Library Director at The Harker School in San Jose, California, USA
We know how lucky we are at The Harker School, an independent, PK-12, college preparatory school in San Jose. We enjoy an oasis of library programming and teaching featuring five full time librarians, two part time librarians and me, the library director. My team spends hundreds of hours teaching at all levels, in all disciplines, to infuse information literacy into lessons and units collaboratively designed by subject area experts and librarians.
We have a sense that our work puts our students ahead of the curve, especially in California where the ratio of school librarians to students has been dismal for many years. We see our students’ success in classrooms. We hear about it from alumni. But we also perceive weaknesses. When a test came along to quantify our students’ skills, like any good library team, we did our research. Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy (TATIL), offered by Carrick Enterprises, seemed promising. Inspired by ACRL’s Threshold Concepts, which inform much of our information literacy instruction at Harker, TATIL might provide a faithful assessment of how our students are doing.
Dr. Stephanie Sterling Brasley is the Dean of the Library at California State University Dominguez Hills. She joined the Advisory Board of the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy in 2017. Here she talks about the critical role of information literacy in student success and life long learning, her support of OER, her experience at IDEAL '19, and more!
Question: Please tell us about a project or research or initiative you are currently working on.
I have been interested in open educational resources (OER) and open access issues for several years. Thus, I am trying to carve out time to turn my dissertation research on faculty adoption of open educational resources in higher education into an article. On the job front, at CSU Dominguez Hills, high impact practices (HIPs) are a focal point for the campus community and undergraduate research is one in which our library can make a positive contribution. I am excited about working this year with our Student Success Librarian, Cristina Springfield, to develop and implement an Undergraduate Library Research Fellows program to excite our students about the positive aspects of knowing how to and successfully engage in quality research. As a perennial information literacy enthusiast, I see implementing this program, which aligns with our information literacy goals, as being a win-win for HIPs and information literacy.
By Robin Ewing, Professor, Department Chair & Assessment Librarian, St. Cloud State University, St. Cloud, Minnesota, USA
This post is based on a poster session presented at the 2018 Library Assessment Conference.
Faculty librarians at St. Cloud State University (SCSU) developed a 3-credit course combining critical thinking and information literacy. LIB 280: Critical Thinking in Academic Research satisfies the critical thinking requirement of SCSU’s Liberal Education Program (LEP). In this course, students examine and evaluate critical reasoning in scholarly research, the construction of arguments, and the management of their own academic research. We offer the course in a variety of formats. We’ve had sections paired with English composition courses, sections in a learning community, sections in the Honors Program, and we regularly have an online section.
TRAILS was a very popular information literacy assessment tool designed for pre-college students. While the TRAILS system is no longer available, much of the archived TRAILS testing material can be found on a new OER web site, TRAILS Archive. Carrick Enterprises is pleased to host the site and provide access to this valuable material.
In this post, TRAILS founder Dr. Barbara Schloman describes the TRAILS journey and the new TRAILS Archive.
Reflecting on TRAILS
Barbara F. Schloman, Ph.D. TRAILS Founding Member Emeritus Professor University Libraries Kent State University Kent, Ohio, USA
TRAILS (Tool for Real-Time Assessment of Information Literacy Skills) was an online information literacy assessment site for K-12 that ended its fourteen-year run in June 2019. Over that time, there were 31,000 registered users who administered over 126,000 assessments to nearly 2.5 million students. This is a look back in time on its development and reception by users.
For many libraries it's summer time and there's an opportunity to devote attention to longer-term projects. In this post I want to talk about making plans for information literacy assessment.
As you think about your information literacy program you may have questions like these:
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.
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?
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?
Are there tools that will help us know are we meeting our institutional learning outcome goals for information literacy?
How can I guide my students in gaining a deeper understanding of their IL strengths and weaknesses? Can I guide their exploration of what information literacy is and why they need it, as well as get feedback about where they can improve?
Carrick Enterprises offers a suite of valid and reliable information literacy assessments to help answer these questions and achieve these goals. Supported by a team of information literacy and measurement experts, these assessment tools produce valuable insights that librarians are using to inform their information literacy efforts. Whether it's identifying areas for growth, looking for evidence of improvement over the course of a student's college career, or bringing formalized assessment to accreditation efforts, the Carrick Enterprises assessments deliver what you need with pricing that respects your budget.