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Today's post is from Silvia Vong and Angela Henshilwood, librarians at the University of Toronto. Silvia and Angela participated in the creation of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy. They were recently invited to talk about that experience at their university. Here they summarize the discussion.

By Silvia Vong and Angela Henshilwood
University of Toronto

On January 11, 2019, librarians at the University of Toronto (U of T) gathered for an instruction-focused professional development day. The theme of this year’s PD day was “Instructional Design for Librarians.” The day included refreshers on backward design, anticipatory sets, best practices for developing learning outcomes, and more. A good part of the second half of the day was dedicated to assessing our teaching and how to design the best assessment based on what we want to know about our students’ learning. The organizers were familiar with Project SAILS and other standardized tests but wanted to learn more about the new Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL). So they invited us to give a lightning talk about TATIL because of our experience as test item writers. ...continue reading "Talking about TATIL with Colleagues (Guest Post)"

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"

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"

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"