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Poster 10

Increasing student confidence through information literacy

Diane Bell - Research Librarian  |  Library Services

Key issues to be addressed are

Library Services offers information literacy workshops on citing and referencing and other topics to encourage student success in using information effectively.

“Information literacy is the ability to think critically and make balanced judgements about any information we find and use” (CILIP, 2018, p. 3).

This poster illustrates practical techniques, activities and outcomes in addressing student questions and increasing their confidence. It uses an example of a newly redesigned citing and referencing workshop.  This includes encouraging the creation of new materials and workshops and learning from the experiences of and questions asked by students to continuously develop these.


  • Designing a workshop incorporating a variety of teaching and learning activities.
  • Assisting students to develop skills, knowledge and increase their confidence (CILIP, 2018).
  • How to gather and analyse timely feedback and comments from students to inform practice?

Teaching and learning approaches

We use different teaching approaches such as handouts, activities, quizzes, Q&A to encourage student engagement. We encourage students to share and demonstrate their learning in workshops and are informed by their experiences, we then continuously evaluate and update our materials.
Bawden and Robinson (2009) discussed information overload and anxiety. We have developed a self-assessment feedback form to allow students to reflect on their perceived confidence levels before and after the workshop and also to give their comments.


Information literacy development encourages students to consider their use of information and sources of help and use these coherently in their studies (Bent, 2013). We find a high level of engagement from students in the new workshops in terms of questions asked and active participation.  Early analysis of the feedback forms by exporting data from the survey software into Excel and analysing it suggests students feel more confident in their abilities and know where to find the appropriate information after the workshop.


Bawden, D. and Robinson, L. (2009) ‘The dark side of information: overload, anxieties and other paradoxes and pathologies, Journal of Information Science, 35(2), pp. 180-191. Available at: (Accessed: 16 April 2019).

Bent, M. (2013) ‘Developing academic literacies’, in Secker, J. and Coonan, E. (eds.) Rethinking information literacy: a practical framework for teaching. London: Facet, pp.27-40. Available at: (Accessed: 16 April 2019).

CILIP (2018) CILIP definition of information literacy 2018.  Available at: (Accessed: 05 March 2019).