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Information and Media Literacy: What is IML?

Guide for those interested in teaching a course that meets IML learning outcomes for general education at the University of Redlands.

Definitions of Information and Media Literacy

"Media and Information Literacy consists of the knowledge, the attitudes, and the sum of the skills needed to know when and what information is needed; where and how to obtain that information; how to evaluate it critically and organise it once it is found; and how to use it in an ethical way. The concept extends beyond communication and information technologies to encompass learning, critical thinking, and interpretative skills across and beyond professional and educational boundaries. Media and Information Literacy includes all types of information resources: oral, print, and digital. Media and Information Literacy is a basic human right in an increasingly digital, interdependent, and global world, and promotes greater social inclusion. It can bridge the gap between the information rich and the information poor. Media and Information Literacy empowers and endows individuals with knowledge of the functions of the media and information systems and the conditions under which these functions are performed" (IFLA, 2011).

"We live in a world where the quality of information we receive largely determines our choices and ensuing actions, including our capacity to enjoy fundamental freedoms and the ability for self-determination and development. Driven by technological improvements in telecommunications, there is also a proliferation of media and other information providers through which vast amounts of information and knowledge are accessed and shared by citizens. Adding to and emanating from this phenomenon is the challenge to assess the relevance and the reliability of the information" (UNESCO, p. 11, 2011).

IML at Redlands

Students at Redlands engage with IML in two embedded experiences outlined in the LAI general education model.

In the introductory course, IML "involves the ability to interpret and critically negotiate information" (IMLI).

In the advanced course, IML "requires the ability to create meaning via information and to effectively communicate that meaning via appropriate media" (IMLA).

IML: Skills, Concepts, Purpose