Best Practices in Information Literacy Assessment

Report
BEST PRACTICES IN INFORMATION
LITERACY ASSESSMENT
Yvonne Mery, Vicki Mills, Jill Newby, University of Arizona Libraries
February 11, 2009
Information Literacy Competency Standards
for Higher Education
An information literate individual is able to:
1.
Determine the extent of information needed
2.
Access the needed information effectively and
efficiently
3.
Evaluate information and its sources critically and
incorporates selected information into one’s knowledge
base
4.
Use information effectively to accomplish a specific
purpose
5.
Understand the economic, legal, and social issues
surrounding the use of information, and access and use
information ethically and legally
Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education
Application
Competency Standard Three: The information literate student evaluates information
and its sources critically and incorporates selected information into his or her
knowledge base and value system.
Performance Indicator 2: The information literate student articulates and applies
initial criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources.
Outcomes include:
 Examines and compares information from various sources in order to evaluate
reliability, validity, accuracy, authority, timeliness, and point of view or bias
 Analyzes the structure and logic of supporting arguments or methods
 Recognizes prejudice, deception, or manipulation
 Recognizes the cultural, physical, or other context within which the information
was created and understands the impact of context on interpreting the
information
Standardized Tests for
Information Literacy Competencies
SAILS - Standardized Assessment of Information


Literacy Skills
Based on Information Literacy Competency
Standards
Uses Multiple-choice questions
 Each

item tied to a single Info Lit standard outcome
Provides reports of average student performance
 Skill
set and by Info Lit standards
 Cohort based -- class standing , major or other
designation
Standardized Tests for
Information Literacy Competencies
iSkills™
 Assesses Information and Communication Technology
(ICT)
 Based on Information Literacy Competency
Standards
 Uses scenario based questions
 Reports: individual; aggregate task performance;
institutional skill area results with peer data
Piloting Standardized Tests
Lessons Learned

Recruitment of subjects
 Human

Subjects Requirements
Costs
 Staff
Time
 Incentives
 Administration fees

Requires collaboration and buy-in with campus
administration and departments
Information Literacy
Assessment Best Practices


Acknowledges differences in learning and teaching styles by using a variety
of appropriate outcome measures, such as portfolio assessment, oral
defense, quizzes, essays, direct observation, anecdotal, peer and self
review, and experience
Focuses on student performance, knowledge acquisition, and attitude
appraisal

Assesses both process and product

Includes student-, peer-, and self-evaluation

Includes periodic review of assessment/evaluation methods
"Characteristics of Programs of Information Literacy that Illustrate Best Practices: A Guideline,"
American Library Association, July 07, 2006.
http://www.ala.org/ala/mgrps/divs/acrl/standards/characteristics.cfm
Attempts at Assessment for Information
Literacy Instruction


Problems with assessing learning in one-shot session
Assessment methods we have used:



One minute paper – students tell us 3 things they learned;
what they are still confused about
Interviews or surveys of students after the research
assignment – did the research session help them? What
did they learn?
Interviews or surveys of instructors after the research
assignment – did the research session help your students
do better research? Do you think learning happened?
Assessment methods (cont.)
 Reading
student research logs or one entry on their
research experience in their class journal
 Observing students doing a focused assignment – this
is done most frequently
 Grading a research assignment
 Assignment directly related to skills taught in class
 Assignment showing broader application of skills –
annotated bibliography
 Pre and post tests
Integrating Info Lit into Curriculum




Best results when information literacy skills are
integrated into the course
Library has been in partnership with English Writing
Program for many years
Linked learning outcomes for Info Lit with those of
composition course and assignment
Working to make the formal library/info lit
instruction a part of course – taught by librarian and
instructor
Integrating Info Lit into Curriculum




We have a Library Resources module that can be
uploaded into D2L.
We have an instructor’s site with links to many ideas
for activities.
We have a subject guide that helps focus on the best
resources for their research.
This site includes a variety of tutorials we have
created to help teach skills.
Assessment Tools




Survey Monkey
Annotated Bibliography
Articulate
Captivate
Survey Monkey
Survey Monkey Attitudinal
Survey Monkey Quiz
Question Type




Reading citations
Identifying library
resources
Selecting keywords and
constructing search strings
Narrowing topics
Pre
Post
61%
60%
92%
85%
49%
28%
56%
48%
Towards Performance Based
Assessment

Annotated Bibliography
 Retrieve
relevant articles
 Cite properly
 Synthesize information
 Apply information
Information Literacy Assessment Online




D2L
Articulate
Captivate
HTML/PHP

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