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Information Literacy @ Egan Library

Overview

Egan Library's Information Literacy Outcomes are based on the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy for Higher Education and cover the concepts (Frames) of:

  • Authority is Constructed & Contextual
  • Information Creation as a Process
  • Research as Inquiry
  • Scholarship as Conversation
  • Information Has Value
  • Searching as Strategic Information

Specific outcomes for each Frame are addressed at the bottom of this guide. Faculty librarians draw from these to tailor class and assignment-specific outcomes in collaboration with discipline faculty. The outcomes are also addressed through UAS's credit-bearing Library Science courses and through one-on-one research consultations with students. 

Assessment of these outcomes occurs in several ways: 

  • Egan Library's Information Literacy Assessment (see below for more details)
  • Projects, activities, and pre-post assessments conducted during credit-bearing LS classes
  • Activities completed as part of one-shot sessions, which are evaluated by librarians and course faculty
  • Feedback from professors regarding students’ performance on assignments that are supported by librarians’ in-class or online instruction 
  • Student Course Ratings
  • Surveys

Information Literacy Assessment Spring 2019-Present

In Fall 2019, library faculty determined that the assessment process begun in 2018 was not manageable for a long-term assessment effort, and it also provided limited ability to assess multiple instruction sessions or multiple frames from the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy. After finding an assessment process that seemed better suited to gathering data across instruction sessions on all of the ACRL Frames, based on an assessment process and rubric developed by University of Maryland Libraries, a new data collection survey and rubric were developed.

This process could be used with any instruction session, it was quick and anonymous, and the data could be evaluated in a timely manner. At the end of each session, students would record their “a-ha moment” from the session: a moment that stood out to them, something that had personal meaning for them, or a key takeaway from the lesson. These “a-ha moments” would later be categorized using the rubric to indicate which frame and disposition from the ACRL Framework (information literacy outcome) was being addressed and at what level (developing, proficient, advanced).

The new survey was deployed across instruction sessions delivered by librarians Kaia Henrickson and Jennifer Ward during Spring 2020, for both in-person and online sessions. Jennifer and Kaia met at the end of the spring semester to evaluate responses based on the new rubric and make a few small revisions to the rubric itself to better reflect the ACRL Framework dispositions being taught at UAS. The pilot of the new assessment process was successful overall, and librarians plan to continue using it for the 2020-21 academic year.

Information Literacy Assessment AY 2018-19

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 was repeated after Spring semester with a new set of student work samples to see if the adjusted instruction impacted student proficiency, and the results for both Fall and Spring are analyzed in the AY2019 Information Literacy Outcomes Assessment Final Report.

AY2019 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.

Information Literacy Outcomes: ACRL Frames

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...

  • Understand the importance of evaluating information and demonstrates self-awareness of individual biases:
    • 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.

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...

  • Seek out conversations taking place in their research area
    • 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.

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...

  • Match an information need with an appropriate resource:
    • 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...

  • Respect the original ideas of others:
    • Give credit to original ideas through proper attribution and citation.
  • Understand the power or economic value of information
    • Recognize intellectual property as a legal and social construct that varies by culture and privileges certain voices while marginalizing others.

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...

  • Value intellectual curiosity in developing questions and consider research as open ended exploration and engagement with information
    • 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...

  • Design and refine search strategies as necessary (including browsing, intentional searching, or use of search tools) and seek guidance from experts such as librarians, researchers, and professionals:
    • 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.

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 fromhttp://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


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