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Instructors' Guide for Truth, Lies & Information Management

Scenario-Based Learning

Understanding By Design advocates applied understanding - meaning students demonstrate their understanding by applying what they have learned in scenarios.

Scenario-based assignments are a great way for students to practice their information literacy and critical thinking.  The scenario frames the purpose of the assignment as one where a decision needs to be made to solve a problem.  Students readily understand a problem solving situation and can often provide deeper demonstration of their information literacy understanding.

Personal Information Literacy Scenarios

Financial Decision Scenario Using Information Literacy Abilities

Purchase a used car  - Each student has to buy a used car with $6,000 from cars.com looking at cars in your area, comparing information on the website and Consumer Reports.

Medical Decision Scenario Using Information Literacy Abilities

  • Advise to a friend recently diagnosed with HIV about a website that claims HIV doesn't cause AIDS on whether he should get medical treatment.
  • Advise your sister as to whether your young nephew should receive the MMR vaccine as she is worried it will cause autism.

Professional Information Literacy Scenarios

Students pick a profession to explore and choose a scenario where that profession is tasked to advise on a solution to a problem. Below are some example scenarios for the professional role:

Education/Teacher Scenario – Your school district has been mandated to spend more time teaching elementary school students reading and math.  There are discussions about how to handle this issue.  Some argue for a longer school day, others for a longer school year.  There is another group stating that eliminating recess would work too.  You have been tasked by your school principal to make a presentation to the district school board answering this question: Should your school district reduce the length of recess in order to fit more classwork into the curriculum?


Criminal Justice/Psychology Scenario – After the suicide of Kalief Browder, there has been a national debate about the use of solitary confinement for juvenile offenders.  Many people argue that solitary confinement creates permanent mental illness in prisoners and shouldn’t be used at all.  Others think it can be used in moderation.  Many professionals that work in prisons think solitary confinement is a key tool to protecting prison and jail employees.  The Kansas Department of Corrections Juvenile Services Division has contacted you to present a proposal to them:  Should juvenile offender facilities in the state of Kansas ban solitary confinement of juveniles?


Health Sciences/Nursing Scenario  – Across the US, there has been a steady increase in the number of nurses who have been injured at work.  The majority of nurse injuries are to their backs and it is believed these injuries are caused primarily from lifting patients.  Conversations are going on across the country regarding how to reduce this problem.  Some believe that a fix to the problem is to have nurses lift patients in teams.  Others argue that nurses just need better training on how to lift patients.  Another group states there is no safe way for nurses to lift a patient and call for another solution altogether.  The CEO and Nurse Administrator of your hospital have tasked you with giving them a recommendation.  You will make a proposal answering this question: Should your hospital install patient lifting equipment in each room to reduce nurse injuries?