By Nicole Eva, Rumi Graham, and Sandra Cowan University of Lethbridge, Lethbridge, Alberta, Canada
Have you ever wondered what the benefits and drawbacks of using a SAILS Cohort Test vs a Build-Your-Own Test (BYOT) might be? Wonder no more – we’re here to share our experiences in using both kinds of tests to help you make an informed decision that fits your own institution’s needs and purposes.
When we first looked into using a SAILS information literacy (IL) test in 2015, the only one available to us as a Canadian institution was the International Cohort Test. We had hoped to gather reliable, objective data on IL levels of first-year undergrads before and after librarian-created instruction. Our key questions were: What level of IL is possessed by incoming first-year students? and Is there a significant improvement in students’ IL abilities after receiving IL instruction? Our aim was to explore potential answers by looking for possible correlations between students’ IL attainment levels and their year of study as well as the amount or format of IL instruction....continue reading "Guest Post: SAILS Cohort Test vs BYOT, A Canadian Perspective"
At the Georgia International Conference on Information Literacy I had an opportunity to talk with several faculty members in writing and composition. Not surprisingly, many of these professionals have interests that align with those of librarians, not least in the area of information literacy. In fact, the Georgia conference regularly brings together educators from across the disciplinary spectrum who use this opportunity to develop shared understandings, to solidify common goals, and to listen and learn from each other.
I decided to explore the work going on at the intersection of writing studies and information literacy and I was not disappointed. So much impressive work is happening! Below are some key resources in this area.
Framework for Success in Postsecondary Writing
Developed by the Council of Writing Program Administrators, the National Council of Teachers of English, and the National Writing Project
Published in 2011 this Framework document caught my attention in part because of my familiarity with the ACRL Framework. Once I read the executive summary and full document, though, I got really excited. The focus on how teachers can foster certain habits of mind that the authors deem “essential for success in college writing” is an approach that resonates with librarians working to foster information literacy dispositions through training transfer.
Dominique Turnbow is Instructional Design Coordinator for the UC San Diego Library in La Jolla, California, USA. She joined the TATIL Advisory Board in 2014 and has been a key contributor to the development of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL). In this interview she describes her work as an instructional designer, her focus on student learning, and the challenges of bringing Design Thinking to academic library instruction.
Q: Dominique, thank you for your time. Let's start with you telling us about your job.
Dominique: I am an Instructional Design Librarian at the University of California, San Diego. I work closely with our Instructional Technologies Librarian to design, develop, and deliver information literacy learning objects. My part in this process is largely focused working with faculty and liaison librarians to understand what they want students to learn. I use systematic processes grounded in instructional design theory and practice to translate historically in-person instruction to an online environment. I love being able to look at an instructional challenge from a 10,000 foot perspective and create big-picture solutions. The solution typically has a few components, including an online learning object. A big part of the work I do is to also create ways to evaluate the effectiveness of our work and assess student learning.
At the Library Assessment Conference in Houston Texas earlier this month, Kathy Clarke and I had an opportunity to talk with attendees about the use of information literacy tests. We focused on comparing locally-created tests and commercially-developed tests. Here’s a recap of our 13-minute presentation.
Information literacy tests are one viable option for measuring information literacy. Testing offers specific strengths, including familiarity to students, ease of administration, and efficiency for large-scale assessment. Tests can simplify comparing groups or conducting longitudinal studies and they can suggest improvements to instruction programs. Tests can also offer interpretation of quantitative data for students as individuals and in groups.
Meet Lyda McCartin, a member of the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2017. Here she shares her thoughts about teaching, assessment, and mentorship.
Q: Please tell us about your job. What do you find most satisfying?
Lyda: As Head of Information Literacy & Undergraduate Support (ILUS) at University of Northern Colorado, I lead a department of three full-time faculty, one 9-month lecturer, and one full-time administrative staff person. Two of ILUS’ strategic initiatives focus on information literacy - The Core Library Instruction Program (CLIP) and the Credit Course Program. The CLIP integrates information literacy into large-scale undergraduate programs including Composition and First Year Experience. The Credit Course Program includes seven courses plus internships and directed study. All courses are embedded into a degree-granting program or are required for an academic program. For example, LIB 160 is required for Criminal Justice majors while LIB 151 is required for students in the honor’s program. We’ve also developed online information literacy modules that faculty can use to embed information literacy into their courses; this is a new initiative that we are just now getting off the ground. ...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Lyda McCartin"