IRIS 42: Information and Research Instruction Suite for two-year colleges
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Learning Outcomes

What are the Learning Outcomes?

This custom version of IRIS 4-2 reflects Whatcom Community College's library and its collections, and accords with the Information Literacy core learning ability (CLA) of the college. IRIS 4-2 was originally guided by a modification of the Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education to address the needs of students in two-year institutions.

Information Literacy is the ability to identify an information need and to locate, evaluate, and use information effectively and ethically.

Indicators and Examples


1. Identifies information needed IRIS Modules

Defines and articulates the specific information need and its purpose.

Identifies a variety of types and formats of information sources.

Refines a topic for the information need.

Information Types

Subject Encyclopedias

Books and e-books


Primary/Secondary Sources

Deep/Invisible Web

World Wide Web


2. Accesses information

IRIS Modules

Selects the most appropriate methods for accessing the needed information.

Retrieves information using a variety of methods.

Constructs an effective search strategy.

Research Team

Boolean Operators

Periodical Indexes

Library Catalogs

Search Strategies

Call Numbers

Web Search Tools

Google Books

Google Search Tips



3. Evaluates information

IRIS Modules

Incorporates critical thinking in evaluating both the information and its sources.

Compares new knowledge with prior knowledge to determine the value added or contradictions.

Evaluating Information:


4. Uses information effectively

IRIS Modules

Applies new and prior information to the creation of a product or performance.

Communicates the product or performance to others.

Synthesizes ideas to construct new concepts.

Research Process

Primary / Secondary Research

Research Notes


5. Uses information ethically

IRIS Modules

Uses information legally and ethically by considering the economic, legal, and social issues.

Synthesizes and uses information in a balanced and non-biased approach.