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Information Literacy @ Egan Library: Assessment

Information Literacy Outcomes Assessment

During AY2018, Egan Library revised the outcomes assessment strategy for the Information Literacy Program. The goals were to identify learning outcomes and assignments that align with information literacy outcomes from the new ACRL Framework for Information Literacy in Higher Education, design information literacy instruction to support these assignments, and collect student artifacts at the end of the term in order to assess the extent to which student work demonstrates “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.”

In Fall 2018, Library faculty worked with Communications faculty to develop an assignment (annotated bibliography), instruction, and rubric to evaluate student work samples. In January 2019, a group of faculty evaluated the Fall 2018 student samples from two sections of COMM 111. Based on the results of this assessment, Library and Communications faculty adjusted instruction for Spring 2019 to try to improve student outcomes. The assessment process will be repeated at the end of Spring semester with a new set of student work samples to see if the adjusted instruction impacted student proficiency. 

Fall 2018 focused on assessing the following frame from the ACRL Framework and two student learning outcomes.

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, and
  • evaluate authoritative information based on the information need and research context.

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.