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Library Instruction: Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

UW Librarians have developed learning outcomes for library instruction sessions. We recommend limiting the goals for a library instruction session to 1-3 objectives. Your liaison librarian will work with you to determine at what point during a research assignment unit it makes most sense for library instruction and help identify the appropriate learning objectives. Liaisons are also great partners in developing classrooms activities and assessments targeting these learning objectives. 

  • Students will identify and articulate a research question
  • Students will identify keywords that represent a research topic and use keywords to find useful information sources.
  • Students will identify databases/resources relevant to their major field of study.
  • Students will find known items via title or author on the web or in a database.
  • Students will observe scholarly communication conventions in a discipline.
  • Students will find information from appropriate resources.
  • Students will evaluate information sources for relevance, authority, perspective, currency.
  • Students will analyze a resource’s arguments and research methods.
  • Students will cite/document sources appropriately for their discipline.
  • Students will use information ethically. 
  • Students will articulate a research plan including a range of methods and strategies.

University Studies

Information Literacy-related University Studies Student Learning Outcomes






Critical & Creative Thinking (H, PN, V)*

Access diverse information through focused research, active discussion, and collaboration with peers






Separate facts from inferences and relevant from irrelevant information, and explain the limitations of information




Evaluate the credibility, accuracy, and reliability of conclusions drawn from information




Find, evaluate, analyze, synthesize, and appropriately document information from a variety of sources



Recognize the importance of purpose, audience, and style as components of effective communication





Recognize and synthesize multiple perspectives to develop innovative viewpoints





Analyze one’s own and others’ assumptions and evaluate the relevance of context in presenting a position





Communicate ideas in writing using appropriate documentation





* While FYS and COM courses are required to include all SLOs, H, PN, and V course instructors choose two of the six critical thinking SLOs to include in their course.