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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.

...continue reading "DIY or Purchase? Comparing InfoLit Tests"

Photo of Lyda McCartin
Lyda McCartin with Cliff (big) and Chai (tiny). Lyda is Professor and Head of Information Literacy & Undergraduate Support at University of Northern Colorado in Greeley, Colorado, USA.

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"

The Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL) comes in four modules that provide depth of coverage of information literacy as a whole. Each module measures information literacy knowledge outcomes and information literacy dispositions, as developed by the TATIL Advisory Board.

In this post I will describe each module with an emphasis on dispositions because they are less familiar to most instructors. At the end of the post is a chart showing how much time students need to complete each module.

Module 1: Evaluating Process & Authority

This module combines concepts from two of the ACRL information literacy frames, Authority is Constructed and Contextual and Information Creation as a Process. It focuses on the process of information creation and the constructed and contextual nature of source authority. It tests students' ability to recall and apply their knowledge of evaluating sources and it tests their metacognition about core information literacy dispositions that underlie their behaviors.

Knowledge Outcome: Apply knowledge of source creation processes and context to evaluate the authority of a source.
Knowledge Outcome: Apply knowledge of authority to analyze others' claims and to support one's own claims.
See the performance indicators for each outcome.

Dispositions
Students who can evaluate sources based on the processes used to create them ...continue reading "Thinking about Using TATIL? Explore the Module Structure"

Today we talk with Joseph Aubele, Librarian at California State University Long Beach in California. Joseph joined the TATIL Advisory Board in 2015 and has been instrumental in making the new test come to life. Learn how his approach to teaching has evolved from feeling like an imposter to handing over control to students. Read his perspective on using assessment results, the library patron as customer, and more!

Q: Please tell us about your job. What do you do? What do you like about your job?

Joseph: At the most basic level I am a reference and instructional librarian -- and almost anyone reading this will have some idea of what that entails. Beyond the obvious, as a tenure track librarian, I engage in research/writing. I also have an administrative assignment as Internship Coordinator for our library which has me meeting with graduate students who are interested in participating in our semester-long experience and then mentoring them once they’re here (and beyond!).

...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Joseph Aubele"

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Jane Liu, Associate Professor of Chemistry, Pomona College

Dr. Jane Liu is a founding member of the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy. She is a faculty member in the Chemistry Department at Pomona College and she incorporates elements of information literacy in her teaching.

Jane, we are so pleased to have you on the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy. You bring a valuable perspective to our work, particularly as a faculty member in the sciences. Please tell us about your position as Associate Professor of Chemistry at Pomona College.

Jane: I have a fantastic job!  I was hired to primarily teach biochemistry, which I describe as understanding how cells and organisms work, at a molecular level. I teach this subject in the classroom, mostly to third- and fourth-year undergraduates, but I’m a firm believer that some of the best ways to learn science is to actually do science. So I also engage students in my research lab where I investigate how genes are turned on and off in bacteria. My students and I work side by side, wearing lab coats and gloves, growing bacteria, isolating DNA, RNA and proteins, and doing experiments on these materials to answer questions that we do not know the answer to. There is a great deal of learning that can occur when tackling the unknown – and there are always a few unexpected surprises that are uncovered.

...continue reading "Meet the TATIL Advisory Board: Jane Liu"