Transferability: The Application of Information Literacy Competencies to Academic Area-of-Interest Course Research Paper Among Adult College Students in an Undergraduate Liberal Arts Program

Lilleth C. Newby Beckford, College of New Rochelle


This non-experimental exploratory sequential study was undertaken to assess the extent to which adult students can transfer and apply information literacy competencies, based on the AAC&U Information Literacy VALUE Rubric, to a research paper required in an area-of interest, intermediate or advanced level course. Participants were enrolled in an undergraduate liberal arts college degree program in a school designed on the andragogical model of adult education. Participants had completed a 2-credit information literacy course during a previous semester. To ascertain the students’ information literacy competencies, course research papers were assessed using three of the five components of the rubric. The targeted components were the ability to: determine the extent of information needed; use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose; and, access information ethically and legally. Based on the achieved scores, the students demonstrated a greater ability to find appropriate scholarly resources, and, to incorporate those ideas into their research papers than the ability to acknowledge and credit authorship of original sources.