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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!).

I spent many years in the private sector before coming to librarianship, working too many hours, doing work that -- while rewarding in its way -- lacked the intellectual stimulation that is so much a part of what I do know. So, while I hate it when others say this, I have to say that there is not any single part of my work that is absolutely my favorite. Instead, I enjoy each aspect -- assisting students and faculty, teaching, research, and contributing to the preparation of those who are joining our profession -- and the satisfaction I feel is actually greater than the sum of the parts.

Q: Why did you join the Advisory Board for the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL)?

Joseph: A great deal of library assessment measures everything BUT information literacy, and that is understandable -- measuring a student’s ability to recognize when information is needed, or the ability to evaluate information, especially in the context of a one shot session, is daunting. The work that TATIL is doing enables educators of all stripes to assess where students are at when they arrive on campus and how far they progress during their time in college. Colleges and universities talk a lot about helping students become critical thinkers but the only regular assessments are the grades they earn in their classes. The assessments TATIL has developed focus on something much more fundamental to the individual, and being able to make a very small contribution to that effort is as exciting as it is rewarding.

Q: Please tell us about a project you are currently working on.

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

Photo illustration of creativity and ideasThis spring I had the opportunity to attend the California Academic and Research Libraries (CARL) Conference in April, the LOEX Conference in May, and the California Conference on Information Literacy (CCLI) in June.  These were excellent learning opportunities, as always, and I’m happy to share a few highlights from each.

CARL: It was wonderful to see the excellent work being done by librarians throughout California.  Elizabeth Horan and Brian Green, two of my colleagues in the community college system, reflected on the results of their recent survey of students about their study habits and preferences.  Take-aways included the high number of students at both of their colleges who report studying in their cars.  This highlighted the importance of mobile interfaces for library websites and article databases, since many of these students also reported accessing information on their phones or tablets.  It also suggests the importance of creating spaces for individual studying, not just group studying, when libraries are redesigned and shows the value of permitting food in study spaces, when possible, in order to ensure that the library is as comfortable for studying as a car.  I also got inspired by Del Williams’ presentation about hosting hip hop and spoken word performances by a student art collective in the Cal State University, Northridge library over the past year.  ...continue reading "April’s Spring Conference Round-up"

At Carrick Enterprises, we talk with librarians about their information literacy goals and their need for assessments that provide specific, immediate, and actionable results. Our customers have questions like these:

  • What information literacy data can we contribute to our institution's accreditation self study?
  • How can we demonstrate the value of the library to our campus administrators?
  • What role do dispositions have in information literacy? How can I understand my students' information literacy dispositions and encourage them?
  • At what point are students capable of critically assessing the information they encounter?
  • How does student information literacy differ at lower and upper division levels?
  • I want a tool that helps us know are we meeting our institutional learning outcome goals for information literacy.
  • I would like to guide my students in gaining a deeper understanding of their IL strengths and weaknesses. At the beginning of our IL course, I want them to explore what information literacy is and why they need it, as well as get feedback about where they can improve.
  • What can I tell my faculty colleagues about information literacy outcomes on our campus? I want to have focused conversations with them that lead to common priorities and collaborations.

...continue reading "Get Ready for Fall 2018: Planning for Information Literacy Assessment"

Sign reading Good Cheap Fast
Credit: cea+ www.flickr.com/photos/centralasian/4534292595 CCBY2.0

It can be a challenge to decide which SAILS or TATIL test is the best one for your needs. Here I will take a few minutes to explain why we offer so many test options and how to determine which one is right for you.

The construct of information literacy is very broad. If you think about it as a light spectrum, it includes everything from infrared to ultraviolet. Many important concepts such as authority, intellectual property, search strategies, scholarship, and research are included. There is a lot to cover if you are going to assess your students’ information literacy capabilities. In order to make testing of these concepts manageable, we have grouped them in various ways.

Project SAILS has eight skill sets that we developed using the ACRL Information Literacy Competency Standards for Higher Education as a source for our
learning objectives. There are 162 test questions across the eight skill sets. The skill sets allow for in-depth scoring.

Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL) has four modules. Using the ACRL Framework for Information Literacy as a guide, our advisory board created performance indicators for the entire IL construct that we then combined into modules. There are a total of 101 test questions across the four modules. These modules allow for in-depth scoring.

We think it's important to make tests that can be administered in a standard class hour. This means we cannot ask a student to answer every SAILS question or every TATIL question. Instead students answer a subset of the full test question bank.

We would also like to be able to give each student an individual score when possible. For many institutions receiving individual student scores is necessary in order to achieve their goals. Having individual scores also means we can generate a custom report for each student highlighting their strengths and making recommendations.

I have covered the three aspects of information literacy testing. We call these Breadth, Depth, and Individualization. Breadth indicates how much of the IL construct is covered, from partial to complete. Depth indicates how granular the reporting is, from shallow to deep. And Individualization indicates whether an individual student receives a score.

When having someone do a job for you, the old saying goes: Good, cheap, fast -- pick two. When deciding on a testing option you have a similar choice: Breadth, Depth, Individualization -- pick two. Here’s why:

...continue reading "SAILS and TATIL: Why Are There So Many Test Options?"