The information process

Information Fluency

An information fluent person is one who can satisfy their changing information needs, pursue independent lifelong learning, and contribute to the development of an informed society in a seamless process.

There has been, and continues to be, an explosion of knowledge and enormous advances in technology as society moves to the future. As a result, we live in an information environment characterised by:

  • an expansion of the range of sources of information
  • the transient nature of information

It is essential for students to develop fluency in using information as part of the knowledge, skills, behaviours and attitudes necessary for lifelong learning. People who are aware of information sources and literacy, who have the confidence to approach them, and the flexibility of thinking to use them, have the basis for a better quality of life than those who are unable to pursue their information needs.

Schools need to provide planned opportunities for students to develop towards information fluency.

The Library Policy – Schools, indicates that one purpose of the school library is

to enhance teaching and students’ learning within the total program of the school by … providing opportunities for students to develop information skills and use them confidently and competently.

The Information Fluency Framework is the primary source of information outcomes and processes for teacher librarians and school staff to use together with Information skills in the school, as a support document to the Library Policy.

When partnered with the Department’s Quality Teaching model, the Information Fluency Framework incorporates:

  • a broad range of curriculum outcomes
  • the general capabilities
  • digital literacies
  • cross-curriculum priorities

The Information Fluency Framework enables inquiry learning and learning across the curriculum. The Information Fluency Framework is divided into five elements:

  • Social
  • Literate
  • Innovative
  • Critical
  • Ethical
Image: Visual representation of the Information Fluency Framework, incorporating the general capabilities

Developing fluent information users

People who use information successfully display the following characteristics:

  • they are able to add to their core knowledge and frequently do so
  • they use a variety of information sources and the necessary technology
  • they are able to process the information which surrounds them
  • they are confident in their ability to use information effectively

The school plays an important part in developing these characteristics in students by focusing on specific information-related competencies. Such competencies are sometimes referred to as inquiry skills.

Integrating information fluency into the curriculum

The responsibility for integrating information fluency into the curriculum rests with the whole school. This responsibility is reinforced by executive supervision of classroom and specialist teachers who are facilitators of the process with students.

Students at any stage, from Kindergarten to Year 12, require opportunities to develop information fluency. As students become along the progression, they can complete increasingly sophisticated and difficult tasks. This also applies to the resources they can use.

To create a learning environment which fosters the development of information fluency, schools should provide a program which allows for teacher and student flexibility in exploring curriculum tasks and problems. Such flexibility would allow:

  • consideration of available resources
  • inclusion of students' existing knowledge
  • provision for individual differences in skill development and learning styles when information skills are incorporated into student learning

The information process

The information process is the series of steps that anyone takes to complete an information task. It is a model of information processing.

Image: The information process

Steps in the process

  • What is my purpose?
  • Why do I need to find this out?
  • What are the key words and ideas of the task?
  • What do I need to do?

Students should be able to:

  • relate the task to their learning
  • clarify the meanings of the words of the task
  • identify and interpret key words and ideas in the task
  • state the task in their own words
  • work out the parts of the task

Steps in the process

  • What do I already know?
  • What do I still need to find out?
  • What sources and equipment can I use?

Students should be able to:

  • recall relevant information and skills from previous experience
  • recognise strengths and limitations of current knowledge and decide whether additional information and/or skills are needed
  • limit an investigation to a manageable size
  • identify possible sources (people, organisations, places, print, electronic materials, objects)
  • recognise the relative worth of sources
  • select the best of these sources to use
  • locate sources and appropriate equipment
  • use appropriate equipment
  • record details of sources that are used

Steps in the process

  • What information can I leave out?
  • How relevant is the information I have found?
  • How credible is the information I have found?
  • How will I record the information I need?

Students should be able to:

  • begin to analyse the usefulness of each source
  • use key words to locate potentially useful information within sources
  • skim each source for information
  • identify information that has links with the task
  • assess and respect privacy and ownership of information
  • decide what to do about deficiencies with information
  • decide whether information is closer to fact or opinion
  • identify inconsistency and bias in sources
  • devise a system for recording and synthesising information
  • summarise information
  • record quotations and sources of information

Steps in the process

  • Have I enough information for my purpose?
  • Do I need to use all this information?
  • How can I best combine information from different sources?

Students should be able to:

  • review the purpose of the task
  • combine the information into larger units of information
  • combine the units of information into a structure
  • review the structure in light of the purpose of the task
  • adjust the structure where necessary

Steps in the process

  • What will I do with this information?
  • With whom will I share this information?

Students should be able to:

  • identify the requirements of different forms of presentation
  • consider the nature of the audience for the presentation
  • select a form and style of presentation appropriate to the audience and the content of the material
  • prepare the presentation
  • present the information

Steps in the process

  • Did I fulfil my purpose?
  • How did I go - with each step of the information process?
  • How did I go - presenting the information?
  • Where do I go from here?

Students should be able to:

  • review the extent to which the end product meets the requirements of the task
  • assess their use of this process in completing the task
  • examine strengths and weaknesses in specific information skills
  • identify increases in knowledge
  • set personal goals for the further development of information skills


  • Teaching and learning


  • Learning
  • Teaching

Business Unit:

  • Teaching Quality and Impact
Return to top of page Back to top