Information Literacy Assessment One Library’s Approach Presented by Bruce Kocour Carson-Newman College firstname.lastname@example.org http://library.cn.edu/ACA/kocour.html
Information Literacy Assessment • Why bother? • Assessment tips • ACRL Information Literacy Standards • Assessment of freshmen and seniors at C-N
Information Literacy Assessment • Why Bother? • Because you have to! • It really does allow you to identify areas that need more attention. • Led to a complete redesign of our library instruction program after we assessed some of our seniors. • As our new gen ed was being developed we were able to present convincing evidence that information literacy instruction was needed throughout the curriculum.
Assessment – Pay attention to… Validity How well the assessment actually measures what it was intended to measure… Synonyms - accuracy soundness trustworthiness Reliability How well the assessment is able to produce consistent scores… Synonyms - dependability stability
Assessment = discovering what your students have learned • Make instructions and questions as clear as possible • Don’t try to trick them • When using multiple choice questions, don’t offer A&B, B&D, A&D as answers – those kinds of answers assess critical thinking skills not content knowledge. • Make all possible answers plausible • Avoid giving clues • Avoid giving answers elsewhere in the test • Don’t give extra credit for being able to answer a question about your family or some other non course-related content!
ACRL Information Literacy Standards • http://www.ala.org/ala/acrl/acrlstandards/standards.pdf • An information literate individual is able to: • Determine the extent of information needed • Access the needed information effectively and efficiently* • Evaluate information and its sources critically* • Incorporate selected information into one’s knowledge base • Use information effectively to accomplish a specific purpose • Understand the economic, legal, and social issues surrounding the use of information, and access and use information ethically and legally * * We librarians concentrate on assessing these at C-N.
ACRL - continued • “…there are five standards and twenty-two performance indicators. The standards focus upon the needs of students in higher education at all levels. The standards also list a range of outcomes for assessing student progress toward information literacy. These outcomes serve as guidelines for faculty, librarians, and others in developing local methods for measuring student learning in the context of an institution’s unique mission.” *emphasis mine
Examples from C-N • Freshmen • Pre and post-test as first and last modules in WebCT “course” • Quizzes at end of each module • Seniors • Test is in WebCT Results plugged into “SLOAPs” and used to guide instruction the following year.
Learning Outcomes • The student understands and can use Boolean logic to construct search statements . • The student can identify key concepts to use in a keyword search. • The student can conduct an effective subject heading search. (Senior only assessment) • The student can use the online catalog effectively. • The student can find information in a book using internal organizers (TOC, index).
Learning Outcomes - Continued • The student can identify the appropriate finding aid(s) for the information sought. • The student can identify the elements of a bibliographic citation. • The student can identify purpose and audience of potential resources (popular vs. scholarly, types of web sites). • The student can apply criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources. • The student can differentiate between primary and secondary literature. (Senior only assessment)
Learning Outcomes - Continued • The student understands the meaning of plagiarism and how to avoid it. • The student understands the concept of intellectual property.
Information Literacy Assessment • SACS • NCA No Worries!