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Assessing Information Literacy. Facilitated by: Sonja Eads & Margo Hamm Maysville Community and Technical College Library. Assessment of IL.

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Assessing Information Literacy

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Assessing Information Literacy

Facilitated by:

Sonja Eads & Margo Hamm

Maysville Community and Technical College Library

Assessment of IL

  • Assessing student learning outcomes in relation to information literacy has been a hot topic sense the 1990’s but well-designed tools for library assessment have been lacking.

  • Why haven’t librarians been able to develop and implement successful assessment tools?

  • More specially, what are some of the obstacles we face as librarians when it comes to assessment?

Exercise 1 (2 minutes)

  • Briefly discuss with your neighbor your library’s current assessment practices.

  • Make a list of obstacles you have encountered in developing and implementing assessment of IL.


  • Lack of access to students, generally faculty request IL instruction and not all faculty are willing to give up course time for library time.

  • Inadequate library staffing

  • Inadequate teaching facilities in the library

  • Resources/money

  • Lack of institutional support

So why are Librarians so concerned with assessment?

  • SACS imposed requirements requiring “evidence of student learning”

  • ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education

  • And more importantly personal desires to improve teaching methods and student learning

Common Examples of Assessment Methods

  • Curriculum and syllabi analysis

  • Library quizzes

  • Library surveys

  • College surveys

  • Library focus groups and interviews

  • Observations

Establishing your assessment program

  • According to Barbara Walvoord, a meaningful assessment program must start with identifying and documenting the desired student learning outcomes.

Planning your assessment through Storyboarding

  • What is a Storyboard?

  • We will use the concept for managing an assessment plan rather than for making a movie.

Storyboarding: A Project Management Tool for Assessing IL

  • As you plan for assessment, it’s important to develop a solid understanding of student learning outcome goals, and how the various elements of your assessment plan will fit together promoting student success.

  • Storyboarding is a tool that makes an excellent companion when planning your assessment of information literacy, because it helps you identify the detailed tasks, steps, actions and events as well as the sequence, timing and allocation of responsibilities established.

Questions to consider while creating your storyboard (5 minutes)

  • Why should your library assess information literacy instruction?

  • Who is responsible for assessing information literacy?

  • When should you do the assessment and how often?

  • What specific SLO are you assessing?

  • What resources do you need to conduct the assessment?

  • What methods of assessment will you use?

  • How will you use the collected data?

  • How does this assessment help students?

  • How is this assessment strengthening your instructional program?

  • How does this assessment fit into your institutional goals?

Are Rubrics Useful for Assessing IL?





Selected Bibliography

  • Avery, Elizabeth Fuseler . Assessing Student Learning Outcomes for Information Literacy Instruction in Academic Institutions. Chicago, Illinois, USA: American Library Association, (2003): 9,32,140. Print.

  • Banta, Trudy W. Building a Scholarship of Assessment. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass, 2002. Print.

  • Donham, Jean. "Creating Personal Learning through Self-Assessment." Teacher Librarian 37.3 (2010): 14. Web. 5 Apr 2010.

  • Merz, Lawrie H., and Beth L. Mark. Assessment in College Library Instruction Programs. Clip Note . #32. Chicago, Illinois, USA: American Library Association, 2002. Print.

  • Oakleaf, Megan. "Dangers and Opportunities: A Conceptual Map of Information Literacy Assessment Approaches." Johns Hopkins University Press 8.3 (2008): 233-253. Web. 13 Apr 2010.

  • Oalkleaf, Megan, and Neal Kaske. "Guiding Questions for Assessing Information Literacy in Higher Education." John Hopkins University Press 9.2 (2009): 273. Web. 5 Apr 2010.

  • Sutherland, Kerry. "Librarians As Literacy Sponsors: a critique of information literacy assessment tools." Progressive Librarian Summer (2009): 18. Print.

  • Taylor, Terry, Joan Arth, Amy Solomon, and Naomi Williamson. 100% Information Literacy Success. Clifton Park, NY,USA: Thompson Delmar Learning, 2007. Print.

  • Walvoord, Barbara E. Assessment Clear and Simple: A Practical Guide for Institutions, Departments, and General Education . Second Edition. San Francisco, CA, USA: Jossey-Bass, 2010. Print.

  • Wright, Stephanie, and Lynda S. White. SPEC Kit 303 . Library Assessment. December 2007. Washington DC, USA: Association of Research Libraries, (2007): 57. Print. 


  • Contact:

    • Sonja Eads, Director of Library Service, MCTC at or 606-759-7141 ext. 66126

    • Margo Hamm, Librarian, MCTC at or 606-759-7141 ext. 66125

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