We all suffer from information overload. There’s just too much “stuff” out there, and it’s not easy to keep up. At the same time, there’s an irony—yes, we are surrounded by information, but we can never seem to find what we want, when we want it, and in a form we want it so that we can use it effectively.
The Big6 is a process model of how people of all ages solve an information problem. From practice and study, we found that successful information problem-solving encompasses six stages with two sub-stages under each:
Schnider, D'yani. "Big Six Education Research Process." Behance. Adobe Systems Inc., 20 Aug. 2011. Web. 17 Aug. 2013. <http://www.behance.net/gallery/Big-Six-Education-Research-Process/1991425>.
"Big6 Skills Overview." Big6. Big6, 2013. Web. 17 Aug. 2013. <http://big6.com/pages/about/big6-skills-overview.php>.http://big6.com/pages/about/big6-skills-overview.php
People go through these Big6 stages—consciously or not—when they seek or apply information to solve a problem or make a decision. It’s not necessary to complete these stages in a linear order, and a given stage doesn’t have to take a lot of time. We have found that in almost all successful problem-solving situations, all stages are addressed.
In addition to considering the Big6 as a process, another useful way to view the Big6 is as a set of basic, essential life skills. These skills can be applied across situations—to school, personal, and work settings. The Big6 Skills are applicable to all subject areas across the full range of grade levels. Students use the Big6 Skills whenever they need information to solve a problem, make a decision, or complete a task.