss issues related to censorship and freedom of speech
  • Consider learning a new language or skill to gather and understand information
  • Acquire permissions as necessary to properly credit copyrighted materials