My partner and I have been in the business of information literacy assessment for over 20 years. Carolyn and I were on the team at Kent State University that conceptualized Project SAILS in 2002 and put SAILS into production in 2006. In 2012 we licensed SAILS from Kent State and began offering the SAILS tests through Carrick Enterprises.
A few years later we responded to new perspectives on information literacy by adding the Threshold Achievement Test for Information Literacy to our product line. TATIL was the result of tremendous effort by a brilliant team of librarians and other educators and went into production in 2019.
It's time now to pass the TATIL torch to others who are positioned to continue the work. We are extremely pleased that in June the Association of College and Research Libraries will take over operation of TATIL. ACRL has the resources to ensure that TATIL will continue to be available and improved for years to come. We are working with ACRL to make the hand-off as seamless as possible and you can expect the same ease-of-use, detailed reporting, and responsive support when ACRL takes over.
What about Project SAILS? We are committed to supporting and maintaining the SAILS tests. Carolyn will review and update the SAILS test questions over the next academic year in order to keep the tests current. Both long-time and new customers will receive the high quality product and service that is the hallmark of Carrick Enterprises.
Along with the move of TATIL to ACRL, we are making other changes at Carrick Enterprises, including ceasing publication of this blog.
We truly appreciate your continuing interest in our work and we thank you for your support over the years.
Best wishes for your future information literacy testing!
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.