Foundations – The 5As of Information Fluency

In acquiring a new skill there is a learning model called the four stages of competency. Stage one is unconscious incompetence; stage two is conscious incompetence; stage three is conscious competence; and stage four unconscious competence. In the book, Literacy is NOT Enough, when Lee Crockett, Ian Jukes, and Andrew Churches refer to fluency, they are intimating stage four unconscious competency.

From the book: “We define Information Fluency as the ability to unconsciously and intuitively interpret information in all forms and formats in order to extract the essential knowledge, perceive its meaning and significance, and use it to complete real world tasks. There are five distinct steps to the Information Fluency process: Ask, Access, Analyze, Apply, and Assess.”

Here is a short video in which Lee Crockett describes Information Fluency.

The 5As of Information Fluency:

Ask: Asking is about formulating relevant and meaningful questions that will lead to correct information.

Acquire: Answering the questions involves acquiring the essential raw data by accessing the most appropriate high-tech, low-tech, or no-tech sources.

Analyze: The raw information is unfiltered and unverified. Before it can be utilized, it must be analyzed and authenticated by validating sources to determine whether something is true or not, and distinguishing between fact and opinion.

Apply: Apply is the stage where actions are taken, problems are solved, and questions needs to be satisfied. Being able to access huge amounts of data means nothing unless the data is effectively analyzed, turned into personal knowledge, and applied to solving problems with real-world relevancy.

Assess: Assess is a critical step that is often overlooked. Once the information has been utilized, you must be able to reflect critically on the process, considering how each stage could be improved and which sources were most effective.


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