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One Library’s Approach Presented by Bruce Kocour Carson-Newman College

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1 One Library’s Approach Presented by Bruce Kocour Carson-Newman College


3 Information Literacy Assessment Why bother? Assessment tips ACRL Information Literacy Standards Assessment of freshmen and seniors at C-N

4 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.

5 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

6 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!

7 ACRL Information Literacy Standards 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.

8 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

9 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.

10 Learning Outcomes 1. The student understands and can use Boolean logic to construct search statements. 2. The student can identify key concepts to use in a keyword search. 3. The student can conduct an effective subject heading search. (Senior only assessment) 4. The student can use the online catalog effectively. 5. The student can find information in a book using internal organizers (TOC, index).

11 Learning Outcomes - Continued 6. The student can identify the appropriate finding aid(s) for the information sought. 7. The student can identify the elements of a bibliographic citation. 8. The student can identify purpose and audience of potential resources (popular vs. scholarly, types of web sites). 9. The student can apply criteria for evaluating both the information and its sources. 10. The student can differentiate between primary and secondary literature. (Senior only assessment)

12 Learning Outcomes - Continued 11. The student understands the meaning of plagiarism and how to avoid it. 12. The student understands the concept of intellectual property.

13 Learning OutcomesEvaluation MethodsAssessment ResultsResulting Improvements 1. The student can construct search statements using appropriate Boolean logic. 1a. Improved scores from pre to post-test for questions pertaining to Boolean searching on EH 101 post- tests 1b. 70% of questions pertaining to Boolean searching on Senior Seminar/Capstone quiz answered correctly 1a. 1b. 42% 1a. Additional time will be spent on Boolean searching in fall 2007 classes. The following comments apply to English 101 in general: We are also redesigning the pre and post-tests to make them more parallel to (hopefully) more accurately assess slo’s. We met with the English faculty in August 2007 and asked them to weigh the information literacy tutorials and post-test at a high enough level to ensure students take it seriously. 1b. The following comments apply to all senior assessment results: results were disappointing and indicate that material introduced during the freshman year is not often retained. Those seniors who had been in more library instruction sessions generally performed better on the senior quiz. The library is attempting to reach an agreement with all departments offering a major that would ensure their students receive library instruction in a required course early in that major. It was also suggested by some faculty teaching senior seminar courses that the quiz was too difficult. The librarians will redesign the quiz in the fall of 2007 to (hopefully) more accurately assess senior student learning outcomes. PretestPost- test % Change 65.168.13

14 Information Literacy Assessment SACS NCA No Worries!

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