TMC7 Loertscher

The STIC Model: Six Tests of Information Confidence 

by David Loertscher

Dr Loertscher has been working on a robust tool that, “would encourage all people, young or old, to come into command of their own strategies for deciding what to trust, believe, and act upon.” The question is, “Should this information be allowed to STIC (stick) in my brain or should I flush it?” Dr Loertscher suggests that teaching the STIC model along with a heavy dose of lateral reading increases the sophistication and success of validating sources for students. Then in his typical style Dr Loertscher ends with the Big Think and an assignment for readers.

Dr. David Loertscher has degrees from the University of Utah, the University of Washington and a Ph.D. from Indiana University. He has been a school library media specialist in Nevada and Idaho at both the elementary and secondary school levels. He has taught at Purdue University, The University of Arkansas, The University of Oklahoma, and is presently a professor at the School of Library and Information Science at San Jose State University. He served as head of the editorial department at Libraries Unlimited for ten years and is President of Hi Willow Research & Publishing LMC Source.  He has been a president of the American Association of School Librarians. Email him at:

Read the paper.


  1. David, I love your lust for ongoing learning! This paper encourages readers to really revise their reliance on using the CRAAP test (which many people have pointed out has potential problems).

    (Not sure why alliteration has totally taken over my train of thought while typing this response - could it be because of the Six Test using all those Ws?)

    I'm going to need an extension on that homework to investigate Carol Kulhthau's work and apply the STIC test to it (4 decades of research? Now that's longitudinal!) It'll be interesting to see the results. Thanks for continuing to push thinking in school library land.
    Diana M

  2. David, I'm thrilled that you've tackled this topic. In my own article, I confidently declared checklists like CRAAP to be dead, and I must say I feel validated by your paper! Our information environment is far too complex to rely on simple checklists. Couros and Hildebrandt (CSL Journal, 2018) talk about taking an investigative approach to information literacy.

    "Essentially, one of the key challenges of the current age is the need to retrain ourselves to look at the world with an attitude that demands that we question everything, not so that we are paralyzed by uncertainty but so that we are liberated, freed from a world of mistruths and able to assess “reality” in order to create a more accurate picture of the world than the one that is being presented."

    What your paper does is put all of this into a useful pedagogical framework. It fosters questioning and critical thinking, but also provides scaffolding to help students frame their investigations.

  3. David this is one model that is going to STIC with students and teachers alike. I think it would really well with concept attainment to show the difference, for example, between For What Reason and For What Gain. I really appreciate how you've incorporated so many Jamboards in your report and how there is a visual metaphor in each for mnemonics. Of course I have a fondness for metacognition as the catalyst for future inquiry so that area is my favourite part of your learning activity outline.

  4. Information literacy is a huge passion of mine and how to teach it well in a world increasingly divided by misinformation was one of things I struggled most with as a high school Teacher Librarian.

    I have encountered it in teacher colleagues who have listened to reports of our bargaining through the media rather than reading the official information and then are shocked when its not true. The pandemic as well provided a lot of competing information and communicating correctly was very challenging. My roommate still cannot get his head around the fact that vaccines for viruses do not prevent infection, but instead reduce severity. This contextual use of a word which works similarly but not completely the same in different contexts is another larger issue, that I'm not sure how will effectively address as explaining it does not always seem to be efficacious.

    I appreciate how the STIC model offers paths to information literacy but does not define a singular road. It's definitely one I want to.lewrn more about and the Professional Development for teachers on this is already percolating!


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