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Library Graduate Attribute Toolkit

Guide to assessment examples to support teaching to achieve graduate attributes.

Locate, organise, analyse, synthesise and evaluate information (Graduate Attribute 8)

Relates to Australian and New Zealand Information Literacy Framework standards:

  • Finds needed information effectively and efficiently. 
    • Learning Outcomes:
      - selects the most appropriate methods or tools for finding information
      - constructs and implements effective search strategies
      - obtains information using appropriate methods
      - keeps up to date with information sources, information technologies, information
      - access tools and investigative methods
  • Critically evaluates information and the information seeking process.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      - assesses the usefulness and relevance of the information obtained
      - defines and applies criteria for evaluating information
      - reflects on the information seeking process and revises search strategies as necessary
  • Manages information collected and generated.
    • Learning Outcomes:
      - records information and its sources
      - organises (orders/classifies/stores) information

Manage resources and citation information

ACU Library provides access to tools which can help researchers manage their resources and citation information. These tools enable you to:

  • store and organise citation information for books, book chapters, journal articles, websites, conference papers and theses.
  • import information from databases, add notes, images and files (e.g pdf) to records.
  • create and format intext citations and reference lists in a selected style (e.g. APA, Chicago, Harvard, MLA) in Microsoft Word or Open Office Writer documents.

The Australian Catholic University has an organisational subscription to EndNote and RefWorks. ACU staff and students can access these programs both on campus and off campus.  Click below to download.


Finding Suitable Information:  Provide students with a set of web pages and note reasons why these pages are or are not appropriate for university level student research or for in-class use. [1]

Research Log:  Keep a record of library research - methodology, sources consulted, keywords or headings searched, noting both successes and failures. The Lecturer can provide a sample entry to guide students in the structure. Require that this be turned in throughout the semester, and with the final research project. [1]

Search Strategy:  As part of an activity that requires searching an electronic database for information, include the search strategy developed/used for that search, and analyse how it was refined and what made it more (or less) successful. [2]

Search Strategy Paraphrase:  Ask students to paraphrase what they have learned about search strategies for a younger sibling or friend who has asked for help with an assignment. [2]


Compare Database and Internet Searching:  Provide a precise statement of the search topic. Run the search on the Internet and also on a database such as EbscoHost. Provide students with a precise search statement, ask the students to run the search using a web search engine such as Google and a library subscription database. Present  representation of the search results and compare the findings. Was one source better than the other, if so why and how?  Justify the choice of databases. [3]

Database Search:  Provide a precise statement of the search topic, a list of keywords or thesaurus terms (as appropriate), and an outline of search logic. Justify the choice of databases. Carry out the search. Find a specified number of references and write a short explanation on why the particular reference is relevant to the search topic. [2]

Identifying Major Journals:  How many journals are published in a given field? Identify [with the Lecturer's help] journals "basic" to the discipline. Compare and contrast them. Analyse their content, tone, audience and impact. [3]

Finding Additional and Supporting Information:  Give the students an article to critique. Have them locate two Internet sources which support their response to the topic. Have them cite the URLs and highlight the points that show support of their response. [1]


Annotated bibliography: Create an annotated bibliography, which includes evaluative annotations. This can include a range of sources. Compile 10 sources for a bibliography. Pick 3 or 5 of the best. Justify the choices or explain selection criteria. [2]

Tracing a Scholar’s Career: Students choose (or are assigned) a scholar/researcher. Explore that person's career and ideas by locating biographical information, preparing a bibliography of his/her writings, analysing the reaction of the scholarly community to the researcher's work, and examining the scholarly network in which s/he works. [1]

Tracking an Author or a “Classic” Paper Through a Citation Index: Trace an important paper through a citation index. What does it mean to be "cited"? Explain the importance of a scholar to be cited. [1]

Web perspectives and Internet search: Use the Internet to find material that represents a variety of perspectives on a topic, then develop an interpretation of it. Provide a precise statement of the search topic and an outline of the search logic. Run the search on two different search engines. Compare the results from the two searches - was one better than the other, why, how.