"During the Interpretation stage, searchers assess the usefulness of their information and reflect to develop personal meaning. Information requires interpretation to become knowledge. The Interpretation stage engages searchers in the process of analyzing, synthesizing and evaluating information to determine its relevancy and usefulness to their research question or information need. Interpretation is another stage in this holistic process that is very important and often neglected. Instructional activities or units must first be designed to require students to engage in critical thinking or problem solving. If critical thinking is not a part of the learning plan, there is no need to interpret information and searchers are stuck at the knowledge level of learning" (Pappas & Tepe, 1997).

Note. Pathways to Knowledge (, by M.L. Pappas and A.E. Tepe, 1997, is used with permission from Follett Software Company. Copyright by Follett Software Company, 1391 Corporate Drive, McHenry, Illinois 60050.


Checklist of Observable Behaviors

Assessing usefulness of information

Reflecting to develop personal meaning

A. Interpret information

___   1. Inferring

___   2. Drawing conclusions

___   3. Paraphrasing

___   4. Filtering information (point of view, bias, etc.)

___   5. Reflecting

___   6. Organizing information

___   7. Practicing responsible and ethical use of 

___   8. Comparing and contrasting

___   9. Analyzing

___ 10. Determining credibility
___ 11. Classifying

___ 12. Evaluating information

___ 13. Understanding cause and effect

___ 14. Integrating concepts

___ 15. Synthesizing

___ 16. Determining themes and patterns

___ 17. Evaluating information to support or refute a 
             problem or research question


               Pappas, M.L., & Tepe, A.E. (1997).  Pathways to knowledge: Follett's Information Skills Model (3rd ed.).  McHenry, IL: Follett Software.  Available:  


    Middle school students watch a video scenario on a laserdisc that depicts pollution problems in the oceans. Students work in groups to figure out what is causing the pollution and how the problem can be solved. Students make inferences from their readings and draw conclusions in small groups. Each small group shares its conclusions with the whole class. The class analyzes the situation and makes inferences about the causes of pollution. Finally the teacher enters the decisions of the class into the simulation software, which provides feedback about the problem that tells students if they have solved the problem or whether they must continue to evaluate the situation in further video scenarios and readings.