A Note to the Instructor


What is Go for the Gold?

Go for the Gold (http:\\www.lib.jmu.edu\gold) is a set of Web-based instructional modules designed to teach students the following information literacy skills:

  1. Identify and locate library services and collections.

  2. Formulate and conduct an information search that includes a variety of reference sources, such as encyclopedias, library catalogs, indexes, bibliographies, statistics sources, government publications, and resources available on the Internet.

  3. Evaluate information in terms of accuracy, authority, bias, and relevance.

  4. Employ efficient database searching techniques, such as use of Boolean operators, truncation, phrase searching, nesting, and field-specific searching.

  5. Identify the bibliographic elements essentials for properly citing an information source.

  6. Apply appropriate ethical guidelines to the use of information.

How can I make sure my students learn information literacy skills?

Go for the Gold Exercises

The eight modules in Go for the Gold contain exercises that students complete online. The exercises are composed of multiple choice questions students may answer by reading the modules and searching appropriate databases. After completing the exercises, they will submit their responses and receive feedback. Students who wish to improve their score may study the content of the module, redo the questions they missed, and resubmit their responses.

Students' scores for each module will be stored in the Exercise Score Report Database for instructors to view. To see your students' scores, go to the Go for the Gold program and click on Exercise Score Reports. Enter your JMU userid and password. Your students will be listed in alphabetical order with their scores on each of the eight modules.

Course-related Assignments

In order to give students practice in using the basic skills presented in Go for the Gold, GENED Cluster One faculty make assignments that require students to find information related to the content of the course.  A well designed information literacy assignment:


  • relates to course objectives
  • specifies information literacy learning objectives
  • requires the student to find and use information to generate a product (paper, speech, brochure, debate etc.)
  • provides guidance or instruction on sources to consult and search strategy
  • has a clear set of instructions




For more guidelines on how to make effective assignments, see Information Literacy Assignment Checklist.

Following is an assignment that may be helpful for Cluster One students:

Information-Seeking Skills Test (Requirement)
The General Education program requires students taking Cluster One courses to demonstrate proficiency in information-seeking skills by passing the online Information-Seeking Skills Test (ISST) by the end of the first year. The best preparation for the test is to read the eight Go for theGold modules and do the accompanying exercises. The ISST is administered in Ashby Hall - L7.

PowerPoint Slide Shows

If your students need additional help, the following slide shows may be helpful:


In 2010, the libraries invested in a library discovery tool, known here as QuickSearch.  QuickSearch is combined search of large EBSCO databases (like Academic Search Complete) and the Library Catalog.  QuickSearch is featured prominently (by design) on the libraries' webpage. 

QuickSearch Image

Students can locate books, articles, videos with one search.  We recommend students start here when looking for sources that might be useful for lower division courses and move to the Subject Guides when they need to search for disciplinary-specific materials. 

The library welcomes feedback from faculty on Go for the Gold and any other matters of concern. Please address suggestions or comments to:



Send comments to: Go for the Gold
© James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA