Analyzing the Knowledge Practices of the ACRL Framework (Part III)

This week, I tackled the “Information Has Value” frame. I continue to look at the framework through the lens that “knowledge is not reducible to knowing” (Maton, 2014, p. 8). Maton’s goal with legitimation code theory is to make knowledge itself an object of study, to take it out of the mind (knowing) and to make it visible (this is the way I think knowledge practices should be written).

Again, I found an emphasis on cognitive processes in this frame. As I see it, cognitive processes serve as the step prior to knowledge practices, and I think it is very important that we, as a profession, describe what the knowledge practices themselves look like. While they may look slightly different in different contexts, there are enduring similarities among these knowledge practices between contexts and cultures that are objective and that need to be identified and described. In that respect, I see the ACRL framework as only partially finished.

Information Has Value
Knowledge Practice IL Facet Knowing in Action Instructional Strategies
Give credit to the original ideas of others through proper attribution and citation; Communication This is knowing in action. To really become an expert in this KP (and this is an important one in both the academic and “real” world), students need ongoing and consistent feedback related to citing works.  The embedded librarian plays a vital role in fostering this KP.
Understand that intellectual property is a legal and social construct that varies by culture; Problem Solving Follow both national and international intellectual property laws. Many students may never tackle this KP at a scholarly level. However, the realities of intellectual property law are present in policies such as those related to illegal downloading and file sharing, so this KP must be addressed as soon as students enter higher education (library orientation is a good entry point).
Articulate the purpose and distinguishing characteristics of copyright, fair use, open access, and the public domain; Ways of Thinking; Communication Utilize information sources in a way that reflects copyright and fair use laws. As discussed above, this KP should be addressed as soon as students enter higher education. It will be assessed through students’ actions across courses (e.g., plagiarism checker tools).
Understand how and why some individuals or groups of individuals may be underrepresented or systematically marginalized within the systems that produce and disseminate information; Ways of Thinking Participate in or support activities that provide voice to a diversity of students. Working with student services, the library can serve as a sounding board for a variety of activities that support diversity (e.g., writing contests, library displays). In the classroom, critical pedagogies support this KP.
Recognize issues of access or lack of access to information sources; Ways of Thinking; Communication Participate in campus or community activities that improve accessibility to information resources. Librarians can work with campus and community groups to collaborate on programs that support this KP. For example, adult literacy outreach, collecting books to donate to local schools, etc.…
Decide where and how their information is published; Communication


All three of these KP’s are inter-related. The results of decision-making are the actions that express them. For many students, this KP will impact them primarily at the personal and career levels. Maturity plays a big role here, and it really requires cross-campus participation in programs that address the underlying implications of bad decision-making regarding this KP. The library can certainly spearhead such a program, but should include other areas of campus such as the career center and campus safety.







Understand how the commodification of their personal information and online interactions affects the information they receive and the information they produce or disseminate online;


Make informed choices regarding their online actions in full awareness of issues related to privacy and the commodification of personal information.

Analyzing the Knowledge Practices of the ACRL Framework (Part II)

For this post, I delved into the “Information Creation as a Process” frame. Again, I found that most of the knowledge practices were written more like cognitive processes.

In fact, others have made that same observation, which is what led me to examine the ACRL Framework knowledge practices more closely. It also led me to research by Karl Maton, who is developing a framework for analyzing knowledge practices called legitimation code theory. I am currently reading his book, Knowledge and Knowers, Towards a Realist Sociology of Education (I plan to use his work as a basis for my dissertation research).

Anyway, here is Part II, analysis of the “Information Creation as a Process” frame. Notice that I use the terms activity and community of practice throughout. This was intentional (I’ll go into further discussion of why when I have completed the analysis of all the frames).

Information Creation as a Process

Knowledge Practice

IL Facet

Knowing in Action

Instructional Strategies

Articulate the capabilities and constraints of information developed through various creation processes; Communication Participate in critical discourse about the strengths and limitations of the communication modalities that are used within a particular community of practice. For first- or second-year students, an introduction to this knowledge practice might come in the form of a reflective activity. How do students share information within their own social circles? What are the strengths and limitations of those communication modes? Eventually, students will transfer these reflective practices to their own disciplinary area. Also, consider ethnographic exercises examining the communication modalities of specific cultures or communities (this can work in a variety of courses).
Assess the fit between an information product’s creation process and a particular information need; Ways of Thinking Utilize information modalities that fit the needs and expectations of the activity and community of practice. This knowledge practice is observable through student output (e.g., research papers, presentations). The concept of community of practice is especially important here because “fit” is determined by cultural and organizational expectations.
Articulate the traditional and emerging processes of information creation and dissemination in a particular discipline; Communication Participate in scholarly or professional communication across multiple modalities within a particular discipline. Participation in this knowledge practice requires more than an intellectual articulation of the concept at hand. Once students enter their chosen field, they should aim toward full participation in their community of practice. That means sharing and communicating information through a variety of modalities. For example, writing a scholarly blog, delivering a virtual conference presentation, or publishing a scholarly or trade article. Of course, the processes of information creation will be dependent on their community of practice.
Recognize that information may be perceived differently based on the format in which it is packaged; Ways of Thinking; Communication Communicate informational messages in a modality that best reflects the values and expectations of the intended audience. This knowledge practice encompasses the objectives of media literacy. Activities that focus on message design can help foster this knowledge practice. Additionally, critical comparison of similar messages delivered through multiple modes can help students reflect on the situational nature of media.
Recognize the implications of information formats that contain static or dynamic information; Ways of Thinking; Communication Communicate the static or dynamic nature of an information format within an activity. Instruction on the proper citation of sources (e.g., Wikipedia, scholarly article) is one way to make this knowledge practice visible. Students need to know the what, why, and when of using static vs. dynamic sources. And this knowledge practice is inherent within every activity that requires decision making about what types of information sources to use (e.g., research papers, debates, online discussions).
Monitor the value that is placed upon different types of information products in varying contexts; Ways of Thinking; Follow the lifespan of information products within both formal and informal communities of practice. One strategy for this knowledge practice is to have students follow the lifespan of a scholarly article through citation or impact analysis. Less formally, and perhaps more suited to first- and second-year students, analyzing the impact of something like a classic television commercial (then vs. now) might be more engaging, and certainly more interesting.
Transfer knowledge of capabilities and constraints to new types of information products; Ways of Thinking; Communication Create an information product that fits the communication needs of a particular community of practice. This knowledge practice transforms the first knowledge practice in this frame from a reflective state to an active and creative state. Activities that focus on message design can also help foster this knowledge practice.
Develop, in their own creation processes, an understanding that their choices impact the purposes for which the information product will be used and the message it conveys. Communication Create an information product that fits the communication needs of a particular community of practice. See above.