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Information Literacy @ Egan Library: Assessment

Egan Library Information Literacy Framework & Outcomes

UAS lists information literacy as one of our Undergraduate Competencies and states "competency in information literacy combines the skills of being able to 1) identify needed information; 2) locate and access the information; 3) analyze and evaluate the content; 4) integrate and communicate the information; and 5) evaluate the product and the process." The Association of College and Research Libraries (ACRL) defines information literacy in its guiding document, the Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education, as “the set of integrated abilities encompassing the reflective discovery of information, the understanding of how information is produced and valued, and the use of information in creating new knowledge and participating ethically in communities of learning.” Egan Library’s information literacy program contributes to UAS and the library’s mission by promoting information literacy throughout the University curriculum and library services, empowering students to engage in critical inquiry, effectively use and evaluate library and other information resources, and grow as reflective, independent thinkers and lifelong learners.

The outcomes below represent an interconnected, complex, multi-layered set of skills, mastered over time and in a variety of contexts (including, but not limited to, credit-bearing Library Science courses, course-integrated information literacy workshops, and one-on-one consultations). Integral to each outcome are not only the cognitive but affective components of information literacy, particularly the abilities to adapt, persist, be creative, and manage ambiguity, while acknowledging the social, cultural, political, and economic dimensions of research. Faculty librarians draw from these outcomes to tailor class and assignment-specific outcomes in collaboration with discipline faculty. Though presented linearly, this format is not intended to imply progression.

Research as Inquiry

Research is an iterative, ongoing process of discovery and depends upon asking increasingly complex and/or new questions, which in turn develop additional questions or lines of inquiry.

Students will...

  • Formulate questions of an appropriate scope based on information gaps, curiosity, and/or reexamination of existing, possibly conflicting, information.

  • Select research methods that suit the information need, context, and type of inquiry.

Searching as Strategic Exploration

Searching is the contextualized, nonlinear process of identifying potentially relevant sources, accessing those sources, and employing divergent search methods and strategies as new understanding develops.

Students will...

  • Develop search strategies based on the information need and research context.

  • Select tools, resources, and services based on the information need and research context.

  • Revise search strategies and resource selection to incorporate new information and/or adapt to changes in the scope of inquiry.

Information Creation as a Process

Information in any format is produced to convey a particular message, shared via a selected delivery method, and deemed relevant according to particular needs and contexts. The underlying processes of researching, creating, revising, and disseminating information vary, and the resulting product reflects these differences.

Students will...

  • Articulate the distinguishing characteristics of various processes of information creation as well as their capabilities and constraints.

  • Connect specific information needs to relevant, credible sources based on the audience, context, and purpose of information creation processes and their resulting formats.

Information has Value

Information possesses several dimensions of value, including as a commodity, as a means of education, as a means to influence, and as a means of negotiating and understanding the world. The flow of information through systems of production and dissemination is affected by legal, sociopolitical, cultural, and economic interests.

Students will...

  • Give credit to original ideas through proper attribution and citation.

  • Recognize intellectual property as a legal and social construct that varies by culture and privileges certain voices while marginalizing others.

Scholarship is a Conversation

Communities of scholars, researchers, and professionals engage in sustained discourse over time, with new insights and discoveries arising as the result of different perspectives and interpretations.

Students will...

  • Articulate the contributions particular information sources make within an ongoing scholarly conversation.

  • Contribute to the scholarly conversation at an appropriate level, situating ideas in relation to pre-existing communities of knowledge and practice.

Authority is Constructed and Contextual

Information resources reflect their creators’ expertise and credibility and are evaluated in accordance with how various communities recognize and confer authority. Authority is best approached with an attitude of informed skepticism and an openness to new perspectives, emerging voices, and changes in schools of thought.

Students will...

  • Identify markers of authority such as subject expertise, societal position, and/or special experience, with an understanding of how those markers apply in different contexts.

  • Evaluate authoritative information based on the information need and research context.

References:

ACRL. (2015, February 2). Framework for information literacy for higher education. Retrieved from http://www.ala.org/acrl/standards/ilframework

Pagowsky, N. (2014, December 9). Nicole Pagowsky: #acrlilrevisions next steps. Retrieved from http://pumpedlibrarian.blogspot.com/2014/12/acrlilrevisions-next-steps.html

UA Libraries. (2016). Learning outcomes: University of Arizona Libraries’ instruction program. Retrieved from http://libguides.library.arizona.edu/c.php?g=463822&p=3170623

USC Libraries. (n.d.). Information literacy outcomes for undergraduates. Retrieved from https://libraries.usc.edu/research/instructional-services/learning-outcomes

UWB/CC Campus Library. (2016, June). Teaching and learning at the Campus Library: Learning outcomes. Retrieved from http://guides.lib.uw.edu/c.php?g=345826&p=2330730

Assessment activities

Classroom assessment

Assessment as part of course-integrated instruction most frequently takes the form of activities completed as part of the class, which are evaluated by librarians and faculty during and/or outside of the class time (see the example activities above).  Librarians also gather feedback from professors regarding students’ performance on assignments that are supported by librarians’ in-class instruction and make use of informal feedback (e.g. what was most useful, what remained unclear, etc.) from both professors and students.

For broader instructional services, we typically rely on data gathered as part of a wider assessment effort.  For example, surveys are generally distributed and collected following university events, like New Student Orientation, that include questions related to the presentations that compose the events.  We incorporate the results of these surveys into the development and delivery of our program and use them for continuous improvement.

Another way that we assess our students is through the Student Rating forms.  All instructors have the option to include the question “The UAS library services were useful for this course. Examples: instruction sessions, research help, interlibrary loan, course reserves” as part of their formal Students Ratings. We compile student responses to this question, which informs us of student perceptions of our instruction services and research help (in addition to other services) across the University. 

As part of our courses, Library Information Literacy (LS110) and Library Information Literacy for E-Learners (LS111), students complete course assignments to measure the skills they have learned during the class in addition to a course reflection essay at the end of the course.  In addition, as with all UAS courses, students complete the Student Course Rating forms.